Tuesday, 22 September 2015


Sometimes you need to remember that you are in this for yourself. That you chose the path you put yourself on, and that every day is a choice to stay on it. Sometimes it is just about rephrasing the circumstances. About taking a step back and describing all the good things in your life to somebody else, to see how good they really are. Sometimes it is just about reminding yourself that you have plenty of energy to do all the things you want to do. Sometimes, it is just about appreciating the invisible, the small and the big.

Today is sometimes for me. I chose to step back, to appreciate and to smile. Life is good.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Friday, 18 September 2015

Over at one of my favourite blogs, assortment, Carmella runs a weekly series called "Do what you can with what you have" and it's all about contentment and resourcefulness. Here is my addition to the series.

We sit around the old table, covered in strips of fabric, and we talk. As we pick up piece after piece, to tie together or to braid into a string, we share stories and memories and opinions. Outside, voices pass down the narrow cobblestone lane, climbing up the hill behind the house. Inside, we sit bent over our work, meter by meter. Sheets become strip, which become braids, that turn into garlands for the party on the weekend. We chuckle over anecdotes, and smile over stories. We pick up another piece and let the minutes flow by. It is the age old rhythm, treasured through history, of sitting and crafting and talking. As we get up, packing up the garlands and sweeping up the remains, we are quietly content. The work is done, the stories are shared, and our relationship has become stronger. Old has become new. Do what you can with what you have.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

192 cuisines | Portugal

I want to try some food from all 192 countries in the world. Whether I pick it up at a market stall, get served in a fancy restaurant or try to cook it myself does not matter. The more authentic, the better.

After telling some friends about the idea for this project, they excitedly chimed in that their favourite bakery, a nice half hour away, was Portuguese and served the best "Pastel de nata" in London. Neither the lovely stroll along the canal nor the pastries were a disappointment. Situated at the top of Portobello road in London, this authentic bakery has been handing out their very reasonably priced baked good for years. The area is visibly falling to gentrification so I was particularly delighted to find this shop looking like it probably always has. Nearby are some Portuguese grocery shops, which are the last hints of the local population that is slowly moving on. I have a vague hope that the Lissboa Patisserie is going to be around for a very long time, fuelled by the number of people picking up Pastel de nata or any of their other delicacies.

The food was truly divine. Crumbly and soft and sweet, in exactly the right way. There are few things worse than bad puff pastry, and this was possibly some of the best I have ever had. It looks burnt in the picture but that's just the way they are meant to be and it didn't taste burnt at all. Just of perfectly set custard and a sweet sugar glaze.

If you are ever in this part of London, do go and check it out. That being said, the opening hours can be a bit erratic as they just run out when they run out. I like that in a bakery.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Friday, 28 August 2015

Over at one of my favourite blogs, assortment, Carmella runs a weekly series called "Do what you can with what you have" and it's all about contentment and resourcefulness. Here is my addition to the series. 

I check in the supermarket, just in case, because maybe they have it. I search, between the strawberry and the soy and the sugared kids version in their bright packages. I just want simple, plain, white, and lactose free. I'm looking for yoghurt, for my breakfast and as a snack in the afternoon but there isn't any to be found. There never is. 

At home I gather my tools. A blanket off my bed, and the hot water bottle from the drawer. A few empty jam jars. Skip the pickle ones, because cereal does not go with a whiff of onion and vinegar. A pot and a bowl and a spoon. The thermometer, hiding away at the back of the drawers again. The milk. 

And then I measure and stir and wait, and stir and wait some more. I fill and seal and stack and wait. I wrap it warmly, snuggly, with a blanket and a hot water bottle. And I wait. It is a slow process, this making, that takes patience and restraint. Don't peek under the blanket. Don't jiggle the jars. Leave the little bacteria be, to do what they do. Wait.

And when I finally lift the blanket, there it is. All white and firm and set, and still just a little warm. Ready for that first smooth, milky, slightly sour mouthful. Ready for my oats in the morning, or that midnight hunger, that needs just a little snack. To be mixed with fruit, or sugar, or honey, or eaten just so. Yoghurt, nothing else. Do what you can with what you have. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

I wish the picture would show it all. The dry earthy smell of the soft ground under my feet, years and years of pine needles softening each step. The murmur of the breeze, mixing on a tang of salt from the sea. The buzzing of bees and the higher whirr of mosquitos. The promise of blueberries in the underbrush, and the way the sun feels on my arms, just there, as it slants through the gnarly pines. It smells of earth and dust and summer, of childhood and adventures and the sea.

Powered by Blogger.