Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas 2012

Happy Christmas, one and all!

If you need me, I'll be eating this, watching this and this, and hanging out with my loved ones.

Have a good one!


Saturday, 22 December 2012


Lovely idea...

Via Lifestyle Etc

Sunday, 2 December 2012


From salvaged scaffolding boards to sleek and sophisticated shelves ... clever Mr Butterfly Mind!
My contribution was driving to collect 25 4ft bits of wood from a working scaffolding yard in deepest Bow ...

Friday, 9 November 2012


Nice ghost sign in Walthamstow, near the William Morris Gallery.

I played around with it in Photoshop in an attempt to make it legible but to no avail...

While we were peering at the sign, the owner stopped in his car and wound down the window, to see if we'd deciphered it. He thought it had been a barbers or beauty parlour. This building stands alone on this corner of Forest Road, amid sixties council estates, lone survivor of what must have been pretty devastating blitz damage.

Any ideas what it says? Please post in the comments if you can make it out!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Words to live by

Take a Joy Ride

"Cultivate a healthy attitude to time ... Don't get hung up on what has happened or will happen. You can't control either. The present is all you've ever got."

"All life is paradox. Nothing can ever be finally worked out ... Embrace ignorance brightly – not knowing is what makes life worth living. To know everything would be hell."

"... don't judge others, or yourself, too harshly ... Be good, but don't try to be better than you are."

Wise words from Guardian columnist Tim Lott in 'In the company of women', 14 July 2012

Friday, 12 October 2012

Kitchen Inspiration

Apparently, my dream kitchen has lots of shelves and cupboard space. Oh and metro tiles...

Saturday, 29 September 2012


From Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project:
"Happiness has four stages. To eke out the most happiness from an experience, we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness, and recall a happy memory. Any single happy experience may be amplified or minimized, depending on how much attention you give it."
Isn't that nice? I suspect that I tend to undermine my experience of good things in the moment by anxiety about what comes next or critiquing what happened before. Who wouldn't want to wring every drop of joy from something good? I'm going to practice savouring...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Image originally uploaded to Flickr by moriza

Lovely podcast from Design*Sponge on achieving a work/life balance. Funny how a very individual tale can teach more than all the generic platitudes in the world.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Dutch interiors

On a work trip to Dordrecht, I picked up this rather lovely Dutch interiors mag, Ariadne at Home

Of course, I can't read the articles nor understand a single caption, but the pictures are really pretty. Cool, calm blues and greys, and vintage furniture everywhere.

I also stayed at a charmingly quirky hotel/fairytale castle complete with market garden cafe, ate delicious stroopwaflen and rode some impressive double decker trains. All in all , I am very taken with The Netherlands.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

House fever

The Boy and I are in the midst of selling the flat and buying a house, and are creeping slowly, ever so slowly towards getting some kind of date.

We are in limbo, and that's pretty weird.

I know worse things happen at sea and this is definitely under the category of 'my diamond shoes are too tight', but not knowing is making us a bit strung out.

Every time I think "This must be it", something unforeseen rears up in my path. It is currently Tree Preservation Orders and the mysteries of tree surgery. It was previously, as those of you who have been patiently listening to my laments already know (thanks guys! I O U 1 x shoulder-to-cry-on), Japanese Knotweed. In my more melodramatic moments I feel like Nature herself is against me (or, are we against her?).

So, Universe, I'm just putting it out there in a Noel Edmonds cosmic ordering stylee - I want my new house, please, and soon. I'm asking nicely, honest!

And until that day, I console myself with inspecting interior decor mags and passionately Pinterest-ing.

Bring it on! I think I'm ready...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Peach, raspberry and almond muffins

This morning, I have been baking muffins and listening to cheers from the Olympic Stadium

My variation on a BBC Good Food recipe...

3 large eggs
100g caster sugar
Almond essence
25g melted butter
100g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds
1/2 tin of sliced peaches, cut up small
1/2 packet of frozen raspberries, defrosted
Flaked almonds

Put the oven on at 220c.
Whisk eggs, sugar and almond essence.
Add butter and mix well.
Fold in flour and ground almonds.
Line cupcake tin with paper cases.
Half fill the cupcake cases with mix.
Add raspberries and peaches.
Cover with remaining mix, top with flaked almonds.
Bake for 20mins.

Adapted from to suit my greediness!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Ghost sign: Leyton High Road

Damned if you do

4478 Ducklings
Image '4478 Ducklings' originally uploaded to flickr by lorisrandom

Warning: brief rant ahoy.

I have a friend who is choosing to return to work when her baby is nine months old.

