Iced Coffee


So I decided to try "Vietnamese Iced Coffee" this afternoon. Basically:



boil through a regular amount of coffee granules and water 

(in a percolator if you have one, otherwise a cafetiere will be fine)

(enough to fill two glasses)



place three or four ice cubes in the bottom of each glass



pour the coffee onto the ice (slowly and cautiously)



the ice will melt and the coffee will cool slightly



add another three ice cubes per glass



drizzle with condensed milk or double cream  (as is desirable) 



You may not get the right quantities for your personal taste first time, but when it's right it's really right!

This is my own "recipe", so you could probably find a genuine Vietnamese coffee instruction manual online if you fancy.








Camber Sands

After working all day on Saturday, my family took me to Camber beach. We watched the sun set, I gathered the photos I needed for my next project, my sister found a dead mollusc and we then drove a little further and ate a dinner of fish and chips.




Two and a Half Hours a Day

After about a year of taking the same journey every morning, and afternoon, I have come to a rather unsettling realisation: I spend roughly two and a half hours a day on a bus. That's seventeen and a half hours a week. Seventy hours a month, and nine hundred and thirteen point seven three hours a year. No wonder my Instagram feed is becoming a bit samey!


Air

I have moved on to 'Air', the second of the four elements, still exploring with Clem and her dust sheet. Today we stood on a gusty hilltop in a foot of mud, capturing wind by the light of the setting sun.



Setting Sun


The rooks fly from the woodland to the hilltop every evening to sing by the setting sun. Once the light fades into a distant yellowy blue, back they go, dancing and interlocking, creating an ever-changing ceiling of bird. The skies become a blanket of swooping feathers, darting and gliding, cackling, framing the progression from day to night.


Earth

Currently, I'm working under the title ''Earth, Air, Fire and Water'' in photography. On Sunday I managed to transform my sister into 'the Lady of the Woodland' (wrapping her up in a dust sheet, standing her in a bramble patch holding my rabbit...) and therefore ''Earth''.



Islington Adventures Part 2

So I spent my Sunday wandering around London, my camera in one hand, a vegetable pasty in the other, stepping in and out of underground stations. This time I was 'gathering city-life environment shots for my contrast project' which was really just an unquestionable excuse to have brunch (cake+coffee) with my godmother.

Celtic Eggs

The other day was completely cloud free (oh my goodness what is this witchcraft) so I decided to get on with some 'CELTIC magazine' work. This time I was shooting eggs and coffee, but I put a fabric pic from my other shoot at the bottom for good measure.

All processed in Lightroom with VSCO films.

Hazelnut Milk

At the moment I'm working on a lifestyle volume entitled "CELTIC" which, as the title would suggest, is a food and lifestyle journal about the ancient Celtic ways of life. Today I was at home with a migraine, and decided to make progress on the recipe section of the journal.

I brewed up some homemade "hazelnut milk" following an old recipe I found on line, tweaking it slightly to suit my purpose.

"Nut milks, made from boiling together ground almonds or walnuts with boiling water were a common ingredient in Medieval cookery. We know that our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors collected lots of hazelnuts during late summer. Making a milk from dried nuts is very easy and it's inconceivable that Stone Age and Iron Age peoples did not make hazelnut milk both as a drink and as a base for stews.

Ingredients: 200g ground hazel nuts, 500ml boiling water

Method: Combine the ground hazelnuts and boiling water and allow to steep for five minutes, stirring occasionally. You can then either sieve the mixture to remove any coarse grains or you can blend the mixture until smooth in a blender (this is the preferred option). There are many variations to the basic hazelnut milk recipe. Some require the use of stocks or broths to make the hazelnut milk. For desserts you can also make a sweetened hazelnut milk, with the addition of about 50ml of honey to the quantities above."

It is scrummy on its own, but also a wonderful alternative to regular milk in coffee or hot chocolate.


Happy New Year!

So it's been a VERY long time since I've posted anything on here, but, and this time I mean but, my new years resolution (one of them) is to blog more regularly. Fingers crossed. Hope everybody had a fab 2013, and is looking forward to what is yet to come.


