I have posted before about how much I love Sundays, but as if to remind me how much I love them, this Sunday has been just lovely. We woke up late (8am!) after having friends round for dinner last night.
We started with glasses of sparkling wine with hibiscus flowers, houmous and homemade butternut squash dip with pitta bread. For the starter I made a Tamasin Day-Lewis recipe for Maqluba, which is a kind of upside-down cake but instead of being cake, is made with layers of tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes, onions, rice, lentils and sausagemeat. We had Persian lamb for our main course, and I made panna cotta for dessert. My favourite part of the meal was what I made to go with coffee, although we never actually got to drink the coffee! I made raspberries covered with white chocolate which were so much more amazing than they sound. As you bite through the chocolate, the raspberry explodes into your mouth, and the combination is fabulous. I also piped chantilly cream into very ripe apricot halves - next time I will sprinkle with flaked almonds too.
Poor Carl has had to work a lot recently, lots of late nights, into the office yesterday, working from home for some of today, so it was heavenly to get to spend soem time together. We went to the cinema and saw The Five Year Engagement which I teased Carl about because we had a five year engagement (it wasn't planned that way!) which was happily far less eventful than that in the film. I really enjoyed it, although it wasn't as funny as it was made out to be...not that the jokes were bad, more that it wasn't an out and out comedy film, there was story there too. I enjoyed it still though.
And now it is the evening, and I am sitting drinking some tea feeling slightly sleepy but happy. I had a really nice week, the highlight of which was drinking champagne at an afternoon tea in London with Trisha Ashley, who is, as you will know, one of my favourite authors. I was a little apprehensive about going, as you build an idea about someone from their writing, and also, I wasn't sure what to say beyond 'I love your books!'. Happily, she is absolutely lovely and very warm, and we found plenty to talk about, so it was really lovely. More detail later.
I have been meeting some of my new colleagues who I will be working with from the end of July, and they are all absolutely lovely. I seem to be very lucky, as the team I am working in at the moment is really friendly too. I think it is going to take a while for me to get used to working in that part of the building though - it houses our Chief Executive and Councillors so it is a very different environment for me.
I have a busy week ahead, and then a week off, which I am really looking forward to. I can't believe it is July already! I hope you have had a wonderful first half of the year,