Sunday, 7 August 2016

A Weekend with the Parents.

The mister was away this weekend, working at the Countryfile Live event in the grounds of Blenheim Palace. My parents and I had tickets for the show on Saturday but because I still wasn't 100% at the end of last week, I decided to stay with them all weekend. There's nothing like a little mothering and a few nights in your childhood bedroom to chase away the last remnants of a horrid bug.

And oh, how this weekend did me a whole world of good. My parents' garden is one of my happy places and curling up under their parasol with a book instantly makes my worries melt away. After carrying my case up to my room on Friday afternoon, I sat outside with my mum for a while having a catch up before heading into the kitchen to help with dinner. Sitting in the garden also gave me the chance to think about what I'd like to do with our own little outside space and to hopefully (perhaps next year now!) realise all my homegrown vegetable plans - Mum's currently growing courgettes, beans, spinach and blueberries.

Saturday morning was a slightly earlier start than usual but it almost felt like we were going on holiday as we had a quick breakfast before packing up the car to drive to Blenheim for the day. Once we were on the move, all thoughts of bed were quickly forgotten and I think that a lie-in would not have made being stuck in traffic later any sweeter as crowds descended on the event throughout the day.

The beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace.
It was a baking hot day but there was such a great, festival-like atmosphere in the grounds when we arrived, granted with a slightly older average age range than festivals I've been to in the past....and so many dogs - who looked just as hot as their owners, but there were lots of places for them to have fresh water and many of them were wearing ingenious wet coats to keep them cool.

We stopped for a coffee when we arrived and spread out the map to pick out our must-sees. There were lots of activities on offer, from archery to off-road driving, but the animals were the main attraction for me. I spent a while by the dog arena, learning how to train my future pup, saw some stunningly impressive shire horses in the equine arena and spent far too long in the farmyard area, exclaiming over the piglets, lambs and chicks. It has definitely put me off eating any of those animals for a wee while!

We found the mister and dragged him away for a spot of lunch. I was feeling a little dizzy at that point - a combination of heat and the last remnants of this dose, and the fact that I just hadn't walked so much in over a week. I was exhausted! There were so many food stalls, a huge range of delicious treats on offer (unless you're coeliac of course!) but I did manage to track down a place selling gluten free burgers - venison and bison no less! Thankfully there were no baby deer around to shame me into just having the bun... My appetite is still not back to where it was before but there's something about eating outside, I inhaled that burger.

Waving goodbye to the mister who headed back to his stand, we then wandered around some of the others - browsing all the delicious food for sale (was very tempted by some fudge) and the impressive array of country clothing. I briefly pictured myself going full-Mitford sister in a tweed ensemble before seeing sense and picking up yet another stripy Breton top. Slightly wintry for this weather but no doubt perfect for our trip to Ireland!

Saturday evening was whiled away in the garden again, with a light dinner after our large festival lunches.

After yesterday's early start, I had a little lie-in this morning...I'd got used to being back in my childhood single bed again - the first night was slightly hairier as I almost rolled out a few times. I had a quiet breakfast with my book before joining mum and dad for some coffee. We then headed over to collect my Nanny before going out for Sunday lunch, just the four of us. We went to a restaurant that we've been to a number of times over the years and they always do an amazing Sunday roast, even gluten free. With memories of the little creatures from yesterday still fresh in my mind, I opted for the veggie roast - a spiced lentil and spinach roast with a mushroom and thyme gravy. It wasn't incredibly photogenic (quite brown!) hence no snap of my food but it was so incredibly good and wow, so filling. They had a gluten free beer too which I hadn't tried before - a pale ale and, although it hasn't surpassed Celia or Estrella's gluten free beer, it was light and refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to a slightly heavy meal.

I feel refreshed and better than I have done in over a week. I hope you all had wonderful weekends too - do drop me a comment and let me know what you got up to, or pop over and say hello on Twitter or Instagram (I'm @happygoluckycat on both, helpfully).

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 15

Oh I'm having flashbacks of how wonderful last Monday was, when I started writing last week's little weekly catch-up with a second cup of tea on the go and the sun streaming through the windows on a glorious day off from work. It's Monday again as I type this intro and once again, I'm not at work but I'm curled up in bed, which is where I've been for most of the last four days when I haven't been bolting to the bathroom to throw up. Gastroenteritis, you are no one's friend! Seriously, I love my food so much and I just haven't felt like eating more than a few crackers and the occasional slice of toast and tea in the last few days - nothing is making my tum happy right now. WOE!

