Friday, 30 October 2009

Warm hands

I simply have to become the owner of these knitted merino wool handlebar covers by Lowie. Lined in the softest, cosiest felt, and secured to the handlebars with a length of pretty ribbon, they're just the thing for chilly mornings riding to work on my scooter.

Chris Riisager

For my 30th birthday Archie bought me a painting by Chris Riisager. It's a beautiful oil of the ancient tree we both used to climb when we were children; a knarled oak that has stood strong for centuries at the top of the hill overlooking the Wylye Valley. Riisager's paintings of Dorset and Wiltshire have a wistful quality, depicting landscapes untouched by modern life; empty of carparks and unblighted by ice cream vans and traffic jams. Craggy headlands, desolate beaches, views over rolling hills; and the skies - with low sun, hazy light and fluffy clouds - are the sort I remember from my childhood.

Delicious toffee apples

225g demerara sugar
110 ml water
A drizzle of vinegar
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
25g butter
6 best English apples
6 wooden skewers
A little ground-nut oil

Tip the water and sugar into a saucepan and heat, stiring, until completely dissolved. Stir in the vinegar, golden syrup and butter and bring to a vigorous boil. Cook (without stirring) until it reaches what they call “hard-crack” stage – which means it hardens into a ball when you drop a teaspoon of it into a jug of cold water. It normally takes about 10 minutes. While the syrup is cooking, pierce each apple with a wooden stick. Once the toffee is ready, dip each apple into the hot toffee, turning it around in the syrup to silkily swathe each apple with its new toffee jacket. Lightly oil a baking tray with some ground-nut oil, and rest the apples on this for a while before serving.

Picture from here

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Daniela Gregis

They are quite possibly the most expensive clothes on the planet, but still I can dream about wearing Daniela Gregis's romantic dresses in rusticly rumpled linen and frayed hopsack. Dressing like an Italian peasant girl is a damn costly business.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Great English Outdoors

The Great English Outdoors in Hay on Wye is my favourite type of shop: a higgledy piggledy cornucopia of old and new: stacks of vintage Welsh blankets, bottles of rose-scented bath oil, and an abundance of bridle-leather purses, carved walking sticks, sheepskins, wicker fisherman’s baskets, horn spoons and riding boots.

Found photographs

I am completely mesmerised by LovedayLemon's evocative collection of found photographs on Flickr. I particularly love this girl's ribbons.