Monday, 27 August 2012

Monthly Make, Part 1

At the beginning of the year, I pledged a Monthly Make from Annie's blog, (you can find her at ) but had some problems putting them on Flickr, after February, so here's what I made (amongst other things)

Sean chose the wool and asked for a short scarf to keep his neck warm when he is at the forge. The bamboo needles were a joy to knit with. 

Heart shaped cupcakes for Sam and Tony as part of their wedding gift.
A cheery cherry cake for Sean's birthday
 A practice for Activities Week; Jan and I will make these with the girls along with the bracelets and corsages this year.


Festive fobs to add to Kenya and Milli's Jubilee souvenirs parcel 

Bergamot scented candle.
Part 2 to come at the the end of the year.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Conserves and preserves

Soft Fruit Glut at the greengrocer! The two of us can't possibly eat it all in pies and crumbles and fruit salads, so time for some jam-making!

Yellow plums make a lovely golden jam

A new experiment: modifying a recipe and adding lavender syrup. Success! The result was delicious!

 Susan gave me a marrow, so with some apples and ginger I made my first Marrow and Ginger Jam. Forgot the 'Before' photo.
The backdrops are some fantastic Marks and Spencer pillowcases from the 1970s, unused, found in a charity shop in Southbourne. Wonderful bright colours!
Some to give away for birthday and Christmas gifts, some to keep to remember the sunshine that helped them grow. Specially today, in the middle of a thunderstorm!

Friday, 17 August 2012


A taste of the Americas in Wednesday's prom; Dvořák's New World Symphony, Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man and JoanTower's  Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman (new to me!) to celebrate the USA, and Monoprecose by Villa-Lobos and Estancia by Ginestera to celebrate Brazil and Argentina. Marin Alsop conducted the Orchestra of São Paulo - fantastic!

I went with Paul, who was looking very much like Our Man in Havana for the occasion, despite breaking his collarbone!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


I met Mummie in Winchester yesterday for our Summer girlie day out, and it was beautifully tranquil and quiet. We usually go on a Saturday the rest of the year, and it's quite hectic and crowded sometimes. We spent a most peaceful afternoon in the Cathedral grounds and the Abbey Gardens.

Dean Garnier's Garden

 Abbey Gardens; yes there are fish in the stream!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Jolly Good Show, Team GB!

Enjoyed the closing ceremony on television last night; a couple of weeks and we'll do it all again for the Paralympics! What a splendid medal haul for a tiny country!

And in honour of our local Superhero Mo:

his Golden Post Box in Isleworth!

Have you spotted any?

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Macaroons at Meert

Meert, the Patisserie in Lille was established in 1761, and has been making delicious confectionery treats ever since. I believe Charles de Gaulle, himself a Lillois, used to pay a daily visit for his gateau fix! They are most famous for their gauffres or waffles, made from Madagascan vanilla, but I chose a Macaron au cafe. I enjoyed it this morning; rather sweet, but only tiny!

 Tempting treats in the window


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A la piscine

I had fab day in Lille yesterday, a Eurostar day trip. Jenny recommended I go to a rather special Museum in the suburb of Roubaix, a Metro ride away from Lille centre. That was an experience; a two-carriage driver-less affair with strange moulded plastic seats.

The Museum is amazing - housed in a swimming pool, designed in 1932 by a local architect, Andre Baert; which was the 'finest swimming pool in France'. It stopped being used as a pool in 1985, sadly, due to health and safety reasons because the chlorine had damaged the ceiling, and in 2001 was converted into the Museum. The woollen mill next door has become the reception and an exhibition space, the main pool has sculptures and fine art and the gallery has textiles and fashion. You enter through the changing cubicles and showers, but mercifully don't have to take a foot bath first! When you are walking round, occasionally you hear the sound of splashing and children shouting to remind you of the former life of the museum.

Sunrise and Sunset at either end of the main space.

Memories of the Museum's former life

Do go and treat yourself to a couple of hours of beautiful art in fantastic surroundings, and have lunch in the restaurant, run by Meert,famous in Lille for patisserie. A great exhibition of French Fine Art: apart from the sculptures there are 19th century French portraits and landscapes, Belle Epoque pieces, Impressionists and early 20th century (including some of my favourites, Dufy and Bonnard). About 30 mins by Metro from Lille. Get there on Line 2 Metro (Red) towards C.H Dron, from Gare Lille Europe or Gare Lille Flandres. Have a look at their website: and see the videos of the swimming pool in action.

And on your way out, place your entrance sticker here - I remember the pedestrian crossing outside the V&A was covered in stickers like this when you paid an entrance fee to visit.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Wow! Go Team GB!

What a weekend! All plans on hold as I was glued to the television! Blink and you'd have missed Mr Bolt's flash of green and yellow!  I snapped some mascots around town on Friday, Wenlock in various disguises:

By Cleopatra's Needle

In the Embankment Gardens

In Cheapside, opposite St Mary's Bow bells

In St Paul's churchyard

By the Oscar Wilde statue at St Martin-in-the-Fields

In Covent Garden

In Chinatown

In Leicester Square

Enjoy the second week of the games - still lots more to come!