So I have been sort of AWOL recently. But I have been more than busy, I don’t stop blogging for just any reason! After 3 years of searching and about a million viewings, we have finally bought our own flat! We got the keys on Friday.

Building a home for us is something we have dreamt of for so long that finally being here, doesn’t feel quite real. It’s like we are playing house.

It’s been hectic, we’ve been redecorating. My hands (and if I’m perfectly honest my face too) is covered in specks of paint. I have umpteen bruises – I dropped a tub of pollyfilla on my ankle. My back is killing me from hunching over to paint the skirting boards. In between coats of paint, we are moving our stuff, slowly, from one flat to the other. At the end of the day I collapse into a heap, but I am more than content.

Despite being fairly central Edinburgh our flat is on the edge of a park. We are surrounded by trees, which have started to change colour in only the few short days we have been here.

It’s beautiful.

Hopefully soon when things start to slow down we will be able to take walks and I’ll get some more photographs.

Despite all this hard work we have done admirably well in staying away from the takeaway menus. On Monday I slow cooked a pork shoulder, and for the last two nights we have been eating leftovers.

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder

1 pork shoulder
Couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
150ml of White wine
Hot chicken stock, enough to mostly cover the shoulder in your slow-cooker
2 bay leaves

Turn your slow cooker on to high.

In a pan over a high heat brown the pork on all sides. Now my pork shoulder came with a large layer of fat, for crackling. I would suggest if you are looking for the crispy crackling to remove this layer, and cook separately.

Once browned all over, place in the slow cooker. Add the white wine, chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme to the pan and heat till starting to boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan while it heats.

Pour the liquid into the slow cooker and put on the lid.

Leave for at least 6 hours. If you want to crisp it up, 20 minutes in a 220oC oven should do the trick.

I served with potatoes, carrots and an onion gravy.

Make sure any leftovers you have are put safely in the fridge. I made another two meals with the leftovers, the first being a fantastic fajita and the second being sweet’n’sour pork.

For now we have no broadband access in our flat, so we are reduced to 3G coverage which is a little sketchy and expensive. Unfortunately this is going to make it difficult to do the promised analysis posts on the questionnaire, please be patient, believe me I want to see the results as much as you do.

If you haven’t filled it in yet you can still do so here.