What’s rocking your socks today?

Yo, V.I.P.'s! What's good in your world right now? What's singing to your senses?

I've started and stopped three different posts this week but the words are all mangled and rubbish. It's a cocktail of inarticulateness (not a proper word) up there at the moment, I tells ya. I don't know what's wrong with me. But I don't want the blog to die! Before it's choked by cobwebs I thought I'd write about some little things that have brought sparkle to life lately, then ask you'd be up for sharing some of your own sparkly things too?

Let's kick it!

  • Walkmeter iPhone app – Sure you could just walk home from work. But you could also walk home from work with mile splits, a map of your route and squiggly wee graph showing elevation changes! Nerdgasms ahoy.
  • The Great British Bake-Off – It's a baking competition on the telly. So much tension! Oh no! There's not enough holes in the focaccia! The macaron doesn't have a shiny shell! The biscotti's not got enough NUTS in it! The poor woman put the oven on DEFROST so her brandy snaps failed! Who knew ovens have defrost settings these days. Note: I wasn't sad when the ginger guy got kicked off last night. I'd thought him lovely til he went in a huff when the judges dissed his ginger cookies for having too much ginger in them. He said something along the lines of, "You can either bake for the judges or bake for yourself and your family and my family LOVES lots of ginger". If you are just baking for yourself WHY GO ON THE TELLY THEN, eh? Dignity. Always dignity!
  • The Winter Of Our Disconnect by Susan Mushart – a book about a family who go sans-gadgets and internets for six months. Hilarious one minute, oh-lord-i-do-that-too-i-am-a-loser-with-no-life the next πŸ™‚
  • This hummus, halloumi and red pepper open sandwich by Bill "Smiley" Granger – a very tasty combination!
  • Homemade rhubarb and vanilla jam. Made with homegrown rhubarb – which adds zero to the Smug Factor as the rhubarb appeared with feck all intervention on my part. Totally hyponotised by the floaty strands of rhubarb and vanilla specks. Pretty.

248. Rhubarb & vanilla jam

36 thoughts on “What’s rocking your socks today?

  1. Your jam looks lovely! I’ve lost six rhubarb plants over the past two gardening seasons. How is it possible that it’s treated as a weed by so many, and none will survive for me? Wah!

  2. My socks are also being rocked by jam. Damson and port as you know, but now I’ve heard about (and seen) your jam I just want more of my own, but this time with vanilla bits in it.

    I’m also loving funfairs – we went to the fair for the first time in years (there’s one right in the middle of Oxford every september, right in the middle of all the libraries and colleges) and it was very exciting, in a noisy, flashy and smelly way. Oh but now I have whiplash from the waltzer πŸ™

  3. Yep, I’m intrigued by that jam. Since I don’t know much about rhubarbs, I must ask: What do they taste like? I mean, this jam, is it sweet? Would you spread it on toast in the morning? Or is more of a savory (like honey mustard), best used for cooking sort of thing? Personally, my favorite jam is mulberry jam, but you can’t find it in stores and picking and de-stemming mulberries takes forever.

    Oh, that book sounds really interesting too. I tried something like that when we lost power for week!

  4. Splits and elevations for routes I walk regularly? That totally feeds my urge to compete against myself in totally noncompetitive parts of my life.

    I’m using a pedometer that syncs to my computer & shows me a graph of my daily activity. I just put up a blog post with a pie chart showing how strikingly inactive I am these days – once I get the OK to ramp up the exercise level from the doctor, I’m going to start Walkmetering all over my neighborhood. With my Fitbit and my iPhone – it will be geek weight loss paradise!

  5. Ooooh nice jam. Yummy scrummy.

    Zumba is still rocking my socks. Still. Finally shook off (quite literally) all the zumbainhibitions tonight and shook my bottom with so much force I’m quite relieved it didn’t fall off. Or knock over the poor shy person next to me. Love. It.

    Also i’m loving watching Miranda online, the amount of times I do the “Oh-my-word-that’s-so-true-that’s-just-what-I-do-ha-ha-ha” nod and snort combo is scary. Finally a tall lady on the telly who’s not Elle Macpherson.

  6. I think nail polish makes my life sparkle. ItΒ΄s one of these things that just make me so happy. And I had a fabulous colour for free with a magazine the other day which made me even happier. Apply a coat and smile all day πŸ™‚ (I might also be simple and easy to please)

    I love rhubarb and all that can be made with it, most of all crumble. I used to steal it from my granddads garden and dip the end in sugar and eat it raw like that. Yum!

