Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas in the Spring

 A three hour transformation took place in my kitchen today.

The team - Art Director, Stylist, Photographer and Publisher
brought nearly everything they needed

(that tea pot got lucky)

to create an impression of a bright spring day in the country
on an exceptionally dull December one in town.

As far as I could tell,
all that was going to remain of the original location,
was a hazy impression of a 'country' garden in the background.

Even the table top was theirs,
carefully selected from a backgrounds rack
in a props warehouse.
Who knew?

The cake, though scrumptious looking,
was deemed to be a little too messy,
so I stepped forward with an offer of knives
to tidy it up.

Later someone found a plate of macarons in my fridge
and decided that they would be just perfect
for the Waitrose version of the advertisement.

Bunting was called for but later abandoned as 
too much in the way of the copy that had to be added later.

I believe this is one of the selected shots,
possibly destined for Sainsbury's or Tesco magazines
as I can't see any macarons in it.

Disappointingly no flowers or cakes were left behind.

I am not familiar with this author
so I have looked her up for you.

Now I can bring in the Christmas tree.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas trees past

We never tire of this walk on the Sussex coast.
Every visit is different, dependant on tide, time of day, 
time of year and weather conditions.
Recently there have been storms and big tides which pushed all the shingle away 
to expose flat sand and

ancient preserved trees. 
Large chunks of a sunken forest have been torn up  
and thrown onto the beach.

Thought to be at least 6000 years old,
oak, birch and hazel have been identified in the peaty masses.
Sea levels here were about 100 feet lower than they are today
and the forest was preserved when sea levels rose and flooded the woodland.
What you see is not fossilised but the original spongy tree roots and branches.

Recent man made structures are also weathering
and present wonderfully sculptural eroded forms at low tide.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A trick of the light

The landing light super moon.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Taking a step back

Yesterday I surprised myself
by making three jars of blackberry jam.

 And where you might ask, 
are the seasonally appropriate pictures of
mincemeat making,
of pine tree felling,
of pudding stirring
of Christmas belling?

Are you trying to mess with my mind?
Will it be meringues and cream tomorrow?
Are you trying to cater more for your Antipodean reader?

Well yes, all of the above because there are six egg whites in there too
 but the day before yesterday
I applied Marie Kondo's theories to the freezer food category.
If it didn't spark joy, or leave room for my chicken stock to feel appreciated
out it went.
But then I couldn't bring myself to chuck the defrosted blackberry puree
down the plughole, 
so I made jam.
And the jam can be gifts
so we will be back in sync.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

All is calm. . .

. . .for now.
Although it has been an anxious time with granddaughter 
admitted to hospital for three nights 
to treat an infection with iv antibiotics.
She is home now and as cheerful as ever considering
the nasty tasting medicine she must still try to take.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Why do toadstools grow so close together?

They don't need mushroom.

I'm getting on splendidly and have made much more room
in the desk drawers and filing trays.
I dealt with stationery today and found some useful stamps.

There are 29 partially filled notebooks to face up to tomorrow.
I never got on with Filofaxes but
I do love a good notebook.
Annie drew my attention to these some while back.

I'll make room.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Just a Song at Twilight (The Remains of the Day)

Not quite twilight but a mystical quality about the light
which puts me in mind of a song.

I was taught to sing this as a party piece when very young.
 I would be brought forward for visitors, to stand pigeon-toed
and squirming to warble the melancholy chorus which for
some reason I thought was all about traffic lights.
It came in useful many years later when the demand for a 'turn'
was sprung on me at a supper party.
Kazuo Ishiguro was one of the transfixed guests on that occasion.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Out of sight

but never far from my mind,
the contents of the drawers,

(that lampshade's got to go)

(Sorting papers: Rule of Thumb: Discard Everything M.K)

Edited to say that these above are now Drawers of Joy.
You may take that quite literally.

(sweet and innocent but stuffed)

(this has a matching set on the opposite side),


(mostly Northern husband's, further shelf not visible - untouched),

(mostly mine - hugely reduced),


(this above is possibly the scariest in terms of content),

(shelves above not visible),

(particularly deceptive this one as we sit on it daily
but inside there lurks a huge selection of board games
that nobody ever wants to play).
Where was I?

Piles and stacks,

(Marie has joined the stacks),

and suitcases,

of Doom.

And that's without showing you the Garage of Doom
 the Greenhouse of Doom
or the Desk of Doom at which I sit to pen
my Useful or Beautiful blog.
So there we have it.
Keeping it real.