Barley, better than Oats

Is barley something you usually associate with broths, or perhaps with trendy risotto?

Don’t forget you can have it sweet too. Its bulbous, chewy texture works well as an alternative breakfast. Here are some ingredients to bring together.

Pearl barley – soak it over night in water, then cook until the grain is full and tender. Drain.

Vanilla sugar – just golden granulated infused with vanilla pods is fine.

Sultanas and Prunes – soak in hot water for about half an hour. Then drain and chop.

Honey instead of sugar, but vanilla is quite important.

Almonds or walnuts – chopped, sliced, toasted.

Mix however much you want with the barley.  Tastes just right when warm.

You can add other dried fruits like dates, figs, raisins, of course.




Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day.

May you be doing something very special with your mama, or be thinking of her – if she is far away, or has flown off with the birdies to the stars.

My mama liked a trip out to Betty’s at Ilkley and a walk round Bolton Abbey. Or a trip over to Haworth and a visit to the EWM. She liked her cardies – you know those lambs wool ones, and pleated skirts.

She was a peasant, who brought her textiles skills with her and worked at Salts Mill, Jerome’s and then latterly at home for Haworth Burlers and Menders. Bill would bring rolls of worsted wool (Pieces) for her to check for imperfections and then to correct them.

I don’t know if there are still burlers and menders out there, somewhere, but if you wear a good suit, think of the hands it passed through to come to you from a perfect piece of fabric.

It was always great to go shopping with her. She was particular. It was like going out with Coco Chanel – or I imagined it so. With a formal education, she would have probably made a nifty fashion or textiles buyer.

She taught me to knit anything, in any pattern or style. And to sew, anything.

She also taught me how to make gibanica .

My mama loved children, they were always welcome. She absolutely loved and adored her grandson…and me, although I didn’t always appreciate it. We had our differences, we were from different eras, different worlds. If you had a Yu mama, you would appreciate all their worries and concerns.

But I miss my mama. I also know she is really happy playing on the mountain and plain now with her brothers and sisters. Free of war, free of pain, free of cancer. Young, tall, slender and athletic, in her own-made clothes, running around the rocks, bare foot, staying out in to the night and going home under the stars.

She always used to say to me – we come from the stars. We each have a star that follows us from inception to death. We are never alone, the stars are with us. We each have three angels, one on each shoulder, and one on your head. You know who your angels are, talk to them and they will guide you.

You are never alone…



House For Sale by Lochness


Drop me a message if you are interested.

Originally posted on The Absurd Word Bird:

My house in the Highlands of Scotland, by Drumnadrochit, Lochness is for sale.

Here’s the blurb:

Family house with good-sized spacious rooms throughout. Two multi-fuel stoves, one tends to the  central heating and hot water.  Three bedrooms,  one lounge, one dining room, one kitchen, one bathroom, one shower room, one annex, a small dry cellar. Hallway, stairs to landing. A garden to the front with established shrubs, a separate piece of land with garage and orchard.

Aspect of house is south-facing on very quiet hamlet road.

Bus service on doorstep to Inverness, local amenities close by including wrap-around childcare centre, primary and high schools, surgery, shops. Surrounded by incredible Highland scenery. Glen Affric,  Lochness and Inverness on door step.  Good central point for traveling around Highlands and Islands. Excellent airport at Inverness  – 45 minutes drive – services to London and Schipol included. Train straight through to London from Inverness.

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Frida Kahlo: What’s in Her Closet?

Originally posted on Lisa's History Room:

From ABC News/Univision

Frida Kahlo’s Closet is Opened After 58 Years

Frida Kahlo is seen smoking after a 1946 operation.

Frida Kahlo, wearing Chinese pajamas, is seen smoking after a 1946 operation.

“Imagine being in Frida Kahlo‘s childhood home and opening up a closet that has been locked for decades. Inside are hundreds of personal items – personal photographs, love letters, medications, jewelry, shoes, and clothing that still hold the smell of perfume and the last cigarette she smoked.

That is exactly what happened when Hilda Trujillo Soto, the director of the Frida Kahlo Museum opened the closets that had been locked since the Mexican artist’s death in 1954. Inside were over 300 items belonging to Frida Kahlo, and now, a wide array of what was found is on display at the Casa Azul, the Frida Kahlo Museum in the Coyoacán neighborhood of Mexico City.

The exterior of Frida Kahlo's home called Casa Azul outside Mexico City, 1952. The exterior of Frida Kahlo’s home called Casa Azul outside Mexico…

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The Love of Books: A Sarajevo Story

This docu-film is about the saving of manuscripts from the Gazi Husra-Beg Biblioteka (Library) in Sarajevo during the Sarajevo Siege in the 1990′s.
It follows the books’ trips across sniper territory in the streets of the city, carried by staff, twice during this period. As the Serb army bombed libraries, these books lay safe under the fire station until the end of the war.
Only one book was missing, thought to have been lost forever.
The film is around 1 hour and 10 minutes long, with English subtitles and is split in to 4 chapters. It also contains footage taken during the siege.
It is in true Bosnian style and shows the love and care for the books and their people.