Louis Vitton has returned its stock to the shop - It's my new measure for the safety of central Birmingham. Seriously though, all seems well and windows are reappearing from behind chipboard and shutters and it seems fantastical that a week today we were sent home from work at twenty past three for our safety.
In amongst all the crazy there have been glimmers of craftyness; baking, knitting and a little sewing; a little sun, a little sea, and time spent with family.
But first those gingernuts. H's brother and his wife have just moved back from Scotland to Cleackeaton and to celebrate the drive now being a mere two hours, we went to warm their house by helping to assemble flat pack furniture and plant up their front garden. I think traditionally you're supposed to bring someone a loaf of bread as a housewarming gift but we thought we'd just fill a couple of cake tins instead.
Tin one, Raspberry Marscapone Layer cake (no picture, but it's the one I made for my birthday here) and tin two was going to be a shortbread, flapjack mixture. Well the shortbread got eaten, and two rounds of flapjack later I was running low on porridge oats and still yet to make a batch that was at gift standard (although the second lot was deemed sufficiently edible to be tipped into one of our cake tins, having been given a reprieve from the bin by the independant adjudicator).
Enter stage left, this recipe. They're chewy and soft and wonderfully gingerbready and it's really a miracle that any made it up north at all. Best of all, we had all the ingredients in the house.
I've made a second batch since and they're just as good - definitely, definitely one to go on the repeat list. Deelish.
The only amendment I made was to leave out the cloves because I don't like it, and I fond that cooking for just 8 minutes gave the best squidgy temperature.
Since then, Kitty and I took a trip down home to see my parents while H played a golf tournament with friends on courses that all seemed to be on top of hills in Gloucestershire.
(sat in Great-Grandma Frank's baby chair and not yet sure of herself)
With my sister, her husband and a friend all down at the same time we had a houseful, and when the weather failed to co-operate for a beach day (too windy and showery) we took Kitty and her Grandpa on a boat trip.
That I knew the places we saw like the back of my hand, and could have given a fair stab at the commentary didn't lessen the pleasure of being out on the water in the sunshine. Kitty, to whom this was all new, ate her breadstick, tried very hard to loose her shark-decorated sunhat overboard, and as we pulled away from the quay, settled in to nurse and then nap for the rest of the trip.
The rest of us managed to spot the rather small yacht (second smallest in the fleet) in which Dad competed in a Tall Ships Race out of Plymouth and down across Biscay to Spain during which they had a full knock down. I've done some tall ship racing of my own but on that occassion rather him than me.
We did manage to get down to the beach nearest my parents later after supper and had a paddle. One little toe dip was enough for our littlest one though and she was swiftly handed to Grandpa for cuddles and stone towers while the girls and I spolshed around in the shallows. She loved kicking her feet in the small shingle and didn't eat any (I think!). I have the first pebble she picked up to pop in her memory box. A good memento of her first visit to the beach.