Thursday, 18 December 2014

CHRISTMAS 2014: HOME MADE

I like making a few things to give people at Christmas, some years there's more, some years less. One year there were boxes packed with strawberry jam, chilli jelly, chutney, apple butter, and cookies, there were bags of granola and wrapped up loaves of gingerbread but in other years there has just been Christmas cake. This year it'll be something in between, the cake has been drinking up Calvados for a few weeks now and I finish work today so tomorrow will be spent pottering about at home, a little cleaning, a little baking, a little luxuriating in being off until the 5th.

Some of my favourite things to make... 

Bags of Christmas granola with cranberries, pecans, and maybe some warming spices. I like this, this, or this recipe.

A vanilla cake that will last for a few days and is perfect at any time.

A batch of cookies to share between friends and family. 

 Gingerbread - a batch can be baked into a few small loaf cases

And peppermint bark that I've always like the look of, maybe this year...

And, one last thing, just because...




Friday, 12 December 2014

CHRISTMAS 2014: STAYING WARM




































I wasn't going to do a gift guide this year but it's so cold and I was thinking about things for staying warm and, well, here we are... Clockwise from top left: there's always room for another pair of wool socks, a large mug and some good hot chocolate to help you get through January, the softest jumper and the warmest mittens, a blanket to curl up under and a candle in lieu of an actual fire, and, finally, festive nails to brighten up the dullest of days.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY: MILOS

It was hard to leave Folegandros but it was Milos where we left our hearts. We swam every day, multiple times a day, driving from spot to spot; from Papafragas with rough swoops of cave creating tunnels to swim through; to Firaplaka with cliffs of soft pink rock, harder pieces of multicoloured stone nestled within; and, our favourite, Sarakiniko with its lunar landscape of white rock that curves and falls into the sea, with its shipwreck in the distance, that white rock making the water cloudy at first before suddenly opening out into deep water so clear you keep expecting to brush the floor with your feet. In the evenings we would sit with bottles of Mythos watching the sun set before walking to the village to sit at the restaurant where we would end up eating on three of our six nights; Greek salad, boiled greens, tomato fritters, octopus, seafood pasta, I want to go back.



















Thursday, 4 December 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY: FOLEGANDROS

Releasing Anna et Salomé, this week, got me to thinking about the sea, about sun, about those posts from our now long ago holiday in Greece that I never quite managed to finish...

I read an article about Folegandros when we were planning our trip and immediately wanted to go, I saw photos of the town on the rocks, of the views, and the cliffs, and the sea but I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't expect the rough, rocky paths with wild thyme everywhere; the kid with lemon sauce that we ate on our first night; the car-free streets of the Chora, tavernas everywhere, groups of local children playing while we ate dinner at 10pm. I didn't expect the clearest blue water that I've ever seen; the, frankly ridiculous, walk that we did in the hottest part of the day; or the beach that we took a boat to on our first anniversary, through rough water, finding ourselves eating a picnic under a tree, one of only a handful of people; and I certainly didn't expect to be sitting under that tree when one of the two naked German men on the beach approached in only his flip-flops to ask if we knew when the last boat would be leaving (later we took the boat back with him, now fully dressed, while his naked, sunburnt, flip-flopped companion stood on the edge of the shore, the only one left on the beach).

I didn't know what to expect but now, having been, I know what to say when people ask, I say it was like magic.































Monday, 1 December 2014

ANNA ET SALOMÉ / ADRIÀ CAÑAMERAS

There has been quite a lot going on since I was last here. A long, and incredible, holiday, a house move, and this:

It's been a while since Brian's book was released but we've been gradually working away and are absolutely delighted to be able to say that Anna et Salomé, a book of new photographs by Adrià Cañameras, is now available to buy from our website. We hope you love it as much as we do.



Friday, 8 August 2014

8TH AUGUST

It's been a long week but I made it to the end and the book festival starts tomorrow. Until then a little something for a Friday...

Thursday, 12 June 2014

7 HOURS


We left Syros on the Aqua Sprit, a small ferry as these things go, walking down from our hotel to the boat, stopping off at a bakery for supplies - water, a few different varieties of cheese pie, just the usual - standing on the deck to watch as cars, bikes, tractors, came aboard, as a small group of people joined us, the locals staying below, in the cool. We took a spot on one of the blue plastic benches, listening to three men as they discussed the difference between holidaying and travelling, assuring each other that this was travelling, as we pulled away from Syros, rocking slightly, a motion that would take us through 7 hours, through stops on Paros, Naxos, Ios, and Sikinos, to Folegandros. 

As we arrived on Naxos, as a few more people joined those who had come onboard on Paros, and as we stood watching the routine of ropes being thrown, the unloading and reloading of vehicles and passengers, we sat alongside a Blue Star ferry. It was almost the same as the one we had taken to Syros, a monster compared to the one we were on now, and, as we saw the number of people, the speed as that ferry left the bay, as we compared it to our leisurely pace, to our stops announced first in Greek, then English, 'parakelo, parakelo..', we realised how glad we were to be travelling on our boat, with the blue plastic benches, the tomato plants being grown on deck.

We spent those hours watching. Watching the sea, the sky, the waves as they hit the front of the boat, the rainbows in the spray, the other people travelling alongside us - an elderly couple, him looking at the same Greek phrasebook as we had in our bag, her doing crosswords; a foursome of leathery skinned Brits, the men sitting with their tops off, clearly used to Greek ferries, to Greek sun; a large group from Texas, parents, teenage daughters, a son who we spoke to as his wife slept and who we then would bump into over the next few days, comparing notes about where we had been, what we had done.

We reached Folegandros just as the boat started to lurch a little more, as the waves started to get higher, as the wind picked up, and as the spray from one of the waves managed to reach the deck. We decided to head inside as the announcement started, 'parakelo, parakelo...', going downstairs, collecting our bags from the store where they nestled against boxes of fruit and vegetables being delivered to the island, the door starting to open as the boat slowly pulled into the dock, someone in a uniform beckoning us forward to leave the boat before it had quite touched land, people running on to collect their deliveries.

We had sea legs for the rest of the day.