Wednesday, 31 August 2011

shelf space

I'm running out of shelf space.

This--well, it's a pretty good thing.

It means I'm one--tiny--step closer to this.

A girl can dream, can't she?

I keep planning out my future house in my head (sadly, still such a long, long way off). Most of the rooms revolve around books: where I can display them and ways to create interesting sights for the walls.

Oh. I do love everything about that space. It's casual and lived in. And, I think, it boasts quite a lot of scholarly charm--you know, the way I used to imagine professors' offices to look? I was kind of sad when I discovered that so many of them didn't. That, though, is a different story.

I've created a Pinterest page for such things--one for books, and one for all those other inside spaces. (Ones for lots and lots of other things, too. It's a new, procrastinatory addiction of mine).
I hope you're having a wonderful week.

(The picture credit for the above will be found on that very Pinterest account, by the way. It's a good, good way to cite sources).

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

fall--what it does to me

Every year, I take great, great joy in finding the first horse chestnut, a robust seed I'll likely carry in my pocket for the rest of the winter. Sometimes it even finds itself, coat-willing, until the following annum.

So I could not have been happier, yesterday, when I found it on my walk home: a sure sign that autumn will reveal herself a little sooner, this year.

It's a little ritual I like to set myself, you see. A marker for what are arguably my favourite months of the year--starting with September's early academic days--they'll always be about school, won't they?--and ending a little way into the new year. (Although, it has to be said, I have a soft spot for April--it has a similar crispness to its air and echoes resurgence). These months are when I am most productive; they make me feel my most creative and studious and focussed. They instil, in me, a greater sense of energy. Cold, crisp air may well deplete my immunity, but those long evenings spent inside, fire burning, are pushing of important realisations: of what in the world matters to me. They make me realise the importance of family, and of love, and of the littler passions; the things I don't quite pay enough attention to--the hobbies I have so long wanted to pursue. I suppose what I am saying is that these months--festivities aside--are the months that I most feel like myself: that I most understand, and evaluate, and am appeased.

So, for another year, I'm looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to the familiarity that the same framework allows (the benchmarks of school/Hallow'een/Guy Fawkes/Christmas and New Year). But I'm looking forward, too, to new things--to those "littler passions" I want--and will--pursue. (Including a lot of crafting--I'm very, very excited about that--and about learning to manage time, better).

Does autumn/fall make you feel any different?

...and I'm hoping, soon, to compile a list of my favourite things about this season--fall, for me, brings many--as does winter! Is there anything you'd like to add? Feel free to comment!

(Picture was found via Pinterest--I envision me doing a lot of the same in the near, near future. It's an important year!)

Sunday, 28 August 2011


It's difficult to do anything but smile when this little girl enters our home. (And thankfully she does most weekends).

Today was hard and I'm not sure why. It would have been that much harder without her.

Friday, 26 August 2011


I cannot tell you how good it feels to have a tidy bedroom. A space to move and to breathe and to stretch. It has, in fact, been a week of that: a week of stretching. It has been a week of realising its very importance. (And it is so, so important. A week of an almost-to-myself house has showed me that. And so, too, has an empty page).

I like these realisations. Whether they rush or seep in--I don't mind. But I'd like more. I'd like to crane my neck a little further, or lean and bend my torso above a greater incline. I'd like to see more; feel more; understand more. (And mostly, at this time, it's about myself).

With diligence--with real, concentrated effort--I'm trying. But I suppose it's a cycle, isn't it? There's always so much more to know and learn. So many more ways to develop and evolve and alter. And I suppose as soon as we begin to understand, we do alter. And then a whole new method of comprehension has to find itself under way.

*Does anybody have any cures--light, light cures; ones, I'd prefer, without medicine--for a little tightness in the lower back? It's persistent, lately. And unexplainable. And I'd really rather shift it...

Monday, 22 August 2011


For Arnold and I, yesterday was quite the lazy Sunday--but so very happily so.

We woke up late, read together and watched a little of Mildred Pierce. (I'm a fan: Arnold not so much).

I also baked a few of these.

Powdered doughnuts, made with wholegrain wheat.

(It was my attempt at making doughnuts a little, little healthier).

