Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Biting wind stinging S's and my eyes and making our cheeks rosy; clambering over slippery rocks in sturdy shoes, navigating our way around rock pools and finally jumping down onto the soft sand.  Pushing stray strands of hair back from my face to make it easy to chatter as we walked.  Holding my gloved hands underneath my arms to stop them from going numb whilst staring in awe at the still sea-fishermen patiently braving the elements to catch their prize.  Hurrying up the estuary path all too soon to meander up the cliff and find my car again.  Jumping in the car, turning the heat right up and feeling our feet and hands slowly coming back to life.  Stopping at The Pelican In Her Piety pub for a warming cup of coffee, sitting in the dark flagstoned room with one of my oldest friends for a good long while talking about our favourite beach, men, books and friends we have lost touch with ...

Friday, 26 December 2008

Wonderful Things This Christmas

  • N arriving on the 23rd to spend Christmas with me and my crazy Welsh family
  • Christmas Eve at my aunt's house: my cousin has a little boy - aka the best boy who is six.  His father was working Christmas Eve so he arrived at the party a little late.  When he did arrive, he knocked at the lounge window in an enormous blow up Father Christmas suit! 
  • Watching my Nana,who is nearly 90, beat everyone on the yo-yo we had in one of the crackers.
  • Waking up on Christmas morning with N
  • Giving my Christmas gifts
  • Having twelve to lunch on Christmas day, some on folding chairs, all cwtched in together.
  • All of us sitting in my parents cinema room after lunch with bags of popcorn, watching sing-a-long Mama Mia.  
  • Chuckling at listening to my father compete with the best boy as to who could sing 'The Winner Takes It All' the loudest.  Believe it or not the six year old beat his god-father!
  • Going to the ballet on boxing day to see Snow White.  We took the best boy.  Watching his face as the seven dwarfs started to dance.
Christmas can be a mixed bag for people for a lot of reasons.  Whilst it is a time to celebrate our love for family and friends it can also be a time which reminds us of those we miss the most and can highlight family grievances and tensions.  I hope your Christmas was truly wonderful.  If for whatever reason this festive season was less than happy I wish you all the happiness and love for 2009.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The weekend starts...

tomorrow! Hooray! I am super excited! Tomorrow afternoon I shall finish work early then hop on a bus then on a train and make my way to London. If my train is on time I should get to our (it's N's really but I think of it as mine too!) flat just after 7.00. I will have just enough time to spruce myself up, put on some winter pimms and lay out some nibbles before my lovely friends arrive. My lovely Californian friend, I, who was my cheffing partner at Le Cordon Bleu is visiting London with her talented architect boyfriend so it is a fabulous excuse for an LCB get together. Also coming is S who is now a chef at Claridges and Mrs and Mrs M. Mrs M and I had a lot of fun making chocolate sculptures back in the day, she now runs courses teaching children how to cook amongst many other things. What a talented bunch! I havent seen I or Mrs M for over a year so it is going to be wonderful! Friday I have off work which is great! I am meeting one of my university flat mates, Dr G for a spot of much needed christmas shopping and a coffee and then in the evening I am at a festive dinner party. We have no plans for the rest of the weekend, apart from visiting N's parents at some point. I need to do some serious knitting on the train though if I am going to get all of my presents finished on time. I am making hot water bottle covers and tea cosies and hats ... photos to follow....

Sunday afternoon recomended viewing: for a bit of old fashioned seasonal romance try Meet Me At St Louis - a classic.

Have wonderful weekends all!

Lovely things....

Lovely silvery white wintery things:

*Brissi Treat and Biscotti tins *Astier de Vilate - petit vase fleurs* Limoges tea pot* Tea light holders Red Direct*

Thursday, 11 December 2008

A bit twp

Okay so this time it's me that's been a bit twp.  About a month ago I was contacted by a national magazine (You & Your Wedding) and was asked if I would like iced to be featured in the next issue.  Yes please said I.  Okay said they.  I eagerly anticipated the January/February issue which of course comes out in December.  As soon as I knew it was out I purchased a copy.  But humph leafing through the pages it soon became evident that they hadn't featured me after all.  I was a little bit miffed / disappointed - my first feature in a national magazine is big news for me.  Anyway this morning I had a lovely letter from a lovely client who said she had seen me in this magazine!  Of course I came home and leafed through it and lo and behold on page 4 of the planning guide there is a fabulous picture of one of my cakes in a section entitled 'Hot For 2009'.  Me ... Hot For 2009!!! Hooray!  My other blog Posies and Pearls even gets a mention!  How twp though - first time round I must have completely passed it by! Thank you lovely client for having eyes where I had none!!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

