Archive for the ‘11. MISCELLANEOUS MEANDERINGS’ Category

Today is one of those strange days with a notable date: 11.11.11, ignoring the 20 of course.  (I wonder if anyone back in the 12th Century noted the date when it was 11.11.1111?!)  A few days ago Photo111111 asked people to take a photograph at 11 seconds and 11 minutes past 11am on 11.11.11. and then submit it to their site.  There is a plan that the collected photos might form part of our local E17 Art Trail in 2012 – great idea which I hope works out!  So here is my picture … not as exciting as I had hoped but taken as accurately as I could.

11.11.11 on 11.11.11 Leyton entrance to Stratford Westfield - photo: ©hopeeternal

As you can see from the caption this is the (rather uninspiring) approach to the recently opened Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre in East London, especially unexciting on such a grey day.  It was taken from the front upstairs seat of a Transport for London No 97 bus. The bus stopped for to observe the 2minutes silence otherwise we would have been nearer or even there. The zig-zag roofs are the tops of the security centre through which all incoming traffic, including buses, has to pass before entering the centre. It feels a little like the going through security at the Channel Tunnel.  Westfield Stratford City is situated next to the rapidly growing site for the 2012 Olympic Games (more of that to follow).  It is a short ride from home, a rather stop-start journey taking around 30 minutes even though the distance is only 3 miles.  I was hoping to have been a bit closer – or even at the centre – but such is life (and London traffic).

Stratford Westfield Entrance ©hopeeternal

Vicars have one day off each week. My husband usually takes Friday and today we decided to pay a proper visit to Stratford Westfield for a ‘nose round’ and some Christmas shopping.  Stratford Westfield is massive and is currently the biggest shopping centre in Europe.  This was my first real visit to the centre.  We made a brief visit a week or so ago, not to shop but to pray with other local Christians for the area and the coming Olympics and to be shown around ‘InSpiration’, the rest and faith space situated in the Café Court area and signposted ‘Calmness’.  (It is open to anyone, of any faith or none and is a great place to pop in for a rest.)  Westfield has many many shops of all types, small businesses and large chains, on four levels inside the centre with even more outside.  It is linked to the original Stratford shopping centre with its indoor market by a bridge which passes both Stratford Underground and the old bus station, currently being spruced up ready for reopening. We saw just a small part, leaving me feeling rather confused and overwhelmed: definitely need another visit to feel more orientated … and to do more shopping!

Franco Manca's Sourdough Pizza ©hopeeternal

I normally write about food and make no exception with this post.  On our brief visit we saw just a few of the many eating places in the Café Court we had heard about from friends.  There is a vast choice of cafés and restaurants mostly collected together in one area of the shopping centre but covering four floors vertically.  The choice of food is vast, ranging from rolls, wraps and sandwiches to Sushi and Fish & Chips to … well, pick any type of foreign food you like!  …and there are more restaurants outside the main indoor centre.  One advantage of open plan eating food courts is that you can see what other people are eating and as a consequence we decided to share a pizza at Franco Manca’s.

Spicy Lamb, Mozzarella & Tomato Sourdough Pizza ©hopeeternal

We made a good choice and I would recommend our Spicy Lamb, Mozzarella & Tomato Sourdough Pizza.  It was fascinating to watch as our pizza was produced in super quick time using their 500oC/930oF traditional Neopolitan style wood burning oven.

We shopped and we ate, but we also made a visit to the top floor of John Lewis department store where there is a viewing gallery overlooking the 2012 Olympic site.  The Orbit Tower, a red latticework sculpture by Turner Prize winning artist Anish Kapoor at the centre of the site, is gradually rising towards its planned height of 115m (377ft).  Sadly today its top was shrouded in mist.

The Orbit Tower in the mist, 2012 Olympic Site, London ©hopeeternal

It was such a pity it was so very grey today, but the view was slightly brightened with the busy yellow diggers and fluorescent jacketed workmen.  Although we recognised some of the buildings we were not sure about them all but we could see the Aquatics Centre on the left hand side and the central Stadium.  Had it been clearer more buildings may well have been in view.  I must return with my camera on a brighter day!

2012 London Olympic Site in the mist from top floor of John Lewis, Westfield Stratford City - 11.11.11 ©hopeeternal - CLICK FOR A LARGER IMAGE

This panorama stitching together three views I took of the Olympic site was created using a very handy free online programme called Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor).