So this week's Wonderful Wednesday will be a little shorter and instead I'll be looking forward to vicariously living through everyone else's wonderful snippets - do stop by and let me know what's made your week extra special!

♥ NHS111... Not that I ever have spoken a word against our NHS but it's even more important nowadays to keep it protected and spoken-for because it is VITAL. Honestly, when I was curled up into a little ball of misery on Friday night having thrown up in 40 minute intervals for most of the day, they were so helpful and reassuring...and the thought that they were available at any time day or night throughout the weekend made me feel so much better.

♥ That mister of mine... Although mentions of him are regularly sprinkled through these pages, he has the honour of his own little paragraph this week because he's been splendid. From holding back my hair and ferrying glasses of water during the middle of the night to actually working from home on Friday itself because he didn't want to leave me on my own curled up with a bucket, my mister has been an absolute rock this week. I always knew he was but it's times like this, when you're crying your eyes out at 3am because you're in so much pain and there's someone right there with you trying to make you feel better and just being there because things always seem so much worse at night, that you know that you made the right choice. Thank you B.

♥ New Harry Potter book... I have it in my paws, a new Harry Potter story after so long! I haven't been able to get tickets to see the stage play (sob!) but am very excited to get into this. I haven't been able to concentrate much over the last few days but am hoping that this bug will be well and truly out of my system by the weekend giving me the chance to really dive in.

♥ Holiday planning... With everything else that's been going on, this has slightly crept up on us but we're off to Ireland towards the end of next week for a family wedding and an additional few days for a proper little holiday. I can't wait! I've started writing little lists of things that I'd like to see while we're there as well as the usual lists of things to do before we go and things to pack. A lovely excuse for a few more lists!

That's it from me this week, I'm afraid, my concentration is really not back yet... Hope you've had a wonderful week so far - stay healthy!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmma, and the lovely Samantha, who jumped on this merry bandwagon only last week - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 14

I'm sitting here at the kitchen table beginning this post on Monday morning - a lovely long weekend-making day of annual leave stretching ahead of me! Although the purpose of this day off is to run some errands that I wouldn't get a chance to do at the weekend, that's not stopping me from having a leisurely breakfast, drawing out this second cup of tea with the kitchen door open and a delicious breeze blowing in.

Here are a few of my highlights from the last week...

♥ Entertaining like pros... The mister and I had such a busy time this weekend. My hilarious friend O came over for dinner on Friday night - not something we usually do as I'm invariably fast asleep on the sofa by about 9pm, but I managed to keep going until 1am this Friday - probably something to do with the combination of good food, flowing red wine and great conversation.

We then had another one of my oooooldest friends and her husband over for a late lunch, pulling out all the stops to let them take probably one of their first breaks since the birth of their gorgeous but demanding little boy, about a year and a half ago. Then another one of my friends joined us later on that afternoon and stayed on through until later that night. My introverted little soul wanted to curl up into a ball after so much people-time but it really was heaps of fun. Cooking-wise, the mister and I knocked it out of the park too with a delicious mustardy chicken dish served with rosemary and garlic oven-roasted new potatoes and a fresh cucumber and olive salad, followed by a flourless chocolate cake with strawberries and creme fraiche. Clean plates all round!

♥ Christmas in July...courtesy of one of my dearest friends. I came down with shingles on Christmas Eve last year (turns out lots of stress isn't good for you, who knew?!) and was distraught at the impact this would have on my Christmas. It may not be clear to you just yet how much I love Christmas but don't worry, you'll learn soon enough as the weather starts to cool again. I mentioned this to a couple of my closest friends in the new year, sadly whimpering that my Christmas just hadn't been the same and I had been cruelly denied a proper celebration. They suggested reprising Christmas in the summer, which I completely forgot about until this wonderful card arrived in the post this week! It may be warm outside and not really christmassy in any way but this card gave me such a lovely boost...and reminded me to pace myself a little more so that I can truly enjoy the festive period when December rolls around (who am I kidding, as soon as the clocks change and I get my winter coat out). 

