Saturday, 31 July 2010


I am pretty pleased with this rather successful upcycle.

I couldn't find a denim skirt I liked in the shops - this season seems to be all super-short minis, buckles and similar interesting details - and I was about to "charity shop" some old jeans in my summer wardrobe purge.

So with two panel inserts and a bit of Liberty print bias binding, voilĂ , a whole new skirt for nought pence.


There also follows a gratuitous cat picture, because she's sweet and didn't mind the sewing machine one bit.

Friday, 30 July 2010


This week, I have been a daytripper.

First, to the sea: craving sea air and the sound of gulls, we took the train to Whitstable on the Kent coast, for shingle beaches, weathered tongue and groove beach huts, oyster shells galore, and old fashioned pubs.

Oh, and icecream and chips, of course.

It was good for the soul.

Don't you love those blues and pinks? The colour palette is very satisfying:

Then to something more bucolic. A picnic at the Red House in Bexleyheath, where dizzy bees swam lazily among heavy apple tress.

The Red House was the home of William Morris, and is in the process of being restored (I think, there was certainly a lot of hammering going on): the mellow red stone is just beautiful, and the gardens homey and interesting. 

Love that "dusty grey" colour - shame about the prosaic name!

The house holds some real treasures, stained glass by Edward Burne-Jones, enormous faux medieval furniture by Philip Webb and embroidered tapestries by Janey Morris, but was overall a little disappointing - we had expected it to have more furniture, displayed in the usual National Trust style as if the family had just left the room.  And the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow has much much more on Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. despite Morris having lived at the Red House during its inception.

However, the building and grounds were just gorgeous, and a cuppa at nearby Danson House set us up no end.

Holidays rock!

Holiday Breakfast - Friday 30th July

Porridge, with banana, honey, seeds.

Peter Ackroyd's Dickens biography in the other hand, and Lauren
Laverne playing Morrissey on 6Music.

Ah, contentment.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Holiday Breakfast - Thursday 29th July

Poached eggs on a slice of fine smoky Norfolk bacon, on thick fluffy

What a treat, especially after skipping breakfast yesterday to bake
for a picnic ... Of which, more to follow.

I think I should maybe not eat any more eggs this week though!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Holiday Breakfast - Tuesday 27th July

Mmmm, eggy bread - really channelling my roots this morning (Northern half, not Caribbean, obviously...)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Holiday Breakfast - Monday 26th June

Station coffee on the way to Whitstable for a seaside day trip ...

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Closer and closer to harvest time

We've been already enjoying the sugarsnaps, spinach and the rocket - and the strawberries and raspberries didn't last long en route from plant to mouth. 

We're just waiting for the tomatoes and the runnerbeans.

The Boy does a daily tally and breaking news flash for me - today there were 39 incipient tomatoes on the vine: we're trying Costoluto Fiorentino this year, strange beasts, ridged and squat like a squash, as you can see.

Also, we have an abudance of plums, which in previous years have dropped off long before now, so fingers crossed.

The runners are looking gorgeous, but no beans in sight yet. Closer and closer to harvest time, very exciting! 

Holiday Breakfast - Sunday 25th July

Delight of delights: late breakfast in the garden. Homemade thyme bread and scrambled eggs on toast. Not a million miles from my daydream earlier this week...

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A week of birthdays

I recently turned 32, and looking back from the peace and quiet of my holiday, I think the theme of my birthday week was around and orienting myself within my community. Everything we did was about strengthening connections, and being at the heart of a network of personal relationships, friendships and community.

We dog-sat for Little Sister, and untangled Digs from Clive Anderson's dogs in Highbury Fields.

We drank leisurely in the Victoria Park sunshine with friends, their kids and their dogs.

We ate wonderful Japanese food, throwing together an old friend and the Boy's mum, all getting along beautifully.

I saw the wonderful Corinne Bailey Rae at Somerset House with A, and sang along with the crowd.

I walked 5K for Cancer Research at Hyde Park, was moved by messages of hope and sorrow, and was touched by being part of the sea of pink united by the same purpose.

A lovely week, full of reminders of what really counts in life, to outweigh the stresses and strains of the workaday world.

PS: On more material matters, check out this fantastic birdhouse the Boy made! The chimneys are excellent. He made three in total for the garden. So talented!

Also, he got this amazing vintage gardening guide as an unbirthday present from his mum.

What's an unbirthday? This will explain:

Holiday Breakfast - Saturday 24th July

So, after a month of craziness at work, I am on vacation for a whole week!

The best thing about holidays and weekends, and other high days, is having time for a leisurely breakfast.

Today it's Greek yoghurt, with stewed gooseberries from the Abel and Cole veg box, and a handful of seeds. On the side, organic shortbread from the Eat 17 deli in the poshest Spar in the world, and a cup of fresh coffee.Mmmm. Dig in!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Oodles of doodles

Inspired by these charming doodles,

and stranded in the office to meet a major deadline, I scribbled my
way to this rather plaintive picture:


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