Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Month of March

Started with Twin and The Blessings coming to visit. Giant meatballs were eaten, new magimix and  pie tin and cookery book used for Hummingbird Chocolate Pudding Pie, a visit to a newly discovered local park, hot cross buns for tea, delivery of more baby bits, much laughter and love.
Mama and Papa Warmth to lunch the next day and a repeat menu.
Off to supper with some dear friends and meet their two new adorable cats, Oskar and Bluebell. I attempted pistachio macarons, and apart from a sizing issue, they weren't too bad. Worth perfecting.
Then other great friends to lunch the next day. Lovely to catch up with them. Since we've moved to the other side of London it's harder to meet up with them, especially as we did used to live almost just round the corner.
The weather then regressed, well it hadn't ever reached spring. But minus eight and snow flurries are not what I wanted. At least there were blue skies and sunshine, even if it was cold. This sentence can be repeated at various intervals throughout the month of March, and looking at April through April too.
A quiet Saturday, just Warmth and me. So a cold brisk walk across the South Bank to see Lichtenstein at Tate Modern. We bought a print for TT's bedroom.
Sunday a high tea celebrating Mama Warmth's birthday with everyone.
A shall we/shan't we be going to Cardiff weekend. The postponed from the snow in January 40th had been rearranged. Yet at 9am it was snowing and settling with us. We thought we'd wait and see and thankfully it stopped so we started off much later. A lovely evening catching up with friends and we ended up leaving with a car seat. Then the drive home the next day. A lot of driving for a short time, but worth it.
A delightful. just because, gift from Warmth of a Kindle. I hope this will be the way for me to continue reading with a baby. I'm making the assumption that I will be up a lot in the night and hopefully this way I can read as well. I like the idea of re reading favourite books and reading good passages out to TT.
Managing through to the end of term. For a short term it most definitely was exhausting.
A lovely Easter weekend together. Preparing the room for TT, shopping, Mother and Pops coming
up to visit.
Today, Easter Sunday, we're off to Mortlake for Warmth Family Easter. Eating chocolate, cheering on the Boat Race and having a lovely family day.
Books read this month. a golden age by Tahmima Anam, Night Waking by Sarah Moss, one of my AOW bookswap books.
Baking - continuing with the loaf cakes. Banana, lemon or fruit. The above pistachio macarons and Nigella's Lemon Meringue Cake for Easter Saturday.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter x

Friday, 29 March 2013

a triumphantly plump chocolate hen

'We make the delicate liqueur chocolates, the rose-petal clusters, the gold-wrapped coins, the violet creams, the chocolate cherries and almond rolls in batches of fifty at a time, laying them out on greased tins to cool. Hollow eggs and animal figures are carefully split open and filled with these. Nests of spun caramel with hard-shelled eggs each topped with a triumphantly plump chocolate hen; piebald rabbits heavy with gilded almonds stand in rows, ready to be wrapped and boxed; marzipan creatures march across the shelves. The smells of vanilla essence and cognac and caramelized apple and bitter chocolate fill the house.' Joanne Harris Chocolat

Wishing you a happy Easter weekend. What will you be eating?

Monday, 25 March 2013

branches clotted with waxen blossom

'...she roamed zigzag across the garden, and getting out again through a gap, found herself facing the sealike uplands. Step quickening, she kept in close to the flank of the woods raggedly edging the river gorge. Some way along the elder grew leaning forward, its branches clotted with waxen blossom within themselves forming a cave. Heavy was the scent, rank the inside darkness which filtered through. The girl, having reached the spot, without hesitation parted the branches and dived between them.' Elizabeth Bowen A World of Love


Oh to dive into branches clotted with blossom.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Food was wonderful

One of the many rituals that distinguish the weekend, or holiday, to Monday to Friday is breakfast. Eating toast to be precise, in the week it's cereal.

'Audrey went on eating bread and butter and marmalade. It was exciting to eat. It had three tastes. The bitter jelly taste with the candied peel in it, the smooth taste of the butter, and the woolly taste of the bread. Food was wonderful.' Elizabeth Cambridge Hostages to Fortune
breakfast in bed

Yes, food is wonderful. If you're not working tomorrow what are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

soft spring sunshine

The herald of spring is wonderful in so many countries. Reading these spring thoughts in Australia, could be spring thoughts in many other countries.

'Thus I sat in burning discontent and ill-humour until soothed by the scent of roses and the gleam of soft spring sunshine which streamed in through my open window. Some of the flower-beds in the garden were completely carpeted with pansy blossoms, all colours, and violets - blue and white, single and double. The scent of mignonette, jonquils, and narcissi filled the air. I revelled in rich perfumes, and these tempted me forth. My ruffled feelings gave way before the delights of the old garden. I collected a number of vases, and filling them with water, set them on a table in the veranda near one of the drawing-room windows. I gathered lapfuls of the blossoms, and commenced arranging them in the vases.' Miles Franklin My Brilliant Career

How is spring in your corner of the globe?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Cold puffs of wind

'On a table in the bay window was a glass vase with a bunch of long-stalked narcissi in it. The flower-heads on their thin, giant stalks were no bigger than sixpenny pieces, and each had a frilly orange centre. One or two red dwarf tulips were stuck among the narcissi.
Cold puffs of wind from the partly opened window fidgeted all the flower-heads about...what must have been delicious to them was the fresh, sweet, springlike scent of the narcissi which went wafting round on the air upon each new puff of breeze from the windows.' Julia Strachey Cheerful weather for the wedding

What I love about this quote, and what makes it so British is the cold puffs of wind, wanting the windows open and the flowers. Reading about the flowers one would think of warm weather, oh but how we can be fooled when we open the door and realise yes we do still need to wear our coats.

Monday, 11 March 2013

riot of lilacs

I am desperate for warm spring to arrive, to be out in the garden. Even if it's not happening in real life, I can pretend it is in blog life, so the next few posts all have a spring flower theme.

'I can only remember the riot of lilacs that bloomed that spring in all the gardens, courtyards, and streets, and how they drove away the smell of winter.' Elisabeth Gille The Mirador


What drives the smell of winter away for you?

Friday, 8 March 2013

satisfied with tranquility

Today is International Women's Day over at Any Other Woman they're celebrating it by asking their readers to submit a post. I submitted a favourite quote, but then also wanted to post this.

'It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions beside political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel: they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.' Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre
With love and action on International Women's Day x

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

a massed mountain of hyacinths

Cheerful Weather for a Wedding all takes place on 5th March so it seems appropriate to quote from it today.

'Mrs. Thatcham always kept a great number of potted flowers growing in this room, daffodils, fushias, hydrangeas, cyclamen. To-day, besides these, a massed mountain of hyacinths, pink, red and washed-out mauves of all sorts, stood on a table close by the fire, the steely-blue spring light from the window glittering upon each of the narrow waxen petals.' Julia Strachey Cheerful weather for the wedding
Not sure this is quite Mrs Thatcham's style, but I like it, maybe a few more vases like these dotted around the room.