Saturday, 23 May 2020



COVID checklist: Clean oven - X
                              Read Proust - X
                              Lose half a stone - √
                              Then gain a stone - √
                              Learn to make sourdough - perhaps better not.
                             
Like a Victorian lady, my excursions are limited by how long I can hold out without a loo! So as nothing is happening that's worth writing about, here's one for all ladies of a certain age who refuse to be written off yet!

Tuesday, 5 May 2020



Several brews of tea, a toasted teacake dripping with butter and a cheerful lockdown afternoon spent online with Mrs 'Arris. Whoops, I was meant to be WFH! I loved this - I loved the book - but do be quick if you want to watch, it's not up for long.

Saturday, 2 May 2020



The brilliance of series 2 of My Brilliant Friend has made the last few evenings of lockdown more bearable and I'll be bereft when I'm finished; if only I'd rationed myself instead of sitting up into the early hours! I'm tempted to go back to the beginning and start again - but I still haven't read the fourth novel.

Monday, 27 April 2020



A lucky find this afternoon - just as I sat down with a pot of coffee and some of yesterday's Ciam'bellone All'Acqua which isn't so bad, what you might call a Good Plain Cake. It's a talk about textiles, from Tracy Chevalier, whose most recent novel was inspired by these kneelers at Winchester Cathedral; Nicola Beauman, whose grandfather's rug is now a Persephone end-paper; and Clare Hunter, fascinating on this lovely embroidery from the Miao clan in China. You can find the talk here.

Saturday, 25 April 2020



Actually, at the moment I've got lots of eggs and no oranges. (No strong flour/yeast/buttermilk either! But lots of beans ... and why did I buy tinned salmon, I don't even like it!)
I came across this recipe and thought I might try it. Serves 8-10 and there's only me. Still, serves 8-10   only ever serves six if you cut a normal person's slice, and I haven't made a cake since Easter - which counts as a diet! (Now trying to remember whether Easter was last week or the week before, but it's all much the same, isn't it?)
I've never managed to finish Few Eggs and No Oranges. It was the first Persephone book that I ever bought. But maybe now the time is right for another attempt.
I have been reading the Countess of Ranfurly's wartime memoir. (Mildly irritated at her entitlement thinking it's okay to follow her husband into a war zone!)
But my best COVID-sanity tip this week is Anne with a E. Perfect binge-watching as there are many, many episodes and two series in, I've still only got as far as the arrival of Anne's lovely teacher Miss Stacy. In trousers! On a motorbike! I'm sure LM Montgomery would need to be brought round with smelling salts. And was I simply too innocent to guess that Diana's prim Aunt Barry was living the life of Gertrude Stein? Not for purists - but fun.

Italian water cake will not be featuring on the menu again. It's not awful, just a bit - vegan. Not too bad with copious strawberries and cream on top but it'll never beat a good lemon drizzle. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020



What I'm missing ...

Friday, 10 April 2020



Last time I read an Angela Thirkell, my verdict was 'okay once in a while if you want something soporific.'
And I'm standing by that - the best thing about this one was the title.