Thursday, 10 December 2015


Clockwise from top left: a porridge making kit - pan, syrup, bowl, stirrer, and oats; a copper coffee scoop, a Christmas mug, and festive coffee; a handmade indigo plate and a delivery of eccles cakes; an enamel tray, sourdough chocolate from a local favourite, and a new book that's had nothing but good reviews.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


Clockwise from top left: rye crumb, milk, and sea salt chocolate , a sheepskin rug for her side of the bed,  a gold ear cuff just because, a sweet, or not so sweet, custom engraved heart necklace, a 1950s edition of a favourite book, pink wool socks and a cashmere hat, a new favourite mug and a book to read over a cup of tea because we really should all be feminists,  a marble candleholder and beeswax candles to cheer up these dark, dark nights.

Friday, 4 December 2015


Clockwise from top left: sandalwood soap, Steely Dan, Mikkeller bourbon with the best label and a tumbler to serve it in, a packable tote for weekends away, a clock to tell the time in all his favourite cities, a classic grey sweatshirt, an angular bookend and Edwin Morgan, and finally, because, well, why not - BOOBS!

Thursday, 3 December 2015


It's been almost three months. In that time we've moved, finally, into a new flat. We've unpacked and got settled. We've found places for our things and have enjoyed being close to shops where we can pop out at the weekend to buy good bread and cheese. We've had our first person to stay and have had friends for dinner. We've decided to stay put for Christmas.

I've got just over two weeks left at work before a much awaited two and a bit week break and I can't wait. But these weeks are pretty full and I try to keep my focus at work, listening to music as I plough through spreadsheets, stopping my mind drifting to Christmas presents and baking and time spent at home.

So, for now, I'll leave you with this which has been stuck in my head for the last two days and I'll be back tomorrow...

Friday, 11 September 2015


This time last year we were arriving in Seattle, 6 days into a 3 week break. This year I'm at work and glad that Friday is here. August flew by in a blur of festival times and miserable weather but it was fun and now it's September and we've been enjoying a few days of Indian Summer while feeling the first hints of Autumn, the first days when the evenings are feeling just that bit darker.

Until then though, while it's still more Summer than Autumn a few highlights from the last little while...

Edwyn Collins and Grace Maxwell at the Book Festival- talking, signing and a signing, Such a treat.
My new favourite stripes
Ballet Zurich
A perfect Summer beer 
And, finally I would watch Recomposed being played again and again if I could (and would probably cry every time).

Monday, 27 July 2015


Rachel's book came out just before we moved, one of three cookery books that wasn't packed into the many, many cardboard boxes - Rachel, Diana, Claire. I didn't get to do more than skim it in those weeks and in the few since we've been back from Greece, as I found my feet in this in between kitchen, looking for a rhythm, working out which pans, which knives, which bowls to use.

But in the skimming I knew that this book, or, as Molly quite rightly had it 'THIS BOOK!', would quickly become a favourite - the recipes, the photography, the design, but most of all Rachel's voice. I can't put it better than something that has already been said... 'She is proper'. 

On Saturday morning, a quiet start after a long week, I curled up and spent some time reading, mentally bookmarking as I went and planning something to make the following evening. But later that day when we couldn't decide what to have for dinner I remembered reading about pasta coated in anchovy butter, I remembered the ingredients: pasta, anchovies, butter. It took as long to make as it takes pasta to cook. It was delicious.

And yesterday I sat, making a shopping list, watching the weather, seriously considering soup for dinner. We ate bread and cheese for lunch before walking through the Botanics to Stockbridge and back, the rain just starting as we got in, in time for the last few kilometres of the Tour de France. I caught up on multiple missed Spilled Milk episodes and as I listened I mixed meatballs, made tomato sauce, kneaded dough for fennel seed biscuits. The sort of kitchen time that makes me very happy, time to potter and time to quietly get things done. We ate meatballs with rice in the kitchen, going back for more, talking about what we would do with the leftovers. We ate biscuits while we watched Parks and Recreation, dealing with our disappointment at getting to the end of season 7 by going right back to the beginning.The meatballs the perfect sort of comfort for a grey July day, the biscuits punchy with fennel, reminding me of ones we bought back from Sifnos but with the something extra that must come from the olive oil and wine in the dough.

