To misquote Swifty, I knew it was trouble the moment I walked in to the toilet, and to sort of quote Pulp, it had ‘woodchip on the wall.’
After a prolonged hiatus on getting the inside of our house finished I am on a mission to get most of the downstairs completed by Christmas. When I say ‘I am on a mission’ it is actually me doing as much of the work as I can, paying only for the skills I don’t have or need an expert, like the electrics, but otherwise saving the money where we can to get the house fully renovated. I …
Prising open the encrusted paint lid, I get my wooden stirrer (one tip already covered in dry paint from a previous project) and carefully submerge it, all the way to the bottom of the tin where I can feel a thick layer of sediment. In steady slow circular motions the chalk, china clay, titanium dioxide and pigments come together once more turning through the tones of grey to resemble one of the fifty shades with which I have painted our house. I delicately pour it like double cream onto a pudding into my painters tray and carefully climb the step ladder.
It’s slightly incongruous to be writing about the inside, when I am literally writing this outside, and spending so much time out doors at the moment. In fact, I have been taking a break from painting and decorating. Since the start of 2018 I have done nothing to the interior, save for a few touch ups and ordering some carpet for the stairs and landing. It is no understatement to say that I get daily pleasure from the soft woollen pile under my toes. I actually take time to notice it everyday because I am so grateful not to have floorboards anymore or the old …
I love baking. It is relaxing and therapeutic with the weighing and measuring, the stirring and whisking, the magical alchemy of bringing together disparate ingredients into something utterly delicious. It is mindfulness and mindlessness at the same time, with a treat at the end of it all (except the washing up). Out of all the things I like to bake, cake is the number one favourite. Not just any cake, but milk chocolate cake from the superbly retro Be-Ro recipe book.
The Be-Ro recipe book was my baking bible as a child. My mum has two ancient editions, one of which has fallen apart from …