Three Things Thursday: 15 December 2016

As usual I’m joining with Emily of Ms Emily’s Home for Full-Grown Nerds (and others) for Three Things Thursday. As she says…

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

First, my local  swimming pool. In mid-January I decided that I would start going swimming regularly in order to exercise more. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford to pay up-front and so I bought a year’s pass, allowing me unlimited swims. Originally I intended to swim twice a week, but since October I have been going three times a week. I started off doing breast stroke and swimming with my head above the water… this had to stop because it was not doing my neck any good. So, I bought some swimming goggles and learned to do ‘proper’ breast stroke. Later in the year I trained myself to do front crawl – I started only managing one length of this stoke per session, but now I use it for half of the distance I swim each time. I started swimming 40 lengths (1km) per session, but now I do 50. Over the eleven months I have been swimming 102 times! None of this would have been possible without my local pool, so I’m grateful for all the staff who keep it going, and especially to Ollie who gets up to let us early-morning swimmers in at 7am three times a week.

Second, new food inspiration. For some time now we’ve been intending to have  a clear-out of our spices. Many of them were old and stale and not a great addition to any dish. So, in a fit of enthusiasm the other day I ordered an Indian cooking pack from a company that I had recently discovered. The pack included spices and other ingredients, plus a cookery book. This may be one of the most inspirational cook books I have ever bought. There are so many simple recipes in it that I want to try. I will certainly be reporting back on what I make. It’s good to get out of a cooking rut and I’m looking forward to trying making my own naan and a whole variety of new curries – first on my list is a squash curry.

Third, food with friends. After a bit of a lull in terms of socialising, in the past week we have had two different lots of friends round to eat with us and we’re just about to go out to a shared pot-luck lunch. I’ve  been a bit remiss about cooking for others recently but, hopefully, I’ll get back into the habit of inviting friends round to share food with us as it is a real joy in life. Possibly, everyone will be getting curry!!

So, those are three things making me smile this week – what about you?

Three Things Thursday: 8 December 2016

As usual I’m joining with Emily of Ms Emily’s Home for Full-Grown Nerds (and others) for Three Things Thursday. As she says…

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

This week all three things are from a single trip out that we had on Tuesday. We went to visit Plantasia in Swansea… it’s one of the places that inspired the Eden Project and it’s about 25 years since I last went.

I was delighted to find several things there that I’m now growing at home.

First, this amazing hanging Nepenthes pitcher plant

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A Nepenthes

Mine has a long way to go before it can compete with this one, but it’s certainly grown since I first got it.

Second, a selection of other insectivorous plants: Sarracenia (pitchers), Drosera (sundews) and Dionaea (Venus fly traps), species of which I have growing in the limery.

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A community of carnivores

Third, Lithops (living stones). I have one surviving in the limery from the seeds I sowed back in 2014, but it has a long way to go before it looks like these:

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So, those are three things making me smile this week – what about you?

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