Fieldfare in apple tree

Carpathian Adventure

I once had a long argument online with some amateur know it all British ornithologist as he rebuked my observation of fieldfares (Turdus pilaris) in trees. He flatly stated that they NEVER sit on branches but always stay on the ground when not flying. The fieldfare is a common sight here during winter, with flocks of them moving from berry tree to berry tree. This photo should sort the problem once and for all.

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About Chocolate and Being Brave

JUST SOME PICTURES AND WORDS

I have been trying to come up with an idea for my first post. I wanted it to be simple and engaging. And then I got it! What one thing has the love of people of different ages across many countries? Chocolate!

Last May my husband and I were visiting a friend who lives in Austria in a small town near Graz and on one of the days while we were staying there we went to Zotter Chocolate Factory, organic chocolate manufacture based on principles of sustainability and fair trade. During the visit we watched a 30-minute film about the founder of the company Josef Zotter and his business, walked through the so-called Choco Shop Theatre, where you can see all the stages of the chocolate making process from picking the cocoa beans to wrapping the ready chocolate bars through the glass walls of the production halls, tasted “raw chocolate” (which has very little in common with the…

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Walk along the Regent canal in London city

katekizi: living in Luxembourg, exploring the world

Everyone knows Camden market. Everyone visits Camden Town. Although the walk along the Regent canal is not among the top-10 attractions. I may say it is a big mistake to miss this picturesque area especially on a sunny day. Before my trip to London I read a lot about this walk and wanted to make it in any case, even at a grey and gloomy day. Fortunately the day was amazing: sunny and warm. Simply the perfect day for a promenade!

We took a bus at Viktoria Station and in 15-20 minutes stepped off at Paddington station. We passed by the St Mary’s Hospital and started our tour at the renewed quartier on a bank of Paddington basin.

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 Little Venice area. The colourful barges show their best outfit 

London’s best coffee is served here

A couple

An area of the Regent channel

Tiny flea market at the edge of the channel

Here we…

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I’m going to NYC!!!

LOC_Lower_Manhattan_New_York_City_World_Trade_Center_August_2001

Ok, so I still have 169 days to go (booooo) but I have finally booked my flights to NYC and I am so excited! I’m considering  day or so in Washington DC, Boston and Philli somewhere along the trip too.

I am a complete NYC Newbie (say what?!?) and so I urge anyone who has good tips and tricks and the lowdown on any not-so-secret hidden gems or neighbourhoods to pipe up and pass on good advice.

I’m doing somewhat a budget trip, but I have always travelled with the mantra ‘the best things while travelling are the free things – the people, new places and new neighbourhoods.’

I’m sure there will be plenty more New York-related posts regarding my saving, itinerary planning and some of my secret tips to fitting a full road trip worth of luggage in my medium sized backpack.

Watch this space….

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Comfort food from the earth

Notes on a Spanish Valley

You are going to have to trust me on this one. I know this recipe doesn’t sound particularly tasty, I know it sounds like a strange combination. plateful 8-3-14It is one of those meals we cooked with ‘what we have’. We’d eaten rather too many eggy/creamy dishes and wanted something earthy and plain. To us, as semi-veggies, that means lentils. But what to have with them? bag of potatoes 8-3-14basket of onions 8-3-14We have lots of potatoes [Pablo’s] and onions [ours], so the obvious dish was Potatoes Boulangère for which we always turn to Delia Smith’s recipe. The lentil dish is from the BBC Food website, from Nigel Slater’s ‘Simple Cooking’ series: the only difference is that we left out the bacon.

For the lentils:-
4 medium-sized onions
Olive oil
3 small carrots
½ tsp pimenton dulce
½ tsp ground cinnamon spices 8-3-141 tsp nutmeg, grated
300g puy lentils lentils - rinsed 8-3-14500ml stock
A good handful of fresh, flat-leaved parsley

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Walking in Memphis

Big Fat Tourist

When we arrived in central Memphis we headed straight for Beale Street – which probably marks us out as complete tourists. To me it was so American that it looked like a film set!

Beale Street, MemphisIt is mostly bars and restaurants and music blasts out into the street. That night we enjoyed BBQ on Beale Street and watched the street come to life with street performers and bands in bars.

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