These interesting dates come up from time to time.  The next is 20.12.2012, and of course, next year there is another big opportunity as we have 12.12.12.  Now there’s a potential idea for someone … the alternative 12 days of Christmas … my  dozen favourite things …  If you are planning anything for that date please do link back here via the comments and I may well join in!  Meanwhile pay a visit to Photo111111 to see how the project is growing.


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The eagle eyed among my readers might just have noticed that my posts have slowed down in recent weeks.  My plan has been to try and add one post per week since the Summer but I am still very behind.

I feel that an explanation is due…   I have been a stay at home mother & vicar’s wife for almost 25 years and now my family responsibilities are fewer have been wondering what to do with my life.  I have long wanted to work alongside my husband in the church so in September I started on the Course in Christian Studies run by Chelmsford Diocese, which although a fairly basic theology course is still a challenge for me.  It is over 30 years since I have studied seriously: the reading and thinking are OK, but I am still getting used to doing homework and the prospect of doing essays looms.  It is a two year course and at the end I should get a certificate and a pat on the head from our bishop.

As for ‘… where am I going?’ I’m not sure where this will all take me but it is an interesting course and an exciting journey.

So please bear with me: I will post when I can and meanwhile do my best to catch up.  I suspect that simple quick meals might be the order of the day for the time being, but there are a number of recipes already done which simply need writing up.  If I do ever catch up with posts I will probably delete this message.

Meanwhile, back to the homework – we are studying the Old Testament this term…!


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Why reinvent the wheel when it has been done for me… (plus I have been itching to use the ‘repost’ button that the WordPress people have recently introduced!)

This video tells of recent events at St Mary’s Respite Centre in Walthamstow (see my previous post #AWESOMESTOW) have this week made the front page of our local paper, the Waltham Forest Guardian. Sadly it is all over now, with a BBQ on the final evening which we missed as it was our 25th wedding anniversary.

It will be interesting to see if anything further grows from the goodwill and community spirit generated by local people.  Well done anyone and everyone who cooked or bought or helped in any way!

Community events continue in Waltham Forest with the E17 Art Trail from 2-11 Sept 2011 and various venues in the area open their doors for London Open House weekend (17 & 18 September).  St Mary’s church in Walthamstow village is involved in both of these events.  During the E17 Art Trail (on 3 & 4 and 10 & 11 September) there will be 4 art installations to view, including a community art project focussing on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible as well as a chance to look round the ancient building.  The church is also open for visitors to come and look round on Open House weekend with additionally, weather permitting, guided tours of the tour and bells.  The view from the roof is wonderful – look across to the Olympic site and see how much it has grown in the past year!

No cooking in this post – apologies to my regular readers!  You can read normalgirl’s post about St Mary’s Respite Centre below… thank you Sonia!

making life just that little bit sweeter I mentioned in a previous post about the fantastic work that was happening at the St Mary’s Respite Centre and Pop-Up Canteen in Walthamstow for weary and hungry policemen :) I went along Weds, Thurs, Fri and Sunday.  I meant to go in on Monday & Tuesday this week (which was the … Read More

via Just a normal girl in London

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Here in #Awesomestow Walthamstow we have no rioting but lots of hungry police around keeping the peace.  The @StMarysRespite centre has been up and running at St Marys Welcome Centre in Walthamstow Village for days providing drinks, hot meals and oodles of cake. … and it is fun to be part of, such good fun!

'Meanderings (not necessarily always!) though my Cookbook' http://www.hopeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Read postordinandy on how the centre started
Read what another helper ‘normalinlondon’ has written
See pictures by Martin and Kate including some more of the comment cards from our ‘clients’.

There is wonderful community spirit – a really good mix of local people and not just church members. The current plan is for the centre to run until Tuesday this week (16th)…

There is cooking of a sort to write about too, after all this is technically a cooking blog…   We are getting lots of food donations from the community which is fantastic though an interesting selection.  Yesterday I concocted a veggie pasta bake with cooked pasta (of course!) mixed with two tins of Heinz soup (one vegetable and one lentil), 2 tins tomatoes, 3 small tins of peas, a tin of baked beans and topped it with grated cheese – quick and simple and I understood it actually wasn’t too bad (I was a bit worried about putting in the soups).

Today a friend gave me a large bag of windfall apples and we have more blackberries in the garden than I know what to do with! so on the menu tonight: Blackberry & Apple Sponge – tomorrow: Blackberry & Apple Crumble…

Now, what to do with 4 packets of supernoodles (all different flavours) and a small tin of French (Leclerc Eco brand) pate………?  Suggestions gratefully received…  Think of it as the Masterchef invention test!

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