Tag Archives: food

A creaky week


… disinclining me to appreciate small things as much as usual.  Here, however, I may mention two pleasures of the senses:

A home-made swiss roll bulging with summer fruits, raspberry preserve, and double cream – a potent consolation in its way;

and the Falcon Heavy launch (hardly small, but very brief).  My rational part has its doubts about the value of the programme, but seeing the two side boosters settling out of the sky on their tails was pure magic.  Pity they lost the core, but perhaps a good thing to keep down corporate hubris.

Now I’m going to watch those boosters separate and land again (for the eleventh time or so).  Oh the improbability of it.


Eighteen thousand steps


… which is enough for a person of a certain age, especially when quite a few of them were up hill (and equally painfully, down hill) even with some youthful assistance in the traction department.

Thus sausage and lentil soup among the distinctly original, massive and wonky half-timbering was quite a Cunning Plan, which fortified us for the main Cunning Plan.  I approve automatically of any food establishment which runs its own bring-and-share book shelf, though I would probably eschew most of these titles.

Stocking up


These mass productions are beach clay with added paper; they looked rather like milk chocolate in the morning light

which was unfortunate as it isn’t time to have chocolate for breakfast yet.

I am stocking up with beaches while the weather lasts.  This one is usually visited when heavy surf is running in; it felt odd that waves existed only as almost imperceptible blue streaks refracted round the lighter blue of the bay.

Out in the garage I loaded the kiln.  The temperature was plunging, and I could scarcely feel the small icy items as I lifted them in with equally icy hands.



It’s a time indeed since being on a bus.  This one ground and clanked its way through the villages, past the sea, up the Shute, down the chalk, wound beneath the hills, and at last to town.  I shopped:  bought only some minute wooden butterflies.  After business, there was welcome tea of reprieve.  I’ve been reprieved in this place before.  And the social event of the day.

Then the bus:  out of town through the clogged traffic (glad to see the driver knew his bus width to the inch), below the hills where sheep did picturesque things on the skyline, up the chalk, down the Shute, past the sea, now glowing like tarnished silver in the twilight (a radiance perhaps exaggerated in my still-dilated eyes), and through the villages.

More tea.

Everyone loves an apocalypse


In a book about apocalypses and endings in fiction, it seemed appropriate to begin with the most recently written segment, which is the epilogue, before returning to chapter/lecture 1, mischievously entitled “The End”.

It was perhaps an error to cook a ginger cake between chapters 2 and 3.  The tin is almost empty.

All on a summer’s day


Well it was about 80° by 9 o’clock again, so I went to water the plants before it became intolerable.  While on this placid duty, the






bumblebee flew straight down the neck of my shirt.

Having in this compendious manner tried to achieve heat stroke and heart attack in the same encounter, I treated myself for shock and proceeded with the day.

At 10 o’clock we headed to a convenient beach.  There was a ruffling breeze and on the fairly steep-to shingle the waves made aggressive dashes at our knees.  Wet skirts were not a problem in the circumstances …

At noon the curtains were pulled against the sun and with local old-fashioned milk (full of old-fashioned top-of-the-milk) we made raspberry ice cream – yum, zingy.

And having run out of tosh for the moment, another book at 1 pm:


Wendy Moore has written an interesting double biography of Thomas Day and Sabrina Sidney/Bicknell.  The key narrative element is that Day, a dogmatic, wealthy and eccentric 18th century bachelor, tried to create a wife to his own specifications by acquiring and educating his own personal orphan, naming her Sabrina Sidney.  The morality of this is more complex than at first appears – less obnoxious because it did not in fact seem to cloak sexual abuse or pædophilia, and did in fact benefit his protégé in terms of prosperity and education; and more obnoxious, because the bald description of ‘apprenticeship’ barely indicates the mental manipulation, ownership, occasional physical cruelty and minute control he expected to exert over Sidney.  What could possibly go wrong?  Quite a lot, but again, no simple moral to be drawn.

It seems that the story was too good to waste, its afterlife leaking into several novels, and perhaps eventually into Shaw’s Pygmalion.  Having read this account of Day’s experiment (and also Pygmalion), I can well believe it.

And now at another 9 o’clock, it’s time to water the frazzled pot plants again.  Dare I brave the invertebrates?

During the incursion


… there was a communal bake-in, requiring several hours and some curious culinary procedures involving pineapple and limes.  The presence of a live chicken on the kitchen floor probably didn’t help.

When I’d finished laughing, I ate my piece, which was rather good, and juicy with fruit, (though I admit to scraping off some of the drooly icing – nice flavour, but rather too sweet in a dollop like this).

Tying things up


I spent a good deal of the day tying things up, until I began to feel rather controlling (and ran out of string).  (Click a thumbnail for the gallery)