The Arrival of a Monstrous Cold

Winter is coming, the ground cold and the air filled
with water droplets, ever freeze-drying my skin. 
It's been a while, and it will probably be longer
still, but here and now is an opportunity to post,
and that I shan't refuse!

It was nice to go out for a bit with my Sister, even if not for very long and in very little light, and take some very poor quality snap shots!

Cafe Greetings

Its been a while, and no matter how many times I say "here we go, this is the beginning of a true blogging life" it's just not going to happen. So for this 'months instalment', lets talk Cafe. Leeds Castle Cafe.


I have been going to Leeds Castle for years. Its a perfect venue for family days out, art projects and generic memory making. There is, however, one aspect of Lady Bailey's country cottage I would like to talk about in particular: the Fairfax Restaurant.

For the best vanilla chocolate cake and breakfast tea around, its definitely my spot of suggestion this Autumn. As I sit, sipping my dandelion and burdock and 'family watching', I hear the rattle of cutlery, the "stiiirrff" of a milk frother and click of my camera shutter.

Upon Reflection.

This time I have no excuse. I have not been on holiday. I haven't even taken a long weekend. I have however been working, but probably not as much as I should have.

I would like to think my life was so eventful and exciting I could post  daily novels about a certain restaurant or holiday destination I had been to recently...

But it is not to be, for now anyway. For the moment, this moment of reflection, I'd like to show you todays happynesses.

Picture A:
I went into town today to meet a friend and go for a hot beverage. I came back with two old, smelly and very cheap pots from my local thrift/charity store to home my latest hoardings. They are truly hideous, but I love them.

Picture B:
It's here! I am fast becoming infatuated with this paperback marvel.

for similar pots try here (may require hours of page scrolling)
and order your copy of cereal from here.



This has to stop.

Today I got my AS Ceramics results back, and the good news encouraged me to treat myself. What happened? I bought another succulent. 

I only went to the garden centre to buy pond weed! I almost didn't notice myself pick this up, pay for it and carry it home. This is beyond an obsession, I think I need some help. 
Joking of course, one can never have too many pot plants!

P.S. No am not starting some very unusual pescetarian diet, I just saw this as a good time to present to you my new spoon I bought on my holiday to Norfolk.


Celebration video, and Mittsy's claim to Stardom

September the twelfth is a very special day. It is what I am calling my '1st year ig birthday', which means (other than I'm very sad and need a life) I have now officially been an Instagram member for a whole year. To celebrate this momentous occasion, and take advantage of the new video feature, I decided to make a rapid stop frame of all my photos I've posted. Ever. Is it possible to watch 470 photos flash past in 14 seconds without getting a seizure? We'll see.

Anyway, what do birthdays need? Cake. It seemed only fitting to have a baked dream at the beginning of my video. And everybody loves cake, so I decided to put one at the end as well. One of my favourite Instagram feeds is that of Ariele Alasko, who a little while ago posted a cake with her lovely kitty (Mr C) posing next to it. Ariele's photos and Mr C are on my draft video at the bottom of this page.

I really wanted to include Miss Mittsy in my video, and have her next to a freshly butter creamed sponge with a flag and marshmallows... but is my grumpy little farm cat into the whole film star fantasy, or would she just prefer to sleep in inappropriately chosen places and catch shrews?

Bellow are some test shots of her with some cow parsley. I thought maybe a more fragrant starting point would be more appealing to a delicate, if slightly furry feline nose.


video

Wiverton Hall Farm Shop, Norfolk

This morning I experienced what can only be described as a breakfast fit for royalty. The Wiverton Hall Farm Shop, as well as providing a wonderful gathering of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a pick-your-own scheme, has just moved up into one of my 'favourite cafe' spots. 

Situated mid fruit farm, left of the car park and parallel to where the guinea fowl take their morning strolls, The cafe is a weather-borded, pastel-coloured jewel in the coastal crown. As I tucked into my raspberries and cream, sipped my coffee and fondly anticipated my cheese scone, I watched the potted plants dance in the summer breeze, and my mother eat her bacon roll. If you ever happen* to find your self in Norfolk, its well worth a visit.

