Friday, 29 May 2009

Not stupid

I was going to do a post with some recent charity shop / boot sale purchases that I'm rather proud of, as I realised that these have been distinctly thin on the ground, but first I just wanted to promote a film I saw last night that I thought was extremely moving.

It is called 'The Age of Stupid' and is a low budget film / documentary set in 2055, looking back at the first few years of the 21st century and critiquing what the human race did (or didn't) do in relation to the issues of global warming and climate change. Scary stuff. I am not going to lecture on how we consume far too much and take so much for granted, as goodness knows I am far from perfect, but I will urge you to watch it if you haven't already, or at least look at the websites of the film and the associated campaign;

It will make you think. And hopefully act.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Four day weekend

Yesterday I woke early, ate my breakfast on the balcony, constructed some bamboo cane wigwams for my sweet peas and and green beans to climb up, then headed over to Portobello Road to meet some friends who were showing a visiting American around London for the day. I didn't buy anything, preferring the bargains and serendipitous finds of charity shops, car boot sales and the local auction in Norfolk, but I did have a Hummingbird Bakery red velvet cupcake bought for me and took plenty of photographs in the sunshine.

After lunch I jumped on a train to Cambridge to visit M, where I wandered round the market, bought some local asparagus for our supper, and generally relished the first May in ages where I haven't got exams to revise for. I won't be so smug when all my remaining student friends are enjoying the long summer and I am stuck in an office, but at the moment the lack of revision associated guilt is glorious.

Today I am braving the X5 to Oxford for a friend's birthday, all three hours fifteen minutes of it, but I have Jeremy Irons reading Lolita on my ipod which will hopefully pass the time...

Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday.

Friday, 15 May 2009


I have loved my first week in my new job. There have been some long hours, which will take a little getting used to, but I have been kept busy so it has never been dull. Plus, the people are great and drink copious amounts of tea! I also love working by the river, and so centrally. Today I finished at 3pm so wandered along to the Southbank in the sunshine to meet a friend (the lovely Anna of Book Early) where we browsed the book market by the BFI and stopped for a drink on the terrace of the Royal Festival Hall.

We also visited the Poetry Library in the Southbank Centre where I picked up 'Rapture' by Carol Ann Duffy from the 'New Poet Laureate' display, and happened to stumble upon the following, which struck a chord:


I like pouring your tea, lifting
the heavy pot, and tipping it up,
so the fragrant liquid streams in your china cup.

Or when you’re away, or at work,
I like to think of your cupped hands as you sip,
as you sip, of the faint half-smile of your lips.

I like the questions – sugar? – milk? –
and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.

Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam, Earl Grey, Ceylon,
I love tea’s names. Which tea would you like? I say
but it’s any tea for you, please, any time of day,

as the women harvest the slopes
for the sweetest leaves, on Mount Wu-Yi,
and I am your lover, smitten, straining your tea.

Friday, 8 May 2009

They say it's Spring...

...but today, in Cambridge for a few days, I stepped outside and, despite the misleadingly bright sunshine, the wind was strong, pushing dark clouds across the rooftops. I have retreated back indoors to nurse my cold with tangerine juice and plenty of tissues in the hope that it will be gone in time for the new job on Monday. In the meantime I have uploaded some photos from the last few weeks which show that Spring is definitely here, even if not quite today.

Apple blossom in the Norfolk garden of my parents' home

Eggs from a neighbour
Violets and Primroses from the garden on our Easter Sunday breakfast table
Tulips at Columbia Road Flower Market
Narcissi in boxes, also at Columbia Road
Lemon butterfly cakes for Mum's birthday tea.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Here I am

It was an overcast bank holiday Monday in Norfolk, with an afternoon spent indoors wearing far too many cardigans, which resulted in me finally beginning this. I got as far as setting up the page before being called to make Dad's birthday cupcakes (vanilla sponge, buttercream icing in an eggshell blue that entirely unintentionally matched Mum's Poole pottery). It is only now, three days later, that I am properly beginning.

But here it is. I am writing. I hope you'll read.