Driving Lesson number 2 went well.

Kiss My L Plates

“10mph… SECOND GEAR!”

So screamed my driving instructor numerous times over our lesson. Actually screamed is unfair. He was very patient. Everything was fine when changing gear after starting, but ask me to indicate, turn at a junction then speed up and I would forget the speedometer, whizzing off at 20mph while the engine rattled around like teaspoons in a biscuit tin.

Also what is with the clutch? Sometimes you bring it up slowly, sometimes fast. What’s up with that? As far as I can remember you bring it up slowly for first gear but can bring it up faster in second. It’s so confusing!

At least I can remember how to change into first before stopping behind another car at the lights*:

“Break slightly… DON’T STOP THE CAR!

Clutch all the way down

Into first

Brake again DON’T STOP THE CAR UNLESS YOU NEED TO!

Bring the clutch up…

View original post 37 more words

Advertisements

My Big Fat love of Gypsy music

In just over 3 months, the most popular post on the blog so far is clementine cake. I’m thrilled – re-discovering baking to complete the 30×30 list has been a joy, especially as others seem to like it. But sometimes even something that’s fun is really procrastination, taking away energy from one of the things I love the most: music.

If you live in the UK you’ve probably read and heard some of the debate around the Channel 4 show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. A lot of it centres around whether the show represents the Traveller community in a poor light by focusing on big wedding dresses and over-sized cakes.

There’s an interesting piece in the Guardian here as well as a discussion between a Traveller and one of the series producers.

Whilst I can’t claim to have a particularly in-depth knowledge of the issues faced by Travellers and Gypsies, I do have a longstanding love of gypsy music, particularly Balkan, which has led to Continue reading

Previous Post

Kiss My L Plates

What do zoo animals, bumper cars and pound coins have in common?

 

 

 

They all formed part of my first driving lesson.

Everyone else, apparently, just sat in a quiet side road. Not me. Terrifyingly, I actually drove round the block, which was very exciting. My first thought was “this is nothing like the bumper cars at fairgrounds!”

Ridiculous, sure, but it’s surprising how easily the pedals respond, particularly the accelerator.

Steering, however, is another matter and I found myself turning the wheel endlessly to make a right turn.

Here are my favourite insights from lesson 1.

1. The accelerator should be put down ‘the thickness of a pound coin’ at a time.

2. Gears are like animals in the zoo:

First gear = elephant (can carry the most dead weight but can only go 10mph)
Second gear = donkey (not as strong as the elephant, but faster)

View original post 27 more words

#2: Clementine cake

Ever put 5 whole clementines in a blender?

It sounds insane. But it tastes delicious.

Clementine cake with vanilla ice cream

Here’s my attempt at clementine cake, which does indeed call for whole clementines. I think it’s originally a Nigella Lawson recipe, but I used a simplified version of this one from Celebrity Masterchef. Takes a while but totally worth it, as it’s light, zesty and flour- and (almost) butter-free so a second slice is totally acceptable! Continue reading

#13: 2 videos to put you off learning to drive forever

2 videos to put you off learning to drive forever.

1. Happy Go Lucky

With his own obscure jargon of En Ra Ha, Scott from Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky is a frustrated, lonely control freak and hardly the ideal person to spend an hour alone with in a confined space.

Continue reading