A straight out of camera shot of the Miami skyline in the early morning sun. I love the light in this city. This shot was taken last December when they were experiencing very chilly weather, with low temps that had not been matched for 50 years. Maybe because of that, the light around sunrise and sunset was very unusual and quite spectacular.
A sure sign of summer – bunting. (Is it just me, or does ‘bunting’ sound like a bit of a cheeky word to you)?
Photos with their colour altered to make them look retro, funky, vintage or just plain weird abound. I like them …when other people do them, but can’t get used to seeing it on my own images. This, below, is another of mine. I liked it. At first. Now I’m not so sure! Anyway, I did it, so here it is.
The Boat Race. Ooh, bad news. My team were beaten yesterday.
Yes, the light blues of Cambridge beat the dark blues of Oxford. By the laws of statistics it was obviously going to happen sooner or later but I was disappointed for all those guys who had worked so very hard and foregone and sacrificed so much in the way of student fun and even personal relationships in order to compete. But then the same could be said of the Cambridge team for the last two years. Basically, it’s a pity that anyone has to lose.
Which ties in with my second thought on this boat race: Why are there an increasing number of foreign nationals appearing on the teams in recent years? (There were, for instance, a fair number of American/Canadian voices to be heard yesterday). I wonder this every year and the conclusion I inevitably come to is that it’s partly down to the fact we simply don’t place any emphasis at all on sport in this country. Crumbs, it’s such a non-issue that we’ve even sold off many school sports playing fields. I know from my girls that sports days had been reduced down to ridiculous events like rolling a soft (yes, soft, of course) ball down a long length of plastic guttering. (!??!) It was a silly ‘It’s a Knockout’ styled day that was designed purely for fun and with that ridiculous modern sports ethic of ‘there should be no winners or losers – it’s the taking part that counts’. Yeah. Right. And when the Olympics come around? And Wimbledon? And the World Cup? Are we going to be happy just to run around aimlessly like a bunch of “big girls’ blouses” because, really, it’s the taking part that matters? I think not.
I was crushed for ‘my’ team but then that is the essence and nature of competitive sport. We cheer on those who we want to win – sometimes our cheers turn to the joy of victory and sometimes we are silenced by defeat. That’s just life isn’t it?. Like it or lump it, there are winners and losers in every aspect of what we do in life and I just wonder how we ever thought it OK to start telling children the nonsense that taking part was all that mattered. That’s an out-and-out lie.
Never mind Oxford. You can console yourselves that you have still earned your place in history as team members and to be team members indicates your dedication and sports prowess …even if your name won’t have that coveted three-letter word ‘win’ beside it.
Interesting fact: In looking up blurb on the boat race today I found that Wikipedia is saying that actor Hugh Laurie was a member of the 1980 Cambridge rowing team, although he doesn’t have ‘win’ beside his name. Oxford triumphed that year. Still, he hasn’t done too badly for himself otherwise. ;)
All photos from Wikipedia
In late Summer/early Autumn shops here are full of peppers, herbs, onions, tomatoes, aubergines (eggplants) and courgettes (zucchini). They’re just crying out to be put together for a lovely fresh bowl of Ratatouille. This would make a lovely light meal on its own, maybe with some crusty French bread on the side to mop up the juices. If you’re vegetarian and want to add some extra protein then I have occasionally added a tin of ready cooked white haricot or borlotti beans in the last 10 minutes, just to heat through. Alternatively take the original Ratatouille mix and put it in a shallow, oven proof dish. Sprinkle with cheese and flash under a hot grill until the cheese starts to brown (very satisfying on a chilly evening). This dish is absolutely bursting with Mediterranean flavour and goodness – olive oil, brightly coloured veg and garlic – just what the doctor ordered.
Before we begin, let me just say that you should keep the vegetable chunks quite large and stir very gently, otherwise the mix can all too easily lose all texture.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
2 large aubergines (eggplants), roughly chopped
4 courgettes (zucchini), roughly chopped
150ml / 1/4 pint / 2/3 cup olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
2 large yellow peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
sprig of fresh rosemary
sprig of fresh thyme
5ml / 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
3 plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
8 basil leaves, torn
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprigs of parsley or basil, to garnish
Aubergines (eggplants) nowadays shouldn’t need salting but if you know you are using an old-fashioned variety: place in a colander, sprinkle with salt, pop a plate and then a weight on top and leave for 30 minutes for the bitter juice to run out.
Otherwise, begin by heating the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and fry gently for 6-7 minutes, until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
If you had salted the aubergine (eggplant) rinse it and pat dry with a clean dish towel. Add the aubergine to the pan with the red and yellow peppers, increase the heat and saute until the peppers are just turning brown.
Add the rosemary, thyme and coriander seeds, then cover the pan and cook very gently for 40 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook gently for a further 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft but not too mushy. Remove the sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Stir in the torn basil leaves and check seasoning. Leave to cool slightly and serve warm or cold, garnished with sprigs of parsley.
Here I am posting for Chere’s ‘Saturday Snapshots Carnival’. On time. Yay! Go me!
This is following the prompt: ‘April 2009, 28th picture’. (Please join in and post your own photo…won’t you? Instructions are over at the above link).
Actually it’s lucky it was the 28th picture really because shortly before this was a series of photos of our patio being built. (‘How exciting’ I hear you say).
This photo was taken in the early morning when I noticed that there was an incredible golden light illuminating the branches of the trees at the bottom of our garden. It highlighted the moss-covered limbs of a big old oak and made the twigs of a prunus tree shine red and bronze.
Green and Bronze, April 2009