Image: Anders Adermark
Habit is a strange thing. As often happens, we do not see how much habits influence our lives – from small details to important milestones. Deciding on health matters, marriage, having children, education, career, the mission of life may predestine the future life to come. And healthy habits may encourage the right decisions. However, the decision on which bottle of sparkling wine to buy is often treated as unimportant and is made automatically and unconsciously. We spot French wine brand name Champagne and make a reach for a bottle to celebrate any special occasion. Imagine you knew another type of wine that was cheaper and equally tasty, would you change your habit? If the answer is yes, then welcome to the world of prosecco!
Homeland of Prosecco is Italy. This wonderful land gives birth to Glera grapes from which the Italian fizz is made. The picturesque vineyards are spread out over the hills in the province of Treviso, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, around the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Here, using the Tank method (known as the Charmat method and the Italian method), winemakers produce the Italian sparkling wine and distribute it all over the world. This way of production is worth mentioning. First reason why is that, since the second fermentation takes place in steel tank, the labor costs involved are relatively low, and hence, the final price is very customer-friendly. Champagne has a far more manual process, which leads to much higher prices. The second reason is that because the wine is kept in tanks bore bottling, Prosecco should be opened soon after buying, and not put in the back of a cupboard for a special occasion. So, be wary of anyone offering ‘vintage’ prosecco!
Image: Lorenzo Benetton
The following terms will help you to pick the right type of Prosecco:
- Spumante, frizzante and tranquillo are the Italian words meaning that Prosecco Spumante is sparkling, Frizzante is semi-sparkling, and Tranquillo is still wine without any effervescing.
- The level of sweetness is measured in grams per litre of residual sugar and indicated by the terms ‘dry’ (17–32 g/l), ‘Extra Dry’ (12–17 g/l) and ‘Brut’ (up to 12g/l ).
Once you buy Prosecco, chill it, find a tulip shaped glass, fill it up and try it. Fruit and flower aroma will be the first thing your taste buds and nose will feel. The bubbles bursting on the surface are frothy and light. Try to identify and enjoy the notes of vanilla, banana cream, hazelnuts and honeycomb. Prosecco is quite universal in food pairing. You can drink it alone, before meals or together with meals. Here are some good choices of Prosecco:
This article is just a tiny path which runs to the big world of Prosecco. Do not be afraid to discover new flavours and aromas of this amazing Italian sparkling wine.
I’m standing in the kitchen trying to write a shopping list when the boy wanders in. “Mummy, if you had a portal gun you’d never have to wait at traffic lights again, did you know that?” He’s looking at me earnestly. “You could just put a portal at one side and one at the other side and jump straight through.”
“A portal gun?”
“Yeah,” he carries on, waving his Minecraft sword in the air as he gesticulates. “And I saw a video that said they were only £2.29 so you should get one. They are quite cheap and very useful, aren’t they?”
“Umm, yeah they sound it.”
“But you can’t get them in the shops you can only order them online. So you would have to wait about two weeks for it to arrive but that’s okay isn’t it? It’s worth waiting if you don’t have to wait at traffic lights again.”
He pauses as I pull out my phone to write down the conversation we just had and leans over to me, pointing at the phone. “I think it’s portalgun.com. Are you going to buy one right now?”
“No, no. Not right now. Maybe later,” I say trying to keep the laugh out of my voice.
“Brilliant,” he beams a grin at me and runs off up the stairs yelling to his sister. “Guess what, mummy’s going to buy us a portal gun! We don’t have to wait at traffic lights again!”
Ahh to live in the same world as a 7 year old boy.
We barely had time to sit still last week, such was our social calendar. We spent a day in the forest with friends making nettle soup and cooking bread on sticks around a camp fire.
We managed to spend seven hours in the forest with our new home ed friends, building fires, cooking, eating, playing and whittling before we even realised it was anywhere near 5pm.
We also spent a day down by the river fishing for whatever insects we could find lurking in the depths, had a trampoline club session and visit an owl centre nearby.
The owl centre was pretty interesting – who knew that birds had different coloured eyes and that those colours meant something? According to the chap at the centre orange eyes means they hunt at dusk and dawn, yellow eyes means they hunt during daylight hours and brown eyes means they hunt at night. Plus we got to hold owls!
And stroke baby owls too.
Umm, what else? Oh yes, I discovered a new local pub which is very cute and a lovely field walk away from my house.
Plus we went to visit the lovely Merry from merrily me and Patch of Puddles who now lives just 20 minutes from me.
Happy, happy days.
With summer well and truly on the way, now’s the time to make some final tweaks to your home before the hottest weather arrives. The following tips should help ensure your family is properly prepared for the sunshine and soaring temperatures.
Substitute snug winter bedding for light duvets and sheets
Getting peaceful sleep might prove tricky this sunny season if you find yourself buried under thick duvets and blankets each evening. So, to stop you from suffering sweaty, disturbed nights under your sheets, you might benefit from replacing your current bedding with lighter materials. Pay particular attention to the tog of your duvet; the higher this figure, the warmer your duvet will be. As a general rule, you should aim for bedding with a tog of 10.5 or less at this time of year. You can find out more about the various togs on offer by visiting the websites of bedding suppliers like http://www.juliancharles.co.uk.
For the hottest nights, it’s also worth having some soft sheets as a substitute for your duvet. This way, you can tailor your bedding to help ensure you don’t overheat.
Banish unwanted sunlight with blackout curtains
We all love sunshine right? Well, yes, but just not when it’s flooding our bedrooms at 5am in the morning. To ensure that you’re not rudely awoken by solar rays streaming into your boudoir, it’s well worth investing in some blackout curtains. These window dressings will enable you to sleep soundly long after sunrise.
As an added bonus, these curtains can help you to keep your rooms cool during the day. Simply close them to block out the strongest of the sunshine and to create some much-needed shade.
Give your rooms a seasonal revamp
Image: Alan Cleaver
This can be the perfect time of year for a spot of redecorating too. If you’re feeling energetic, you could give your rooms a fresh lick of paint and by opting for lighter, brighter hues you could help ensure your home has a more summery look and feel.
Even if you don’t want the hassle of donning your dungarees and reaching for your rollers, there are simple design touches you can make that will help to give your rooms a fresher appearance. For example, you could replace any dark, wintery rugs, throws and cushions with versions in pale blues, greens, yellows or other colours of your choosing. Even substituting candles for vases filled with fresh flowers could help to bring your rooms to life.
Get your garden ready for outdoor entertaining
As well as the inside of your property, spare some thought for your garden. By giving your outdoor furnishings some TLC, power hosing your patio or decking, giving your barbeque a thorough clean and perfecting your lawn and flowerbeds, you can ensure you have the perfect space for some alfresco dining and entertaining.
We are just five months into this year and yet so far each month that passes seems to be leave behind yet more loss and grief. Loses of friends, of family, of people I have grown close to, cared for and cherished. People I miss on a daily basis. Whether it’s death, a house move, a broken friendship or broken promises and hurt feelings that have torn us apart, it doesn’t matter.
It all hurts.
It all leaves an aching hole, sad reminders, poignant memories of what will never again be.
Some days I barely notice it, the hours punctuated by laughter, smiles and a general joy of what life holds but on others it’s like being punched in the stomach by the pain of it all over again. Hitting a wall of sadness for what’s gone and washed over with anxiety for what’s still to come.
There has been so much of it in the last few months and it all just hurts so much.
Goodbye dear friends, dear loved ones. May you all be happy where ever and whatever you are doing.
Here’s hoping the loss for the year is done now. That the remaining seven months will hold only new friends being made, old friends being reuniting and happy, content smiles all round.