Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Month of October

Definately felt shorter than September. Feeling that I've come out of the 'new job' cloud.

Lots of cooking for family and friends in our new flat. Having friends and family round makes it seem more like home. There are more memories attached to our flat.
Cooking a delicious banana cake, finally attempted pastry and then an apple tart. Warmth made a delicious mushroom lasagne. Celebrating a dear friend's engagement with champagme and pavlova. Triple Chocolate Cookies and toffee apple cupcakes.

A delicious autumn walk around Horniman Gardens.
Exploring Dulwich Village and Lordship Lane. Walks around our new area - exploring streets.
Attempted to go to Gaugin but too long a queue.
Tapas at Brindisa
Lazy days at home....
Explored One New Change as not far from work. More excited to discover a Daunt Books on Cheapside. Bought Dr Zhivago and stocked up on a few more books.
Finally a hair cut. One day it was fine and suddenly over night whoosh it's too long It Must Be Cut Now!
Drinks with the Best Girls at The Zetter

Read The Great Gatsby, The Princess Bride as part of a read along. A Room with a View in preparation for our trip to Florence. Whilst in Florence Travels with my Aunt by Grahame Greene.

Finally joined LoveFilm . Yet to watch a film though.
Internet woes....
Shopping - Ugg boots - I love them. Uniqlo jeans and lusting after +J coat. Fed up with leopard skin being everywhere. I think that's why I've bought make up as I can't find any clothes I like.
Nails - my local nail bars are cheap but don't have a wide range of colours. I treated myself to Chanel Inattendu and Particulare. Getting better at applying it myself, though Warmth hates the smell.

Highlight our trip to Florence. Next week's posts will be on Florentine Thoughts.

Today we're celebrating Halloween with The Blessings. I'd imagined stylish halloween/autumnal decorating of the flat - Warmth had other ideas.... So here's a picture for Halloween my way.


Friday, 29 October 2010

Still I Rise

To finish celebrating Black History Month we've a poem by one of my favourite poets. Maya Angelo. Here are my favourite verses from this poem.

Still I Rise

You may have written me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.


Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou


Thursday, 28 October 2010


"Dreams are private, she said. And she is right. A dream is a story that no one else will get to hear or read.
Thanks to dreams, in the history of the galaxy the world has been reivented more often than there are stars.'
Lloyd Jones Mr Pip
Do you remember your dreams? I do, frequently. As a teenager I started to try and write them down in a journal, but dreams aren't dreamt to be written down - there are too many layers happening at the same time, or that's what happens with my dreams. Instead I would share them at breakfast, to groans from Twin and parents. Mum asked Warmth once whether he had the pleasure of hering my dreams. Today I'm going to share my dream with you.
I dreamt it was National Delia Smith Day and so for this blog I was thinking of my favourite recipe to share. I'd decided it would be her recipe for profiteroles.

(I think this dream came from looking at cookery books last night planning what to bake and cook this week.


If it really was National Delia Smith Day which recipe of hers would you share on your blog?

Friday, 22 October 2010


Woo hoo we're off for a short break - to Florence. Oh how Twin and I adored the book, the film, Freddie.... For some 'I Capture the Castle' is their teenage daydream book for us it was 'A Room with a View.' I'm reading my original copy with 1988 written in the inside in my school girl handwriting. I think this trip will be different to when Twin and I went. No pretending to be Lucy standing by the Arno. Warmth has already been warned, and was already aware, that there will be moments of "In A Room with a View this is where....."

"It was pleasant to wake up in Florence, to open the eyes upon a bright bare room, with a floor of red tiles which look clean though they are not; with a painted ceiling...It was pleasant, too, to fling wide the windows, pinching the fingers in unfamiliar fastenings , to lean out on the sunshine with beautiful hills and trees and marble churches opposite, and, close below, the Arno, gurgling against the embankment of the road." E.M. Forster A Room with a View.

A Room with a View

To revisiting cities in different stages in life.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Edwardians

I have started watching Downton Abbey and it made me think of how life would have been in a country home. As Knole is the one I know best, I thought of The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West. Then reading this passage it connected to our earlier one by Chinua Achebe and ancestors. We may cross so much more than centuries and continents but still ancestors journey with us.