I have a friend who is choosing not to return to work now she has two children.

Both have been criticised - or feel that they are being judged, implicitly or explicitly - by friends and strangers alike for their decision.

There is no "one size fits all" - clearly, you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't, I guess?  Surely the best decision is the one that works for that specific family in that specific situation?


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Hastening to Hastings

We had a splendid time by the sea in Sussex, oh, ever so long ago now. In between torrential squalls of rain, I took a few snaps of it's loveliness. Early July is already such a distant memory ...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The door in the wall

Lovely little door at Brick Lane. Where does it lead? Is it a door for Borrowers?

NB: the Boy's Aliens sneaker included for scale

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Graffiti, Manchester

Was the cat part of the graffiti originally, or was he added later by someone else?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Monday, 9 April 2012

Homes and antiques

Recently, the Medievalist came a-visiting from Glasgow so we went touristy. 

The Geffrye Museum was a serious highlight. I am a fan of the history of domestic objects, architecture and the home, as you know. The museum was free entry so we hired audio guides, like the history geeks we are. The estimated visit time was one hour, we managed to stay for three - with a break for lunch in the beautiful cafe, all glass and organically entwined metal stems. Oh, and a rather expensive trip to the bookshop, where we both were tempted by this, possibly because we both want to be Lucy Worsley or maybe just have her job and her wardrobe

My favourites:

The Aesthetic, for its reaction to Victorian stuffiness and standardised ways of being. Check out the blue-and-white china and the oriental influences.

The Arts and Crafts, for the Morris-inspired natural forms and delicious restful colours. Love that stained glass in the entryway.

And, of course, the Mid-Century, for the multi-purpose family-oriented rooms, the sleek wooden forms and the cleanliness of the design aesthetic,

We also took in our favourite bits of the British Museum, the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval galleries, so for the Medievalist's benefit, here are some splendid thirteenth century tiles:

Oh, and we visited the cultural monolith that is Westfield Stratford City, for the Olympic site viewing platform on the third floor of John Lewis ...

Such fun being a tourist in your own city, once in a while.

Come back soon, Medievalist, there are lots more on my touristic to-do list!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Something else is alive

Came across this (unknown, to me) Ted Hughes poem on the ever-gorgeous dovegreyreader today ...

The Thought Fox

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

Ted Hughes

I really respond to Ted Hughes’s poetry. I was taken out of the office for one brief still, powerful moment of abstraction in a busy day. Thanks, dovegreyreader. I needed that.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

New Folksy shop, hurrah

New Folksy shop now up and running ... Check it out!

Lots of lovely vintage remade cake stands handcrafted by the Boy. Perfect for weddings, baby showers and birthday gifts.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Can you finish it?

I have set myself a literary project: to tackle Trollope's Parliamentary Palliser series.

I am talking about Anthony, of course, and not Joanna.

Having started and failed to complete any of the Barsetshire Chronicles time and again, why am I subjecting myself to this? I'm not really sure, except that I have a sneaking suspicion that I am missing out. I didn't get on at all well with the misdemeanours of churchmen - but I read The Way We Live Now for the Masters, and enjoyed the satire on high finance and the inevitable parallels that can be drawn with our very own thoroughly modern banking crisis.

I can't help wondering what Trollope would have made of the tabloid hacking scandal.

So I have turned to the Parliamentary novels, about a weakly bound coalition between the Tories and the liberal Whigs. Sound familiar? I have started at the beginning with Can You Forgive Her? (albeit with misgivings, having read the joke titles Can You Stand Her? and Can You Finish It?).

No politics as yet, but an interesting quandary for the heroine as she holds out against marriage as the only destiny for her sex, asking 'What is a woman's life for?'. Seeing friends juggling marriage, motherhood and full time work, I do sometimes worry we haven't come that far. Free childcare for all working parents! I'd vote for that.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Sheffield, steel city

Or, city of Victorian architectural loveliness, ghosts of a fleeting industrial wealth.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Project Seaside Stripes

Lovely project for today, new covers and matching cushions for a pair of vintage deckchairs rescued by the Boy from our local junk shop.

Gorgeous stripy deckchair fabric from these lovely people, who included stripy sweeties in the package. And my goodness me, choosing colourways was difficult ... 

One false start where I thought I could staple the fabric to the frame using the Boy's seriously scary upholstery staple gun, but the trusty sewing machine was what I really needed.

Now we just need some more of this fantastic sunshine, and it'll be just like the seaside.

The promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, ca. 1898

Blackpool Promenade, 1898 
Image uploaded to Flickr by trialsanderrors


Blog Widget by LinkWithin