Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Month of June

Henry Moore again but with a different friend. Sheltering from the rain again though.
My birthday!!!
The Crucible at Regent's Park Theatre - a great sunny sunny day. Hurrah for my fantastic wide brimmed black summer hat from H&M.
Nails painted - A list again but that was to match the red polka dot of my....
Boozy, very sunny, friend filled let's finish off the Wedding pimms Birthday Picnic in Holland Park.

Baked my first batch of macaroons - Nigella's chocolate - oh my they were delicious and shall be baked again. Re baked Hummingbird Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes.
Mad Men Series Two - Warmth now loves it too. Hurrah!
A christening and time to catch up with dear friends.
My first Cricket Match - Lords 20:20 and unlike football I would go again.

Grace Kelly and The Quilt Exhibition at V&A
SATC two a chance to watch it with two dear friends who I rewatched all the series with over SATC weekends. Miranda's character just gets better and better and better....
Visiting my father in hospital - a badly broken ankle from sliding down a ladder.
A new job, our offer accepted for a house.
Toenails Tangerine and fingernails Lilacism
A delicious supper in Smiths of Smithfields
To Worthing to visit Granny Warmth. Paddling in the sea, eating 99 icecreams (oh they look so much better than they taste) playing on the 2p slot machines.

and yet each day she did

I've just finished reading Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman. It fits in quite well with all the Mad Men we've been watching as it's set in America at tail end of the '50's very early '60's, however it's small town.
Nora is trying to settle in there with no husband and a young family. I loved this thought she had one day.
'Whenever he stumbled into Nora's arms she would think it wasn't possible for her to love him any more than she did, and yet each day she did; she loved him so much that she discovered that her hands and feet had grown a little larger to make room inside her for all that she felt...' Alice Hoffman Seventh Heaven


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Love, Respect and Fancy

We went to Worthing Pier and played on the 2p slot machines.
Warmth had a turn on the fruit machines I thought of this quote.
'What did we want from a man, what were we looking for? What I wanted was someone I could love, respect and fancy. I thought that was what one should be aiming for,...And when I started with men it always seemed as difficult as getting three strawberries in a row on a fruit machine.' Julian Barnes Talking it Over

Monday, 28 June 2010

My Favourite Quilts

Thank you for all your lovely comments about the V&A Quilting Exhibition. Through making notes at the exhibition and the glory of Google images here are some of my favourite ones.
Applecross by Pauline Burbidge

Punctuation by Sara Impey b. 1953.
Go to the exhibition and discover the meaning behind the words and sentences she used.

I think I like this as it reminds me of printmaking. Bright colours. I like the haphazard look, the 'it's perhaps not as painstaking as the hand sewed ones.'
Jo Budd b. 1956


Other favourite ones which I couldn't find images to were. The 'strippy quilts' from the late 19th Century. Another modern one from Caren Garfen 'How many times do I have to repeat myself? I liked bringing in 21st Century quilting with Cell Works from Wandsworth Prison. A great exhibition. Go on a Friday night, it will be quiet and then you can sit down in the great entrance and sip a glass of wine.

Which were your favourite quilts?

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Inheritance of Loss

I don't quite know what to write about The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, apart from the title is perfect. If ever a novel had the right title then this is the novel. Right on page two we have this sentence.
'Could fulfilment ever be felt as deeply as loss?'
We journey with four main characters
'these were four shadow puppets from a fairytale flickering on the lumpy plaster of the wall - a lizard man, a hunch marked cook, a lush-lashed maiden, and a long-tailed wolf dog....'

