16 August 2010

In between holidays

It's such a weird feeling! I will be leaving Thursday for a weekend-long festival in Holland (Lowlands!) and am currently preparing for that. Plus, I'm busy preparing for the guild-trip to Sweden next week! In other words: I'm back to doing laundry again. But not just that.

Today, because I had received a final warning from the university library to hand in a book, I had to make a little trip to Utrecht. I realised that I have never really understood why people would come to Utrecht as a tourist, but as I was walking onto Stadhuisbrug across one of the canals running through the city centre and looked to the side, suddenly it hit me. It's a beautiful city!

The little canals, the old buildings, it speaks to me.

But maybe I was just in a sentimental mood because I realised that I was entering my very, very last year of uni.


The project is coming along nicely, and since I figured the recipient is too busy at the moment anyway, it can't hurt to show an in-process pic.

I've done two whole colourrepeats now and have done the first two colours of round three. It's growing quite nicely! I'm thinking three more colourrepeats and she's ready. I want to be able to at least fit a large binder in it. But I'm on a tight schedule and since I'm going away for most of the coming two weeks and will not be bringing it along (think about that for a second. 14 balls of yarn, and a project, stuffed inside some bag, being hauled around from one country to the next... Oh, the possibilities to lose one of those balls are endless!)

Last but not least, I was in the mood for something sweet and have been toying around with the idea of using yogurt in a cake for a while now. So I took the plunge. With this recipe by Ree/ Pioneer Woman I managed to whip up a nice cake using a cup of yogurt in stead of butter. The end result was.. different.. than I had expected it to be. It's much more bouncy and chewy than normal cake, but sweet and tasty (albeit not tasting like normal pound cake at all) nonetheless. I ate a bit with some fresh strawberries and it was very nice, so I guess it takes some getting used to the flavours.

It does look pretty though, doesn't it?

So anyway. I will be off for a week or two, see you guys in September! I'll be bringing gifts. And by gifts I mean pictures of Sweden and maybe Lowlands.

9 August 2010

Back from Exmoor

Hiya! I'm back again! Went on a little trip to England, Exmoor to be precise, for a week, to celebrate my parents' 30th anniversary. All five of us, and my other half, and my brother's other half, and my sister's friend and neighbour, hopped into two cars and drove all the way out to France, took a boat, drove on into England, and headed to the far, far West where the hills are steep and the grass is greener than you can ever imagine. I miss it. I want to go back. Can I go back? Pleaaaase?

We stayed in a small inn, run by two amazing people and their crazy little dog, named Huckleberry Finn. Or Huck. Or 'oy, crazy dog'. Oh, and their house ghost named Hazel, who moved stuff around and locked and unlocked doors.
It is stood in a small town right in the middle of Exmoor National Park, called Brompton Regis, where you stumble across gorgeous views or landmarks with every step you take.

Also, there were sheep everywhere. That is, everywhere but in this picture, although I could have sworn there were sheep there when I took it...

"I don't think we're in the Shire anymore, mister Frodo!"

Sorry. I've been channelling my inner hobbit all week, hard to knock it off...

We saw castles. Lots of castles. Well-kept ones, broken down ones, castle ruins so far gone you needed a lot of imagination to see how grand they must have been, castles that hadn't even been standing there for a century, castles that were still inhabited and I don't mean by ghosts or bats...

We brought the moustaches with us and made new ones during long car-rides. They were a big hit. We had a laugh with them everywhere we went. So did the people we 'stached while stuck in traffic. (We even caused a bit of an accident, a driver wasn't paying attention because he was laughing too hard... luckily nobody got hurt)

We marvelled at the craftsmanship of the people living hundreds of years ago. These are the Tarr Steps, a man-made bridge put there in, presumably, the early Middle Ages. It may not look like a lot of work, but those top stones must weigh a ton! Imagine building it! Really impressive to stand on.

We found the most gorgeous little flowers perched in between gigantic rocks, on the side of the road, between weeds and underneath bushes. I had a blast fidgeting with my camera to get unusual shots like this one.

We tried being the Terrible Tourist but failed miserably. "Let's all get in this phone cell!" "Yaaay!" "Now take a goofy picture!" "Yaaaay!" "This place smells really bad!" "Ewwwww!" *everyone piles out*

But mostly, we just enjoyed the gorgeous views everywhere.

Like here, at the top of the cliffs at Tintagel Castle.

Or here, at the Valley of Rocks, where we climbed up on the hills and took some of my favourite pictures of this holiday.


And now we're back home again. And all we have left to remind us of this trip is the 800+ pictures I took, the GINORMOUS pile of laundry we brought back, the memories, the stories...

And a big, huge, enormous pile of Cadbury chocolate and home-made fudge.