Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Comfort Food

After dropping my car into the garage over at Chilton, Rufus and I walked back on a chilly winter morning. 

Grass looking for all the world as if it had been sugar coated . . .
I decided to make some comfort food for lunch - carrot soup.

A glance along the bookshelves shows which title get the most attention. Note the gaffer tape!

Does anyone else have particular favourites? One of mine is 'All Colour Cookery Book' produced back in the day - 1976 - when, not only was it not uncommon for a cookery book to have very little in the way of illustration, they were mainly black and white.
Once too often pulled from the shelves by the spine  . . . . . it has long given up the ghost
I don't exactly follow the recipe, (actually I rarely follow a recipe after the first try, I like to tweak things a bit) carrots are so sweet they doesn't need any extra sugar and I think the addition of potato in this recipe is unnecessary.

This soup is really tasty with a generous teaspoon of toasted cumin seeds added. And, if the carrots are cooked until very soft, they then blitz into the most velvety textured soup. Delicious!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Travels with Mr B

Arriving on wednesday for a wedding in San Francisco, from a wet and windy UK was a bit of a treat. Sunshine and a balmy 12 degrees, and the promise of a traditional American event (our first) - Thanksgiving!

Our hosts welcomed us with smiles, wine, good food and astonishingly, all this just two days before their wedding. Pilgrims hats were the only thing missing, but that apart it couldn't have been more enjoyable. 

Friday morning found us over at Golden Gate Park visiting the botanical gardens.
An encouraging sign . . .
For a while this bold little fellow stalked us, posing every so often for a photo shoot
Stone lanterns are traditionally found in Japanese shrines and temples. Stone lanterns are also placed in garden settings such as this in the Moon-Viewing garden. 

The night of the full moon, especially in August or September, is frequently an occasion for friends to gather to compose poetry, tell stories and to enjoy nature . . .
This large lantern commemorates the death of Tokugawa Harusada (Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan from 1603 - 1867) in 1827 and bears his family crest of three hollyhock leaves. 
In particular I had looked forward to visiting another Mr B, Beau Beausoleil, poet and bookseller. Beau is the catalyst for, and the founder of, the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition.

A project close to my heart, Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here.

Cathy DeForest, and Romy Ruukel, two project members, have launched a project fundraiser on indiegogo to meet the many expenses of touring the collection of artists’ books. 

From February 6 to July 29 next year all 260 will be exhibited at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, UK. They will also be on exhibition in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, San Francisco and Point Reyes, California, Groningen, Netherlands, New York City, Tacoma, Washington, and Newark, New Jersey. 

Venues already booked for 2014 include one in Cairo. That’s a whole lot of packaging and transport costs . . . .

Fundraising ends on December 3, five days from now and we’re over halfway there! Anyone can contribute!

Mr B presiding over The Great Overland Book Company - if you ever find yourself in San Fran do go to this bookshop. It's like an Aladdin's cave, you will find a book or a print that's waiting there, just for you!
Near to the Cliff House restaurant perched on the headland north of Ocean Beach is a 'walk in' camera obscura. 

Using overhead mirrors a 'right-side-up' image is projected on to parabolic screen. A metal hood at the top of the building rotates slowly, allowing for a full 360 view around the outside of the building.
The view from outside the camera obscura.
Fog City Diner. How could we not visit? . . .
and . . . have Breakfast in America!

On our way up to Sugarloaf Ridge state park we stopped off in Napa. Pomegranates in November!

And this rather gorgeous mosaic.
The park contains these trees. I have still to discover what they are, but they look as if they have been painted in some sort of plastic ox blood. Quite strange and wonderful.
Have handbag, will travel! Not my normal accoutrement for walking.
and moonrise.
Little house in the woods,
and a fab little Italian restaurant. The Albona, you can see from the neighbouring buildings how very bijou it is.
At the end of the line, San Francisco's cable car has to be turned around by man power.
Typical views in the city.
The delight of Diners.
Taking off on our return flight home . . . the city unfolds below.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Froxfield For Art - Fabulous Fourth Year!

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November will be the Fourth (Fabulous) Froxfield for Art winter show.

Come along if you can and join us for a glass of wine with some delicious nibbles for our Saturday evening party, or if that's not convenient, do drop by over the weekend to see us and our new work at Froxfield's popular winter show.

now in its 4th year, Froxfield’s Winter Art Show is back


You are warmly invited to come and join artists:
Arran Miles 
Lorraine Saville 
Mavina Baker 
Normandy Barcelo-Soto

For an exhibition and sale of work with wine, music and sausage rolls!

Saturday 17th November 11am - 5pm 
Sunday 18th November 11am - 5pm

Evening Party
6 - 9pm Saturday 17th
Froxfield Memorial Hall 
Froxfield, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 3LD

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Books ready for the Small Publishers Fair

I've been wrapping and getting books ready to post to Noelle at artistsbooksonline.com, to take to the Small Publishers Fair in a few days. 

The Small Publishers Fair is held over the weekend of Fri 16 & Sat 17 November, it's open from 11 until 7 and with more than 50 publishers taking part there will be thousands of books to browse, at
Red Lion Square
and . . . admission is free.
I had to wait for the prints for twenty first to dry. Ta-Dah!! . . . .
and ready, waiting to be cut into four.
This little book holds a poem celebrating the transition from childhood, into adulthood. You can see here, how the image looks placed inside the book. And, you can see back in July how the idea first began to take shape.
I'm also sending a book originally made for 'Regards Croises: France - Grande-Bretagne' 

Like Bella, I was introduced to France as a child through a school visit. And, like all first love affairs, France has held me spellbound since the age of eleven. This in turn, has led to me making 'Bella's French Love Affair', a concertina book about how it is to spend time in France, while struggling to comprehend the vagaries of language.