I had no idea pumpkins are so thrilling! Quite aside from conducting my own Mendelesque experiment, as all the seed came from one pumpkin yet are coming up different shapes and colours, they have transformed my new beds, ramping happily over beans and daisies and making it all green in the process. IMG_1285

Posted in garden | 7 Comments

Very Bad Blogger


Like so many of us I have been off the air recently. Why?

Incredibly busy and grateful for it. Brother Donkey is feeling the strain though (apologies to St Francis!)

I did have the delightful experience today of cutting outside – cool little sea breeze, sparkling water, the egrets and their fledglings lined up along the creek banks catching their lunch. Why haven’t I thought of this before, when I can’t get a table inside?


Posted in Blogging, Deck, Rough Linen | 7 Comments




Since my rosa mutabilis chinensis is top-heavy and leaning on the lemon tree like a drunken sailor, I have decided to prune one branch a week, so I can enjoy the blossom inside.  They shall not die in vain.


Posted in garden, House | 6 Comments

Adult Peanut Butter Cookies

Even my peanut butter cookies have gone over to the dark side.


Peanut butter cookies are essential Americana, but these are slightly less sweet, and the molasses adds a sombre note.

1/2 cup  sugar

tablespoon of molasses (be generous)

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup peanut butter (be generous)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup oats
1 cup plain wholewheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Mix the first four ingredients together until light, add the next two and beat, then add the rest and amalgamate. Scoop out in teaspoonfuls, flatten with a fork and bake at 375 ish (200F) until they smell wonderful.

Posted in domesticity | 5 Comments

Color-Blocked Kitchen

My love affair with black and with colour-blocking continues: kitchen too!

I should have tidied away the broom.  Or painted it black.

I should have tidied away the broom. Or painted it black.

Counters, kick and small appliances were always black, but now lower walls and inside upper shelves are too.

Image 22

basics are important

basics are important

Utensils are easy to find in black –  tea towels and bar mats were a challenge.

my life to a T: home-grown radish and lemon, and a passionfruit I hope to propagate

my life to a T: home-grown radish and lemon, and a passionfruit I hope to propagate

Black tray, black and wood cutting boards,  sometimes it is hard to see things black on black!  Plain white plates though.  Black sponges are the next frontier, but no luck so far.

























Organize-it had me so excited with an illustration of a plain black dish brush but when it arrived it was piebald, and endless trouble to return (I am still fighting for a full refund).  I am jaded and world-weary enough to get a prickle of satisfaction from a desire I can’t fulfill.  Pass the absinthe.

Image 14

I use these scales all the time ~

Yes, I planked and colour-blocked the fridge

Yes, I planked and colour-blocked the fridge
















Thank you Simple Human for my bin

everything JUST fits

everything JUST fits

Posted in domesticity, House, photos, the meaning of life | 11 Comments

New Black Is

IMG_0414 IMG_0415
I have been obsessing innocently about black, on the theory that if instead of having things in random colours I hunt them down in black, I will look immensely sophisticated.  I like a challenge.  What isn’t black is natural wood or white.

First were black scrubbing brush and nail brush, both found among janitor’s equipment and relieved of their offensive logos with a little GoofOff. 

Black Gillette disposable razor.

No black soap, that would be too strange.  For me it’s Pears’ soap all the way.

In United Markets I came across a black pumice stone, so appealing I bought it even though strictly speaking I didn’t need one.  It even has one side rough and one side smooth, and is completely natural.  I luff it. 

Tresemmé is now my shampoo of choice, not because I like it (though it is only shampoo, so who cares?), but it comes in an austere black bottle.  But wait, there’s more!  At CB2 I found black rubber-covered pump dispensers, for dish soap, shampoo, anything!  I can hardly contain myself.

There is no other place for the cat litter, but at least it is in a high sided black washing up bowl (thank you Ikea), and the oversized scoop is black too. 

I swapped out black wire for the baskets which had held my many neatly stacked white face cloths used as guest towels: on the counter for clean ones, on the floor for used. 

Two black jars for cat brushes (black).

Then I combed the internet for a dustpan and brush, but the only ones were amazingly expensive imports.  Rafael Lumber to the rescue!  A lovely big brush and capacious pan for peanuts.

My Mason Pearson hair brush is already black, as are my bathroom scales, bathroom hooks  and loo roll holder etc.  Three out of four orchids are in black containers.  A can of black matt spray paint is standing at the ready.  Style, here I come.




Posted in Blogging, photos | 17 Comments

The Magnificent Frigate Bird

photoThat’s all one needs know – all week I have been marvelling at the Magnificent Frigate Birds soaring over the water of the Sea of Cortez.  A wonderful time, in the world but not of it.


Posted in Holidays | 4 Comments

Stem Ginger Biscuit Recipe

Toss into a food processor:

4 oz wholemeal flour (1 cup)
4 oz oats (1 cup)
two tablespoon demerara sugar
1/2 teaspoon each salt and bicarbonate of soda
juice of a lemon
3 oz butter

Mix to crumb consistency then add:

2oz Buderim crystallised stem ginger
1 fluid ounce milk

until the consistency is manageable but relatively ‘dry’.

Roll out on a floured board, 1/8″ thick, cut into circles and prick all over with a fork. Put them on a greased baking tray and bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees C, 350 degrees F or Gas Mark 4, until slightly browned. These taste better when they have cooled.

I am flirting with the idea of adding even more stem ginger, or grated fresh ginger or even ground ginger, but for me half the charm of this aromatic biscuit is that it doesn’t register as ‘ginger’ straight off the bat. Experiment!

Son of Digestive Biscuit, obviously.

Posted in domesticity | 5 Comments

More Biscuits

When the going gets tough, the tough make biscuits – this time I was trying to reproduce Duchy of Cornwall Stem Ginger Biscuits, and I succeeded, deliciously. Recipe will follow, this is just to let you know I’m alive mum!

Posted in domesticity | 1 Comment

Becoming a Spinster


Moosh is shedding: this is the amount of fluff I retrieved from him in one day. I think I should learn to spin…



Posted in domesticity, Uncategorized | 2 Comments