Age of Dinosaurs

Hubby, a friend and I went to see the special exhibition, Age of Dinosaurs, at World Museum. It would have been better if we had a kid with us… just to justify our presence there, but, even so, it was nice. We took some pictures and we had some laughs.

The leaflet I took from the front desk helped me give you some important info. But, first of all…aod_01

Smile! you’re on camera!

The first dinosaur we saw, a Camarasaurus (chambered lizard) had up to 20.000 kg and 32 m in length.
aod_02

This one is a Gallimimus (chicken mimic). His behavior was similar to a chicken.
aod_03

Me and hubby in the same picture… very unusual :))
aod_04

On the left it’s Protoceratops (first horned face) and on the right it’s a Velociraptor (quick plunderer). They didn’t move much. The leaflet said the Velociraptor was a vicious predator, even if it had only 7-15 kg.
aod_05

Oviraptor (egg thief). I though he was guarding his own eggs…but apparently he was guarding his breakfast. A fossil was found protecting a nest of unhatched eggs, 18 of them.
aod_06

Tarbosaurus (alarming lizard), it had 8 m in length and around 3600 kg. Nice movement and sounds. I liked this one.
aod_07

This is a half skull from a real dinosaur.
aod_08

aod_09

This is not a war command center, but it’s looks like one. It was one of the two interactive tables depicting the dinosaur’s evolution.
aod_10

I just love his eyes. They were very realistic, they move, had a nice color and… he could close the eyelids.
aod_11

Costume Drama tour

Sudley house has a special exhibition: Costume Drama – Fashion from 1790 to 1850. Costume Drama tour it’s a part of the special exhibition and we had the pleasure to listen to Pauline Rushton talk about the dresses.

I like the house, it feels warm and welcoming even if it’s a museum. The staff it’s great too.cdt_01

This white dress had a nice story. It’s from 1820, but it came with a letter and the owner was a daughter of a captain from slave trade. He wrote that letter to his wife, telling her nice things about her, their kids, his mother in law. The letter had a PS where he said half of the slaves were brought on board, which was very cold comparing to the tone of the letter.
cdt_02

cdt_03

This daytime dress was worn by a new bride, after her wedding.
cdt_04

The dresses were made from cotton and most of them were donations. The curator explained so nicely the big differences between dresses and it was amazing to see how the fashion evolved so much in just a few years. The evolution was due to technological progress and trends.
cdt_05

cdt_06

cdt_07

cdt_08

Dolls’ house on stand, from 1850-1880. The furniture is English, the glassware and metal chandeliers are French and the kitchen utensils, the ornaments and the tea set are German. It looked great.
cdt_09

cdt_10

cdt_11

cdt_12

Now it’s the tea room but in the past it was the kitchen. The homemade cakes looked yummy but we didn’t had time to try them, maybe next time.
cdt_13

We went for a stroll in the garden. It’s big and nice, with beautiful trees and very upset and fighting squirrels.
cdt_14

cdt_15

cdt_16

Nowruz

Yesterday we were invited by one of hubby’s friends at VOOO to celebrate the nowruz. Nowruz, or the New Day, is an Iranian celebration marking the first day of spring; occurring on the astronomical Spring Equinox. This is the first day of the Persian new year, being celebrated for over 3,000 years.

The signification of nowruz:

“Nowruz is the Persians’ longest and most cherished festivity, on which all Iranians celebrate the New Year with the nature’s resurrection from withered winter. It is deeply rooted in Zoroastrianism and counts as the oldest Iranian festival. Nowruz ancientness, variety, colorfulness, and rich symbolism mark it off from its peers in other nations and countries.

Nowruz is the Celebration of Life; it is determined according to the spring equinox and coincides with March 21, or the previous/following day, marking the start of the spring in the northern hemisphere.”

source: irpedia

Body fat caliper

We women tend to care how much we weight and we tend to ignore the most important thing of all: what does that number mean. We all know two persons with the same height and weight can look very different and we usually “blame” the bone structure, but a different body fat percentage makes a great difference too.

The body fat percentage is the amount of fat tissue in your body as a percentage of total body weight. It’s important to know your body fat percentage because a high percentage means you have a higher risk to develop weight-related illness (I’ll write more in the future). Another very important reason is that a higher percentage means you need fewer calories to maintain your weight… or even gain weight.

The body fat can be measured easily with different online-calculators, but for the most accurate ones that you can use at home involve a skin-fold caliper. I got mine last week, from eBay at a low price (less than 2 pounds).

This is a picture of the caliper. It’s very easy to use and has a chart with the normal limits. Give it a try… it could change your life.
body fat caliper

Women’s day

In Eastern Europe the 8th of march has a very special meaning: women’s day. It’s a day that celebrates the woman regardless if she is a mother or not. Of course we celebrate this year too. I asked hubby to make it a special day out and he said yes. Fortunately we had a lovely weather and our walk was great.

First of all we went to Williamson tunnels. I saw the website before moving to UK and I really wanted to visit the tunnels. The reviews on tripadvisor were great too.