We're having leftover meatballs on toast tonight.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


The doing it is the thing. The talking and thinking and worrying is not the thing.
I haven't read Amy Poehler's autobiography yet but I read this yesterday and It has been rattling around in my head since. 'The doing it is the thing.' I might make that my screensaver.

Friday, 17 July 2015


It's the second Friday since we got back from Greece. We're living in our in between place while we carry on looking for a flat and carry on failing to find a flat. But there have been breakfasts eaten out of a bowl made on Sifnos, a barbecue which was only a little bit affected by the rain, and a doughnut ice-cream sandwich. There has been the Tour de France to watch in the evenings (although I sometimes abandon the cycling in favour of episodes of Nashville), pistachio custard doughnuts on my birthday last Saturday, and the last of the fennel seed biscuits that we bought back from Greece. What there hasn't been is much sign that it's July but after two and a half weeks of sun and swimming every day that's slightly easier to take.

We're heading to Sussex this weekend but until then...

I could, and plan to, say so much about Jess and Rachel's books
Tiny earrings 
I ate bostock here and was pleased to see this today
Which reminded me that I really need to pick up Tara's book 
Sesame banana bread
This post from Kate 
And this one from Molly 

And, finally, I've listened to this about five times today...

Friday, 29 May 2015


This week there has been rain and hail and sun and wind and I've been too warm and too cold and then too warm again.

But in three weeks time we'll be in Greece for swimming and sunshine and eating and drinking. Unfortunately those three weeks will also either see us packing up and moving to an as yet unseen flat or packing up and moving down the road to stay with family until the currently lamentable rental market sorts itself out.

Amongst this there are a few things (apart from thoughts of Greece) that have made me smile this week...

Dan McCarthy's ceramics
The best strawberry buttercream which made its way onto a cake for a colleague's birthday
This roller which I started using at the gym and which hurts my calves in a really good way
Holiday nails
And finally, from this video, this screenshot of a young Fergus and Margot...

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


After a good Saturday, a busy Saturday, a Saturday full of walking, to breakfast, to town, to the Botanics, to Mary's, to Blackfriars, Sunday called for quiet. Coffee drinking, food shopping, Nashville watching, Marie Kondoing my drawers, and an urge to bake.

I thought I was going to bake a cardamom cake or some kind of plain cake, I considered Bara Brith or madeleines but eventually I settled on a biscuit that I hadn't heard of before, Cornish Fairings. Imagine a ginger snap but chewy from golden syrup, flavoured with mixed spice as well as ginger, we had one each as soon as they cooled, the remaining four came with us for lunch at the start of the week. I might make Bara Brith this weekend.

Friday, 15 May 2015


 (Photo by Kimisa H. from Design*Sponge)

This week has been slightly up and down. But then there was the best bunny (which I'm not entirely convinced is real) and today there are new socks and the sun is trying even if it is still too cold for May. Tomorrow there will be coffee and pastries and I've got an urge to roast a chicken. But until then...

This rhubarb cake is speaking to me
Brandon's new pizza place makes me want to go back to Seattle (even more than usual) 
Making the most of asparagus: panzanella or pizza
I might spend the afternoon listening to this while I work 
Charlotte's photograph inspiring a thousand words
And, speaking of which, if you're in London this weekend can I suggest this

Happy Friday...

Thursday, 14 May 2015


It's been seven days since that last post, seven days since I voted, seven days since I thought the election was going to be close, seven days since the exit poll that said, no, actually not close at all, It's been six days since I woke up at 5.30am and quickly checked the news on my phone, six days since I tried to go back to sleep to make it go away.

