Monday, 2 September 2013

Notes from the weekend

We had Joe's birthday party on Saturday. Friday was spent cleaning and tidying, then Saturday morning was a blur of baking, gazebo-building, bunting-tying and preparing lots of food (including the cake). I'd seen a picture of it in one of my books and thought, 'I'll bake that'. So I duly bought the ingredients and didn't bother to read the instructions until the day of the party... There was a bit of a faff as it involved separating egg whites and whisking and spooning in slowly and gradually etc. but it worked perfectly: the whitest, lightest sponge cake with a pink filling of blended mascarpone and raspberry jam.

Joe was keen to get at it (pictured here with his aunt, who we're visiting later this week - she has a lovely allotment to explore).

Our little house and garden did us proud. We fitted in over twenty-five people comfortably and tucked into a tasty barbecue. Most importantly Joe loved it. In fact, he was inspired to take his first steps yesterday - another milestone reached!

It's feeling very autumnal at the moment. It's been dry but very blustery and I wore my warm pyjamas last night. We'll be unearthing the heavy quilt next...

Jay's off work this week. He took Joe out this morning (to look at those rucksack/baby carrier contraptions as we're planning a blackberry-picking excursion) so I got on with some craft fair things. Mainly linocuts (like this beetroot print). I tend to make sketches in a book first then stylise and simplify them as linocutting very detailed drawings isn't something I'm going to attempt just yet.

I tend to draw from memory so my sketches aren't always botanically correct but that doesn't matter. I'll call it the artist's prerogative.

So I sat and mixed inks and printed away, listening to Radio 4. There was an interesting article on Woman's Hour about bibliotherapy. Not something I was previously aware of but very thought-provoking. That's a whole other post I suppose (although I'm actually reading my first novel since becoming a mummy - A Mysterious Affair of Style, by Gilbert Adair). 

I love September - I always think of it as my personal New Year. So much to look forward to: comfort food, warm clothes, woolly blankets, bracing walks, woodsmoke... and an invitation to pick plums from a heavily-laden tree (belonging to another aunt).

And these wonderful things.

Hope you're as excited about autumn coming as I am!


  1. Damn, I meant to listen to that item about bibliotherapy but I turned the radio off when Jamie Oliver came on (cannot stand him). Must check out iplayer.

    I must follow your example and get sketching. Love your beetroot print.

    1. Thank you!

      I'm with you on Jamie Oliver - I find him extremely irritating. Unfortunately Joe is mesmerised every time he appears on the TV... must be that whole bouncing around and exclaiming loudly thing he does. Joe likes noise.

      The bibliotherapy thing was fairly short but worth a listen. I might go on iPlayer myself as Jay was talking through part of it.

  2. I agree September is a great time, so many comforting things to look forward to, my personal favourite a roaring open fire with buttered crumpets and tea.

    1. Oh that sounds nice too - I dream of owning a woodburning stove one day. Crumpets are on the shopping list for next week now!

  3. So many beautiful things - happy belated birthday Joe...I hope your blackberries are ripening.

    Nina x

    1. Thank you! We found some blackberries near home today on Joe's little pre-afternoon nap walk. Big and fat and juicy!


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