24 September 2012

Autumn in the gardens

At the beginning of September, the weather has changed rapidly. Within a week, it went from lovely warm summer to rainy dark and icy autumn. I felt sorry for this, because I spent most of the really ice summer indoors, sitting over books ad notes and studying. However, when I visited the Prague Botanical Garden last week to have a look at carnivorous plants, there were lots of outdoor plants too, which seemed to still have summer.


The garden was full of bonsai trees, flowers and in some places also mushrooms. And of course, there is always enough time and money for a cup of hot tea and some unusual sweets :)

And as I have given myself a yearly pass to the botanical garden as a post-exam gift too, I plan to be there more often. Next stop: pumpkin exhibition!!

21 September 2012

I'm doing it again...

I am saving plants from the discount section at IKEA. Again. I am thinking I can make their miserable little lives better and make them thrive at my home. I always have hard times leaving a plant on a discount shelf. I know most people wouldn’t buy them, even though - just like in this case – the plant might have just stopped flowering and suddenly it is not worth the money it was before. It’s healthy, it’s not damaged, it’s even still attractive – but people wouldn’t take it when there are dozens of other ones, still having flowers. Well, I DO take it and save more than 50% and will have a plant just as pretty as everyone else, if I don’t kill it like the Crassula succulents that I got from the same place some time ago.
 
For those who cannot understand this compassion towards plants - imagine it’s not a plant, imagine it’s a puppy. A little puppy sitting on a shelf, looking at you with its big cuddly eyes, silently screaming: “Take me home! Love me!” and you know it’s there, sad, alone and unwanted and you know that it could grow and be wonderful, but nobody would give it the chance, just because it looks a bit shabby. And you know you already have ten dogs at home, but you simply can't leave this one there... You will always find some spare corner for it.  It’s the same with me and plants. So – now you see my problem????!

20 September 2012

Beautiful carnivores

The Botanical Garden of Prague is having an exhibition of carnivorous plants at the moment in their greenhouse called Fata Morgana. The place is full of carnivorous plants, they are outdoors as well as indoors, big and small, variety of shapes and colours and of course, there is also a corner where plants are for sale. But I was a good girl and did not buy any. However, the man selling them gave me a very good tip how to make my old Pinguicula look better.

 

Sunset walks

Every single day, they are different.
 

 


16 September 2012

Sunday afternoon vegetarian omnoms - recipe from Etsy

Today is the first time that I tried a recipe from the Etsy blog. It was  polenta stuffed peppers. Until today, I didn't know what polenta was, but to my surprise, the meal turned out rather well and filled the kitchen with awesome smells.

Simple, quick, colourful, fresh, healthy and vegetarian. Yum!!!
 
Being a student, feta and parmasan cheese came quite expensively, so I replaced them both with much cheaper and also very salty Balkan cheese. I am also not good with measuring amounts, so I just did it by eye and used a lot of corn and even managed to make use of my chives plant that grows on my window (and is not doing extremely well, by the way!)

What I love about this the most is that corn, peppers, tomatoes and herbs can be grown in the garden, you can even make your own cornmeal and then the list of ingredients you will have to buy is really tiny. We really have to get our own garden one day! And of course, I can't wait to try out more of the awesome Etsy recipes  ;-)

13 September 2012

So much for de-growing

I did mention before that thanks to sitting down and studying this summer, certain areas of me grew into larger dimensions than desirable. I also very thoughtfully planned activities to de-grow the body parts and lead a more balanced and healthier life full of inner harmony and so on. So after my morning stretching and relaxation with music from My Yoga Online, I worked through the day according to my carefully planned schedule...

BOOM!!! 4 p.m. and all of a sudden I find myself in the kitchen making a five-minute chocolate cake, splashing the ingredients all around the kitchen counters . I am not aware of the moment when I switched from de-growing my body parts  to further-growing them!!  Every day I wake up with the best intentions… Maybe I should just stop having god intentions with myself.

I put my bowl with the cake mixture into a bigger bowl, just in
case it runs over the edge, but it never does. I also add
baking powder - without it the cake does not grow at all. I think
they are using some kind of self-raising flour in the video
Done! Still hot and looking so Christmasy in the winter bowl!
(IKEA, by the way)


Detail of the top. It always looks a bit burnt and dry, but it is ok.
I use chocolate for cooking - after melting once, it never hardens
again,not even when cold.

The top of cake with randomly cut chocolate.


