Sunday, 27 September 2009

Autumn in Soho....and those Primrose Hills!



We had another wonderful London weekend...the weather was absolutely amazing again, warm, sunny with cloudless blue skies. We took Alice to Soho on Saturday morning...she loves it there, all those tiny streets to sniff, lots of lovely gay men who take the time to stop & ruffle her head and we usually stop for a coffee outside somewhere so that she can sit under the table and watch the world go by...it's a great and historic part of London. Even Mozart was here once, as a little boy! He stayed in Frith Street for a short while..now home to very different musicians and one of the best places for coffee in London (especially at 2am if you've had too much to drink! x)

Once, on my way to Australia, I had a 9 hour stop in Japan and it was too far from the city to go anywhere so I just stayed at the gate and read a (big) book! I got talking, at 3am, to a lovely man from Louisiana who reminded me of 'Red' from The Shawshank Redemption. He was telling me about his niece who lived in London, and when I asked wherabouts he said 'She lives in the Primrose Hills'....now, I had a little chuckle at the time because he made it sound so romantic and he'd obviously never set foot in our capital city and had the idea that it was still like a scene from Mary Poppins! But, standing on top of the Primrose Hill at 8.30 this morning and looking at the wondrous skyline bathed in misty morning sunlight - I suddenly realised that he may have been right all along.....

MY Farmer's Market



I thought you might like to see some photos of my market stall from last Tuesday....it was a beautiful sunny September morning when we all set up. The Market wasn't quite as busy as last month (August was a record for me, excluding Christmas) but with the recession biting as hard as it is, I'm so grateful to all my loyal and new customers for buying anything at all! Anyway, it's fun...and I get to see people for once. I'm usually holed up in my kitchen all day with Radio 4 (that's actually how I like it!)

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Eine Kleine Wolfgang...

It just occurred to me that, despite the title of my blog, i haven't as yet written anything about the man who is - next to my husband, my dad & my 3 gorgeous nephews - my greatest love. I think that this is because he, and his music, are so tightly woven into my life and heart that he's just always there....whether i'm humming his music in my head, actually listening to it or just thinking of a phrase...Mozart is part of the fabric of my life and I can't imagine a single moment without him there. To me, he is quite simply the greatest genius who ever lived on this earth (no apologies to Master Shakespeare, for to me he is the Mozart of Words!) I even think of periods in history as BW or AW, according to whther they occurred before 1756 or after 1791. So, while there will be many specific references in posts to come....just know that he is always hovering on the fringes of my life, my beloved Amadeus...


"Mozart is Sunshine" - Antonin Dvorak

Monday, 21 September 2009

Autumn Bounty



Here are the veggies I bought at yesterday's Farmer's Market....as you can see, I went a bit mad....but it all looked SO good! We'll have some wonderful meals this week. Tonight I'm making fresh spaghetti with heritage tomatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, basil & parmesan. It has to be quick as I have to go back to work at 6.30pm...my own Farmer's Market is tomorrow and I have been baking for days. Tonight, it must all be cut, boxed up and loaded (with tables, cloths, bags, labels, napkins) into the back of my (small) car! Early start tomorrow. I couldn't resist adding some pictures of our garden from this afternoon...looking distinctly Autumnal around the edges....


Sunday, 20 September 2009

Adorable Alice



I Just thought that I ought to add a few pictures of our gorgeous Alice-Bear...16 months old, and the light of our lives! As you can see, she is going through her 'teen' stage and doesn't enjoy getting up in the mornings....but she's a joy (most of the time, except when she barks at everything, or digs up the garden burying her bones! x)

A busy week...with a lovely ending!

We just got back from a beautiful weekend in London - but I'm jumping ahead already ! This has been such a full week....work has been incredibly busy which I should be, and am, grateful for...but it's lovely when it stops! Mango & Coconut Cake, Apple & Plum Cake, Midnight Mint Cupcakes...just some of Friday's orders...all completed and delivered. On Monday I saw 'Julie & Julia' at the movies, which I loved - especially the Julia Child/Meryl Streep sections. In fact I wished that they could have made the whole film just about her life, but even a little was wonderful. Tuesday evening we both saw 'Away We Go', and enjoyed that very much too...a little bit 'Little Miss Sunshine'-ey, and refreshingly unsentimental but so sweet too. Great soundtrack also! And the week went on...and Friday came at last! I finished work by 4pm, we packed a bag each and got Alice ready and then we were off to wonderful Marylebone. Saturday mornings are my favourite time there...the weekend stretches ahead, full of promise. The day was warm, balmy & sunny. We woke at 6.30am and Paul took Alice for a run while I pottered about, reading and drinking tea...we all met up at 8.45 and, after breakfast, set off for Hyde Park. It's about a mile...and the park is so rural in places that it's unbelievable that it sits in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world. We passed tiny children having riding lessons in a sandy enclosure, with the noise of the Brompton Road traffic behind them as they learnt to 'TR-OT!' in their little velvet riding hats & jodhpurs. Alice was off lead and romped in the long grass, chasing the odd pigeon and wondering how the squirrels disappeared so quickly (she doesn't look up trees!) We arrived at the Serpentine, and found a table at the newly opened cafe there, under the willow trees right by the water... the perfect spot, as it was by now really warm in the sun. We got a bowl of water for our girl and tied her lead to the railings so that she could watch the coots & geese while we had lunch...and a bottle of beautiful chilled wine....gorgeous fresh salad and goats cheese bruschetta. Paul ate a grilled fillet of sea bream on risotto. It was from the 'small plates' menu, and the perfect amount.
On the way back, Alice took a little dip in the Serpentine which really energised her and she went quite berserk afterwards, running around in circles and scooting her little bottom out of the way as Paul tried (and failed) to catch her!We spent the rest of the day reading and relaxing, which felt like the perfect thing to do after a lovely lunch and a bottle of wine! Sunday mornings mean only one thing - newspapers & good coffee......(Alice loves the Sunday Times, although she gives the caffeine a miss!) Followed by our trip to the Farmers Market. As usual I bought far too much (pictures of the bounty will be posted tomorrow) but it all looked so wonderful that it was hard to resist! Back to the real world by 4.30pm....I had to go into work for a couple of hours as I have my own Farmers Market on Tuesday and it means a lot of baking! I'll leave you with some images from today....




Friday, 4 September 2009

Definitely Autumn today! The late sun is shining on the cherry tree at the bottom of the garden and Alice is finishing her 'twilight barking'! We are meeting friends for supper tonight - the first time in ages. I have to go and change - I thought that i'd start this blog with my favourite portrait of the Best Beloved...x