Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Love at first sight...

...but it would never fit me anyway. Just as well, most of the things in this vintage shop down the street from worky are way overpriced. But it still gave me a little thrill of girly 'ooh!' as I stepped off the bus yesterday morning.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Someone on my street is way too honest.

Monday, 4 May 2009


So I think Spring started back around Mothering Sunday, in late March, if this photo on the day in Hampstead is anything to go by.

We were even able to sit comfortably outside Chaiwalla, where Tom, Dan and I took Jacqui for tea.

Excellent chai, second-rate samosas. We ordered two rounds of each (hungry) and I took home two clay cups (allowed). Would def. stop by for the tea again...

But late March really put on a show... much so, I thought this excellent cherry tree deserved a hug.

That same week I spotted interesting houseboats docking along the Thames path where I run at lunchtime, near work... more amazing spring petalling going on along my walk to the bus.

Now, this was part of a detour I took in Richmond a few days ago. It already felt rather fairytale...

...and then the path abruptly ended at this metal gate. How Secret Garden is that? It turns out to be Petersham Gardens, which is open 11-4 today, as a very prosaic plastic-encased sign told me when I peered thru the bars.

And on the way back, I noticed my New Year's Eve friend 'dipping down to drink' had sprouted a 'fro. There's an incredible amount of green in all shades busting out everywhere - reminds me v much of spring 2005, when we landed in London...

Friday, 13 February 2009

Your video valentine

A little ukulele love for you in 'Tonite You Belong to Me' from The Jerk, with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters. If you hate Steve Martin, you'll really hate this, but I like the dorkiness-to-romance ratio. Dan and I watched the film recently specifically because we'd heard the song and the bit of dialogue afterwards as part of a very innaresting mix by seelunluft.

So Happy Fakey Hallmark Holiday, and big love to all my pals.

PS: Sorry the video's not embedded, that function was disabled.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Baby's first race, next Saturday

Got my number in the post on Friday for the Love Run 10k in Battersea park this Valentine's Day, my First Race Ever – not counting the ritual humiliation of elementary school 'fun' days and highschool P.E. Yes, my friends, this one is self-inflicted. I just made it to up to 10k this weekend after a few weeks' gradual training. That's 20 mins and a couple of miles longer than I've been used to doing over the last year or so.

Here's hoping the weather doesn't see fit to have another wintry laugh on us. I didn't get to run for 5 days b/c the sidewalks were still so icy. But especially on the first day, the snowfall made everything seem wondrous...bit like this:

(Click to view larger image)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

My, what big berries you have!

Brekky at work, with Filofax, laptop, and Momiji doll. Blueberries AND pomegranate on the old Dorset spelt mix. Some days it's easy to make me feel renewed.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Borough Market, below zero

L-R, back row:
Organic chamomile tea bought at Konditor & Cook (Stoney St);
Lemon olive oil from Apulia;
Pomegranate and orange blossom vinegar from Arabica Food & Spice Company;
Parsely and li'l potatoes;

L-R, front row:
Dr Karg spelt muesli crispbread;
Jerusalem artichokes;
Cherry toms;
Pate Moi field mushroom pate;
Morroccan olives;
A Frenchy salad mix;
M&S coffee & walnut cake.

All veg from various Borough stalls.

I knew it was cold yesterday. My toes went numb the minute we opened the door. But had I known it was 2 degrees below zero, I might not have insisted we trek to Borough Market, which I had a sudden yen to do after catching up with last year's Food issue of the New Yorker. (That's November 24. I'm a little behind. In fact, I have issues from Nov. 2007 I haven't tackled yet, but I've read ones in between.)

The word 'intrepid' came to mind as Dan and I shivered toward the train station, and we kept repeating it to each other all day. It really kept us going. Like, noooo, we don't bundle up and stay on the sofa on days like this. We're intrepid! We go to market! And, um, desperately search out hot drinks. All day.

I couldn't make myself take my gloves off to handle a cameraphone properly, so only the spoils of the day are featured above. I'm not sure which is the bigger coup: finding the pomegranate & orange blossom vinegar (dark, tart intensity + mid-tongue tease of floral citrus), or scoring an M&S walnut & coffee cake for just £2.09. I don't know where we're using the lemon oil but it was just so outtasite in the crouton dip taste test, and I was feeling spendy.

Roast potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes with lemon and sage...

Of course, some of our shoppin' came from more prosaic sources, but the spelt muesli crackers are hard to find outside health-food stores. (Actually we had a nice chat with a lady minding the Sharpham Park spelt stall...they get such minor distribution, and it's bizarre, b/c their product is locally, organically grown but on a commercial scale, and spelt is a rising star of a grain...but it is a bit pricey.)

Result, above: the fragrant potato and Jerusalem artichoke bake from the Ottolenghi cookbook. OMG. Note to self: kalamata olives are better in this dish. The salad leaves included the spiciest rocket yet. Dressed with a spinkle of the new vinegar, they were even quite delectable.

...with egg on top! Everything is better with egg on top. Except dessert.

PS: I found a pdf'd recipe of this gorgeous bake online, but no linky, so here is the cut-n-paste of it. It's vegan an' all (til you put an egg on top).

Roast potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes with lemon and sage

Serves 4 – 6
500g Jersey Royals or other small potatoes
500g Jerusalem artichokes
4 garlic cloves, crushed
50ml olive oil
2 tbsp roughly chopped sage
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 lemon
250g cherry tomatoes
170g Kalamata olives, pitted
2 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6. Wash the potatoes well; put them in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, until semi-cooked. Drain, cool slightly and then cut each potato in half lengthways. Put them in a large roasting tray.

Wash the Jerusalem artichokes, cut them into slices 5mm thick and add to the potatoes. Add the garlic, olive oil, sage, salt and pepper. Mix everything well with your hands and put into the oven.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the lemon and remove the pips. After the vegetables have been roasting for about 30 minutes, add the sliced lemon, stir with a wooden spoon and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Now add the cherry tomatoes and olives, stir well again and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and stir in some of the chopped parsley. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining parsley.


I was ridiculously pleased to come across these kiddie treats at M&S on Friday, with their somewhat enviro-friendly felt playthings attached. I bought similar theme chocs around Hallowe'en, but they included decidedly un-viromental glow-in-the-dark plastic toys (tho' it must be admitted they delighted me no less).

These are destined for two little gals in Cincinnati, as were the others. Back in Sept. when I first spotted the Hallowe'en treats I didn't buy them right away, and they were sold out for the next two weeks. Lesson learned...

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Small Stylings

I'm liking my stripey socks, grey tights, and big black boots combination, born of necessity these freezing mornings...

...especially with the further combination of my layered multi-plaid skirt.

This is the end-of-day variation.

And let's all admire the swell Puff Daddy scarflet my good pal Cara made for my b-day!

Not only is it the height of crafty chic, it keeps my topmost pulse point amazingly toasty.