Despite what the photos in this post suggest, I haven’t actually been out much recently, partly due to the AWFUL weather we’ve had over the last few days. Bye Summer!
So these snaps are a little collection from a few years back mooching by lakes and the seaside in sunnier times.
And so on to the little and the lovely – the things that have made me smile whatever life’s throwing at me:
1. A spot of Mozart. A Clarinet Trio to be precise. Calming, happy, mellow, restful and putting me in a happy place as I write this little list. Mozart’s always been my favourite of the classical composers. There’s something timeless and grounding about his music – I always feel better after a little listen.
2. My new favourite desert of Greek yoghurt, sliced figs and nectarines scattered with granola and drizzled with honey. A little slice of the Mediterranean on a dining table in the North of England – always welcome in the Roast Chicken household. I never ate honey growing up, and rarely do now. The only time I ever had it was at my gran’s house, where she had both the hard and the runny kind, and I used to spread it on white toast and eat alongside my orange juice when we went to stay.
3. Flicking through Nigel Slater’s cookery books and reading them as if they were novels. He is without doubt the finest cookery writer around, and the way he writes about food makes every single ingredient he uses seem like a luxury. Speaking of Nigel Slater, has anyone else come across the lovely blog Letters To Nigel Slater? Martha’s writing style is also dreamy and she captures the food and gentle pursuits of her Peak District lifestyle living and eating, like Nigel, with the changing seasons.
4. My new soup maker. We eat a LOT of soup in this house. Mr Roast Chicken has it almost every day for lunch – sometimes stashing it in a flask to take on his travels, or slurping it from a huge mug alongside generously buttered bread if he manages to make it home for lunch. I don’t have it as frequently, as I love my salads, but I do eat it at least twice a week. So we got a little bit tempted by a soup maker. It wasn’t cheap (around £80) but it’s FABULOUS. What used to be a faff (albeit only a slight one, but hey – we’re busy people!) of dicing and watching and blending has turned into a ninety second job of roughly chopping some veg, chucking it in the machine with some water and a couple of stock cubes and coming back twenty minutes later to a vat of steaming deliciousness 🙂
5. A new TV cabinet. We treated ourselves this weekend to a new TV cabinet. It’s a lovely piece of oak furniture as opposed to the plastic stand I picked up from Wilkos a few years ago. You know how sometimes you get so used to something in your house that even though it’s diabolically ugly you still don’t really notice it’s there after a while? That was us and the ugly TV unit. But no more. Now we have another proper wooden piece of furniture to enjoy, and though the TV isn’t the most beautiful of ornaments, the cabinet it rests on now makes up for it.
6. The smell of roses in the garden. My gran had beautiful roses in her big old rambling garden and now every time I smell a rose I’m transported back to that seven year old child smelling roses and using the fallen petals to make ‘perfume’ in jam jars with my sister out on the lawn. My own roses aren’t nearly as beautiful or as plentiful owing to having terrifically poor soil where they’re growing, but I’ve got a few stoically surviving and I’m enjoying each and every one.
7. Sleeping with the window open. Perhaps not when there’s an actual storm brewing, but otherwise, even in our Northern climate I get away with it fairly frequently over the short summer months. I love the freshness it brings, and it seems to somehow scent the sheets with a little bit of the outside. Lovely.