Madly in love with meringues

MER1

If there’s one thing I’m totally and utterly guilty of, it’s that I’m absolutely crazy about meringues. I used to make them constantly, switching the flavours, adding toppings, playing around with the proportions of egg white to sugar, testing different cooking times and temperatures (total meringue nerd – I know). I think all the sugar I was consuming was playing with my mind – I was totally addicted! I managed to wean myself off the gorgeously squishy little beauties, only to be suckered back in last weekend when I made a batch to photograph – eek, what have I done!

This time I decided to sprinkle cocoa on top so I didn’t lose the definition (in the shots) of the peaks of the mixture, and boy, were they tasty. So now it seems I have the bug back. I can’t wait to open that new box of eggs waiting for me in my kitchen and get cracking! Next on my list, hazelnut topped meringues flavoured with almond – watch this space!

MER 5MER2MER 4MER 3

Advertisements

The furry love of my life…

I’d like to introduce you to an extremely important part of my life – my beautiful Rough Collie dog Bella.

5c1da8d0046d9b793e228d4c5c273bb9

We’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old – she’s the most wonderful dog you could ever ask for and I wouldn’t be without her for the world.

36264_10150103305517806_6691834_n

My love of Roughs came about when I was 5 years old, my parents bought me a puppy of the same breed and I instantly fell in love, I called him Lad. This was at a time when Lassie was HUGE on the TV and I thought back then I had my very own protector – I wasn’t wrong ! For 9 wonderful years he was my best friend and companion, always looking over me, protecting me, always there with me through good times and bad. One day though it felt like my world had come to an end, Lad had a little bit of a monkey in him –  whenever he had the opportunity he would sneak off without us and go on his very own ‘Lassie day out’. This time though he didn’t return, 3 days passed, lots of searching and calls to the Police later and I was told he had been killed in a car accident not far from my home – I was utterly devastated, I still am, and even whilst I write this, it churns up all of the old same feelings.

Twenty years passed and every time I saw a Rough Collie in the street it would bring me to tears, once you’ve had a Rough you never get over them, and I certainly hadn’t. But one day my husband Tim asked me if I would like to have another (when the time was right of course) and I jumped at the chance. At that time we both worked together at the ad agency where we met, and didn’t have the time it took to look after a dog, so a few more years went on but all I could think about was owning another Lad.

We were both made redundant from our jobs when our company went under, but this was the best thing that could have happened to us – I went on to start my own design agency with 2 good friends and colleagues and Tim went on to run his own successful 3D/CG imagery business from home. The time was now perfect for us to get a dog.

I Googled Rough Collie pups and the first link I clicked on – I struck gold! I found the most adorable Rough Collie Pups you’ve ever seen, which, at the time, we thought were available to buy – we rang up and enquired only to find out that it was a previous litter that had all been sold, but the breeders were hoping to breed their youngest female once they’d found the right male. Around 8 months passed and we finally had our own little Rough Collie pup – I was absolutely ecstatic – I didn’t sleep for most of the first year of having her, having lots of anxiety dreams and sleepy hallucinations every night, I was just far too excited about finally having her!

164813_10150119199657806_3399170_n

c17907fa578cf7943215e7fa12ce2504

The picture below is Bella fully grown but her coat is still quite short – it’s much longer now and I must process some recent piccies of her – I took some great shots in this very same field this summer, she absolutely adores to play ball here, she’s extremely fast too!

39f53e95aeeeee7463623b7c2c18cb7e

Bella is such a huge part of our family, even my parents miss her when they go away and can’t wait to return to come and get their Bella-fix! She’s a complete lover of people and is very vocal about it. Anyone who has ever met a Rough Collie will know that they like to talk to you and Bella is no exception – the neighbours always know when we come home from work or we have family to visit, they can hear her squeals of delight!!

b879166e0c7f04edd3edb3255760f121

4d0dd8864eac2c9d0c3e3c625c72e9cc

2564ee2f11b92cb418a99066c8e019e5

We’re having some fabulous weather at the moment (31 degrees today) but Bella can’t wait for it to snow again – the heat is a little much for her at the moment, so maybe tonight I might treat her to a cool bath!

This post has gone on a little longer than I’d anticipated as I didn’t quite realise (until I started writing) that I’d actually never written this whole story down before and how much I needed to get it out of my system – I’m so glad I did. I’m sure there are a lot of pet owners out there who can relate to the feelings a loss of a dog can bring but also the great joy a new dog can bring too and the years of happiness they can bring!