No Snow

Hmm well there was no snow - boo! But there was ice. The icy frosting looked so pretty on the front lawn and across the fields, like a sparkling shimmering dusting of magic, even the honey coloured pebbles that lead to my studio were merrily glistening in the morning light as I carefully picked my way over them to get to work. The skies were blue and clear it was lovely. Later in the afternoon when my jobs were done I took a drive to the shops. I live in the countryside and to get to most places you need to drive through a lot of winding lanes. Although it was such a beautiful day driving in the ice is not fun. On this particular journey I had to drive up a very steep twisty lane, I should have been warned when the car in front of me did a very dangerous U-turn in the middle of the lane and retreated. But on I drove and all of a sudden the noise coming from my tyres as they desperately tried to grip on to the road filled the car. I gripped the wheel tighter but as I got to the top of the steep part of the lane my car started sliding around on the ice. I made it to the main road without incident principally because I met no oncoming traffic, thank goodness, but it could have been very different. Take care everyone as the weather becomes colder, I am going to try to avoid the lanes as much as possible even if it does take me twice as long to get anywhere, please do the same.

Friday, 5 December 2008

The Friday Picture

Well it's Friday .. again! I can hardly believe how quickly the week has gone!! The temperatures here in Wales have dropped over the last couple of days and we even have a forecast for snow! At the moment I can just hear the patter of the rain on the velux windows above me but I am holding out for some soft soundless snow. Growing up in Belgium we had freezing winters, I remember being wrapped up from head to foot, literally, with just a hole in my snood for my eyes to peak out of! We lived very near a park; the grounds of the old summer palace of the Belgian royal family. The park is absolutely beautiful with lakes and woods and beautiful old buildings. In the winter the lakes would freeze over and we would skate on them in our moon-boots. When it snows here, in the Vale of Glamorgan, we generally have just a light dusting that lasts for a few days. We have to go to the Brecon Beacons aka the mountains for 'proper' snow, the kind that you can build snow men out of, sledge down and craft snowballs from for lobbing at friends. I love this fabulous picture taken by Ralph Moorse in 1942 at the Timberline Lodge ski club party of snowbound fun...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Beautiful Baubles

I love baubles.  I love the shininess of them the sparkly colourfulness of them, the glitteryness, the prettyness the sheer decadence and fun of them.  I even love the word 'bauble'. Just look at these fine examples of baubley gorgeousness...

* V&A vintage baubles * Plumo jewelled baubles* V&A faberge baubles*

Last Christmas...

Last Christmas this was N and I's tree in London.  It was such a beautiful tree!  Our decorations consisted of two boxes of baubles from Ikea - one box of red, one box of gold, and some fairy lights, expertly draped by N.  Not the most sophisticated or styled tree in the world I know but it was lovely!

Advent Calanders

Okay so I'm a few days late, but here are some fab advent calender ideas to build anticipation for the festive season!

*Advent Buckets from Sage Inspired By Life*

*Advent wall hanging Aspen & Brown*

Random Mumblings

Many appologies for my lack of posting over the last couple of days. I spent the weekend in London with N, it was very lovely: we ate lots of lovely food, slept a lot, caught up with friends and attempted some Christmas shopping. We both had Monday off work which meant the weekend lasted three whole days! Fabulous!

On Friday, before I left for London, I downloaded the TED Lecture podcasts to watch on the train. These are really inspirational short lectures by people in all sorts of fields who are deemed to be the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers. These people are challenged to give a lecture in 18 minutes on their work/mission/inspiration/passion. I listened to amazing individuals talk about architecture, gardening, smallpox, the value of creativity in education and even blogging! They were really fascinating and made my two hour journey go by in a flash. Do check them out...

On Monday we spent a bit of time researching a trip to California. N's cousin, who lives in California, is getting married in April at a ranch outside of Los Angeles and we are seeing if we can arrange a holiday around it. Nothing is definite yet but we thought we would explore the different options. Our only criteria are that we have to be at the wedding on the 18th and we want to see my friend from Cordon Bleu days who lives in LA / Santa Barbara. We would like to travel up route one to San Francisco but are a little unsure about how long this might take? Can anyone offer any advice / point me in the direction of must-see places / lovely but inexpensive accomodation? Any pointers would be wonderful!