The neighbours are always pleased when we take a holiday abroad because it invariably means that they enjoy glorious weather while we are away. Last week was no exception. We had gone for some much-needed vitamin D and we certainly got it. We did very little but swim and soak up the sun.
Yesterday we met friends in Bristol and went to the RWA to see the exhibition, Sequins and Sawdust.
Our friend had a painting in the show.
There was a wonderful range of artwork to see, much under reduced lighting for means of conservation and not therefore possible to photograph.
The photos that I did take are wobbly because I was trying to avoid reflections in the glass. The paintings mostly displayed the 'sequin' aspect of the circus, the skills and showmanship. When it came to the photos of Peter Lavery - WOW. There were sequins, but far more noticeable was the 'sawdust'.
It was so dark at midday that we had to have the lights on. It's damp and drear outside, the sort of weather that chills me.
I've been spending days, and several evenings out, wearing my dressing gown. Oh, really, what a slob! A few years ago there was condemnation in the press for those uncouth people who fell out of bed and trundled round the supermarket in their pyjamas. Since then pjs have become quite a fashion item, seen on the glitterati all over the place. But dressing gowns have yet to become a 'thing'. Am I about to become a trailblazer? I've worn it out in the evening over a black silk shirt and black velvet trousers with a pop of yellow colour from an amber necklace that a daughter bought for me in Russia. (Sorry Chekhov, Tolstoy, Akhadulina and Yevtushenko but now I have REALLY fallen out with Russia.) I don't think that anyone thought, good grief, woman in a dressing gown. Perhaps they did, but I was warm and comfortable and couldn't care less.
It was made in India from soft recycled cotton and sold by Toast. It is blissfully comfy.
The different patterns are unified by a white running stitch over all the fabric. There are no buttons. (My fingers now find buttons tricky.)
And there are two generous pockets. What's not to like!
We are putting a lot of food out for the birds during this cold weather and also eating rather more than usual ourselves. A solitary fieldfare appeared on the lawn yesterday, we usually see them in flocks and I think that this one must have been blown off course by the stormy weather. We put out water and some apples from the store that were softening and it ate steadily away at one for much of the day. I thought perhaps it was injured, but when a blackbird and a robin came to share the food it put up a very spirited defence and sent them away. Like the birds, we also like to eat a good amount of seeds and nuts. I make savoury biscuits with seeds based on a recipe in The Green Kitchen book. I'm not a strict recipe follower, I adapt quite freely with whatever happens to be in the house.
I keep everything very simple and omit the orange juice and honey. I tried it the first time I used the recipe and it was far too sweet for my taste. I'm also quite happy to leave out salt. I make half the quantities stated below, spread the mixture and break into random pieces when cooked.
My ingredients are
plus water to get the right gloopy consistency.
The result is a very crisp, thin and seedy biscuit.