♥ Family catch-ups... Like the lovely Kate in last week's Wonderful Wednesday, I met up with my Nanny on Sunday and the mister and I took her out for lunch together with one of my cousins and his wife. I come from a huge family and we always say we don't see enough of each other, with times like Sunday making me wonder why. I'm the oldest of all the (numerous) cousins too so it felt really special having a fun meal and catching up with one of my young cousins, who I remember when he was really small! Spending time with my Nanny is always great too and we enjoyed a really lovely meal together catching up, and discussing holiday plans and the travel adventures of my cousin and his wife who've had an amazing few months travelling around Europe.

♥ Getting up relatively early on the weekend... I used to be such a late sleeper, staying up really late and then not getting out of bed until late morning and wondering where my weekend had disappeared to. This weekend, I woke up around 8/8.30 most mornings and, rather than stay in bed, I actually got up, made breakfast and began the day...and the weekend felt so much fuller as a result. Bliss.

Day off lunches...
♥ Getting.Stuff.Done. ... As I say, we took Monday off as we had some errands to run and it was so satisfying to get things crossed off the list! Some serious adulting took place, which we celebrated with burgers and I curled up and watched a programme about Roald Dahl in the evening. A good mix I think.

♥ A little sprinkling of Sally Tangle...and last but by no means least, I took a leaf out of the lovely Sally's book this week, temporarily fixed our washing line and popped our clothes and sheets out to dry in the weekend's sun. It was such a happy sight, seeing them tossed about in the breeze, before collecting them in a few hours later, sun dried and beautifully fresh-smelling.

Until next week, my lovelies!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJo and Emma - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 13

How wonderful is the sunshine, lovely people who have waited far too long for summer to arrive?! Don't get me wrong, I'm only enjoying it as long as I'm out of the office and not in a suit but it's still glorious. On Tuesday afternoon, our department head surprised the entire office with ice lollies...such a treat and so needed - it was that point in the afternoon, not too long after we'd all got back from lunch when just going inside expended far too much energy and we were starting to reach peak-sleepy. A few ice lollies also counts towards your 4 pints of water each day, right? Totally healthy.

And without further ado, because I really am struggling to focus with all the sunshine going on outside (I actually said "can't brain" to my friend yesterday when I couldn't find the words for "I'm too hot to think") on with the joy...


♥ Parks... I do love the little park near my office, particularly so at the moment. Yesterday lunchtime, a few of us went to get iced drinks and took them back to the park, where I hid my pearly white limbs under the shade of a tree and they perched on the edge of the shade to catch some sun. It was wonderful and so difficult to drag ourselves back to the office (thank goodness there were ice lollies to come...) I snapped the wee picture above before we left, my view from under the shade - glorious blue sky and the hint of sunshine. It was wonderful.

♥ Iced tea... Tea lover that I am, I am drinking lots and lots of iced tea this week. Excitedly, I discovered some iced tea that I found during our trip to Germany a few months' ago, which I didn't think I'd be able to find over here. It's not as sweet as some iced teas can be and they have so many delicious flavours, with pomegranate being a particular favourite, closely followed by blueberry. Mmm. The chap in the shop is starting to recognise me now that I keep visiting to stock up on a few bottles every few days.

♥ Birthday-ing... So as I mentioned last week, it was my mister's birthday on Thursday and I have to say that I pulled out all the birthday stops this year, culminating in a trip to the Globe on Friday evening. (Shameless post plug here). I keep thinking about the play and trying to encourage everyone I see to visit the Globe. Honestly, I can't believe it's taken me so long to get there.

♥ Mum catch-ups... On Saturday I went into town to meet up with my mum for lunch and a long-overdue catch up. We grabbed some food straightaway before wandering around the shops for a few hours, and then stopping for tea and cake before heading home. We're all going to Ireland together in August for a family wedding so we were planning that trip and she filled me in on years of family history. I am so excited about this trip!

♥ Orange is the New Black... Incredibly late to this bandwagon but I've been marathoning this over the last few weeks and I'm now on series 4, not too sure what I'll do with my evenings when I finish. I should probably try to make this series last a little longer but I.can't.stop.watching.