There are moments of light heartedness, tender touches.
'Ah, the dumpling stage of love-it had set them off on a tumble of endearments and nicknames. They thought of them in quiet moments and placed them before each other like gifts.'
But yet oh the hatred between couples.
'... the dread they had for each other was so severe it was as if they had tapped into a limitless bitterness carrying them beyond the parameters of what any individual is normally capable of feeling. They belonged to this emotion more than to themselves, experienced rage with enough muscle in it for entire nations...'
Reading plays a large part in their lives, especially English authors, and another moment of humour.
'I always said,' she turned to the others in a frivolous fashion, ' that I would save Trollope for my dotage; I knew it would be a perfect slow indulgence when I had nothing much to do and, well, here I am. Old fashioned books is what I like.'
Like all of us they're trying to make sense of, understand who they are, in the country they live in, at this moment in time.
'How many lived in the fake version of their countries, in fake versions of other people's countries? Did their lives feel as unreal to them as his did to him?'
I don't think this review tells the story. Partly as I don't know how to without giving things away. So instead I've tried to show some of the emotions of the novel. My over riding memory is of The Inheritance of Loss. It moved me, it made me feel desperately sad yet there were also glimmers of hope in it and that's what I shall hold onto.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Midsummer's Day

For some reason I thought the longest day of the year was the 24th June - do not ask me why so I'd scheduled this post for today. Then on the 21st June I realised.... Oh dear it's too late to change it all around - so here it is a few days late - but it still stays light late.

In winter I get up by night
And dress by yellow candle-light
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping in the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Robert Louis Stevenson

My mother loves poetry and so as children we would be read it. Due to an early wake up, and my love of sleep, I go to bed early. This poem often comes to mind as I draw the blinds. Epecially since living in a city where one 'hears the grown-up people's feet/Still going past me in the street.'
Happy 'Belated' Midsummer's Night

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

History of the world in 100 objects

The British Museum and Radio Four are in the middle of a series called 'The History of the World in a 100 Objects'. I was baking my birthday picnic cakes, using my Grandmother's electric hand mixer, whilst listening to this programme and it made me think. Firstly about the family history behind that object. Was it the first one my Grandmother had? What difference did it make to her baking life? All the thoughts and cakes, hopes and dreams that happened with it. This would be especially true with Granny as she shows her love through baking. And when she became too old to bake, I was just beginning and so inherited it. I still use it. I treasure it even more that she's frail, her memory is disappearing she's still Granny but oh so different.
So it holds great family history. However it holds social history too. It's brown and a 'Curry's' home brand. And yet it also holds world history. On the side it says 'Made in Yugoslavia'.

So, although I may lust over a kitchen aid

I shall remain faithful to Granny's.

What object holds history for you?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

In honour of Wimbledon


There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurryng the feast...
Edwin Morgan
Reading this poem just made me want to sit outside in the sun and eat some.

Monday, 21 June 2010


...'nice' is such an anodyne word... hardly an adjective at all, and certainly not one worthy of using... it doesn't convey much. To call my father 'nice' to emphasise his niceness above all else, was to make him sound bland and insipid and he was neither.' Margaret Forster The Memory Box

Another classic example for me when something you've always thought is put onto paper and you no longer feel alone in the world in your thoughts. I've always disliked being described as 'nice' for exactly the above it's anodyne. Surely say I'm intelligent, kind, happy... nice is just lazy and do you really know me?

So here are some beautiful pictures to start the week with.

@ @ @

Friday, 18 June 2010

The V&A Museum

So I'm having a bit of a V&A week. On Saturday Twin and I went to see the Grace Kelly exhibition. We did enjoy it. As a great High Society fan I loved seeing some of the clothes from the film.
This dress is in the exhibition .
My favourite line from High Society is when Tracey Lord's sister is sitting chatting to Dexter (Bing Crosby) her ex-husband and she asks if he'll marry again. He replies along the line of he's waiting for her to grow up. And her response is.
'oh for you Dexter I'll hurry.'
And Grace Kelly? Well to quote from when she and Dexter talk about their honeymoon boat True Love - 'oh my she was yar.'

And then this evening having posted about this back in March, and then April, I'm finally going to the Quilting Exhibition and so here's my final quilting quote. I'm looking forward to seeing all the quilts but I think it's the modern ones which interest me most.
'It's not just the words I make that are sewn onto the blanket that are important. It's the thoughts and the words that are spoken as the blanket is sewn.' Tracey Emin Vogue March 2010


And then after the exhibition we shall speak thoughts and words over a glass of wine.