 
So I made the cake and all proud posted it on Facebook and what I get from my friends?? Threats to unfriend me if I don’t make one for them too! I mean, it takes five minutes!!! How lazy can people be??



10 September 2012

One day...

… I'll finish uni.
... I’ll grow a garden.
… I'll have a crafty corner.
… I'll go on holiday.
… I'll attend a yoga class.
… I'll bake a chocolate cake.
... I'll read a book.
... I'll go swimming in the sea.
... I'll walk along the river.
... I'll watch the rain fall.
... I'll drink mulled wine.
... I'll have a tortoise.
... I'll sing in the shower.

09 September 2012

Walking along the Basingstoke Canal

When I was visiting A. in the UK last month, we went for a long walk along the Basingstoke Canal around Woking. It was a bright sunny day, not a drop of rain and there were bugs, birds, hungry cats and angry squirrels everywhere. After we got home, I thought it would be fun to walk along all of it, but when I found out that it is 32 miles long, I decided to give it another thought. Still, maybe one day we can do that.
But not in flip-flops.
Definitely not in flip-flops.














 

07 September 2012

Happy happy :)

I have a BIG reason to be happy today, as I passed the first of my uni finals and I am one step closer to getting my teacher’s certificate in biology! The exam was from pedagogy and psychology and it feels good to know that all the time I spent sitting at home, reading and making sense of stuff has paid off!
I wanted to demonstrate the lack of concern and freedom of my spirit by wearing my second-hand (but smart!) trousers that I bought for 30 CZK (something like 1 GBP), however, I found that certain parts of me have “grown” into pretty sizeable dimensions and therefore I was pushed into wearing the other ones, that were about seven years old (writing thesis is exhausting for one’s figure, you know?).  Also the shoes have suffered severely in the past decade (not kidding, I had them since I was thirteen) and were giving out the throw-me-away-and-end-my-suffering-please signs with pale scratches, but there’s nothing that a black felt-tip pen would not repair on a night before the exam.

Afterwards, I rewarded myself with mini waffles covered with melted chocolate at a shop next to the Choco Story Museum of Chocolate (which offers free recipes on its website - go check!!)  and seafood pasta at Pizza Blue Garden (which now looks million times better than in that picture - I am not even sure it is a picture of that restaurant at all) and went home, where I slept, drank a cup of tea and ate a smiley face.
This is what we call "puding" in Slovakia. It is something like custard,
cooked with milk and poured over cookies and fruit in a bowl
when it starts to be less runny. It comes in different flavours (these ones
were strawberry) and colours and - obviously - is quite fun to decorate them :-b
Resting today, more studying to do from tomorrow on and the post-exam period will be spend by buying new shoes and attempting to de-grow the sizeable parts.


04 September 2012

Sane?

Not much, no. I am not clearly aware of any amount of sanity left in my head at this precise moment, staring into my notes and papers all day having conversations with my leaf insect trying hard not to go checking on whether she already laid another egg since nine minutes ago. There's nothing evilishly terrible about these days, just the constant annoyance of "having to" do things and keeping going when I'd rather sit in the field outside the city just two streets away with sun on my face and wind in my hair. The place is messy, food is running out, tea is the thing that keeps me going and my desk has changed into a nearly permanent motivational beading area, which might ensure that my shop will be full of Christmas stuff at the end of the month, but not so that I pass my exams. I am also thinking of  "professional beader" as my fall-back-on carreer. However, all may be well and |fingers crossed| all exams may be passed before 20th September. WISH ME LUCK!
 
 
Awesome amount of crazy creativity hit me last night and this was the result.
 

01 September 2012

Evening stars brightened up the mood

It’s been raining here for the last two days and whenever it doesn’t rain, the weather is cold and dark. My room, oriented to the west, is dark most of the time and the other ones aren’t much better. The only thing this weather encourages, I find, is sleepiness and hopelessness and even though studying went quite well, I felt like I needed a break. So I took a bath, made myself dinner and then beaded all the way through Red Riding Hood and Shrek I. I usually have creative outbursts when they are least welcome and necessary (exam periods) and I always find it amazing what a mind tired of studying can come up with.







 
 
Today I didn’t even need to think, the colours and shapes were all coming to me on their own, I was only putting them together. I went for a completely different style this time, using lots of colours and beads of different shapes and sizes, but similar colours and I can say I am more than pleased with the result.But I packed the beads into a box now and hid them away from me, so that I get some “proper” work done tomorrow. I know why I left the rest in England. Nine hundred miles away and I still can’t stop thinking about them!!!
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