2 January 2016

2 January 2016

Farewell 2015, you fed us well.

115 recipes added to the repertoire.

I wish I had kept count of the ones that didn’t make it – the truly terrible ones (only a handful thankfully); the meh ones; and the good ones, those that almost made it.

You can find the 115 here on my 2015 tried and tasted Pinterest board.  Or, if you feel that 2015 is, well, so last year, why don’t you come over and check the 2016 board? Because you know, there is no rest for the wicked.

Having noticed that baking didn’t feature enough in our life last year, I set about putting things right this morning with these glorious dirty chai muffins.

2016, here we come!


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Naughty or nice

Barn, Lofoten Islands (March 2015)

The tree is decorated. The greeting cards are all gone.

Not long now until we all find out which list we’re on this year.

I’d like to think I’ll be on the ‘nice’ list. And if I am, here’s a round up of lovely things I’d like to find under the tree:

And boy, how I wish I’d come across these three beauties mid-November: vodka, rum and tequila.

So. Naughty or nice?

Good luck!


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Flowers at the Hovedoya cafe

Flowers at the Hovedoya cafe.

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7 May 2015

7 May 2015


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The month of – February 2015

Peregrine and mouse

The moon

Sunset colours

A little box from Hummingbird Bakery

Orange and yellow

Mussels, Harlyn Bay

Macro world, Harlyn Bay

Seaweed, Harlyn Bay  It's coming! Summer Somewhere BBQ at the Beach Hut

Rainy journey home

Cocktails at the Zetter House

I would have liked to write about snow and winter. Instead I have to make do with telling you that it was a cold month. Very cold. Either that or my body temperature is broken. I slept (I am still sleeping) under four duvets.

An evening walk to the top of the hill for sunset. Saw a peregrine dive down, catch a mouse and take his prize up to safety. Witnessed a stunning colourful cloud display. And the moon came out to play.

They say the best things come in small boxes. My strawberry cheesecake cupcake from Hummingbird Bakery was perfect. And a lovely treat on a dreary day.

We made an effort and left our cocoon to visit a couple of exhibitions.

Drawn by Light at the Science Museum. The 200 images on show from the Royal Photographic Society collection inspired us. The quality was astounding. There was one particular image taken just over one hundred years ago that would effortlessly fit on Instagram. So advanced and modern looking for its age. The whole show was a surprise in fact. It had images shot as multiple exposures and even images made from multiple negatives, self-portraits (which I see as the predecessor of selfies). Tourist sites shown from an interesting angle. The lot. It’s funny how we think we’re mastering technology, but there is nothing new in what we do.

Whilst we were there, we had a quick look at ‘Make Life Worth Living‘, a series of photos taken by Nick Hedges in the seventies. Taken for Shelter, these show the slums in Glasgow, Manchester, Salford, Leeds and Toxteth and the horrendous conditions people lived in… not so long ago. Shocking.

Maps of Persia 1477–1925: A graphical journey through the history of Iran at SOAS. I don’t know what it is about maps. You may not know the place, the town or the country… but they draw you in. You visually explore, wonder and travel. You pour over the data in front of you. You visualise the people there now. What are they doing? Where are they going? What is around them? What is it like to be there? As you are here looking at the map, they are living the map. I don’t know quite how to explain the thoughts that travel through my mind when I look at maps. This is as good as it gets I’m afraid. This was a specialised exhibition and I loved the artistry at work, how each map has its own personality.

Back home. The trying of new recipes is a complete success and you can see the ones we’ve kept from January and February on my Pinterest board (where you can have a sneaky preview of the March ones). We are eating such nice meals, and trying so many new dishes. The Other Half told me only a few days ago that twenty percent of people haven’t tried a new recipe in a year. Wow. We’re certainly bucking the trend.

Our weekend in Cornwall was chilled.  A quick stop in Padstow, followed by hours of fun at Harlyn Bay where I regretted not taking my proper camera with me, as all that caught my eye that day was the macro world.

A winter warmer at the Beach Hut. A week too early unfortunately for their Summer Somewhere BBQ!

Ended the month at the Zetter House. Cocktails with friends. Lovely.


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Random Stuff #32

Puddle trees


I’ve given up on snow. It is now going to happen to us this year, is it?

[insert sad face]

Enjoy the links below!


> ‘Badger’s asking where you’ve been‘. A Frozen x Breaking Bad parody/mashup.

Evening commute. Lagos style.

> Maybe I should move to snow pretty Hokkaido.

> This necklace. This travel bag.

> I want a Sealander.

Fäviken. Chef Magnus Nilsson gets a global award. I would just be happy with a seat at his table…


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Cornwall weekend – February 2015

Harlyn Bay, North Cornwall

For one reason or another, we have spent most of our weekends so far this year hibernating. Our recent home improvement projects have made our house a warm cozy home. Lazy mornings in bed, followed by brunch. Reading. Watching films. Cooking. It’s been fun. And addictive.

