05 July 2015

10 good things

I know, I know. I never kept it up for more than a few days. But there is a slight conflict between wanting to spend less time looking at screens and writing blog posts, so as a peace offering here is a collection of some of the good things from the last ten days.

:: Hollyhocks! I have never seen such wonderful hollyhocks in London at this time of year and these, in front of a house round the corner, are my favourites with strong competition from this lengthy run a few blocks away. (John wants to know why his aren't included. Later, later.)

:: The little apple tree which is clearly responding to the nightly waterings with perkier leaves and the disappearance of the woolly aphids which were apparently responsible for much of the damage to the new leaves, though not so sure quite how helpful the masses of harlequin ladybirds are going to be.

:: Jolly babies and busy children We went to a small 4th July party yesterday where there were three happy babies splashing, cruising, gappy-smiling, and not a cry to be heard for several hours. It was infectiously joyous. The apple pie and home made buttermilk ice-cream may have helped. And some more frantic children at our community fun-day,on bouncy castles, queuing to have their faces painted, playing pirates with swords made out of balloons, licking the frosting off of cupcakes, throwing quoits and frisbees. We sat in the sun observing the mayhem, calmly pouring tea carried from home and eating cake.

:: More cake. Banana cake actually. Banana cake made with the enormous amount of spotty bananas sold to me by a benevolent stall holder. Around a dozen banana cakes. Butterscotch banana cake. Melted butter banana cake. Dark banana and ginger/chocolate cake.  Banana, coconut and cranberry cake (from Kitchen, Nigella Lawson). I'm open to more suggestions for experimentation.

:: Margate on a sunny day, a good choice for a trip out with my mum who tires from too much walking. We hit the perfect combination with lunch and a view of the beach, a trip around Provincial Punk, a walk around the old town, back along the front, checking out how everything reverberates, an ice cream and a paddle.

Mum's verdict? Ice cream far too expensive, Grayson Perry fabulous.

:: The Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel It was the Empire when my mum was courting, and the ABC when I was old enough to go to Saturday Morning pictures. Now it's the Genesis and as cool as can be on a hot night, even with a delicious cup of coffee and a bargain ticket for those of a certain age who need to be indulged with tales of ageing beekeepers and the evil of bounty hunting. (Mr Holmes and Slow West, worth a trip both). The bus stop is just outside the door and if you are really lucky and a number 25 comes along quickly, you can be home in 10 minutes...  provided of course you haven't forgotten that you arrived by car. 

Sonic walking, a new skirt and the glory of the bicycle. Pleasures all and about which I want to say more.

London from Rainham Marshes

Rain: How lovely it has been to hear the sound of the rain, breathe in the scent of damp pavements, forget about wilting plants and barren seed rows, stay indoors sewing rather than feel that when the sun is shining there are adventures to be had, places to go, stories to discover and tell.


Gina said...

What a wonderful post full of interesting links!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Hollyhocks and jolly babies ... the perfect combination . Of course , if you throw in a snack as well , you'll have us all queuing at the door !
In this weather the bananas are (over-) ripening in a trice . I've just made banana muffins with ours ... a rather solid snack , as it turned out.

annjennyg said...

I love hollyhocks and banana cake in every incarnation!

rachel said...

Oooh, hollyhocks - this made me go outside to inspect mine. Small, snail-damaged; serves me right for buying posh ones from garden centres - the sort that grow from cracks in the pavement seem to do much better, and their colours are just as interesting.

I like the sound of those jolly babies cruising!

E15 kids said...

The Whitechapel ABC! I practically have my hands over my eyes remembering some awful teenage dates there. One in particular watching Jon Voight in 'The Champ' is particularly cringe making.

Favourite banana cake recipes in this house are Nigel Slater's black banana cake http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/black_banana_cake_52982 and Nigella Lawson's rum soaked variety http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/banana-bread-142

The hollyhocks around the Olympic Park - particularly near the Copper Box are very good. In our garden we've had a very good year for foxgloves - enough to poison the neighbourhood!


Liz said...

Lots of happies in this post. I'm not a fan of bananas per se but love them in cakes and muffins. Have you tried making an alternative 'ice cream' with frozen bananas? I'm sure it will never put B&J out of business but it's sweet and refreshing and easy. Basically, you just need to chop up a banana or two, freeze the pieces, chuck the frozen pieces into a food processor or blender and blitz till just creamy. You can throw in anything that takes your fancy (I've used strawberries and raspberries with a dash of maple syrup). If it's too sloppy you might need to stick the mixture back into the freezer for a short while. Then just scoop and serve with any toppings you like.


colleen said...

Thanks for such lovely comments. Joan's sharing of cringeworthy visits to the ABC struck a chord and Liz's suggestion for banana ice cream sounds like a real treat.