Sunday 26 August 2012

The blackberries from the allotment are so fat and juicy that they taste of blackberry wine.
I picked enough for several crumbles,
Or a big blackberry and almond cake.
Or should I defer gratification
And make blackberry vodka?
Decisions, decisions. The Foragers' transparency code
(Section 1, Urban blogger : Type D, easily distracted) decrees that having publicly declared said blackberries,
They shall not be left to go mouldy in the fridge.
Although this has happened in other years.

Friday 24 August 2012

It feels like autumn ...

I have blackberries and Bramley apples in the kitchen, ready for the first crumble of the season.

I'm engrossed in TV costume drama. Classier by far than Downton Abbey!

And I'm getting deeper and deeper into an 800-page Russian epic. (Loving the grand scale of it after a bit too much Virginia Woolf.)

I'm looking forward to tonight's dinner which will be delivered to my door by a Czech chef who lives less than a mile away,

Drinking teas that taste of autumn fires

And feeling thoroughly glad that the heatwave is over.

Friday 10 August 2012

They were hay-making in the meadows today.
That's not a sign you see very often tied to a London gate.
You could tell it was London because there weren't any poppies in the swathes of hay.
Only a few thistles.
But there was a flock of green parrots swooping over the field.
I walked across the meadow, feeling too hot.
Down the blackberry lane.
There weren't many ripe ones but it felt too much like the end of summer.
Then I spent the rest of the afternoon with a pot of Lapsang and Virginia Woolf.
Which felt appropriate as she lived only down the road.
(But did she like orange cake?)

Sunday 5 August 2012

Now I know you shouldn't believe all you read in the papers, but they did say that London's museums and galleries were deserted ...
Otherwise I wouldn't have chosen a Sunday afternoon to visit the newly-refurbished William Morris Gallery. It was heaving with people and I hadn't realised that it only reopened a couple of days ago.

I wanted to like it more than I did. (Let's face it, you have to be keen to trek all the way to Walthamstow.) Never having been before, I don't know what it was like before the revamp.

It must have been a lovely house in Morris's day. But it is completely devoid of atmosphere and I didn't feel any sense of the man. (Anyway, he only lived there in his youth. It is really William Morris's mother's house.)

It feels more like a William Morris Visitor Centre; you can feel that unsympathetic hand of local authority ownership. (I mean, red bean-bags for seating ... are they useful?Are they beautiful?)

So glad I saw the collection when it was displayed in stunning surroundings last year.

But in future I'd prefer to visit here.

Friday 3 August 2012

This week I've been catching up ...

And, whew.... tonight I made it to the end of an eight hour marathon of gripping BBC Shakespeare. It has taken me a while, in fact I could well be the last one to get to the finishing line, but some nights it's not what you feel up to when you get home from work.

I've also been catching up with a very quirky book that kept me engrossed yesterday evening as a change from the highbrow stuff.

And I took a break in the middle of Henry V to make Sue's wonderful elderflower drizzle cake, which turned out perfectly - and has restored my confidence after a couple of gluey, banana cake disasters. Thanks, Sue.

I didn't blog about it at the time because it was a busy week, but I also caught up - at a theatre I'd never even heard of before - with a very good stage adaptation of a gut-wrenchingly, powerful book. The Lost Theatre is aptly-named and there were only 12 people in the audience which was a shame.

I haven't caught up with Mrs Dalloway because I've been too hot/too tired/too busy, so maybe I should set her aside. Back-to-back Virginia Woolf is proving too much for bedtime reading.