I miss handwritten letters. Texts and social media posts and messages are so hurried and brief. I used to love writing letters. And receiving them. I still have shoeboxes full of them from family, old friends and boyfriends. They are full of fondness & the minutiae of life. Chit chat about daily comings & goings. A magical, slow way of living & of capturing a moment in the loops & lines of the words.
I love a simple Mediterranean way of eating, a chunk of bread & sweet raspberry jam, a small bowl of perfectly ripe apricots & coffee fresh from the pot. It reminds me of when my mum lived in France and we would sit on the balcony to eat breakfast & watch the world go by. When my mum moved, we didn’t know the details of our ancestry, she just felt compelled to spend time there and to learn the language. Then it came to light that her great grandfather had moved to England from Paris in the 1800s. There was a more profound reason for her wanderlust. Days like today make me reflect on how I came to this moment and with the stillness of the heat & simplicity of the food in front of me, I can feel my family history coursing through my veins.
It doesn't take much to create happiness : )
I love this series on Mary Anne Hobbs' show on BBC 6 Music. Three minute snippets of wisdom from creatives and people who are passionate about what they do. I found this one really comforting. Tom talks about music in his workplace, a bakery where they listened to tunes while they make doughnuts and rolls. He mentions rummaging round in a bucket full of cassettes and the joy of choosing which one to play. It cast me back to using a pen to wind a cassette back and to taping songs off the radio. Magical, cosy times.
I'm obsessed with these colours at the moment. And I'm also very much still learning about watercolour. I like how this musing feels like a map of my state of mind. I generally let the paints flow but tried to also experiment with putting water on the paper first and dotting colour here and there to see how it progressed. Very good for the soul.
I subscribed to Pick Up Limes' channel as soon as I stumbled across it. Sadia has such a lovely manner, absorbing and kind. With all the stress of life these days, this is a much appreciated little piece of calm.
Autumn makes me want to bake. I fancied making a tea loaf and realised I had a bag of dates that needed to be eaten up so squirreled around until I found a recipe from the fabulous Nadiya Hussain online. It's such a simple recipe and all you do is soak 350g of chopped dates in 150ml of cold, strong tea overnight, then stir in 50g honey, 50g brown sugar, 1 large egg and 225g self raising flour and bake for 35 - 40 mins at 200°C/Gas Mark 6 in a lined loaf tin.
I fancied adding some spices too so popped in 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. The loaf filled my flat with the scent of spices as it baked and I enjoyed a warm slice with a cup of black coffee. Lovely.
Full credit of course to Nadiya Hussain for the recipe : )
"Tonight, make it magnificent... Tonight make me tonight..."
You know when you don't hear a song for ages and then you hear it again and it just sounds perfect. This week, this is that song for me : )
"Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness..." - John Keats
There are two types of people at this time of year, those who are mourning the end of summer and those who are giddy with excitement at the autumnal chill in the air. I am definitely one of the latter. I love bright blue skies and the sun warming my bones but my ideal time is when I can wear shades and a scarf and the leaves start turning from green to a spectrum of oranges and reds. I love slippers and layers and blankets, stews and soups and roast dinners.
I spent Sunday morning embracing the change of the seasons, turning a punnet of plums and some leftover apples into compote and crumble. As always I looked up a few recipes and then made up my own, chopping the fruit and adding a splash of water, a couple of spoonfuls of light muscovado sugar, a dash of vanilla essence and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. The ingredients simmered for twenty minutes and filled the kitchen with the sweet smell of spices while I read passages from Nigel Slater cookbooks. The perfect way to spend a Sunday.
"We were beautiful before the years came, turned it upside down."
This came up on a playlist on Spotify this week. What a little thing of beauty. Perfect to create by.