♥ Dancing sheep... Yes, you heard me. On Sunday we went to the Lambeth Country Show, which takes place in Brockwell Park each year and is designed to be like a traditional country fair, but with a special South East London vibe. I had never actually been before but was lured by the premise of owls, a petting zoo area and dancing sheep. After a rocky start when I called a sheep a goat (#citygirl), we settled down with some cider in front of a huge van with various named podiums ready for the action. Disappointingly, the generator died about halfway through the show, just as the opening bars of the music started to play so I didn't actually get to see the sheep dance to the music (apparently that makes all the difference...) but we did get to see some impressive sheep run up when called and stand on their wee podiums, and demonstrate their signature moves. Some sheep were slightly more impressive than others... *ahem*

And on that note, I hope you all have a ball today.


♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJo and Emma - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Adventures at the Globe Theatre

As mentioned in last week's Wonderful Wednesday, it was my mister's birthday on Thursday. I started thinking about gift ideas a few months' ago in a very organised moment.  This time last year, we were in peak wedding-planning mode and both of our birthdays (mine is at the end of August) were slightly overlooked in the process. (Evil of all evils, I'd organised a pre-wedding getting to know you photoshoot with our wedding photographer on the actual day of the mister's birthday last year - I don't think I'm forgiven yet.)  The mister always thoroughly spoils me though and I really wanted to plan something special to do this year, something slightly different.

As I'd started looking a few months' ago, I decided to have a look on the Globe's website to see what was on around his's something I've looked at before on previous occasions but usually looking for something to do in the near future, when tickets have always been very much sold out.

I don't know a lot of Shakespeare's plays and didn't really enjoy the few that we were forced to read at school but I've watched and enjoyed the comedies that I've seen, so that was what I had in mind when choosing which play to buy tickets for. There was 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', which I'd seen a few times before, 'Macbeth', definitely NOT a comedy, and 'The Taming of the Shrew', which I opted for...knowing it was a comedy but not much else. In fact, all I knew about it was derived from 'Ten Things I Hate About You', which I haven't watched in aaaages...might be time to dig that out again. I was a little concerned about what the weather would be doing by the time mid-July rolled around (and until today it's been rubbish!) so decided not go to for the uncovered standing section but booked tickets for the Middle Gallery. The tickets arrived a few weeks later and, after a little panic that I'd been busted because 'The Globe' was stamped on the envelope (thankfully I have a very unobservant husband), squirreled them away and excitedly kept quiet until I popped the tickets into the mister's birthday card last week. We were off to the Globe!

After some dinner in down, we headed over to the Globe with enough time for a drink beforehand and, as we had tickets for the show, we were able to go to the outside bar and watch the crowds
walking along the Embankment and other theatre-goers start to pour in excitedly through the gate. Shortly before 7.30, we joined them and headed up the steps of the north tower to find our seats. Despite choosing the seat somewhat blindly, squinting at the theatre layout, I was so pleased to see how good a view of the stage we had. Although you have a seat number, there are no separately defined seats, just numbers on prepare to get cosy with your neighbour.

Onto the play... All I knew about the plot was that it focuses on a chap with two daughters - Bianca, the youngest, wants to get married but her dad won't let her until her elder sister, Kate, the 'Shrew' of the title, gets much, so Ten Things I Hate About You (swap 'get married' with 'date'). What I did not realise (or hadn't really considered) was the controversial, misogynistic element to this whole story, which so many people have found so unpalatable - the taming of a fantastic, wild woman by forcing her into marriage. This interpretation didn't seek to apologise for that though or try to excuse it or brush it under the table - so much so that the wild comedy of the first half gave way to almost a haunted tragedy in the second half.

When I bought the tickets earlier this year, I also didn't realise that this version would be portrayed by an all-Irish cast. They set it in Ireland in 1916 at the time of the Easter Rising, also the time when Irish women were granted equal rights to men. Interspersed with gorgeously evocative folk music and freedom ballads sung (almost howled) by the fantastic Kate, we were transported into the play...caught up by Kate's whirlwind of fury and then dashed into the rocks with her as we watched her crushed by her imposing husband.

There was a wonderful amount of classic Shakespearean clowning too, which kept the whole audience laughing...particularly when it involved the groundlings standing in front of the stage - I don't think one chap is going to forget being ridden by a cast member anytime soon, and that was just for starters.