*in other words pack your suitcase and set your sat nav!

Bluejacket Workshop, Morston

Today we went for a walk from Blakeney to Stiffkey along the Norfolk Coastal Path. Naturally we stopped for a cup of tea along the way, and chose Morston Quay as a suitable recharging station. Whilst I was sitting down sipping a peppermint tea, I noticed blue sign. But not any old blue sign, one that promised 'handmade furniture, art, textile work and antiques'. Intregue, curiosity and my Mother lead me towards the Bluejacket Workshop.

A truly unique collaboration of craft and excellence, in a secluded and tranquil atmosphere away from the beaten track, the workshop and shop were an inspiration. It stands out from the local crowd of manufactured lifestyle outlets. The combination of masterfully crafted homeware and hand selected antique gems are well worth a visit to the North Norfolk Coast.

for more information, see http://bluejacketworkshop.co.uk/


Branksome Beach, Dorset

I have just returned from my holiday in Bournemouth, Dorset, where I stayed with my lovely family. Almost everyday we went down to the beach, which from a photographic point of view was splendid. We were blessed with beautiful sunny spells, and deep sapphire seas. I spent a lot of the time marching off into the ocean with my iPod tightly grasped above my head, but when I wasnt doing this there were many land-based luxuries to enjoy as well. The highlight of the holiday, naturally, was eating brown paper clad cones of golden chips for lunch on the second day.


I'm back!

Hello! I'm sorry for a recent lack in blogging, I've been on holiday (I know of course this is no excuse). What am I enjoying this month? Glad you asked.

Currently I am obsessing over two objects that until recently I had never imagined owning, or thought I needed. Item A: a round circle of well sanded oak that sits next to my bed. Item B: an LP of Regina Spektor's "What we Saw from the Cheap Seats" with 11 original songs including 'Don't Leave Me', 'Small Town Moon' and 'All The Row Boats'. Why are these so essential to my new-found well being?

Well, firstly, about three years ago I decided I was going to construct a scale model of an Ercol pebble table, finally excepting that my ownership of the real thing was very unlikely. I carved the table top and legs from an oak floor board, left over from the re-decoratoion of the sitting room. My project ended there, however, as I no longer had time to put the pieces together. They have hibernated in my bottom drawer ever since. On cleaning out I was challenged with finding a new use for them, kindling not being an option as sitting in the rain with a router and sand paper for hours on end had caused me to become rather emotionally attached. The legs were, I'm sorry to say, not very useful, so they did end up  in the bucket next the wood burner. The table top, on the other hand, has been reemployed as a coaster. Every evening I like to enjoy a herbal tea. Whether it be peppermint, camomile or a special 'Clipper Sleep Easy blend', I find it helps me to relax, and settle down for the night. Resting it on top of a tissue to protect my Chiltern chest of draws was less than satisfactory, so this nifty little gadget has been perfect.

Object B I hear you ask? If you're still reading this, and haven't fallen asleep at your monitors, part two will commence shortly.

On Monday I had the indescribable privilege of going to see Regina Spektor at the De La Warr Pavilion. The building itself has been a favourite of mine for many moons, and Regina... well she's just amazing. I wasn't able to take any photos in the concert itself, but at the merchandise stall (comparable only to Aladdin's Cave) I found the perfect memento. I don't actually own a record player yet, but am probably surfing eBay as you read this. Every time I look at the sleeve, I am reminded of the wonderful evening, and just want to pick it up.


Moroccan Style Mint Tea

I have not been able to post this until now, due to my computers near death experience. After a serious scratch disk emptying, I have been able to successfully collate these images on photoshop, and blog away to my hearts content.

My piano teacher very kindly gave me a Moroccan mint plant on tuesday, and with it the chance to make my very own 'Moroccan mint tea'. This was an activity I had never before considered until then, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Being British, tea drinking is a big part of my life, and I couldn't wait to give it a go.

Firstly, place a handful of leaves at the bottom of a beaker. Then, fill with roughly a pint and a half of boiling water. Sweeten to taste (start with one and a half tbs and work up). Decant into a teapot and leave to infuse for about seven minutes. Remove the leaves and enjoy.