There’s nothing like the challenge of an empty cupboard at lunchtime! Although my new flat has no garden it has an airy kitchen windowsill which has become my herb patch. Fresh coriander turns a simple dish of lentils great, chopped chives cheer an omelette, basil, salt, oil and a little rest in the sun bring sliced tomatoes to their sweet juicy fullness. Best of all that little bunch of thyme and sage add flavour to the pan of stock which in turn gives simple rice something worthwhile to be boiled in. Thanks to these dear plants Molly and I have had some tasty platefuls of almost nothing.
We’ve been beavering away on some other stock too, making sense of our shop in time for this coming Sunday at Kaleidoscope at the Crystal Palace Festival. Come by and say hello – there’ll be handpainted chiffon scarves and silk hankies, prints, cards – singles and in packs, and of course the handmade archive fabric cards and some little surprises too … and we’ll have some of Sophie’s works as well – by coincidence she’ll be reading at ‘Beyond Words‘ round the corner in Westow Park. No wonder there’s no time for the groceries…by the way the online shop will be getting a facelift soon…
I have a new lodger, name of Liberace! Amongst the strange assortment of small livestock there is movement, darting colour and even little clinking noises – a small goldfish has come to stay for the summer!
I know it may not last the course but I have history – I kept a goldfish which I twice brought back from the dead with direct blasts of oxygen from the ‘bubbler’ – once when someone had sprayed noxious fumes in the room which coated its water with stifling chemicals and once when it just seemed to be giving up the ghost. Over its thirteen years it grew to be quite a thankful tankful.
Talking of creatures I saw two crows the other day; they were standing stock still on the grass, necks touching, and though I came very close they did not move or utter. We kept eerie company for about five minutes – then I moved on but they stayed. As I reached the top of the path I turned and saw one had stalked away.
Stephenie’s ceramic lights have been sitting silently in a box for some years so it’s been great to reassemble them – with quite a lot of huffing – and get them up on the wall.
She made me laugh so much with this French doctor’s remedy for a persistant cough: apparently as the ailment was deemed to be caused by a section of under-active brain yet an over-active stress department (!) she’s to write, every night before going to sleep, a list of all the things that have aggravated and frustrated her that day – with her left hand! I haven’t got a cough but I’m certainly going to try it – laughter being the best medicine of all.
As its the end of the academic year the school shows are on and last week saw ‘my’ fashion and textile BTec students staging their catwalk show at The Portico Gallery. The high spot was the confident parade of LBDs, girls so glamorous, lashes so long, heels so high, spirits so elevated and the dresses actually made – congratulations to them all. There’s still coursework to do but that was a tremendous fillip to the nearly-there-ishness of these last few days I’m sure.
The varied vernacular building stock of Britain – Cotswold stone, London brick, Devon thatch, Essex pargetting, Welsh slate – gives me great pleasure and I always enjoy the experience of what’s under the earth being reflected by what’s built upon it. Small as we are these islands give us many variations.
Next weekend sees both the Open Studios at the School Creative Centre in Rye and the start of the Livingstone Studio sale – an event worth visiting as there’s also a surprise in the afternoon. So there’s still time to acquire an original painting or two….
Which reminds me that there’s an interesting exhibition coming at the very end of July at the Sidney Cooper Gallery in Canterbury – about hand-screen printing – which will include some of our earliest Collier Campbell Archive designs and swatches painted for Liberty of London Prints and handprinted at the once wonderful Merton Abbey works. So…watch this space…