A ten minute bus ride to the next village along the shore today to meet a friend at a new cafe which has opened next to the village hall and the phone booth gallery, and across the road from the pier (the ticket office is available for holidays...) and a good view of the Waverley.
I have to dictate texts and answers to your comments, and while predictive text can be wonderful it can also be very annoying and make utter nonsense of my message.
I sent my sister a phtoto of some sunflowers I had bought and we were discussing where they might have been grown. I said 'Not in Argyll.' and the nachine sent 'Naughty naughty girl'!! She spent the afternoon wondering what she had done wrong!
It rather defeats the purpose when you have to read what you have dictated to check that it is right....
Hugs and friends at my table - that's what's been missing from life. It was so hot we had to move the table to the back of the house to have some shade. And the smell of the lilac was divine.
Sometimes, if I waken early and the sun is out, I will have two breakfasts. Some coffee and toast, savouring the deep early morning silence. A few birds sing and the cuckoo calls further up the glen. Later I will cook something more substantial.. I love a slow start to my day.
My bithday flowers have lasted three weeks! I added the camassias from the garden.
Have a happy Sunday!
Cakes, food and wine, flowers and cards, balloons. bunting, sunshine, my birthday was wonderful and the best gift of all was to have my family here Together for the firs time in a long long time.
Relaxing in the sun (Laura nd Scott went for a swim in the loch) it felt almost normal!
The gorgeous cup and saucer is a present from my sister.
I hope you have some good things to celebrate too. I am also celebrating the loss of that five pounds I was aiming to lose between the Easter cake and the birthday cake - keeping it off will be the next challenge.
The next project is an exhibition....
Well, comfort food to be precise. Bitterly cold outside with minute flakes of snow in the air, I took a notion to make pancakes...two days in a row.
Crispy and wafer thin, drenched in lemon juice and caster sugar, with a few slices of banana. Yum.
Made in minutes with 50g plain flour, one egg, 150ml milk and a good glug of olive oil whizzed together.
Raise your hand if you have not put on weight during this pandemic.
..eat them outside I wrote on my Making It Through November list.(nearly there!).
Well after yesterday's eating outside experience I am waiting for a brighter day. A freind and I had coffee and cake in the greenhouse. It was freezing!
for something you really want to do is the eighth item on my making it through list. If you are one of the millions who are still working hard to keep our countries functioning this is especially important for you! And harder I expect.
I have more time than I have had for years, but the things I really want to do that don't involve friends and family, I have rather lost sight of...
There are lots of things I ought to do, and am doing - putting my house in order is feeling good as I get many neglected jobs done. But I am finding it hard to think of what I really want to do. I want to overcome the mental and physical lethargy that threatens all the time, and my list is helping with that.
I have been wanting to finish my Desert Island Discs selection for a while, so maybe I should do that so that if I suddenly get famous and they invite me onto the programme I will be ready. :-)
What do you want to make time for?
Time for a snack, and pears are at their juicy best.
Or sweet clementines from Spain? Tree ripened and hand picked, in a wooden basket.
Cakes and memories;
Though not quite in the Proustian manner I have been remembering cakes past...
Home made cakes to die for at Open Garden days in English villages, pasteis de Belem near Lisbon. rasberry torte in Berlin (Scottish respberries!), Mary's Pavlova at the Christmas Tree parties, ricotta lemon cheesecake from the Co-op in Venice (on the cheese counter - I didn;t realise I was buying cake!), sticky baklava in Cyprus, warm fondant fancies from Betty's on a very hot day at the races in York.
We all have our favourites and our special cake memories. I still have some coffee and walnut cake in the freezer which I made for the visitors I hoped could come. I did share some with a friend who came on a rainy day so we ate it sitting in the greenhouse.
Today I made marble cake which also freezes well.
I've had a lovely cake day and it's taken my mind off you-know-what! Thinking of our American blog friends.
Did you make a cake?
Would love to know your special cake memories.
Don't miss Gwendoline's chocolate cake recipe in the commentson this post.
Some do it every day, three times a day for decades. It's quite a feat of creativity really, especially if you have a big family. but it's also quite a privilege and those of us who can do this are the lucky ones.
My local supermarket have made-up bags of food which you can purchase along with your shopping for the local Food Bank - a simple way to help put food on someone else's table.
I love to set a beautiful table. It adds to the pleasure.
A candle, a flower and a napkin does it for me.
I left the fallen petals from a vase of alstroemeria for a few days because I liked the pattern..
Do you have favourite tableware and rituals around meals?
..on a domestic theme.
Inspired by this little book I made Melting Moments (recipe in this post) with added ground almonds and almond essence.
I rolled them in ground almonds and added an almond atop each,
I haven't baked so much for years.
..and some good news! See here
It's taken a while. I first heard of it when I was doing a landscape design course at the university there in 1992 (my first visit to Venice) and we were shown the plans and models for the prototype gate.
It's wonderful news for Venice and everyone who loves La Serenissima! You can read more about it on Erla Zwingle's blog I Am Not Making This Up.
If you would like to celebrate with a glass of something and a little biscuit - here is the recipe for Melting Moments. (Measurements are imperial as it was a recipe from my Mum.)
1oz lard (makes for extra crispness)
6oz self raising flour
few drops vanilla essence
rolled oats or dessicated coconut
Cream fats and suga.r
Add flour then beaten egg.
With damp hands roll into small balls, add glace cherries and bake at 180 for10 - 15 minutes.
Stocking up the freezer for future visitors (on a kind of 'build it and they will come' principle - optimist that I am) I have added these little buttery crispy biscuits. Sometimes I add ground almonds to the recipe, sometimes I roll them in coconut instead of oats. They freeze really well and thaw quickly which can be very useful when you live a long way from the shops.
..not Tiffany's but at The Boat House.
Super organised and super friendly, it was a real treat to have someone else cook!
You can see from the angle of the sign on the bike how strong the wind was!
On the tidying front I was thinking how boring this task was but when we had a power cut last night I felt, if not a spark of joy, at least a pulse of pleasure that I could lay hands immediately on a torch that works and candles and matches....
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)