  7. I tell you what’s bringing sparkle to my life…joining the Fall 5K Up and Running. I’ve never been so excited to start an exercise program but already I can see that the lovely ladies participating are helping my enthusiasm go through the roof. (ask me again in 3 or 4 weeks though!)

  8. @Laurie – always fab to see YOU πŸ™‚

    @Debbi – oh nooo you’re kidding! I think rhubarb originates from Siberia, so it does quite well in Scotland!

    @Sophie – fun fair! now that is brilliant… whiplash and all!

    @Valerie – it’s kinda tart and tangy but… perfumed? hard to describe!

    @Lara – thanks! it is funny, molten sugar and all!

    @Andie – you will definitely be stats’ed to the max with all that, hehe πŸ˜€

    @Svava – ooh i like that one… some really crazy colours out there at the mo. i like how nail polish lets you go crazy on a small scale!

    @Suzy – Miranda! Yes! So with you there… only just got into it, but it really is bust-a-gut hilarious!

    @Patricia – so chuffed to hear that! you are such a great bunch πŸ™‚

  9. I loved the great british bake off I think we have just finish the first season on foxtel in Australia so I hope we get the current season soonish.

    I love your jam so pretty.

    The weather is making my life sparkle at the moment Melbourne is have nice weather for once.

  10. See, I don’t understand this obsession with “unplugging”. Some of my happiest moments with my family were about watching television, and now Facebook allows me to see my little niece and nephew even though I won’t be able to physically visit them more than once every few months.
    So, what makes me sparkle at the moment is Tumblr, Facebook and fanfiction.net. I AM A NERD AND I AM NOT ASHAMED

  11. Hi Dietgirl!

    I recently found you when I was re-reading PastaQueen’s archives so I am now reading all your archives from the start (I’m nearly finished 2006). You had such an exciting and romantic life for a while there, with your Scottish Companion finally proposing and all. Not that you DON’T have an exciting and romantic life now — but I don’t know yet, I am not up to the present. This is the only recent entry I have read, I don’t want to spoil any surprises coming up for me.

    I have really loved reading your blog, and I keep going “hey, that’s just like me!” — I hold my pen wrong and translate my kilos into pounds just in case I one day get US readers and have RSI shoulder problems and I live in Canberra. It’s always like that with a new relationship, isn’t it. “YOU have a dog called Prince? Well I have a cat called Duchess! It was obviously fate that we met and we are going to be BFF.” That sort of thing.

    I cried when I read your first entry. You were so sad.

    It took me a while to work out what a mofo was. You kept saying you were exercising like a mofo or writing like a mofo and I would just wrinkle up my forehead in puzzlement. I worked it out eventually. But now I am wondering — do mofo’s actually exercise? Or write? Like the saying “drunk as a skunk”. Do skunks even drink?

    Obviously I had several years worth of comments bottled up.

  12. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I bet that jam would be super awesome warmed up as a topping for vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmmmm. Maybe with some granola bits on top . . . .

  13. Oh my goodness, TGBBO looks fantastic! Why, oh why won’t the BBC let me watch it online from Aus? Although maybe that’s a good thing – I had a hard enough time resisting the urge to bake random cakes while MasterChef was on πŸ™‚

    Good to see you back, lovely lady!


  14. Oh I love Susan Maushart! I used to read her column in the Australian when I lived in Sydney.

    And also – another Singin in the Rain reference?

  15. Hi, stoppng lurking to comment on Jam. I made a wonderful chilli jelly. It is yummy with ham or cheese. And had a giggle when I told me friend and she asked if you had it with ice cream.

