So maybe you thought I was done with California and San Francisco. 

You know, it’s been seven months, I should be over it by now.

Well, I’m not I’m afraid.

Hence: California2012.

That’s right people, not just a city this time but a state (or a good part of it at least).


The first two weeks it’ll just be me visiting friends, riding the greyhound and loving life:

San Francisco – 6 nights
Santa Clara – 2 nights
Springville – 2 nights
Santa Barbara – 6 nights

Then the family are flying out and it’s two weeks of road trip excellence:

Los Angeles – 3 nights
Cambria – 1 night
Monterey – 2 nights
Yosemite – 3 nights
San Francisco – 5 nights 

There are not words for my excitement.


Move, Learn, Eat

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…..


I’ve gotten very into my knitting again since returning home at Christmas. My mum had knit me the most beautiful pair of socks for my Christmas and they inspired me! I managed to knit a scarf in a week and then started to learn how to do socks.

I managed to knit two pairs of little baby booties but forgot to take a picture before sending them off to their new homes. With the wool that was left, however, I knit a wee hat, pompom and all!

It was really super simple (you can find the pattern @ Head Huggers) and worked really well.

I fear I might be getting a little ahead of myself now but I’m determined to knit a jumper next so am on the hunt for a suitable pattern.

What I know I won’t be doing, however, is knitting in miniature:

Mince Pies

I love mince pies.

Warm with a little cream.

First mince pie signifies the start of the Christmas season.

But they get a little samey. So my dad and I got super excited by Jamie Oliver’s version which he made on his programme the other night. And our’s looked like this:

And they tasted just as good as they look!!

They’re super simple. Just roll out some pre-made puff pastry, thinly spread it with mince meat mixed with chopped dried cranberries, orange zest and a dash of brandy. Roll it up and chop into 24. Then, use a couple of  sheets of pre-made filo pastry basted with melted butter to cover 2 cupcake tins and place each little pin wheel mince pie in each cup cake hole. You can baste them with some beaten egg and sprinkle with flaked almonds if you’d like before sticking them in the oven @ 200C or gas mark 6 for 30 minutes.

They’ll come out like this:

Once they’ve cooled you just turn them out of the tray and crack the filo pastry to get your individual pies! Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and you are good to serve.


Merry Christmas!!


I don’t know about you but, it seems very easy for my world to become very small, very quickly.

My “problems” suddenly become the only thing I can see.

My “issues” become the only thing I focus on.

My “worries” become the purpose of my day.

I’m engulfed by sheer selfishness.

The reality is they are nothing: pitifully nothing.

When two hundred thousand people have died on the other side of the world, what right do I have to complain about anything?

I’ve been humbled a few times this past week.

I’ve been reminded of the good that I forget to see.

I’ve been reminded that I am not the centre of any universe, the most important person in any realm. I’m tiny tiny small.

I’ve been reminded that my “suffering” is nothing. Nothing.

Mark Driscoll, Pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, has been tweeting from Haiti today. Things like this:

Just bought ice cream for a hundred kids sleeping outside. Heard gunshot behind me a teenage boy got shot in head and died immediately

I’m not letting myself get wrapped up in the little things tomorrow. Life is bigger than those things. I’m moving on.

Please meet Humphrey

I was doing some Christmas shopping today when I found this little guy:


What can I say, it was love at first sight!

A completely impulsive and unnecessary buy, but you’re allowed to treat yourself at Christmas right?

Feeding the 5000

There’s a brilliant thing happening in Trafalgar Square tomorrow:

A Free Lunch for 5000 People

On the 16th December a free lunch made from delicious ingredients that would otherwise have been wasted will be prepared for 5000 people. Our aim is to highlight the ease of cutting the unimaginable levels of food waste in the UK and internationally.

I love this idea!

They say:

There are nearly one billion malnourished people in the world, but the approximately 40 million tonnes of food wasted by US households, retailers and food services each year would be enough to satisfy the hunger of every one of them.

All the world’s nearly one billion hungry people could be lifted out of malnourishment on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the US, UK and Europe

The amount of food we waste is crazy!

The Grass Market Mission here in Edinburgh partners with Fareshare who supply them with food that would otherwise be wasted by supermarkets. I’ve seen some brilliant meals cooked with ingredients you probably wouldn’t go near in the supermarket – our expectations of perfectly shaped, coloured and sized fruit and veg is ridiculous! We waste so much when we cook – save it for leftovers for breakfast!

Under pressure

On Saturday night Dan also asked us what our reaction is to stress and pressure, or more precisely

“When I am squeezed, pressed, crushed – what comes out? Examples?”

Once we got past the blood and guts jokes it was time for some serious soul searching . . .

You may never have been unfortunate enough to see it but I have a real temper on me. It’s something I do my very best to keep under lock and key. I don’t like being that person, who lashes out and says horrible things and lets the anger get the better of her. I remember reading Matthew 5:22 and being scared that that was me, and it’s a fear that remains with me: “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Ever since I’ve been doing my best not to get angry and, at the very least, not show it when I do.

So, nowadays, stress and pressure generally lead me to seclusion. It’s safer that way. I get a kind of tunnel vision, becoming obsessed and determined to overcome whatever is the cause of the stress. People and normal life are forced to take a back seat. It’s safer if I ignore you because I don’t have time to care and don’t want you to know it and get hurt. Harsh right? Told you it was safer for me to withdraw.

I’m also aware that my problems are nothing by comparison so I do my best not to complain too much (though I usually fail epically) and I certainly won’t admit to needing help or not being able to cope until the very last minute: “This is my problem, I’ll deal with it, I can’t burden you with it too”. Fun times, trust me.

And if something does make me angry, rather than stressed, I’m most likely to not say anything for fear of saying something I’ll regret. Quite often I’ll have to walk it off – spend some time pacing or walking whilst ranting at myself/God. When I’ve worked out all that angry energy I’ll return and perhaps be able to articulate better what I’m on about.

This is the best way I have of dealing with stress/anger. I’d rather it didn’t get to this stage but I think it’s better that when it does, the only people to see it are me and God.

How do you cope?


sometimes some thoughts go through your head and you choose to write them down. sometimes you have a momentary lapse of judgement and choose to post them on a very public blog. oops. so here are the inner workings of my mind on saturday night:

feeling tiny amongst giant

worthless amongst saints

invisible amongst heroes

the one in the background

trampeled and ignored


that I listened

saw them, not you

that I can’t see

can’t trust or believe

that you’d love me

a beautiful person?

I don’t think so

Broken and rubbish

lower than low


What am I worth?

Can they really love me?

Could they actually care?

Help me see it

believe it