Monday, 31 October 2011

The Month of October

Twin and The Blessings came to stay for their first sleepover. We had a bbq, a hose shower down in the garden, not what we'd expected in October.
Our lovely new sofas arrived. They are wonderful to sink into these autumn nights.
Deciding that having a swimming pool less than 10 minutes walk away we really should use it. Enormous respect to Verity, and any other long distance swimmers. How do you do it?
Another family filled weekend. Including house guests of Warmth's brother and wife whilst they're inbetween homes.
Meeting a friend and visiting an Orla Kiely sale. One bag and one bath mat purchased.
Working out that as another weekend of having friends to stay drew close that since we've been in our new home we've entertained every weekend, bar one. And that was when we took the Blessings out. There shall be no entertaining in November.
Finished planting my first bulbs. Eagerly awaiting, and hoping, their splendour.
Meeting a dear friend for afternoon tea and catch up at The Botanist.
A wonderful mooch in Blackheath. The Bookshop on the Heath has a fantastic selection of affordable second hand books (two Viragos bought. One being The Third Miss Symons by F.M.Mayor. I've been wanting to read this since reading one of your reviews.) I look forward to delving further into the rows of books for special present books.
Off to Berlin. What an assault on history. Ancient civilizations at The Pergammon. Regal Prussian living at Schloss Charlottenburg and that's before you've even arrrived in the twentieth century.
New bedroom furniture arrived. Oh how we love it. Oh how many more clothes I have than Warmth. Enjoying thing about how to arrange my dressing table.
Supper at dear friends who have just moved in this week. Lots of new home talk & excitement.

Read Breakfast at Tiffany's and watched the film for Florence Finds Book Club. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin on Mum's recommendation. Snowdrops by A.D. Miller for Book Club. The Third Miss Symons by F.M. Mayor.
Baked my first cheesecake - Hummingbird Summer Cheese Cake and Berry muffins. Loved the cheesecake so much that I baked it again the next weekend. First roast in our new home. A Julia Child's inspired supper. French onion soup, boeuf bourginon and tarte au citron. The latter was also insired by GBBO.
How was your October?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Golden Afternoons

We may have just come home from a wonderful time in Berlin but... Who can resist a quote by Gabriel Garcia Marquez about Paris, love and autumn?

'In Paris, strolling arm in arm with a casual sweetheart through a late autumn, it seemed impossible to imagine a purer happiness than those golden afternoons, with the woody odor of chestnuts on the braziers, the languid accordions, the insatiable lovers kissing in the open terraces...' Gabriel Garcia Marquez Love in the time of cholera

Where would you like to be strolling this weekend?


Friday, 21 October 2011


We're off to Berlin for a few nights. Here's Mrs Tim's thoughts on sleeping in a hotel bedroom.

"How many hundreds and thousands of people have awakened in this room; awakened to their sorrows and joys, their hopes and their fears? Strange that I should have slept so well, untroubled by the haunting of their thoughts!" D.E.Stevenson Mrs Tim and the regiment

Some day dream bedrooms to dream of lazing in...


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Regarding Lipstick

One of the lovely ladies I follow on Twitter referred to her 'Autumn wardrobe of lipsticks'. It made me smile. Then I read this passage in South Riding.

'I regard lipstick as a symbol of self-respect, of interest in one's appearance, of a hopeful and self-assured attitude towards life,' Winifred Holtby South Riding

How do you regard lipstick?

Monday, 17 October 2011


"The dew glistened on the grass like millions of diamonds..." D.E. Stevenson Miss Buncle's Book

Walking on the grass this weekend the dew really did glisten. I am loving, and quietly coveting, all the sequins being showered in front of my eyes this autumn.

toast dew

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Last smiles of the year

'Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. 'Jane Austen Persuasion

Do you have a favourite autumn poem?

Monday, 10 October 2011

Dead Leaves

Dear, dear Norland," said Elinor, "probably looks much as it always does at this time of year. The woods and walks thickly covered with dead leaves."
"Oh!" cried Marianne, "with what transporting sensations have I formerly seen them fall! How have I delighted, as I walked, to see them driven in showers about me by the wind! What feelings have they, the season, the air altogether inspired! Now there is no one to regard them. They are seen only as a nuisance, swept hastily off, and driven as much as possible from the sight."
"It is not everyone," said Elinor, "who has your passion for dead leaves."
Jane Austen Sense & Sensibility

Are you a Marianne or Elinor in your regard for autumn leaves?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Gingery Spices

After the glorious warm weather autumn has arrived.....

'The autumn smelled of these brown bitter leaves and of many other gingery spices. Greedily he breathed in the mixed peppery smell of chilled apples, bitter dry twigs, sweetish damp earth and that of the blue September mist which smoked like the fumes of a recently extinguished fire.' Boris Pasternak Dr. Zhivago

What is the scent of autumn for you?


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Tea Table Waited

In honour of the final GBBO and finishing South Riding. A post dedicated to South Riding cake moments, and there were quite a few.

'...where, before a leaping cheerful fire, the tea table waited, silver kettle bubbling and shining teapot already warmed, caddy of Earl Grey mixture a covered hot-plate of buttered anchovy toast, an angel cake like a snowdrift.'

'Tea was tea at Willow Lodge... the plates were piled high with bread and butter, currant loaf and queen cakes; the cheese cakes and lemon tarts lay on frilled netted d'oylies; the spice-bread was rich as buttered cold plum pudding;'
'Up on the first floor Lily could see ladies in green arm-chairs eating muffins...The tea was good. The toast was hot dripping with butter.'

'And even the so-called plain teas included cheese-cakes, tarts, scones, spiced bread, currant tea-cakes.'
Will you be watching The Great British Bake Off?