Honestly, even if you're not Shakespeare's number one fan, this was such an experience and if you have any chance whatsoever to go and get tickets for this performance of 'The Taming of the Shrew', you really must. My few words in no way do it justice - it was superb.

One tip though, if you're booking seated tickets, definitely opt for a cushion! A few hours on a wooden seat lead only to a sore derriere, even after the slightly numbing effect of a few Pimms...

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 12

Back with a healthy serving of Wonderful Wednesday goodness after, my goodness, a few (?!) weeks off.  It is not good, not good at all when I cannot get my head together to even think about what's making me feel happy and I've noticed the effect it's had on me. It wasn't all news-related gloom getting me down though, I was also massively glutened when given an actual pizza in a restaurant despite telling them I was coeliac! Grim times. Why dwell on the rubbish though? I've done enough of that over the last few weeks! On to the Good Things!

♥ London... I don't think I say I love London nearly enough and as frustrating and expensive as it can be, it can also be truly wonderful. One of my closest friends came to visit a few weekends ago and I think I do appreciate London more when I have an excuse to spend all weekend wandering around the big smoke, rather than putting some time aside for dull tasks like laundry and/or sorting out the recycling. (It may be dull but it's no fun to get to Monday and already run out of tights for the week.)

I had planned the Saturday of all Saturdays - I met her off the train and then we pootled off to Beyond Bread for some brunch (any excuse to have more gf pastries - cinnamon bun this time!), then to Soho to check out the exhibition by the graphic designers from the Harry Potter films. They've taken over an entire house in Soho, with each floor focusing on different themes of prints, from newspapers to the books for each class and all manner of adverts for Weasleys' Wizarding many wonderful little details to exclaim over. If I had lots of money (or, really, any...thanks London landlords) I would have chosen a few prints to take home. They're lovely but a little pricey. The exhibition itself is free though and well worth a visit for a Potter fan - House of MinaLima on Greek Street in Soho.

We then headed over to the Wallace Collection, via a comic shop and a few coffees, and spent a glorious few hours there exclaiming over all the wonderful treasures on display, choosing our favourite rooms (oval drawing room for me please) and shrinking from an absolutely terrifying portrait of a crying little girl. Seriously scary business. Why hang that on your wall?? I would share it here but seriously, it is NOT wonderful. So the oval drawing room it is...view from a writing desk...

♥ Richard Herring's Leicester Square Podcast... In more comedy podcast discoveries, I've stumbled on these after listening to Adam Buxton interviewing Richard Herring - had absolutely no idea that he used to be in a double act with Stewart Lee - but anyway, I'm loving the podcast. Yes, I'm the loony girl walking through the park chuckling to herself but it's totally worth every single suspicious look (NO ONE smiles in London, right?!) There are so many episodes available to listen to - they're basically interviews with all kinds of comedy guests. I do choose people who I adore anyway and I have not been disappointed. I'm listening to David Mitchell's one at the moment, who I always feel that I'm learning something from as well as laughing, even if he's wittering on about nothing in particular. 

♥ The Allergy and Free From Show... Ahhh so much coeliac love for this show, which took place last Friday to Sunday. When I first went I was just so excited to find some gluten free cake but those are ten a penny now so I was determined to concentrate on the essentials this time - some really good pasta and gf flour. Four packets of gluten free pork scratchings, a cake mix and some gluten free beers later and I was leaving the show with some very heavy bags (hooray for husbands!) I did get some pasta though, fresh pasta at that!

♥ Belated wedding presents... The mister and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary in September but last weekend we went for lunch to Browns in Covent Garden, courtesy of one of our lovely wedding guests. We had some vouchers to use up but I'd been wary about what options I could have until recently when I saw that they now have a gluten free menu. So we decided to head into London on Saturday for a three course lunch and far too much red wine for so early in the afternoon. It was really lovely - I had smoked salmon to start followed by a steak and, joy of gluten free joys, tasty thick cut chips. The mister opted for scallops followed by lamb. We were really pleasantly surprised and they were so very careful with pointing out what I could have. Funnily enough, lovely Emma from our little Wonderful Wednesday crew was also in Browns in Bristol on the Saturday sampling their cocktails...think I'll have to do the same next time we go.