A perfect Friday night. What are your plans?

Thursday, 17 June 2010


Seeing this image on NOBODY AT THE WHEEL reminded me of this quote.

'He noticed that there was a moment, before the pain of a scraped knee or knocked elbow assailed them, just before they burst into tears, when their faces assumed a look of utter confusion and bemusement, as if asking: 'Why is life doing this to me?' Time Pears In the place of fallen leaves

Looking back at my quotation book I read this novel the first summer I'd been teaching and it so rang true. I'd spent the summer seeing that face everytime they tumbled on the hard ground with their bare knees...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I'm posting today about something that will happen tomorrow. Maybe by reading this today if you see this out and about tomorrow you'll know a little more about it. The Refugee Council are organising this as a fund raising event.

Why your RefuTEA matters
Everyday we meet asylum seekers and refugees who have fled the most unimaginable situations, including war, torture and persecution. They are simply looking for a place of safety, as any of us would. They want to rebuild their lives - to work and contribute to society.
In the UK, the vast majority of asylum seekers are not allowed to work and are forced to rely on government support, typically around £5 a day. As a result, many live in poverty and have poor health.
Flaws in the decision-making process mean too many people who genuinely need protection here are turned down. They then live in limbo – unable to return home safely, forbidden from working and reliant on very limited financial support, or left destitute and homeless. Recent estimates suggest there are around 300,000 destitute, refused asylum seekers living in Britain.
The Refugee Council helps these asylum seekers and refugees in the UK and is campaigning for a fairer, more humane asylum system. Your RefuTEA will help us raise the vital funds we need to continue our life-saving and life-changing work. We can’t think of a better reason to put the kettle on.
Thank you!

And why did they choose tea? because 'Tea is supportive, warm and welcoming - that’s just how we want refugees to feel in the UK.'

Right off to bake my cake.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Crucible

Having been to see The Crucible at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre for my birthday I've been mulling over what to write about it....
There was no stand out line for me but lots of thoughts. Thoughts about how John and Elizabeth Proctor's relationship is portrayed and developed throughout. Amidst all the chaos I found that touching, reaffirming about love.

It's the final scene where John Proctor is being asked to sign his name to his confession that really stayed with me and had me pondering.

'Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!... How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!' Arthur Miller

I've willingly, happily chosen to change my name since getting married. Yet it is strange. My passport isn't changed (yet) and it felt strange booking in on holiday under two different names. Yet.... my birthday cards arrived with Mrs T. on them. Who is this woman? At work I tend to just use my christian name when introducing myself. I don't want the fuss. It also feels strange introducing myself as Mrs T. But the place it seems strangest is the place I least expected it. I've always written my name and the date I read the book in the inside cover (there's a whole other post about why). To write my maiden name seems wrong - but somehow to write my new surname isn't me either. So for this year I've just written my christian name. I think it seems strangest here because it's such a personal relationship with books - they're inside your mind your soul and that hasn't changed one bit.

image unknown
Another unfinished thought but...
What are your thoughts? Your experiences?

Monday, 14 June 2010


All the rain we had last week made me search out a rain quote....

'These moments of silent meditation took away all his cares, made up for all his pain. Once again, love entered his heart like rain falling on dry ground, first drop by drop, fighting to carve a path through the pebbles, then in a long cascade straight to his heart.' Irene Nemirovsky Suite Francaise

Here's hoping for a sunnier, drier week...

Friday, 11 June 2010

Intelligent Personable Men

"Do you think there are three intelligent personable men sitting around a table wondering where we are?'...
"Not likely" says Nikki, "they'll be talking about football." Tibor Fischer The Collector Collector

I read this book years ago. I can't remember much about it. I liked it. It's a bit weird. It's about a pot that's lived through history. It's a good read. It spoke to me at the time - about life, friendships and hoping for love.

