Saturday, 30 June 2012

Grow your own

I was away for a couple of weeks recently. By the end I was really looking forward to getting home and seeing how my vegetable garden was faring.
We have purple sprouting broccoli, brussel sprouts, courgettes, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, spring onions, garlic, strawberries, peas, carrots, beetroot, sweet corn, herbs, lettuce. I think that's it.
I have been inspired by displays I have seen at WW2 events, where we were all told to grow our own.

Last night we used the first of the purple sprouting broccoli to make this, only we used toasted pine nuts instead of the cheese.

Friday, 29 June 2012


It's been donkey's years since I visited Clovelly. I can confirm, it's still picture postcard pretty.

The man of the house who is from the NE said 'It's just like Staithes only more expensive'. Spoken like a true Yorkshireman :)
From a historical point of view, Clovelly had Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies and Staithes had Captain James Cook, the famous explorer.
My favourite illustration from The Water Babies, by Jessie Wilcox Smith.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Misako Mimoko

I've posted about this lady's work before, but thought I would see what she is up to now.
I love the smiley face on that kite, it is so friendly.
She doesn't seem to be doing her dolls at the moment. This little fella is a slice of cheese. Funny!

A little trip out, sprinkled with fairy dust!

What a hoot! We drove through a village called Fairy Cross and ended up in a gnome sanctuary. This lady started it for her children 34 years ago. It is now a little family business. How cute, both the sanctuary and the lady.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Home away from home

Wherever I am, I seem to have a compulsive urge to make it look as nice as possible. I find myself arranging things, and if I can't make it look nice, I tidy, put things away, so at least it's neat.

So here I am at my Mum's and somehow I seem to have taken over the place. The African heads are hers, from Nigeria. Do you remember the lady from the auction? Well, I got her. The style of painting is so loose and confident the artist makes it look almost as though she wasn't even fully trying. That's skill for you.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Happy Midsummer

Nobody does Midsummer like the Scandinavians.

It is a great excuse to eat sandwich cake, wear flowers in your hair, dance and drink.

Whatever you are doing, enjoy!

Johnny Cash - San Quentin

I just fancied a song, and for some reason this one came to mind.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

All in the best possible taste

I've really enjoyed the Grayson Perry series in which he has looked at the taste of the different classes in the UK.

I've enjoyed his intelligent and inquisitive approach and the fact that he has thrown himself in and tried to understand the different tastes and all the complex and subtle reasons why people make the choices they do. It ended up almost more social anthropology than aesthetics.

Here are some of the tapestries he produced to tell the stories he heard.
Working class
Middle class
Upper class
Of the three, the one that appeals to me the most is the Upper class one. It tells a powerful tale. I like the reference to hunting and I see a nod to a painting I have always loved in the couple beneath the tree; Gainsborough's Mr and Mrs Andrews.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

I can resist anything except temptation

I've just been down to do a viewing at the local auction. It was my friend's fault. She tempted me.

There were quite a few things I could happily throw money at. How about this painting which reminds me of Seraphine de Senlis?
Or these staddle stones, which I keep going on about?
Or this lovely oil painting of a lady who looks like a young Elizabeth Taylor?
Here's a close up. It's by an artist called Lilian Buchanan.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Two hours of summer

We weren't prepared to waste them, so off we went a-walking in Devonshire.

This little village was mentioned in the Domesday book. These were the 'landes of Queen Matilda' wife of William the Conqueror.

Most of the gravestones outside the 14th Century church belonged to people born in the 1700s.
As children we had a Ladybird book called Kings and Queens of England. I remember Matilda, I think she is the one with plaits on the right. I had no idea what a scary woman she was!

Monday, 11 June 2012


My favourite campsites are the little hidden away ones with few people on them and not too many facilities. I like to feel like it's an adventure. Having said that I do like to take rugs and proper duvets. I'm a bit of a sucker for nice things.

So I've just been googling about camping and here's something I haven't heard of before. What a great idea. I think it might be quite new?
Nice tent at

Sunday, 10 June 2012

A brief respite from the rain

One day of sunshine and I am thinking of the patio and outdoor living. Here is some great inspiration.
copyright Jane Schouten
I'm really sorry, I can't remember where I got the first two images from.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

At home

I'm always glad when I can cut flowers from the garden.
A propos of absolutely nothing, I want my hair like this.