♥ Birthday Planning... It's my mister's birthday on Thursday (don't ask him how old he'll be, he'll only cry) and I'm excitedly planning some little surprises. He's going to a gig with some friends that night but I've planned something else for Friday and I'm really looking forward to it! Isn't there something wonderful about treating people?

♥ Hanging Pictures... In new 'making our wee house feel more like home' news, we've started hanging some pictures up - our Eggleston print in the sitting room, and my treasured Mucha exhibition poster and Pre-Raphaelite favourites up in the hall. We have some lovely large high walls, perfect for some fab pieces...I think I'd like to find something new and special to hang above my dressing table. The search begins.

Hope you've all had Wonderful-last-few-Wednesdays and that today will be no exception to that parade of wonderfulness! Drop me a comment and let me know how you've been.

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJo and Emma - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Wonderful Wednesday 11

This week is, thankfully, going by quite quickly. I say thankfully as I'm typing this on the train home from work having time recorded copious hours today, which also included a lunchtime webinar on tax. Apparently tax *does* have to be taxing....who am I kidding though, I enjoyed it! #IHTnerd

I'm usually far more organised with my Wonderful Wednesdays but this week it just was not to be, hence my frantically catching up with it on my commute home. Although, come to think of it, I normally post this really early in the morning and have the whole of Wednesday ahead of me, whereas now said day is practically already over and we're officially closer to the weekend! Boom, another Good Thing. I won't wibble on any longer though and simply share some of my highlights from the last 7 days...

♥ Brunching adventures... I'm not a lady who has regular brunching adventures. My Saturday mornings are incredibly precious to me and, frankly, I'm usually exhausted so they tend to involve me dragging myself into the kitchen and slowly coaxing myself back into life with copious cups of tea and Saturday Kitchen. But last Saturday I was up and in central London for 10am (!) where I met my very dear friend H for brunch at Beyond Bread in Fitzrovia. Beyond Bread is an entirely gluten free bakery and I'd read all sorts of wonderful things about Danish pastries, which I haven't tasted for quite a few years now.

I tell you folks, it was worth dragging myself out of bed for and grumbling my way into the shower. We both opted for the avocado on toast and, my word, the bread was like no gluten free bread I've tasted before. SO good. After keeping a nervous eye on the counter lest someone snaffle all the Danishes while I was eating, I then rushed up to the counter and chose a raspberry custard Danish to follow. It was worth the wait. I'm thinking about it now, I could eat AT LEAST another one right now. Gulp.

♥ Sunday roasts... It doesn't seem right to be having a roast at this time of year but the weather is so all over the place that it seemed perfectly appropriate this weekend. We cooked a roast chicken and it's the gift that keeps on giving - we've been eating it in various different ways all week so far and made a stock from the rest of it on Tuesday night, ready for the perfect risotto. I'm excitedly planning it already... As I write this, my mister is cooking a homemade curry with the final remnants of the chicken and once off the train, I shall be scurrying home excitedly.

♥ Post-rainy rambles... Sunday was so rainy and cooold down in London! In between the rain showers, the mister and I popped out to pick up the ingredients for our roast and on the way back I snapped a shot of this beautiful bloom that was covered in perfect tiny rain drops. It was quite difficult to capture because every time I raised my phone, the wind seemed to want to prevent me capturing the image as it would blow the branch back and forth. Got it though! Definitely worth the branch face to snap it.

♥ The soaring beauty of M83... About 800 years late to this party but this week I've discovered the amazing gorgeousness that is M83. I've been listening to 'Hurry Up, We're Dreaming' (specifically volume 2) on repeat for most of this past week and I'm transported to a happier place each time. It's particularly wonderful as I walk home though the park and makes trudging through the rain an almost magical experience. I am in no way exaggerating. Buy it, folks, and begin with the last track ('Outro') - turn up the volume and enjoy. In fact, if I can manage to get this YouTube link to work, have a listen:

You are SO welcome.

♥ Happy Valley... Or not so happy as it turns out. It's good though. Another party I'm hilariously late to but I've heard a lot of good things about this from various people and spotted it on Netflix so thought I'd give it a try. Two episodes in and I'm struggling to get my head around the lovely chap from War and Peace being such a scumbag. Sob! Has anyone else watched it?! 

It's almost Thursday, my lovelies! Hope your weeks are all going splendidly!

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJo and Emma - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight!