Part I of Interim Report:
Several readers have said they like my ordinary daily life posts as much as the more detailed posts, so this morning (between clearing up breakfast and making lunch) here is such an ‘ordinary’ post.
I will start with the photo above – my ‘peripatetic’ roses are now in the sitting room, their last hurrah, I think. They started life in the kitchen, then spent several days outside on the garden table when we were eating outside, and now they’re in the sitting room. I think the secret to keeping flowers fresh for as long as possible is simply to change their water on a daily basis.
We enjoyed a light shower or rain this morning. I grabbed my camera in order to record this phenomena, but by the time I’d picked up my camera, the rain had ceased.
Breakfast was a simple affair, just fruit (melon, nectarine sliced up, and some stem ginger pieces) and, for me, a brioche with apricot jam (husband had porridge after his fruit).
I love a warm brioche with some jam and right now apricot is my favourite. Come autumn and I think I will be back to eating blackcurrant jam (the best one, in my opinion, is from Lidl.)
I cut into one of the two tomatoes that I harvested (if ‘harvested’ isn’t too grand a word to use!) and it was truly awful! It looked lovely – this is the pair of them …
… looking quite splendid on a little saucer in the kitchen, but my goodness, the inside of the one I opened was revolting; the seeds were green and had turned to a nasty mush, as if they had rotted. Oh dear, these must be the most expensive inedible tomatoes on the planet, considering the vast quantity of water we have given the plants and the cost of water here in the South West (the most expensive water in the whole of the UK.) I will put it down to experience. We’re not good gardeners but at least it was fun trying!
Today, I am going to make watercress soup for our lunch, and serve that with a baguette and some cheese. I bought some delicious French Comte cheese while in Waitrose on Wednesday, that will go down a treat with watercress soup. Right now, in the fridge, there are at least five cheeses (if we don’t count cottage cheese in the freezer, and Laughing Cow cheese spread): Cornish Quartz Cheddar, Swiss Le Gruyere Reserve, Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton, French Comte, and Parmigiano. I wonder if anyone else collects cheese as cats collect fleas? A supper will often consist of baguette, cheese and chutney, followed by fruit or yoghurt. Also, this week in Waitrose, I bought delicious lemon ice cream or, to give the name on the carton, Limoncello Italian Gelato – lemon ice cream rippled with Limoncello sauce.
I only make watercress soup when I can buy a bag of watercress that is in a bunch, not one of those salad-type packs where it’s all been chopped up and is already going to mush even when you open a new packet. Fresh, whole stems of watercress make the best soup. Indeed, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you only get out of food what you put in. Fridge-bottom soup (i.e. using up old ingredients) is fine when really pushed on the economy front, but for really good food you do need to use the finest and freshest ingredients you can afford. Do not compromise on food, cut corners on other things if needs be.
I’ve used the above photo, and the one below, before, but this is what the soup looks like when ready to serve …
But, as I say, today it will be with baguette and various cheeses.
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Part II of this interim report:
My late mother collected all kinds of things, in particular ceramics, paintings and books. She wasn’t a hoarder, she didn’t collect rubbish, but she certainly had vast amounts of ‘things’. Among her collections was a portfolio or architect’s prints from the 1920s. She bought this in a 2nd hand/antiquarian bookshop (no longer there) where I would sometimes help out when the owners went on holiday. This was an incomplete portfolio, there were several sections missing, but the section containing the illustrations was, to my knowledge, complete. It is by an architect called R Goulburn Lovell, and as well as this portfolio I have a little booklet called Courage in Colour by him also his book Historical Notes on Architecture (in the front of this book it states that he was “Honorary General Secretary of the South Eastern Society of Architects, Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Associate of the Town Planning Institute.” In other words, he was highly regarded.)
I love these prints and reader Marlene has said she would like to see more of them, so here is a selection, and in no particular order:
I love these prints, they are as bright and fresh as the day they were produced almost 100 years ago. Also, they clearly demonstrate how interiors actually were in the 1920s; not everything was Art Deco! A lot of these ‘looks’ hark back to the Edwardian era, which is much lighter and fresher than the late Victorian period in interiors – not the absence of heavily upholstered chairs and sofas.
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Part III of Interim Report:
I almost forgot to mention the book I’m currently reading (and enjoying):
This is the second in a series of crime novels by Alison Bruce that are set in Cambridge. The first, Cambridge Blue, introduced the young Detective Constable Gary Goodhew, an intelligent young officer who is just quirky enough to be interesting and not so quirky as to rule him out as a suitable candidate for correct police procedure. These are certainly an excellent start to the series.
I will now close and make that watercress soup.
Until next time.