Friday 31 May 2013

Fine Tune: Turin Brakes - Painkiller


© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).

Thursday 30 May 2013

And.... I'm off again!

Two weeks of clean air, mountains, ocean, sushi, family, friends and exploring my spiritual home a little further. I'm not sure if I'll manage to blog while I'm away, but I have a few posts scheduled for your entertainment. And I'll tweet my whereabouts, for sure!

So long!


Wednesday 29 May 2013

Foodie Pen Pals - May 2013

For this month, I got pen-palled up with Joan from Glasgow. Usually, I give my pen pals free reign with their parcel, but I am slowly starting to change my diet a bit, so I asked Joan to send me more or less healthy stuff and to go easy on the dairy, refined sugar, caffeine and a few other random things that I am trying to cut out. 

Here is what I got:

First up, a quintessentially Scottish postcard with a cute highland cow.

Then , and I was pretty thrilled by this, Joan baked for me! I got some apple sauce muffins and a carrot-and-ginger cake, all made with pretty healthy ingredients. She also included the recipes for both. The cake was really nice, with a big citrussy hit from the orange, and the muffins were just the right mix of sweet and wholesome. I will definitely make them again myself.

I also got some delicious Lindt chocolate, again with orange notes and some almond pieces, which I really enjoyed. And don't you tell me that chocolate is not healthy. All I'm saying is superfood! 

I think Joan laughed when I asked her if there were any good-for-you Scottish delicacies (and in the light of deep-fried everything, whisky, and buttery shortbread that is probably a justified reaction), but she found one and included oat cakes in the parcel. I think I will need to eat those quick, before I give up cheese...

Joan gave me a silicone cooking liner, similar to ones I am actually already using, so this will be good when I've worn those out. I can really recommend these sheets, I use them for baking and oven-frying. They really work, you can omit any oils or butter for greasing as absolutely nothing sticks to them, and they can be cut to size and used over and over again. 

The second non-edible item I got were toastie pockets, which I have been forever curious to try, but was always too sensible to buy. I've tried them now, and I think my toaster is not made for these. Instead of 'use up to 100 times', I used the first one exactly once and already melted a hole through it. Sorry, Joan! 

Last, but not least, I got some rice paper cake decorations. Joan was really sweet and wrote that these were  meant as a reminder to show myself some love. I really appreciate the care that Joan took in assembling my parcel and loved unpacking it. Thank you!

If you want to find out more about Foodie Pen Pals, you can click here or the link in my sidebar. The swap is organized by Carol Anne from Rock Salt. The whole idea originated in North America, so if you are a state side or Canadian foodie, you can also sign up over there.

Oh, and my parcel went to Lithuania.

© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Sad Story with Hedgehog

When my parents were here earlier this month, my Papa mentioned he had seen a hedgehog in our garden. This was news to me. I got fairly excited, because I love hedgehogs and hate slugs, so this seemed like a win-win situation.

On the Sunday after my birthday party, I had just snuggled down on the sofa for an afternoon nap (yes, I am an old lady!) when I heard my Papa calling me from the patio to come look at the aforementioned hedgehog. I was up again in a flash and went into the garden. And there it was, right on the lawn in broad daylight. Which was strange, as hedgehogs usually are nocturnal. I went and grabbed my camera and approached the little fellow for a better look. This is when I saw that he was dragging his hind legs and couldn't really walk. There seemed to be some open sores as well. Not good.

He scurried away into the plant beds and I cracked open a bag of wet cat food that I gave to him. He appeared to be hungry and heartily tucked into the free meal. The cats hung around in a safe distance, seemingly confused a) by the hedgehog's very present and b) by the fact that it was eating their food.

While the hedgehog was having its snack, I consulted the present family members and the internet on how to deal with the situation, as I didn't feel it would be right not to help an animal that was clearly injured. I found the very helpful online presence of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which listed instructions on what to do if you are concerned about a hedgehog you found.