Fearing cabin fever, and in search of fresh air, we opted to spend this past weekend in Cornwall.

Saturday. We took a day trip to Harlyn Bay in North Cornwall.

For no particular reason except that I remembered it as a nice beach from that day, ages ago, when we walked that bit of the coast.

A wide, long and sandy beach. Deserted.

There was hardly another soul there. It did feel like we had the place to ourselves.

And that’s one of the things we love best about Cornwall. We have learnt to avoid the summer weekends. Winters? We claim the place as ours. As long as we’re dressed for it, we’re out there. Exploring.

And so we explored. On what turned out to be a beautifully sunny spring-like day. With wind. Lots of wind.

Oh yeah, we certainly got the fresh air we’d been craving.

Chilled to the bones, after waiting almost two hours for a bus (no really, I don’t want to talk about this. It’s still too painful), I got rewarded with a white chocolate coconut rum winter warmer.

Sunday was a different story. We got up late and stayed put. I read and mooched about. The Other Half cooked us North-American-style pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup.

Talking of recipes. Hmmm. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. In a recent post, I mentioned my Pinterest board where you can find the recipes we have made and loved so far this year. I forgot to ‘unsecret’ the board. Oooops. Apologies. Let’s pretend this didn’t happen. Here’s a link to my tried and tasted board again, with our February recipes as an added bonus. Will this make up for my imbecility?


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Random Stuff #31


17 February 2015.

Yeah! It’s pancake day. Which explains why the Other Half is slaving away in the kitchen making Yotam’s kale and cheese pikelets whilst I’m freaking out. What? Did you say 17 February? Already? My. I had plans for the winter. Slow down, year, slow down. And where is my snow?



100 Years Later

> 2015 is the Year of the Sheep (also referred to as the Year of the Ram or Goat). I suggest you treat yourself to some sheep-shaped breads and treats and celebrate

> Anish Kapoor’s ‘descension’ at the kochi-muziris biennale (India’s first biennale for contemporary art in Kochi)

> This is the best feel good story ever… unless you happen to have seen Pet Sematary, in which case it’s the worse news story ever!

> Please can I move in? Please? Forever


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The month of – January 2015

Constantine Bay

The Signal Box café


Farmers Market Today

Cinnamon Crodo'nts

A few days in Cornwall at the very beginning of the year. Constantine Bay. Stormy. Wind swept. I stared at the high waves for hours. An incredible day.

Two gigs. The only two gigs booked for the year to date and bizarrely, they were on successive nights. First Aid Kit. Exuberant. Fun. Full of energy. A great, great, night out. And then a much quieter evening of folk music at Bush Hall with The Barr Brothers.

An exhibition. Kurt Jackson: River at the Horniman Museum.

‘As part of my working practice I’ve completed many projects about rivers in this country, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. To follow a river from its source as it grows and changes, erodes and meanders, evolving itself and the land; this is not just a journey, getting to know the river itself, but is also about discovering and understanding the host country, the history, people, culture and wildlife. The river becomes a metaphor for life itself.’ ~ Kurt Jackson

Are you familiar with his work? Do look him up if not. He’s quite something, physically immersing himself in his work. I liked how he names his paintings after the experiences of the day – the smells (figs), the feelings (warmth), the sounds (church bells) or what happens (a golden eagle flying over or a fox running past). The relationship between the landscapes and the poems, or words, on canvas reminded me vaguely of Richard Long’s art.

We had time to explore the Farmer’s Market and came home with cheese, bread and pastries.

Lots of time at home. Chilling. Down time. Sleep time. Working on home improvement projects. Getting organised. Planning trips and weekends away. Looking after the Other Half who was recuperating from a minor surgery. Yet strangely, I only managed to read one book, which I added to my 2015 Books board. The Shock of the Fall. The story of a teenager struggling with mental illness. Haunting. Sad.

Mid-week late night shopping at Borough Market. Shopping without the hustle and bustle of the weekend crowd. You may remember last year’s challenge when we tried recipes from all the cuttings we’d collected over the years. Well, this year, we’re going through recipes we’ve bookmarked. Oh boy, we ate well in January. We’ve had some terrific food which you can check out here on my tried and tasted [sic] Pinterest board, if you’re looking for inspiration. And you can have a peep at the February recipes to date whilst you’re there.

Ah January.

Highly enjoyable.


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Random Stuff #30

Decayed tulips

We haven’t had a random stuff for a while. So, here’s a bumper winter themed issue to make up for it, you lucky things.

Oh, how I want snow!

Make yourself a warm cocoa, and enjoy.



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