'Then...there is another danger which you can scarcely hope to escape. It is the weight of the past. Not only will you esteem material objects because they are old.... you will venerate ideas and institutions because they have remained for a long time in force;... You inherit your code ready made. That waxwork figure labelled Gentleman will be forever mopping and mowing at you. Thus you would never forget your manners, but you would break a heart, and think yourself a rather fine fellow for doing it... You will never tell lies - avoidable lies - but you will always be afraid of the truth. You will never wonder why you pursue it because it is a thing to do. And the past is to blame for all this; inheritance, tradition, upbringing; your nurse, your father, your tutor, your public school, Chevron, your ancestors.' Vita Sackville-West The Edwardians

Vita Sackville-West

Monday, 18 October 2010


I felt we couldn't celebrate Black History Month without a quote from Chinua Achebe.

'The land of the living was not far removed from the domain of the ancestors. There was coming and going between them, especially at festivals and also when an old man died, because an old man was very close to the ancestors. A man's life from birth to death was a series of transition rites which brought him nearer and nearer to his ancestors.' Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe

Friday, 15 October 2010

Energy and Goodwill

It's been on my New Year's Resolution list for a few years and finally I can tick it off. I've made pastry, short crust pastry. Somehow I happily make choux pastry but short crust - eek... So it was okay - it didn't look very aesthetic in the tray, but once the filling was in, it was cooked it tasted okay.

'...something more than energy and goodwill is necessary to make a cook.' Louisa May Alcott Little Women

daydream kitchen

I definately need more than energy and goodwill with pastry. Any tips to encourage me to persevere and make again?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Madame Bovary

As you know there's a Madame Bovary group read over here. I've decided not to join in with it as I only recently read it but I wanted to mark it.

'She was the lover in every novel, the heroine in every play, the vague she in every volume of poetry.' Gustav Flaubert Madame Bovary


I will be joining Frances for the Dr. Zhivago group read. I've been wanting to read this novel for a long time.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

To be barefootedly beautiful

For an autumnal Wednesday morning....

'But they want tenderness as much as they want passion, they crave the feathered touch of softness, sweetness. They yearn... to be fond of each other, to be charitable, to be mild and merciful. To be barefootedly beautiful in each other's eyes.' Carol Shields Unless

barefootedly beautiful

This was the first novel by Carol Shields I've read. Which of her other ones do you recommend?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Love After Love

Continuing on Black History Month a Derek Walcott poem. If it seems familiar it may be because it's in The Time Travellers Wife.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stanger who was yourself.
Give wine. give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
or another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott


Thursday, 7 October 2010

And Yet The Books

Today is National Poetry Day and so there had to be a poem....

And Yet the Books

And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings,
That appeared once, still wet
As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn,
And, touched, coddled, began to live
In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up,
Tribes on the march, planets in motion.
"We are," they said, even as their pages
Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame
Licked away their letters. So much more durable
Than we are, whose frail warmth
Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
I imagine the earth when I am no more:
Nothing happens, no loss, it's still a strange pageant,
Women's dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley.
Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born,
Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.

Czeslaw Milosz

I don't fully understand this, but that's what I like about poetry.

Happy National Poetry Day.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


I love thinking about why an author has decided on the title for their book. Unless by Carol Shields had a whole paragraph on it. Although when I started thinking too hard about it my brain became all scrambled.

'Unless is the worry word of the English language. It flies like a moth around the ear, you hardly hear it, and yet everything depends on its breathy presence. Unless - that's the little subjunctive mineral you carry in your pocket crease. It's always there, or else not there....
Unless you're lucky; unless you're healthy, fertile, unless you're loved and fed.... Unless provides a trapdoor, a tunnel into the light, the reverse side of not enough.'Carol Shields Unless


What do you think? Is it the 'worry word of the English language' or do you think there's another 'worry word'?

Monday, 4 October 2010

Our Deepest Fear

As October is Black History Month I'm going to have a weekly post celebrating it. We'll start off with this passage Nelson Mandela used in his inaugural address, written by Marianne Williamson. (Thank you Ali Mal.)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.
We ask ourselves.
Who am I to be so brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Who are we not to be?
You are a child of God...
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you, we are all meant to shine as children do.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God, within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.

Nelson Mandela


Hoping your light shines today x

Friday, 1 October 2010

The Princess Bride

Somehow I discovered that over here is a readalong to The Princess Bride. We had one of my favourite quotes when honeymoon recapping and here's another one I saved.

'There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection.' William Goldman The Princess Bride

ps. Someone somewhere is hosting a Dr Zhivago readalong in December.... Do you know which blog it is?