i don't think i'd ever heard the old neighbours yelp and clap for joy before. it was the fat snowflakes that were tickling them, tossed about by a manic wind

a rare sight on the central plain that turns us all into children.



on the cusp of spring
the first almond blossom
i remember doing my homework as a child
and being distracted by it
looking out the window and thinking this tree is prettier than a bride.



at home she is content to be the happy bunny but for the nursery carnival party she wanted the crown jewels and the fairytale .  .     .



archived sun tattoos
ephemeral as the day

partly the reason why our walls are empty.



i made these garlands for friends
last year and the year before
with air drying clay and string.

i thought they were soothing to look at.


today i was so amused - pleased even - to see almost the same thing in cotton for sale in this nice shop.



we thought we'd give the viking ships something to navigate by.
cloud cards with gold stars from le petit atelier de paris.

it is now freezing indoors, too, heating and hot water system broken
and one cat at the vet's. so we wrap fingers around bowls of soup
and cups of tea, and we wait.


the new vdj collection is, as always,
lovely to look at.



k is in jerusalem again
and i'm trying to place him
through his old photos.

it was a soft lit afternoon
with children's voices
and old men congregating for a smoke
at the crossroads.



a moonscape of sea salt flakes
baked and ground with zest from our garden lemons
to cheer up our winter food.
'citrus salt' as told by heidi.

it's freezing out there tonight.
it might even snow on the plain.
have a snug weekend!



our day by the salt lake was also silver
where the wetland blurs the boundary between earth and water.
in summer the lake goes away altogether, leaving only the salt.


a bird of prey - a falcon? - had us all at his feet.

. .  . but from these photos you wouldn't know about the planes taking off and landing on the other side. it's a little sad - i still remember the donkeys they used to collect the salt. it's too polluted now.



a blue day by the salt lake 
we walked and ate some pastries
while the flamingos nibbled on shrimp
and gave us a little demo on how to walk, skip and run on water.

[more photos soon . . . ]


a little cookbook (well, bakebook) i put together for some friends
to tickle their inner domestic goddesses


a recipe that might appeal to yours, which i find sits perfectly by your cup of tea at the end of a long, weekend walk .   .      .

date and walnut loaf                                       

225g self-raising flour, sifted
50g walnuts, in large pieces
1 teaspoon mixed spice
75g butter
100g light or dark soft brown sugar
225g chopped dates (or a mixture of dried fruit, e.g. prunes, apricots, raisins, dates)
150ml water
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

> preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. grease and line a 900g loaf tin. mix together flour, walnuts and mixed spice.

> place butter, sugar, dates and water in a pan and bring gently to the boil. remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. add to the flour, spice and nuts with the beaten eggs and beat well with a wooden spoon.

> turn into prepared tin, hollow the middle a little and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. bake for 1-1¼ hours until a skewer comes out clean. remove from oven and turn out on to a wire rack to cool. serve sliced with butter. (or without; it's just as good)

[from the national trust teatime baking book]



last night's supper: chickpea patties with beetroot yoghurt .   .     .

an intense pink bloodbath, but it was all over in a few minutes  ><

[if you'd like the recipe just let me know. it's quick to prepare but the taste hangs around]


we don't hoard.
we declutter.
unused or overused objects are always given away.

but how quickly new ones accumulate and take their place!
[and we are rather fond of all these new ones that crept in over christmas . .   .]


yesterday a. went to a free movement class. she came back with a big smile on her face.



when a snap in the back pins you to the bed
there's a lot of pain to get through
but unforeseen luxuries as well, like
sleeping (!) + reading,
watching the hours shorten and lengthen, darken and brighten through the windows,
remembering the kind grandmother who crocheted your bedcover (18 in all - one for each grandchild),
hearing the family banter from afar
+ thinking + being grateful . . .


the heart-it trail has now reached epidemic proportions
like the house has broken out into some kind of neon love rash .   .    .



in the domestic hush of morning
a viking fleet sets sail in a.'s room
a trail of post-it love weaves randomly through the house
a feather slips its pillowcase 
+ i'm bowled over by turgenev - again.

all is well.

( . . .  or at least it was a lot better before i pulled my back . . . )


this morning, a respite
for both cats and men to stretch their limbs in the sun




if blogs had birthdays
mine might be offended for forgetting its!

i've enjoyed this little space 'out here' the past 12 months.
thank you for taking the detour to share it with me.


what i love most about winter is walking in it.
have a beautiful month of greys .  .  .