Sunday, 20 September 2015

An Oxford afternoon . . .

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"And all discover, late or soon,
Their golden Oxford afternoon."
~Gerald Gould, Oxford Afternoon 

In Gerald Gould's poem, Oxford Afternoon . . .  he was there in the spring and he called it 'Spring Coloured.'  Mine was Autumn coloured  . . .  touched with the tints of autumn . . .

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Where creepers flamed against weather stone of church and college and . . . the "dreaming spires" of the old, old city lay steeped in the soft golden light of a warm September sun.

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 This surely is the best time to have a golden Oxford afternoon . . .  when the leaves are beginning to flutter about the old grey stone walls and when an autumn stillness fills the air.

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To stand on a corner and listen to the chimes of Merton echoing along the corridors of history . . .  and to look through lovely old gateways at the quiet beauty of noble buildings and cloistered lawns . . .

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The mood of September is the mood of the Oxford that lays behind those ancient walls . . .  tranquil, mellow, mature . . .

Almost a hallowed place.

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I did really well dietwise yesterday.  I had oats and barley cereal with a few dried cherries for breakfast, some lightly buttered malt and seeded bread for lunch with an egg, then for supper a chicken salad filled with salad leaves, spinach, grilled chicken, a bit of cheese, some tomatoes and cucumbers.   I also had a yogurt and some grapes.   No chocolate at all and I baked brownies and made a chocolate sauce for the missionaries!  Didn't even lick the spoon.  They really enjoyed them.

I think I will be changing the focus of the food blog to healthier eats.   I may lose readers, but what the heck, I need to be healthier and I am sure there are others out there who want the same thing!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

Swiftly go the happy days,
like birds upon the wing.
Quickly fly the shining hours
when heart and spirit sing.
Youth must pass, but why regret
when life has passed its prime,
Every phrase is sweet,
it can't always be summertime.


In the English Kitchen today  . . .  another one from my archives.   Lemon Ricotta Cake.   Dense and delicious and lemony!

 Have a beautful sabbath day.  God bless you all.  Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!


  1. Gorgeous photos--so much history.

    I've really been changing the way I eat the past few months: 'Hardly any sugar, no processed foods, hardly anything made with white flour, and I know even potatoes are hard for anyone watching their starches--my dad is pre-diabetic--so I rarely have potatoes anymore either. I don't miss a thing. I'm eating such good (and beautiful) food, and I truly feel better than I ever have. I've been eating two Brazil nuts a day too--I don't like the taste of them, but they are high in selenium, which is supposed to be great for us--so I just take them with my vitamins every day. For me, it's been in part to ward off diabetes, since my dad is always in danger of really developing it and his grandmother actually died of it--but more just because I want to be healthier, mentally (especially depression-management-wise) and physically. The better I eat, the better I feel on both counts. I'm mostly vegetables, fruits, nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts), eggs, iced tea, water, turkey, chicken, tuna, oatmeal, popcorn, and non-white-flour bread (and non-white-flour pasta) these days. Truly, I feel wonderful--so I welcome more good recipes. :)

    Anyway, good luck to you, Marie! I know you've had a lot to think about the past couple days with the diagnosis, but your first day sounds like a good start. A daily food/meal diary may be fun for you too--you already kind of do that here as it is--to help you remember good meal ideas, good side dishes, new desserts, etc. I'm working on putting together a real cookbook-binder for myself of all the things I've loved eating lately, and all the changes I've made to our usual recipes here for myself (since Mike doesn't eat the way I do, I make two versions of most things anymore, or he and I just each eat different things for supper) so I'm not repeating the same dishes all the time and so I remember the new-to-me recipes and changes/tweaks I like.

    Good luck! ♥

  2. Wow Val, your story is inspiring. Also treats don't disappear entirely. They even serve dad ice cream on occassion. You showed amazing restraint not tasting the brownies. Like Val I make myself eat Brazil nuts as they are power houses that help fight depression. I look forward to finding some useful recipes in the future. Also. I would recommend you have a look at glycemic index information to help you plan your food. If all else fails you can burn the pasta sauce as I did tonight and cause all sorts of anger and foul moods. As if I planned to burn the dinner.

    Onto the day in Oxford. It looks delightful and I loved seeing it through your eyes.

