Planning

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With everyone descending for Chrimbo the only way that I was going to get everything on the table in time was planning.  With a normal size oven and a lot of dishes to cook Chrimbo eve was spent just working out that I could do everything.  What exactly could I get in the oven at the same time as the meat ? Once it was resting what could then go in? what was going in the steamer and what on the hob etc.  I normally work backwards from the meat and time everything that needs to be done.  This year I added to that by sketching a plan for the oven so that in the heat of the moment and the haze of the alcohol I knew not only when things should happen but also what was going where.  Seemed to work as everyone was happy and the whole event passed with very little stress.   As they say fail to prepare ….

 

 

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Canals

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Lovely today to go and walk off the mince pies down by the canal.  It’s been pretty wet and wild over the last couple of days but today it broke crisp and clear with not a breath of wind.  Pint in a cosy pub then a stroll along the canal – perfect.  One of the real pleasures of living in a city is these ribbons of history that drift out from the centre.  It’s remarkable that as you walk along you get a totally different view of the city that you live in and also that there is such greenery, space and freshness.  I like the whole history of them, the genius of the lock structures and how they have now been reinvented as places for stillness, walking, cycling and just generally watching the world go by at a slower pace.  Every time I’ve seen a lock in action I can’t help but think that if we were inventing something similar today it would be packed full of electronic  wizardry and wouldn’t last half the time that the old mechanisms have done.  It reminds me of the story of NASA spending millions to come up with a pen that could write in space, the Russians looked at the same problem and went for a pencil.