Monday, 24 March 2014

advice from the psychic tablecloth

This week we have been discussing holiday plans.
Short term - 4 nights in Cornwall.
But in the medium/long term I am keen for something a little more far flung.
As we cross the finish line in the parenting race (at least as far as the courts are concerned),
there is a window of opportunity before any of the oldies need more support from us. 
(Hi Mum and Dad, I know you're reading this!).
There's the prospect of a Memphis/Nashville/New Orleans road trip next Easter, 
but in the 5 year timeframe I want to drag Mr Asparagus Pea to the Southern hemisphere.
 That probably involves some unpaid leave from work in the depths of winter. 
As we chatted about it over breakfast, I spilled some tea on the tablecloth, and look….

Okay so Tasmania is a bit big and slightly in the wrong place, 
but that's a sign right?!?!

In other news I have been making muffins to use up some of the elderly dried fruit in the cupboard.

Some figs that have been lurking for a long time.

I like to use 1 cup of oats soaked in 1 cup of milk soured with a capful of white wine vinegar.
Trying to eat more oats and soy - good for your secret womens' business.
With a cup of wholewheat flour plus 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarb
Sometimes I sub the oil for applesauce if I'm feeling worthy.
But then you can't use paper cases because they stick like bastards.
Adjust the sugar to taste depending on the sweetness of the fruit you're using.
I used about 1/2 a cup of brown with a little demerera and cinnamon on top.

Off to be rehabilitated for my speeding sins now - 
Bah humbug!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

more nesting

When it comes to architecture, Mr AP and I share a taste for industrial/brutal/bunker chic, and are frequently heard to sigh "Look - it's our dream home", as we drive past the cement works. But Cardiff is a city full of sturdy Victorian/Edwardian houses - so that's what we bought when we moved across town back to my old 'hood nearly two years ago. Now don't get me wrong - I love this crazy old house, but when they were handing out twiddly bits, this place got the lot...

crests above the doors

cornices that were picked out in alternating red/green with a row of green 'christmas trees'

obligatory stained glass front door

these are behind the curtains in the living room!

Our latest effort to try and calm it all down has been painting the hall/stairs/landing a rather grown up shade of blue, with an absolute crapload of pale grey and white. I'm bandying the words 'Gustavian colour palette' around, in the hope that no-one will press me on what it actually means. (Something inspired by an overdose of Swedish design blogs/Pinterest boards?!?).

extra fancy newel post at the bottom of the stairs

a couple of the original lincrusta panels, (which I love), below the dado

The blue on the walls seems to have calmed the floor down a bit.
I want to put this picture up - it's a Tom Burnett print I bought in NZ.
A flax basket of paua (abalone) shells.
It reminds me of childhood beach holidays.

Mr AP is not so keen on it - but lord knows we've got enough of his stuff about the place!
(The slightly ill-advised peach matte seems to work with the warm tones in the floor too).

What do you reckon…?

Monday, 10 March 2014

the bottom line

This year I had help from our trainees to build the hotbed.

It's a beautiful thing.

I haven't got round to buying a new thermometer after the manure got so hot it bust my old one.
So how do you know if it's warm enough to sow seed?

The prosaic answer is when the weed seeds start to germinate.
More poetically, it's when you'd be happy to sit on the soil with a bare bottom.
Not wishing to be on the front page of the Western Mail,
I used the power of my imagination for this one.
( But, yeah… totally would, hundreds of onlookers notwithstanding)

Spring is springing...