I walked to meet Mr. Michie on his way home from school yesterday evening. We were discussing how each of our day’s had gone, when he suddenly stopped in the middle of the street and told me to open up his backpack.
I reached into the peppermint stripe interior and felt a thick cardboard envelope. I pulled it out; slowly opened it and inside was a cookbook. Now, I have a bit of an obsession with cookbooks. I don’t cook from all of them; some I use for inspiration, some are vintage and were too good to pass up with the pictures they contained and some are like my bible, I’ve returned to them again and again.
In reading an article that Nigella Lawson wrote this weekend, he discovered Roast Chicken and Other Stories, by Simon Hopkinson and knew that although I would probably not make deep-fried calves’ brains, or roasted lambs’ kidneys; I would be enthralled with other recipes within the book.
He was absolutely correct! What’s even better than the recipes are Hopkinson’s notes and stories that accompany a chapter or recipe. I’m already working on our weekend menu and I think a recipe or two will definitely be featured out of this book.
I’m very a lucky girl to get surprises, especially when they are cookbooks!
I don’t know why and I know that it just isn’t me, because everyone I’ve spoken with today has said they feel as if this has been the longest week ever!
The woods were so quiet this morning. I only passed one other person out with her two Jack Russells. The sunbeams were distilled through the leaves, moving in and out as the breeze shook the branches; little tracks of light making the path glow. I could see my breath. It was a perfect autumnal morning.
I love the way the light changes this time of year. The shadows become longer. The light becomes whiter. My Nana’s dining room was at the corner of the house, so light filtered in from the front and the sides. Near one of the windows in the corner she had a Christmas cactus that sat on a tall wooden plant stand.
The afternoon autumnal light would be so pure the cactus almost appeared as it was glowing. The light would move across the dining room table and come to rest on the opposite wall. I would sit at the kitchen table watching the light dance about. It always made me think of Cranberries, by Andrew Wyeth.
We hardly ever turn on the TV, but last night the Mercury Prize Awards were on and Mr. Michie wanted to see some of the acts perform. Sampha, won the prize and we were both very happy with the judges decision. He played, “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano”.
I have no idea why, because there was not a piano in the dining room, or even in my Nana’s house for that matter. But, this song makes me think of her home. I suppose it speaks to me because her house knew me well. I used to clean for her and my other Grandmother for pocket money. I was usually saving up to buy Christmas presents. Her walls heard my voice, her furniture knew the touch of my hand. Her stove was incredibly fun to cook on, this perfect 1960s avocado green beauty. I think this song makes me feel nostalgic. The changing of seasons makes me feel that way as well, excited for what is to come and sad to let the previous season slip away.
I woke up this morning at 3:23am to our curtains blowing and then slamming back into the window screen. The wind was so strong, it’s still strong.
I was bleary eyed as I got up and closed the window. I went downstairs to check on everything and peek out at our plants. I’ve had to do a search an rescue in the wee hours of the night before when the wind has carried one of our pots out into the middle of the street. All was safe. I headed back upstairs and curled up in bed. I laid there for another hour before I fell back to sleep, just listening to the wind whip around the cottage.
It’s gorgeously sunny today and I’m indoors waiting on that wonderful package to arrive. It never arrived yesterday because although three people told me it was on a delivery truck, the fourth person said, “Nope! It’s still sitting at the depot! What would you like me to do with it?” Oh, lucky me!
So this morning, I’m taking it in my stride, even though I’m annoyed I can’t do my morning run. Obviously the Universe just wanted me to wait till today to receive this parcel. So, I’m drinking coffee, listening to Father John Misty and reading e-mails.
I’ve got laundry to fold and a marinara sauce to start this morning too. We’re making a Friday night dinner for some friends of ours who have a lot going on at the moment. So, the pressure of cooking dinner is one thing they can take off of their plate and instead feast on homemade lasagna, bread and chocolate cake with my Nana’s mocha frosting.
I woke up this morning thinking it was Wednesday. So, I wasn’t really off to great a start when I realised it was only Tuesday.
It is cool, bordering on chilly and gorgeously sunny outside and I’m stuck indoors waiting for a package to arrive that was supposed to have arrived yesterday. I’ve been assured it is on the delivery truck making its way to my front door. But I don’t quite believe it, since this process of trying to get it delivered has been going on for about a week now. In the grand scheme of things, I know this isn’t a big deal, there are bigger deals going on in the world right now, then worrying about a package. But, in my own little world, I find it frustrating to be stuck indoors on a day like this.
I’m using the time to my advantage and catching up on some paperwork and articles that I have been meaning to read. Getting laundry done and listening to music.
One article I read related to British Pathé. They were a company who created newsreels and documentary films from 1910-1970. Their work is now digitised and you can watch them online. There are a number of their films that completely enchant me. The first film reel of theirs that I truly remember seeing was “The House That Jack Built”. It was projected on the wall of an exhibition I attended on British Folk Art. It was so very British and absolutely hypnotic!
This article was specifically about their “how it’s made” film series. While I’m waiting for a knock at my door, I thought I’d share with you three of my favourites. I especially love how thermoses are made. I’ve got my eyes peeled for an old thermos to make something out of. I’ll know the right one when I see it! These films are fascinating, charming and jolly good fun. I just adore the clothes and the hair. Especially the blue dress the Wedgwood lass is wearing with her hair piled high (she’s painting a coffee pot)!
We’re in that strange part of every season, where one season is slowly slipping in to the next. Our days are starting to feel more autumnal. The mornings are cooler, followed by rainy afternoons and the leaves are beginning to metamorphose into brilliant shades of crimson red, gold and tangerine orange. The shadows are transforming too and the quality of the light is altering. It’s getting darker sooner. Gone are our summer nights of light till almost 10pm. I’m okay with that, I welcome new seasons with open arms. But, right now I feel stuck in the space in-between.
I see my woods change every day as I walk through them. I use them as my seasonal barometer. There are bales of hay in all the fields, slowly drying out. The air smells different. As refreshing as I find it, moving from one space into the next, this space in-between is making me antsy lately. After a few cool days here and there, I’m ready for sweater weather, for hot chocolate nights and pumpkins everywhere. I’m not ready to have two days of being bundled up and then back to shorts and t-shirts and then back to being bundled up again.
Maybe it’s where I am personally right now. I’m ready for some major changes and we are working hard to make those goals happen. I’ve also teamed up with a marvellous woman on a project we are embarking on and we are slowly and surely finding our feet and picking the right route for us. I’m ready for the ball to roll a little faster. But life is going at the speed it is supposed to be for me right now and I have to accept that.
Autumn will come entirely into her glory when she is ready. I will simply have to take a page out of Mother Nature’s book and be patient. To just enjoy where I am right now, to enjoy this Indian Summer we are in. To look at this time as a renewal and a refresh before we fully move in to leaves crunching under foot, crispy apple scented air and the smell of wood fires permeating the world.
WOOOO-HOOOO! School’s out for summer!!! Here’s to early morning runs with the sunrise and staying up late till the stars come out, watching movies on the vintage projection screen. Here’s to eating pimento cheese sandwiches and potato chips for lunch and drinking sweet tea. Here’s to lazing about listening to music and reading books and playing board games. Here’s to hot summer days and cool summer evenings, to waffle cones stuffed with homemade ice-cream, to picnics and candlelight filled nights. To cooking new recipes and making old favourites. Here’s to just being, to catching our breaths, to make-out sessions on the couch. Here’s to summer sewing projects and art exhibitions and long strolls in the park and visiting the fair and eating our weight in funnel cakes. Here’s to adventure! Here’s to the summer, long may it last!