Welcome to the week...

Welcome...(or perhaps welcome back) to my blog...it's been a while but I decided that it would be a good place to fill out my weekly Instagram chats which I've been enjoying so much during these long, strange months of the CV-19 pandemic. I'll add a little more content and links to things I talk about...plus some recipes and other bits and pieces I hope you find interesting! You can subscribe too, if you like, so you don't miss a post. There are over 200 other entries here, from down the years...so feel free to make a cup of tea and explore!

Last week I was talking a little about corners...the special places in our home that I love to sit and read or write in. My days (like all of us) are so long and busy and especially stressful right now. There's a little layer of worry over everything, even though I'm not always conscious of it. Have I got a clean facemask? That's one I never even contemplated just six months ago and now...I can't imagine not thinking about it. I'm visiting a picture framers later today and had to email them for an appointment - in 'the days before' I would have just driven up and strolled in. What a world! But it's our world for the foreseeable future so we do what we must...
This is my 'afternoon corner' of choice - usually a snatched cup of tea with the newspaper between brownie bakes! It's in our garden room which is filled with natural light and offers a complete view of the garden which is the perfect antidote to stress and worry...I often find myself just staring at the bees on the salvia, the equivalent of being mesmerised by an open fire in winter I think! Alice loves to lie across the lap of anyone sitting in this chair - I used to think it was me she wanted to be close to. And Paul thought it was him. But we've discovered that it's anyone who sits here...so it's definitely the chair. Pride bubble popped!
This is the calmest corner in our house. There is nothing in this room to disturb anyone, just the ticking of the old grandfather clock. It's the place we go to read, do the crossword, sew on buttons or just take a moment...

This cushion is also one of my very favourites...it's block-printed by hand in Dorset and made by Bonfield Block-Printers - this pattern is Night Jar. They have some absolutely beautiful things - not inexpensive, but then they are real craftsmen and their pieces will last a lifetime. I think of them as heirlooms...and I'd rather buy a few special, quality things nowadays than lots of cheaper items that we'll get tired of and want to (or need to) replace in a short time.
The dahlias are incredible this year - I'm not sure why! I planted them for the first time last year and wasn't sure if they'd come back - I didn't raise and store the tubers, we just covered them with a layer of mulch and hoped for the best! We have mild, wet winters here anyway - no real extremes of temperature. Whatever we did, we did right! So many blooms and they're huge and so lush...I put my hand next to this beauty for scale. They are so velvety and gorgeous, they gladden my heart...
Finally for this post - I'm trying to eat much more thoughtfully these days. All our meals are cooked from scratch and neither of us eat meat (although Paul does love fish) so we're pretty healthy anyway, but I have realised that low sugar and low carb really is a sensible way to go, especially as we get older. My Mum was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and so we made some adjustments to her eating...and Type 2 diabetes is something we'd all like to avoid. And anyway - it's delicious! Paul has a wonderful tiny raised vegetable bed growing this year and it's full of beautiful shiny yellow courgettes at the moment - as well as rainbow chard, purple sprouting broccoli and a pyramid of french beans in the centre! If you have a glut of courgettes too - or access to some beautiful fresh ones, then I wanted to recommend this fabulous recipe to you. It's Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake and you can find it on Heidi Swanson's brilliant blog 101 Cookbooks . She has a great search facility on there and I found this under the 'high protein' section. It's really simple to make - I used chives and thyme from the garden too, too add some more flavour. The only change I made was to use feta where she suggests goat cheese - just because that's what we had to hand. It worked perfectly...
It is wonderful with a plate of ripe tomatoes, sliced thickly and drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil and lots of black pepper! Best at room temperature but it was also wonderful cold for lunch, eaten straight from the fridge! Lots of inspiration on Heidi's site, I highly recommend it. 
And so, that's it for this week...I hope you've enjoyed 'a little bit more'!
Thank you so much, as ever, for your friendship and warmth, which has sustained me throughout these months and will continue to in those to come...
Alice and I wish you good health and much love...remember, always, that this too shall pass xx


  1. So lovely as usual. I love your peaceful corners and your beautiful dahlias.
    I am eating more thoughtfully too. Have cut out sugar and simple carbs, to eat more veg and fruit. I do not want the health problems that come with poor nutrition. The Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake looks scrumptious.
    Alice is adorable as always!

  2. So happy to see you blogging again. This looks really delicious.

  3. It's lovely to have you post again, Rachel. I can see why you enjoy your cozy corners to relax with Alice. She knows a good spot, too!
    I've been eating low carb for almost two years now as I was diagnosed with prediabetes. I'm happy to say I am no longer pre diabetic and have lost weight and feel so much better. I'll have to visit your friends site for inspiration. The cheesecake looks wonderful!

  4. So lovely seeing your photos and reading your blog again, Rachel! I rarely get to Instagram or the others but love seeing Mozart's Girl pop up in my email! Love your quiet corners , and your "foodie" suggestions are always inspiring. Thank you for injecting some quiet thoughtfulness into our crazy days! You are right! This too shall pass!! xo

  5. I was so happy to see this post! I followed your blog in the past and have missed it. I didn’t know about your Instagram account and am following that now as well.
    Thank you for continuing to write and share your thoughts with us during this particularly difficult time. All the best to you and yours.


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