I grew up in Conservative country, where the only campaign signs around election time are blue, where Thatcher's time as Prime Minister was seen as a very good thing. But I moved away and quickly realised that I didn't want to be governed by those who care only about people just like them, that I didn't buy into the now pervasive rhetoric about 'hard working people' that suggests that if things are bad it's just because you aren't working hard enough; that says austerity is necessary; that the crash, that was caused by the irresponsibility of a small group of people in control of our money, should be paid for by those who have the least rather than through proper taxation of those who can most afford it. It makes me sad that anyone thinks the last five years have been working when we have a cardboard box in our office for donations to the local food bank, when people on housing benefit can't have a spare room because 'they can just move to a smaller house' even though no smaller houses are available because 'right to buy' sacrificed social housing in favour of individual gain, a pattern to be repeated very soon, a pattern that will see people being penalised because of a government that thinks the priority is abolishing the Human Rights Act, bringing back fox hunting, saying no to any increase in tax.

It makes me sad and it makes me hope that something will change in the next five years and there will be a better result the next time this rolls around. But until then we'll do what we can do and if you would like to do the same can I suggest starting here:

Thursday, 7 May 2015


I voted this morning. In this increasingly close election where three leader debates became seven leader debates where people said a lot but none of them changed my mind. I'll be staying up for as long as I can tonight and keeping my fingers crossed and in the meantime...

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


I sat at the kitchen table for a short while this morning, writing down a few thoughts before making breakfast. There's something about those early hours, the quiet, the sense of a world largely still asleep, I want to see more of them. I sat and I wrote and I realised that my hand cramps up far too quickly in these days of working entirely on a computer, never needing to write by hand. I need to get back in practice, I used to write pages by hand, notes in lectures, essays in exams, writing down my thoughts before falling asleep, now I can barely get through three tiny Moleksine pages.

The remains of a cake made on Saturday was wrapped up on the table, the smell of the orange syrup coming through the foil, the last pieces ready for us to have after dinner tonight. On Saturday there was Margot Henderson's roast chicken with lemon roast potatoes, wilted watercress and too much wine, tonight there will be Molly's roasted cauliflower with fried eggs. The orange and Campari cake to finish came with ice-cream and dessert wine on Saturday, tonight it will be plain, a cup of tea alongside. All so good, all linked to things that were on my mind in the last week. Margot Henderson shining in this video; Molly winning a James Beard Award, celebrating almost 11 years of Orangette, such an inspiration to so many, such well deserved recognition; that cake coming from a cookbook given to us as a wedding present by friends whose wedding we will be at this weekend.

Friday, 3 April 2015


Easter weekend is the only time I wish my public holidays were automatic days off rather than bundled up with my annual leave. It's nice to have lots of days to play with but sometimes it feels hard to be going to work when everyone else is staying at home...

But, the weekend beckons and it looks like the weather isn't going to be too terrible so here are a few links to get it started:

These dreich Spring days are making me want this coat

Some reading for the weekend

I wish The Paris Review for Young Readers was real

Twelve Triangles just opened and I want to check it out very soon 

Bakery 47 and Mary's Milk Bar are collaborating for Easter

I've been listening to Electrelane again recently...

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


A year or so ago I had a conversation with a friend about writing, about magazines, about where we get our information, what's available, what's missing. I talked about Rookie and how good it is, and how right, and how awesome Tavi Gevinson is, and, how I thought there was room for a version for us, for women who wish Rookie had been around when they were teenagers. Of course, I thought 'that's an amazing idea, we should start that and it will be incredible' and in reality I did what I always do and popped it into the folder of unrealised ideas in my head and went to sit in an office to look at spreadsheets. Clearly I am not Tavi. But, thankfully, a group of women must have had a similar idea because yesterday they launched The Pool with music from John Hughes films and a Friday Night Lights recommendation. I like it already.

Speaking of which I was at home stuffed full of cold for the last two days and decided to finally start watching Nashville almost entirely because of my love for Tami Taylor. I'm now 10 episodes into season one and firmly hooked.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Friday, 23 January 2015


'I have to say—I got a feeling I am going to win in the long run, but I want to be part of the zeitgeist, too. I want to support young girls who are in their 20s now and tell them: You’re not just imagining things. It’s tough.'

So good, I can't wait to read more.