So I donned my gardening gloves and made Marco climb into the attic for a hedgehog receptacle (aka big box) and scooped the patient up. I could feel him try and roll himself into a ball around my hand, hedgehog muscles seem quite strong. He looked fairly dirty, though, and seemed to have a tick attached to his ear. I  put him into the box with the food and some water, and then called the number on the website. After a few more phone calls, I was routed to a wildlife rescue centre near where we live. I phoned them and they said to come by.

On the drive to the rescue centre, I named the hedgehog Quintus (for it was the 5th of May...) and fantasized about the great future he would have once he was healthy again and could return to my garden in an official capacity as slug obliterator. Hm. I should not have gotten so attached.

The lady at the centre had a quick look at Quintus, pointed out that he was severely dehydrated and said that there were two options: the vet would come on Tuesday and if he would have to amputate (what?!) one leg only, Quintus could go and live in the centre's Hedgehog Garden. If both legs were beyond healing, then the only humane thing would be to put him to sleep. I asked if Marco and I could not simply adopt and save the hog in any case, but she explained that he would probably become depressed and wouldn't be very happy. She was really nice and thanked us for caring, and she also said that we could call on the Wednesday to find out about Quintus' fate.

Wimpy as I am, I made Marco deal with that phone call. Sadly, he did not report back with good news. The vet only determined that both the sweet little guy's hind legs were broken and that he also had an infected open wound festering on his underbelly, so he could not be saved. I was really, really sad about this, but also glad that we had helped tiny Quintus and that he did not have to suffer any longer. 

Here is a video of him that I took while he was eating. May he have gone to hedgehog heaven! 

I don't know how 'our' hedgehog came by his injuries, but please make sure that you always check your garden for wildlife before you use any tools that could injure an animal. Also try and cover any holes that could act as a trap or attach the netting that protects your vegetables from birds higher than a hedgehog, so that they do not get entangled. You can see this leaflet for more hedgehog-saving advice or check the Hedgehog Society website for more tips on how to be nice to these useful, adorable animals. Thanks!

© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).

Monday 27 May 2013

Rainbow Rubbish

There's a small gallery in the park near my house, and this weekend it hosted a showcase of work from new artists and fashion designers who study at the local college.

My favourite exhibit was the interactive Spectrum installation, for which every visitor was invited to contribute by bringing along colourful unwanted items. These things were then arranged in a rainbow of hues on the gallery floor, with the installation growing over the duration of the exhibition.

There was an array of broken toys, packaging, household items, clothing, etc. and all this junk had started looking just beautiful. I forgot to choose something to contribute, so I rummaged through my wallet while I was there and found an old, expired purple loyalty card from a sandwich shop, which I should have recycled ages ago. But hey, now it's art!
© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).

Thursday 23 May 2013

Fish Island

I went to see a man about a bike recently. En route to his workshop, I discovered a part of London that I had not been aware off: the artist community around the Old Peanut Factory on Fish Island. 

All in the shadow of the Olympic Park, I was stoked to discover an organic mixture of old warehouses, businesses, studios, cafés and street art. I did not buy a bike, but I took many photos.


© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Misfit Isle

Today I would like to tell you about Misfit Isle, which is Alli's blog. She and her husband live way up in the very North of Canada, and are planning to expand their little family (which currently includes an adorable hedgehog, no kidding) by starting to adopt children in the very near future. You can read all about the adoption process and Alli's and Max' hopes and worries here.

These two lovely people also run an online shop going by the same name as the blog, Misfit Isle. They sell fun, inspirational prints, cards and other artsy things designed by the two of them. All the proceeds of any sales will go towards helping them become parents and cover the cost of adoption. Their prints are really cute and would look good on any wall. I have my eyes on the Bruce Springsteen record myself.

Have a look:

Misfit Isle is offering free worldwide shipping at the moment, so if you fancy some new art and want to help somebody realize their dreams, go and check them out!


© Text - Annika - All The Live Long Day
© Prints - Misfit Isle