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Every year, this seaside town hosts a carnival--a proper one, gaudy floats and all. It's kind of a tradition--you know, an unspoken one: nothing more than an assumption, really--to group together and go. We know, every year, that we'll never see the floats through the crowd or that, in the end, twelve year olds will find their alcohol and fight (the things I simply, simply don't understand are endless), but we wouldn't miss it for the world. Mostly, it's about community and it is so, so nice to see that spirit--a little, sleepy town coming together for a week-long event. (I think the whole of the town just might come out for Bingo--and no, sadly we didn't win this year. We didn't win any of the eighty-eight raffle prizes, either...)

I brought my camera, but forgot its memory, so a few Instagram's will just have to do.

It feels so good to have friends home, again--and even if they're here for just a short, short while--I'm glad our tradition was upheld for another year.

Monday, 15 August 2011


One of my best friends got married a couple of weeks ago, and it was so, so wonderful to be there. (And to be there with friends and with my own love-he makes a very good date to silly dance with).

What touched me most about the day, though, was not--as I had before expected--the adoration between the couple (and let me just say: that was huge), but the warmth and the compassion and care between everyone else. The mutuality of it: the idea that we were coming together to support a prospering love. I really, really loved that--I have always really, really loved that about weddings. There was something about this one, though, that heightened it.

Oh, I hope they have a wonderful life. They deserve it--and eachother--for being so strong.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


This country feels kind of hollow right now. And so, too, do my words.

I spent an hour writing a post--a post that would somehow sum up every disappointment and disbelief I feel towards a minority. But that's just it--it's a minority--a select (though baffling) group.

I'm grateful, now, that I don't live in a city (and that the city I do live beside is small--and sleepy). But let it be said, my thoughts are resolutely with those--any of those--who may be affected.

My dad--a Londoner, through and through and through--is struggling to believe his eyes. He's a man who lived through The Blitz. And when you put that into perspective, it makes this whole thing even harder to comprehend.

I don't think I can say any more--it's hard to convey this thing that-doesn't-quite-affect-me as it sinks and curdles my heart. I see so many "Pray For London" posts on Twitter and even that I find strange. It isn't the sort of disaster that devastated Japan--it's man-made, man-somehow-contained. And yet--it's there, oppressing the lungs and the hearts and the throats of the innocent.

It's a very baffling time, right now.

Monday, 8 August 2011

i'd like to, please

Hope #23.

Own a bakery.

Along with writing a book and becoming a mother, this kind of tops my bucket-list.

Since I started baking a couple of years ago, it is all I often dream about. I love literature and the idea of pursuing it as a career, but, these days my thoughts swing towards those homely aromas and little dainty swirls just as frequently. I scour books and blogs for inspiration--I lust after vacant retail spaces (even though I know it is such a long way off--that new skills need to be learned and old ones refined and perfected again and again). But sometimes--just sometimes--it's the thought of that space I will one day design (colour, tradition and vintage china) with the sweets and pastries and cakes I will one day create that keeps me going.

Is it wrong to dream like that? And to dream like that of many, many things? I don't believe so. I never have.

I'd Like To, Please posts are inspired by Someday Hopes, a blog that focuses on two (wonderful) ladies' future dreams. The bakery trays photographed appeared here.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

brown paper packages tied up with string

I got a pretty special package through the post today*.

It's a book. But before I unravelled that string and peeled off its paper, I didn't quite know what book it was.

You see, for the next eleven months, I'm getting a similar package posted to me on the first of every month. It's all courtesy of a bookshop based in Bath--Mr B's Emporium, should you want to look it up--and, more importantly, Arnold. (He might just be the greatest gift-giver of them all). A bibliotherapist was assigned to me and a secret list compiled and, well--this might just be the geekiest and the most exciting thing.

I am a very lucky girl.

This month's book was The Break, by Pietro Grossi. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

*I could not be more excited by--or in love with--that brown paper packaging and the wax seal.

**Oh, and just a little thing I stumbled across earlier. It brought even more of a smile.

Monday, 1 August 2011

july bakes

My sister turned a year older last week--so in celebration, I whipped up a batch of cupcakes. (I kind of owed her these: they were a long time coming).

Earl Grey Cupcakes w/ Lemon Buttercream Frosting.

My life doesn't revolve around cake, really... (I'm working on it).