Archive for September, 2016

Foodie Friday: Fast Minestrone

minestrone(Serves 4)

1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch of chilli flakes
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
850ml hot vegetable stock
400g can borlotti beans, drained
60g small pasta shapes

1. Put the onion, carrots and celery into a large pan with the olive oil. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock to the pan, bring to the boil, then add the beans and pasta shapes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Ladle into 4 bowls and serve. If you like, you can add 1 tsp pesto to each bowl, to pep up the flavour.


The British Isles: A Musical Tour – North of England

With Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Bradford and Leeds, the North Country has some of the country’s finest cities offering a vast range of attractions. But with Northumberland, the Lakes, the Peaks, the Moors and the Dales this region has more miles of unspoilt natural countryside than any other – not surprisingly a popular place with composers then.

McCartney – Liverpool Oratorio
Mention music in the same breath as Liverpool and it won’t be long before the Beatles enter the conversation. Fans of the Fab Four can visit a museum, the Cavern nightclub in Matthew Street and even the National Trust house where Sir Paul McCartney was born. The venues which inspired many Beatles songs – for instance, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane – can all be enjoyed from the Magical Mystery Bus Tour. The magnificent Anglican cathedral staged the premiere of the Liverpool Oratorio, Sir Paul’s first venture into orchestral and choral forms.

Herrmann – Wuthering Heights
This little moorland village is the home of the Brontë sisters. The dark-stoned parsonage where they wrote their poems and novels is now a museum and centre of pilgrimage for lovers of literature. With their Byronic heroes and raw passions it is surprising that the novels have so seldom been adapted into operas. However, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights did inspire one – albeit rarely performed – from Hitchcock’s film score writer Bernard Herrmann. Pop singer Kate Bush had a hit with her song of the same name and Sir Cliff Richard played Heathcliff in his musical based on the novel.

Continue reading ‘The British Isles: A Musical Tour – North of England’

Wordless Wednesday: Jessica Galbreth – Harmony Fairy


Storytime: Hiku

hikuYear: 2014
Author: Nicole Snitselaar
Illustrator: Coralie Saudo

Hiku, a little penguin, was feeling grumpy one morning.

It was one of those days, when the ice was too bright, the sun was too hot, and his mummy woke him up too early. ‘Don’t forget that all of our family are visiting today!’ she reminded him.

Oh no! a family visit was the last thing Hiku wanted! Smiling, greeting, being polite and listening to, ‘You look so cute with your white heart-shaped tummy!’ all day. Or having everyone sing, ‘Hiku, Hiku, say cheese or you’ll freeze!’ Why had he been given such a silly name!

‘I want to be alone,’ grumbled Hiku.

Buy to find out more!

Music Monday: September roundup

September is always heavy on the listening, after the deprivation of summer break; my stats cite no fewer than 54 artists played over the last 30 days, the top 5 of them with more than 100 plays apiece. Time alone is good.

Both Omnia and Faun have new albums out, Prayer and Midgard, respectively. Both albums were of the kind that takes a few listens to grow on the listener (instead of ye olde three-hit-singles-and-a-lot-of-filler recipe); the former got to that point faster, but both are worthy additions to the bands’ catalogues. Do listen.

Eivør, on the other hand, is the new artist on the block, who got my usual ‘complete discography straight through’ treatment. I had decided she’s a keeper about halfway through the process; Larva, Room and Slør got repeat runs, and I’m sure she will get a lot more appearances here in future, because she’s just awesome.

1. Eivør (145)
2. Omnia (137)
3. Faun (133)

Month at a Glance

September 2016
« Aug   Oct »


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