Monday, 31 August 2009

Saturday Evening in South Kensington

We join the crowds in Kensington Gore
enjoying the stroll towards the Royal Albert Hall.

Up the staircase and along the corridor
to the tiny door which must be unlocked
before we can go into our box
swathed and festooned in red plush and velvet.

There is a little table at the back of the box
and we stand around at the interval
and enjoy sushi and chilled Pouilly-Fumé.

After the concert it is still early enough
to sit in Carluccio's
and eat ice cream out of tall slim glasses.

It was an evening of wonderful music
and unexpected delights.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

MasterM and the Sea

Hemingway at Walloon Lake, Michigan 1904

MasterM packs his bag
for a week of Marlin fishing
in Madeira

passport - check
tickets - check
gift for host - check

(MrsM expresses surprise and delight
at this organised approach to packing.)

Hemingway at Walloon Lake, Michigan

MasterM displays books which have been chosen
specifically for holiday reading!

(MrsM is enchanted)

MasterM says "I might need something to read
if the boat is captured
by Somali pirates.

(MrsM doesn't blink)

Just kidding..."

Hemingway at Walloon Lake, Michigan

MasterM selects some smart clothes
in case they go out to eat in a restaurant!

(Stop! Stop! This is all too much for MrsM!)

MasterM counts the T shirts in the pile

"No...that is not enough...
I expect they will all get covered with fish guts
so I might need some spares."

(MrsM is back in her comfort zone with a bump.)

Hemingway, off Bimini 1935

Friday, 28 August 2009

MissM, Pâtissier

A message from MissM:

The Caramel Shortbread is ready for tea!!

What could be nicer?

Please note that it is presented on
The Healthy Options Platter.

Please also note that
it is cut into large and small pieces
which demonstrates our commitment to
Portion Control.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Marshmallow Marble

It was so hot in Siena
that I could hardly bear to breathe.

The thought of queuing in the sun
on the steps of the Duomo was intolerable

so we sat in the shade
and admired the extravagant facade
and planned where to have lunch.

The columns curve and swirl upwards
in a riotous fantasy of pink and white

from the marble pavement
where the monk administrator
sits patiently at his desk.

In 1339 a massive extension was started
but the outbreak of Black Death in 1348.
limited the ambitious plans and the building stopped.

This is the cut-price version.

It reminds me of a fairy-tale castle
of pink and white marshmallows
that I created on top of a birthday cake for MissM.

I wonder if she remembers it?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A Silvery Story with a Happy Ending

This story has a beginning
in which MrsM struggled with her conscience...

flower charm with small ivory freshwater pearl

but then inspiration struck
and MrsM wrote secretly to SilverPebble


"Can we talk charm bracelets?
I really want one
but it must be different to MissM's."

butterfly with small ivory freshwater pearl

And then there was a flurry of emails
about charms and enamel
and pearls and crystals
and it was all very exciting.

house with small sterling bead

And now the story has a happy ending
because the bracelet has arrived
and is utterly delicious.

Especially the Magpie.

Magpie with small sterling beads

Thank you, Emma
I am absolutely thrilled.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A Chinaholic Abroad

Blue and white china
which is fresh and bright
in muted English light
looks harsh and sharp
against plaster walls
and terracotta tiles.

I fall in love yet again
with the milky glaze
and earthen colours
of the local pottery

but know in my heart
that it is a holiday romance
and that the shapes and shades
look best in the Tuscan sunlight

so I spend my money
on an Italian leather handbag instead.

Monday, 24 August 2009

MasterM, Gourmand

Can you pass the gravy.

I didn't know you liked gravy!
Is this a new thing?

What do you mean?
I have always liked gravy.

That is NOT true...
there was a time when you only ate dry food. (1)

That was years ago...(2)
now I have gravy on chicken and beef and lamb...

but not on sausages.

I am ethically opposed to gravy on sausages.


Yes, I feel sorry for the little guys
swimming around on the plate

it just seems cruel

so ketchup is the only option for sausages.


MasterM was a child who made careful choices about food.
He lived successfully for three months
on a diet of cucumber and milk.
I gave up worrying at an early stage.

Two years ago.
Or maybe eighteen months.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

A Midsummer Nightmare

It was the perfect summer evening:
warm and still under a cloudless sky.

Just the evening to watch Shakespeare in the Park.

Alas! Alack!
It was the worst production we have ever seen.

I had bad vibes when I saw the fairies
and knew I had better wings in my dressing-up box.

I preferred the production I once saw
where everyone was wearing Nazi uniform
and that is saying something.

Even I could tell that the recorder playing
was excruciatingly out of tune.

The best bit was the speech at the start
when he told us to turn off our mobile phones.

So MrsM took some photos
of the sky as the sun set,
thought about her holiday in Italy
and let MasterM rest his head
on the soles of her new loafers.

And they all went home at the interval.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Anghiari, near Arezzo

Visit Anghiari in the early evening

when the shutters are thrown back

small shops open for last minute purchases

children are let out to play

watched by indulgent grandparents

shopkeepers sit outside in the cool

and you can relax in a café
and enjoy drinks in every colour of the rainbow.

with thanks to Monica
who recommended that we visit Anghiari.

Isn't it great to have friends
from every corner of the world
who can tell you about the best places to visit.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

my son, my son

MasterM is back
with a rucksack full of laundry.

He is enjoying home cooked food
after 12 consecutive days
of chicken wraps in Greece.

Most of the traveller's tales
are completely unsuitable for publication
so instead I shall let you share
this very special moment...

MasterM says it is the first time
that his toe has been mistaken for a flower.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Recipe for home-made pizza

A wood-fired pizza oven, white hot

Balls of freshly made dough

Huge wooden board covered with flour

A selection of toppings

(if pineapple on pizza offends you, look away now)

Artichoke and Prosciutto Pizza for MrsM

An enthusiastic host and apprentice

Back off ladies, this one is for me!