Monday, 30 July 2012

garden update

Rose, pansies & sweat peas straight from the garden
the garden has been enjoing the sun as well...especially my sweat peas....fragrant and beautiful.
found a use for those lovely Pantone candle containers
and just a few shots of the old shed - which I painted last week - next i have to tackle the summerhouse!
painted the old shed (Dulux Seagrass)....and clearing out the summerhouse
decided to add some stripes....
my new pot (wraps round the drainpipe) from Homebase
 meanwhile the little stray (who is pregnant i'm sure now - even though she's only a kitten herself) is getting pretty agile and adventurous...and even ventured up to the backdoor today when i put her supper out - bless her heart. 
can i do it? yes you can!

weekend update

The Vyne
just back from a lovely weekend at my parents house in Hampshire...and the weather [at last] was glorious.  my mum and i spent an afternoon at The Vyne near Basingtstoke - a family home since Tudor times, surrounded by woodland, with a walled garden, a hide and lake filled with geese and swans.
chilling by the lake...
checking out the local bird-life in the hide
lots of walks through the woods
flowers in the walled garden
the stunning summer house
we spent a morning with a bit of PYO (pick your own) and brought home some delicious strawberries and rhubarb.
PYO strawberries....
all rounded off with a lovely dinner at the Cross Keys pub in the nearby village of Upper Chute....the countryside is certainly the place to be on a warm summer's evening.
my lovely mum....enjoying an early evening tipple
view of the neighboring field
beautiful roses and lavender outside the pub
hello moon.
then it was off home - saying goodbye to the neighbour's cat Misty aka the bird-slayer...time to go and see how my little stray cat is doing.
Misty - showing some interest in the Olympics (or was it my dinner)

Monday, 23 July 2012

salted caramel & immaculate conception

after a hot day sitting in the garden on Sunday (at last summer is here...but only for a few days) I decided to cycle over to the Lexi in the evening to watch Rebecca Thomas's Elecktrick Children.  spotted this in the evening sun on the way there....
in the evening sun - on Bramston Road, NW10
and this ratty old thing on the way home.
its a mattress Jim, but not as we know it - on Hardinge Road, NW10
the film itself was a real treat (along with the yummy salted caramel ice cream i had) and a nice little nostalgic  trip back to the late 90s.  it tells the story of a 15 year old Mormon girl (the ethereally beautiful Julia Garner) who believes she became pregnant after listening to a cassette tape of a Blondie song (classic!).  while searching for the "father" of her baby she runs into a bunch of punky kids (always love a Culkin...Rory is excellent as grunge kid Clyde) squating, gigging and skating around Las Vegas.
the soundtrack is great - particularly love the Condtuits track running throughout...very My Bloody Valentine.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


this beauty was sent over from Australia by my pal Ed....brilliant!
Decarle Street, Brunswick, Victoria - Australia


picked up this fantastic old bar the other day - it was sitting in front of a nearby house along with a lot of broken furniture and i spotted it cycling home thinking it was an old desk.  i was delighted when i opened to find a fab mirrior interior, complete with stencilled bottles and cocktail glasses.  i had to rush back home, lock up the bike and zip back in a taxi to pick it up before someone else nabbed it.  the taxi driver thought i was completely mad and had a good giggle about it, but did concur it was a good find!
perfect for all my pretty bottles & glasses
just managed to squeeeeze it into the only available space!
 had a few friends over later to sample some delish cocktails straight from the bar and fed them with some equally delicious smoked mackerel fishcakes with wasabi mayo (adapted from this recipe)...they went down a storm.
must be on a bit of creative cooking tip as last night i ended whizzing up some avocado pesto - a great addition to my home made spicy tofu burgers...yum.
 thankfully the sun has FINALLY decided to come out for a bit so i've been enjoying sitting in the garden soaking up the rays...with the local strays....who are just about working up the courage to venture inside!
they seem to like a bit of Classic FM on the radio
nobody here but us chickens!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


rain rain rain....we really are getting fed up with all this wet here in the UK...and those boys at modern toss have it spot on with this cartoon!  however, there were a few breaks in the cloud over the weekend so my mate Jo and I enjoyed an evening at my "bar" sipping summer cocktails - like the awesome "party in a glass" from the best remedy made with coconut milk, white rum, lime and ginger syrup (which i had made earlier and stored in the fridge)...yum.
Party in a glass...and Jo's vampy True Blood nails!
the next day we wandered down to the new(ish) Everyman cinema in Maida Vale to see The Hunter.  this cinema is definitely a strong contender for my favourite in London (next to my local Lexi) - its a real gem with a great bar, lovely food and the screening rooms have SOFAS with footrests - absolute heaven. 
a little bit dark - but Jo wouldn't let me take it with the flash!
the movie was perfect for a sunday afternoon too with Willem Dafoe as his normally chiselled and cool self playing a mercenary paid by a biotech company to find a (believed to be extinct) Tasmanian tiger. 
its a slow paced little number, beautifully shot and very moving - especially in regard to the relationship he builds with a pair of children left to run wild by their doped up mother and the heart-wrenching ending.  when we left the cinema it suddenly poured down with torrential rain and we road the bus home through flooded streets....the start of another week of more rain, rain, rain.  will it never end.  
today there was another break in the clouds...just long enough to check on my sweet peas (they don't like rain!), mow the lawn and then cycle over to the local pool for a dip.  of course there was another downpour as i left the building....
some fellow swimmers....only one was prepared for the weather
then went for a quick fresh OJ at a local caff before pedalling home in the rain, again....spotted a couple of mattresses in the brief sunshine....
Leigh Gardens, NW10
Holland Road, NW10
and got home in time to feed some mackerel to one of the local strays that hang out in my garden - i've decided to name her Piewacket as she always makes me want to hum that tune from Bell Book & Candle - brilliant film with Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemon and the stunning Kim Novak playing a witch in contemporary New York with her cat familiar called Piewacket.
the stray that stays...tho i suspect Piewacket may have fleas!

the gorgeous Kim Novak...and Piewacket
and picked some lovely lavender and a random pansy from the garden...before they all get crushed to death!

Monday, 2 July 2012

French Market

the sun came out briefly on saturday so i jumped on my bicycle and rode over to Willesden Green for the french market being held on the site of the [doomed] Willesden Library.
the aroma of cheeses, pastries and lavender soaps couple with the "vintage" french music playing made me feel like i was at food & crafts market held on Tuesdays in Lorgues - where we go when staying with my folks in Provence.
after a stroll around we went for a little wander around Queens Parade on Willesden Lane - where some empty shops have been transformed into pop up shops/studios for a few small business selling arts, crafts, beauty products, vintage clothes, recycled furniture, etc.
Queens Parade, Willesden
there are some great little shops in there - i managed to spend a few pennies and came home with some lush rose oil products from Jardins d'Eden ("heavenly treats for the urban dweller") and had a chat with the owner, who's father began the family business making soaps with olive oil in the Lebanon.  we then went for a delicious Genie Juice at Punch n'Juicy and tried to soak up a few rays...tho its still a bit chilly with the wind.  will we ever get a summer this year?!
Genie Juice....magic!
when leaving i spotted this mattress at the back of the Library where new apartments are being developed...which, i hear, is soon to be the fate of the Library too sadly.