  16. I spent 10 years looking for Rhubarb and Vanilla jam (eventually finding that Tiptree make some, but don’t sell it in many places – when I found it, I bought 4 jars just in case I don’t find it again) – it never occured to me to MAKE some!!! lol

  17. Just post your “mangled rubbish” (which I bet is witty and sparkling and real even if you don’t edit it as carefully as usual:). That’s what I do πŸ˜›

  18. Hmmm, lovely home made golden orange translucent prune jam with apple bits floating in it. Nice!

  19. Like Svava, I have started running. But I’ve only just started this week. At Sparkpeople.com, they had a schedule for different ways to train for their upcoming virtual 5k, for instance if you want to walk a 5K, or run a 5K or walk/run a 5K. I picked the walk/run. I have been walking for over a year and a half, and really have tried to pick up the pace lately (trying to burn some more of those awful calories), but thought I’d give this walk/run stuff a shot. I’ve never been a runner, even as a kid, and now as a 60-year old (and I do mean OLD), I’m trying to become one. For this first week, I walk for 4 minutes and run for 1 minute. I come home, literally dripping sweat. But like Svava said, it’s such a feeling of elation, almost like a high, although I’ve never taken drugs so how would I know???
    My goal is to run 1.2 miles without stopping, that’s how far it is to the end of our road and back. I remember when it was my goal to WALK that far, now I want to RUN. I can hardly believe it, when two years ago, I could barely WALK!
    That is my sparkle moment.

  20. I keep getting irritated by the GBBO but I keep watching it – when will the curly haired boy who keeps messing up be sent home?!

    Anyway, on other things currently rocking my world… Jennifer Egan’s ‘A Visit from the Goon Squad’, browsing lots of lovely jumpers and boots for Winter (sad but true), the bronze sparkly nail varnish I bought in New York, the novelty of grinding coffee beans and making decent coffee at the weekend, the new yoga term starting on Monday.

  21. Knitting is doing it for me baby! The weather is saying “its almost time for woolies” and I’ve got me a new cardie on the go, dark blue with cream fair isle pattern. I have to say I’ve let it distract me from work a little today, but hey at least its difficult to snack and knit at the same time.

  22. Great idea for a blog post. I just had surgery and needed something like this! Since I’m homebound, I was able to download The Winter of Our Disconnect from my library. Thanks for the recommendations!

  23. The rhubarb-and-vanilla would be *so good* on top of some Fage. Sweet, tart, tangy… Heaven.
    All sparkle in Singapore is coming from the potential start of basketball for this ridiculously-tall north American, and the reclamation of my definition-of-self as a cyclist. Have been rereading your (fantastic!) book & blog posts to remind myself that an international move can be made, even when one is roughly twice the size of the average native in one’s new country. Reminder to self: Just because you’re not the average size, that doesn’t mean that the people you’re surrounded by aren’t completely fantastic. Let it go! (And thanks to you for that!)

  24. Stay alive, Diet Girl, stay alive!

    Random posts are peachy… just keep writing. Love to hear from you. Hope life is treating you well, Shauna.

  25. Hi there Shauna.

    Go you with that jam! Rhubarb is delish.

    I so looking forward to being home enough to start in a garden-even if it means herbs on the kitchen bench:)

    I downloaded the walking app. It’s so satisfying seeing my kms, the map etc. Will make more of an effort to go walking more:) Thanks for the link.

    All the best to you and yours.

  26. What’s rocking my socks? Your oblique reference to Vanilla Ice, that is what.
    Also, saying whatever shit I like (within reason).
    Other things too, which are much better discussed over wine.

  27. Good things in my world right now: new DietGirl posts!!; my gorgeous baby girl; the fact that the weather’s warming up; the rowing machine at the gym; my fancy French polished nails (the first time I’ve had that done this millennium!); the new Gotye album; and the fact that my beloved sister is coming for a 10 day visit next week. Wohoo! And, to continue a theme, the jar of rhubarb, raspberry and vanilla jam that I’ve just finished was pretty good too (but not homemade).

    Perhaps, by this time next week, I’ll add Up and Running to the list. For the moment, though, I’ve done plenty of talking but no walking (let alone running)…

  28. thank you gazillions everyone… i love hearing about these little things. the little things always seem to be the best πŸ™‚

    Natalie – thank you so much for your truly wonderful comment. Loved your “several years of comments bottled up” πŸ™‚

    Gabby – you can never have to many Singin’ references πŸ™‚

    Cilla – indeed there are TWO vanilla ice references!

    Tamakikat – glad you liked the app… so addictive! πŸ™‚

    Sharmaya – I will set aside a jar just in case you run out!

    Alex – hehe… this time next you will be smug as can be, three workouts done & dusted! πŸ˜€

  29. Just about to treat myself to the wonderful goodness of the last episode of Bake-Off! I didn’t like the ging guy either, I wanted to smack him when he was crying when he got removed, and tell him ‘it’s just cake for god’s sake, not the end of the world!’

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