Other than reading books…

I took some nice photos this weekend of what I do when I’m not reading books. So I thought I’d share a bit more about me rather than just my opinions on books and book related matters.

So for starters I enjoy wandering around London…here’s a lovely shot of a graveyard in Hampstead, where I was on Saturday morning. Hampstead is stunning and a world away from my usual stomping ground of South East London. This graveyard we came across on the way to the high street was very quiet and beautiful and slightly overgrown which is exactly as graveyards should be. I have a morbid fascination with graveyards and can spend many a happy hour poring over the inscriptions on old gravestones. This also dovetails nicely with my interest in given names, as you can find some real classics in graveyards that have stones dating back a couple of centuries or so. I especially like spotting obscure names such as Hepzibah and Temperance.

I also love to bake…here’s a victoria sponge I made with fresh cream and blueberries. It went down a treat, so much so, I just made another! I’m currently working my way through Jane Brocket’s Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer, which is a terrific cookbook/history of children’s literature, giving recipes from favourite classics such as the Famous Five and Anne of Green Gables. It’s a delight to read and look at as much as it is to bake from and I highly recommend it, though you won’t find my blueberry cream cake in there as I made that up myself.

On the right is my patchwork quilt that I’m making, and I’ve been working a little on it this weekend…I try and do a bit every night but lately I have been lagging behind. We have a patchwork quilt club at work because of an exhibition we’re holding in March next year on Quilts and so I got started with this quilt a few months ago when the club began meeting. I am definitely no seamstress and I have never made a quilt before, so if I can do it, anyone can. It’s all handsewn and made with templates so it’s time consuming work but I am really enjoying it and look forward to the happy day when it will be finished and can take pride of place on my bed. I fear it will be a long time coming! It’s also a famous quilt because it is going to be featured in the accompanying exhibition book…we had a photo shoot last week. Very exciting!

And finally, I love love love spending time with my nephews. They are called George and Freddie (Frederick really but that’s a bit long for a baby) and are 2 yrs 8 months and 3 months old respectively. They are absolutely wonderful, and especially as Georgie can now talk fluently, he comes out with the most wonderful things. Out of the mouths of babes indeed! Their sticky kisses and warm soft sleepy smell when they wake up from their naps just melts my heart but I am very glad I get to give them back!



  1. I am going to try my hand at making a jam sponge tomorrow for a couple of girlfriends. I've just been using a converter chart as the recipe is British, hope it turns out! Yours looks delicious with the blueberries.

  2. Thanks ladies! I have been picking at a huge slice all morning at my desk…I was intending on sharing it with one of my workmates but I don't think it's going to happen! The blueberries give it a lovely zing that I highly recommend.

  3. Rachel – I'm going to have to get a copy of that book by Jane Brokett! That cake looks delish. Your nephews are so cute!

  4. Mmmm, that cake makes me hungry! I have been coveting Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer.Cute nephews! Mine (through partner) is far away in Vancouver and I miss him :(.

  5. Thanks Astrid and Claire! I love my nephews! They are my older sister's boys and she only lives a half hour from me out in the country so I get to see them often. It's a real benefit of having a much older sister – I get to play with babies and satisfy my maternal urges until I am ready to have them myself!

  6. Just discovered your blog and will definitely be back. I love graveyards too – so much fuel for the imagination. I also really enjoy descriptions of food and meals – do you remember the picnic of fresh scones and new milk that the children in The Secret Garden had? I was ravenous for it – and I don't even drink milk. And the johnny cake in (I think) Anne of Green Gables – I'm not sure what it was (made with maize meal perhaps?) but it sounds so wholesome and wonderful.

  7. Your first quilt looks fab! What is the pattern called? My first quilt was a crazy quilt, therefore no pattern, just using up bits of old fabric from friends and family. The top is finished, but I've yet to back it…has been waiting to be backed for 10 years now. 😦

  8. You are definitely a seamstress! (spoken by one who cannot sew buttons on!) The little boys are adorable, and I envy you being able to stroll around Hampstead.

  9. Thanks Rosemary! Yes I do remember that picnic in the Secret Garden – I don't like milk either but the phrase 'new milk' always sounds so delicious!Thanks Heather! It's called Grandmother's garden. You make up lots of six hexagons sewn around a middle section to make 'flowers' then sew them together with plain hexagons surrounding them to separate each flower. It's complicated but pretty!Thanks Nan! Glad you like my quilt and my nephews!I have just been to Norfolk for a week so will have photos of that as soon as I can be bothered to get them on the computer!

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