We had a guide that told us the lovely story of Joseph Williamson (born on 10th march), a very eccentric man, who succeeded to get from an orphan child that arrived at 11 years in Liverpool to a wealthy tobacco merchant. He was, from my point of view, a great philanthropist too. The lady-guide talked with such enthusiasm and we loved the tour. If you came in Liverpool, make a stop to the tunnels, you will have a great time.

Some pictures. This is the entrance. I had to wear a helmet, but there are no risks.
wd_01

We paid attention to the tale and forgot to took pictures of the tunnels. After Williamson died in 1840 the tunnels were used as a dumping site, but, as the lady told us, it’s just a matter of perception… now every piece is an artifact :)
wd_02

This was a pot for steamed vegetables. The holes were made so the steam could go out so the vegetables wouldn’t get mushy.
wd_03

Jam jars with the inscription: “Not genuine unless bearing W. P. Hartley’s label”. We saw Hartley jams in store, but I’m not sure we’ve tried it.
wd_05

The entry fee is just £4.5 per person, it’s a small price considering they receive no public funding and the guide is included!

After we saw the tunnels, we were headed to World Museum when I saw that St. George’s Hall is open. We stepped in and enjoyed a short visit.
wd_06

I was standing near the judge’s chair.
wd_07

The hall looks amazing.
wd_04

wd_08

St. George’s Hall is the first building with air-conditioning in the world. The engineer David Boswell Reid designed this system in 1851. He named it “Systematic Ventilation” system, and he designed the one for the Houses of Parliament too.
wd_09

The hall from outside. The hall has no entry fee.
wd_10

Near the hall is the World Museum.The museum is huge! There are five floors and many exhibits and it’s free! On the first floor we saw the Aquarium. The pictures have a lower quality because hubby didn’t use the flash (it was a requirement and a polite thing to do).

The lovely Clownfish, that unfortunately it’s considered an endangered species.
wd_11

Another endangered species, but I forgot the name. They look so funny.
wd_12

Near the entrance of the bug house is the giant bug. A little scary :)
wd_13

Two scorpions.
wd_14

Ants. Their display is very interesting, they get the food in one place and the ants move it to their habitat. I think very organized and lovely.
wd_15

The bug house has a huge number of butterflies! A lot of the insects are put in special drawers-insectariums. I’ll go again to read about them and take pictures. They are so many, so I think only this exhibits will take 2-3 hours to see properly.
wd_16

After the bug house we went in the Clore Natural History Centre. There were many children so we moved faster. I’ll go back another time, fortunately it would be a smaller crowd. I loved this exhibit. On the wicker chest is wrote: “Dare you open the box to see the most DANGEROUS ANIMAL in the world? Watch out it is alive!” and inside there is a mirror…
wd_17

On the ancient world sector I saw for the first time a mummified crocodile. There are a few mummies as well because Liverpool is a center for research of the Egyptian archaeology and here was founded the first institute of archaeology.
wd_18

I also found my ancient Egyptian name: weser nefer sat.
wd_19

wd_20

Very beautiful arrows. The middle one is just lovely.
wd_21

Interesting pairs of sunglasses made by Eskimos.
wd_22

Here I was searching for the right runes to write my name. It was pretty hard because the difference between the runes wasn’t so big.
wd_23

my name
wd_24

In the Natural World section there were many warnings about our endangered planet. For example: “Every year an area of forest the size of Yorkshire is deliberately destroyed forever. It is estimated that in 30 years these enormous forests may have completely disappeared. Can the world afford to pay this price for “progress”?”
wd_25

A fossil in stone. At the museum there are a few fossils and they all look lovely, at least from my point of view.
wd_26

British Pie Week

5th – 11th march is the British Pie Week!

Hubby insisted we should celebrate this great holiday by eating pie every day. So today I’ve made apple pies. Enjoy!

I decided to update the old post as the pie I made a few years ago didn’t look as good as the one I made this year, 2015. The recipe I’m using now is slightly different than the old one, as I added 1 egg in the pastry. The flavour is so much better.
For decorating I usually cut the dough into long strips to make a woven lattice on top. Now I’ve tried something different with leaves and it looks amazing. I don’t want to make the pies too doughy as I prefer to taste the filling. Another aspect is that I feel I would add calories. This pie had 1580 calories (without the custard) and I would say there are 6 good size portions. This means that a slice of pie had only 263 calories, almost half the calories that are in 1 shop-bought cupcake.

01 apple pie

02 apple pie
Make the pastry with 75g butter, 150g flour and 1 egg. Mix the soften butter with the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and knead the dough. Leave it for 30 minutes in the fridge.

03 apple pie
Roll the dough with a pin and place it in the baking tray.

04 apple pie
Wash and peel the apples. Grate them on the large holes, add 50g of sugar, 1 spoon of flour and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Fill the pastry with the apple mixture.

05 apple pie
For the decorations, roll the remaining dough.

06 apple pie
I wanted to use my ivy cutter, but I didn’t find it, so I made freehand leaves instead. Using a pizza cutter, for a more smooth finish, cut the dough in the shape of a leaf.

07 apple pie
With a knife, make a visible dent in the middle of the leaf and continue to make dents for the veins.

08 apple pie
Make a branch from the remaining dough and add the leaves. Bake it for 40 minutes at 180C fan.

_MG_7400

09 apple pie

10 apple pie

11 apple pie
I served the pie with vanilla custard.