  3. Thank you, Suze. :) 'Nice to find another Brazil nutter. ;)

  4. The food blog should gain popularity, I'm thinking many are more concise of a healthier diet these days and there are many good things to be had that are actually good tasting and good for you. Love pictures of Oxford. Happy Sunday !

  5. You may actually gain some readers with healthier recipes - we all need to eat healthier. I, for one, am looking forward to the recipes since husband has diabetes2 also. You can do this Marie.

  6. Don't worry about losing readers.. you won't!..
    I bake for Jacques..and for the pleasure of baking..he loves a sweet..and it lasts all week..The day after it's's in the fridge to stay fresh..I guess I conditioned my mind a long time ago..that sweets were not for me.. I can taste test..but that's it..and I don't crave it..I crave making them..Watching the French Pastry tv show we enjoy..I always want to try a few a the things that look doable:)
    I love to bake for all the birthdays etc..
    but you are like that love the CREATIVE aspect of baking et..and Todd likes a maybe you will make some once ina while for him..

    BOn can so do this Marie..
    I look forward to your new ideas..

  7. Thanks so much everyone, your support means the world to me!

    Val, you are so lucky that you are aware of the family history of diabetes so now you can make wiser choices at a younger age. I only found out within the last couple of days that the disease is rampant on my father's side of the family! I did not really know that I was at as high a risk as what I was! I don't want our food to become boring, and of course Todd has problems keeping weight on, so it will mean finding a happy balance between the two without breaking the bank! xoxo

    I will be looking into GI foods for sure Suzan! I like that I can have an occasional treat, but now at first I am working at drastic changes so that I can get those blood sugars down and stabilized! xoxo

    Thanks Dee, I am sure that any research I do and the things I learn will be valuable to many! I like that idea! xoxo

    Thanks Monique! I will have to bake occasional treats for Todd as he is so thin and I can't punish him for my sins! I Just wish I didn't have such a sweet tooth myself! xoxo

  8. Hi Marie....I empathise with your newly diagnosed condition. I've been type 2 for quite a few years now, and fighting to keep stabilised by diet alone. Luckily I was found early enough to try and do that. Think low carb There's great recipe sites and blogs out there with great ideas. Don't think no carb though...I think people often make that mistake, There are good carbs in most veggies and some fruits, steer away from white bread, pasta etc. and just small amounts of wholegrain nif you have to succumb!. I've found quinoa a good sub for rice or cous cous, and it doesn 't raise my blood sugar. Good's a journey but you'll get there!

  9. Thanks Sandie! I appreciate the advice! I really do! It's a steep learning curve for sure! Xoxo

  10. Hi Marie, I was shocked to hear your diagnosis. I was told I was pre diabetic 3 months ago and have really cut down on my sugar intake since then. It really gave me the motivation to do something about my diet and I'm sure you will be able to adapt to. Have you been watching the new Jamie Oliver series about cooking more healthily? He makes it look really healthy and delicious, I'm sure you could do exactly the same.

    I've only just caught up with your blog as I haven't been online much. My daughter has been in hospital with Crohns and has been really poorly. As she lives in Rochdale it has been a 100 mile round trip to visit her every day as well as still working. However, she has been discharged now and I have brought her back with me as she needs lots of TLC. This is her second chronic illness and she is only 25. It's so heartbreaking and worrying when your children are sick.

    Lots of love, Kate xxx

  11. Kate, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. It must be very distressing to you. ((((hugs)))) My middle son is diabetic and so I know how you worry when one of the children are sick. Glad that she is home with you now. I don't understand why they didn't pick up this diabetes before it was full blown diabetes. I have had tons of blood tests over the past year. I would have thought that something would have showed up before, so that I could have made changes a while back. Guess that's life. xxoo

    1. You're so right Marie. I have regular blood tests as I have chronic kidney disease and the doctors never mentioned it. However at a meeting with the practice nurse for something completely different she said to me 'do you know you're pre diabetic? '. So like you nobody else had thought to mention it!!!!! ×××

  12. I have mine checked all the time because I have high blood pressure, plus I was in hospital recently with some heart problems and have also been undergoing treatment for a eye problem. Not once did anyone say hey, maybe we will do a diabetes check! I hate to think of the damage which has been done already because nobody mentioned it! xoxo


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