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?



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