Thursday, August 29, 2013

am I the only one who has no paper straws?

I never purchased the striped twine after all. I yearned for it, of course, as bloggers do, and fully understood how useful it was for tying things up in situations where a plain twine would cause offence. But it was such a challenge to select a sensible number of colours, and then, one day, the passion for twine was gone. I just wasn't interested.  Paper drinking straws were what I wanted instead.

this sort of thing, from

You have them already, I assume, in a little enamel pail on your sideboard, colour-matched to your fruit-infused vodka cocktails.  I wish I were more like you, so on top of things. I've only just added that Follow with Bloglovin badge to my sidebar that everyone else has had for ages. What is Bloglovin and why omit the g? Is there anything else important I'm not doing?

At least I have a sign. You've had Read and Eat and Sleep and Live about your house for as long as I've known you, inspiringly placed in activity-appropriate rooms, and I've had nothing, not even my quilted initials over the mantel. Now, at last, with my new sign, I can hold my head up and blog without shame.

my new sign, propped up by hydrangeas

Unless, of course, signs are so last year. Are they?

I mustn't forget to draw a name for the Happy Home giveaway and will do so the second I have finished adhering labels to everything for the start of the school term and drilling the daughters to coordinate their lies about what they did during the holidays. The more inquisitive teachers can be so canny.


Friday, August 23, 2013

this and that, including a Happy Home giveaway

Now this is a giveaway only insofar as I am giving something away. Nothing big, nothing special. Just a book called Happy Home.

If you are interested, you know the drill: comment accordingly and let the stars hold your destiny.

When the washing line broke under the great weight of our habitual garb of vintage French linens and delicately embroidered brocades, Scottish Husband rigged up the Land Rover as a temporary pole. 

Good upcycling, no?  I assure him that this sort of stuff is worthy of inclusion in the 66 minute, professionally edited film of his life, even at the expense of close-up shots of him fine-tuning the motorcycle engine to maximise torque on the straight. I do hope I have that technical terminology right.

And these Liquorice Allsorts are my current downfall, not that I am falling down.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I do have some tranquil serenity, mind you

My garden may be a bit vivid, right enough, and readers took a medicinal dram and donned their sunglasses before venturing into the previous post's comment box.

So that I may be redeemed in your eyes, I wanted to show you my lavender-coloured lavender in its pale green planter, a shade which I recall was described as French Green in the seller's blurb. Who among us does not square their shoulders in quiet pride at owning something in French Green, once the pain of self-assembly has been forgotten?

There's the lavender.
I probably shouldn't have mentioned that the planter was self-assembled.
One day I must show you something I inherited
in case you think I am nouveau riche,
or indeed merely nouveau.

So, you see, if you disregard the sunflower yellow front door and the bright red bench, I am at heart a gracefully faded lady, and will gain my rightful place in the great brocante in the sky when the Blogtopian empire finally topples.

I must dash off now to photograph the item to be given away in my upcoming giveaway.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

aged 42, she suddenly took up gardening

Abandoning my tenacious purchase of cushions, I went full tilt for the gardening this year and spent May in wellingtons, not answering the telephone. Here are some of my efforts outdoors.

 Last year's yellow chairs are now painted blue

West terrace

Steps up to the house

Toward the woodshed.  I am kind to weeds

Circular flowerbed, precursor to fine upper arm muscles
Japanese anemone on a misty day

Outside the back door. I can't decide what colour to paint the wooden planter

Perhaps next year I shall tackle a small, easy vegetable which I can turn into chutney and give away with bashful pride.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Crispy Cheese Biscuits

With housewifely diligence, I resolved to bake a morsel for Scottish Husband to accompany his glass of wine when he sits around of an evening denouncing Socialism.

A sprint round the cheese biscuit recipes yielded that they all contained too much butter, lovely and all though butter is. So here's how I made mine, which turned out deliciously: 
Place 8 oz flour, 3 oz butter, and 4 oz of any hard cheese you like in a food processor. I used a mix of parmesan and mature cheddar, but stilton would be lovely too. Press go. 
When nicely blitzed, add an egg and then gradually a small quantity of cold water until the mix reaches pastry consistency. 
Press into a roll, as wide as you want your biscuits to be, wrap in greaseproof paper, and place in the freezer while your oven warms up to 180 degrees C 
When the oven is heated, thinly slice the biscuit roll and place on some lined baking trays. This quantity makes heaps of biscuits - about 40. Bake till they turn golden (about 10 minutes). 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lilies in the kitchen

lilies waiting fragrantly to be planted

I may introduce my cheese biscuits tomorrow, if they photograph well. The recipe is my own creation as something in me isn't able to follow a cookery book obediently, or condone jagged ethnic prints, or take a silver taxi.
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