I saved this quote never imagining that I'd fall in love and marry a man who'll be watching The World Cup. But yet. I remember our first date. Warmth walking me back to the tube station. We started talking about books. He was reading Orhan Pahmuk. I remember thinking I'd like to go on a second date with this man to talk books and reading. We started our second date talking about books and we continue talking about books.


This is my idea of playing with a round shaped object.....

Thursday, 10 June 2010

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

e.e. Cummings


Oh I so love this poem. It so very nearly made it into our service but we just felt it would be a little unfair to ask someone to read it outloud - that rhythm. I love the line that repeats throughout it.

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A House of Stone

In the village where I was born, we wish
A house of stone to shelter the heart of a marriage
So here too, I wish you
Obstinate, strong love, unyielding and unending.
May you be in reach of each other when all seems lost,
May your tears and your smiles happen always face to face.
When you imagine that you have shared everything
May you know that you still have the rest of your lives
To do it all again and again.
But now listen to the hurry of bells and
Look how the petals of roses about the vineyard
Bring you words of husband and wife:
First words in your house of stone.
Carmen Bugan


I love the inclusion of wishing the couple a home and including the wedding ceremony in the poem. My favourite line is 'obstinate, strong love, unyielding and unending'.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A Man and A Woman

A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
At this moment to be older, or younger or born
In any other nation, or any other time, or any other place.
They are content to be where they are, talking or not talking.
Their breaths together feed someone who we do not know.
The man sees the way his fingers move;
He sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.
They obey a third body that they share in common.
They have promised to love that body.
Age may come; parting may come; death will come!
A man and a woman sit near each other;
As they breathe they feed someone we do not know,
Someone we know of, whom we have never seen.

Robert Bly

@, @

Monday, 7 June 2010

How do I love thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and and breadth and height
My soul can reach....
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.

Elizabeth Barret Browning Sonnets from the Portuguese

ethereal flowergirls

So, I thought this week we'd have a Wedding Week of quotes and poems which we didn't use but I love. My favourite line is 'most quiet need'.

Friday, 4 June 2010

It couldn't have happened a day before it did.

Writing yesterday about being the perfect age and sometimes wishing that I'd met Warmth sooner made me reflect back on this quotation.

'You are the other half of my soul. I can't bear that I wasted all those years before I met you.'
'I wasn't ready for you. It couldn't have happened a day before it did. My life was leading to that point.'
Sebastian Faulks On Green Dolphin Street


Thursday, 3 June 2010

Perfect Age

Twin and I celebrate our birthday today. And so a quote about age seemed appropriate.

'It's as if everyone has a perfect age to which they aspire, and they're only truly at ease with themselves when they get there.' Julian Barnes Metroland

I think I'm in my 'perfect age'. I think it started when I entered my thirties. There are fleeting moments when I wish I'd met Warmth earlier. Then I think of all the journeys, friends, experiences I'd have missed out on. All of which have formed the woman I am today.

A toast to always making the best of our age.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Library

'... the library was a place of silent discord and anarchy, it's superficial tranquility concealing a bable of assertion and dispute. Fiction is one student lie - or rather, many competing lies; history is a long narrative of argument and reassessment; travel shouts of self-promotion; biography is pushing a product. As for autobiography... And all this is just fine. That is the function of books: they offer a point of view, they offer many conflicting points of view, they provoke thought, they provoke irritation and admiration and speculation. They take you out of yourself and put you down somewhere else from whence you never entirely return.' Penelope Lively Consequences


Since reading a biography of Marie Antoinette I've been thinking about fiction, non-fiction, biography. I most definately prefer fiction but I'm coming round to biography. It may take a while to reach non-fiction. How about you?
The second part of this quote also strikes a chord. How true. A good book is one which puts you down somewhere and from whence you never entirely return....
Where are you returning from?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Finding the key

'The future is like a cupboard full of light and all you have to do is find the key that opens the door' Kate Atkinson Behind the scenes at the museum

It seems apt for the first day of June. To me this is the start of summer. I've always liked this quote. It's optimistic. Wherever I am in life there is still another key to another door, to a cupboard of light. I may not have found the right key to fit the right moment. But soon I will.