Macaroons, or macarons?! There seems to be quite the debate over the proper terminology but I'll leave that to foodies far better qualified than I to determine, I'll just munch away worry-free, don't mind me. Living in rural Derbyshire on the edge of the Peaks is fantastic for scenery but less so in the trend-led food stakes, in fact cupcakes have barely made an appearance in my neck of the woods so you can imagine how excited I was to find a little parcel of MACAROONS of all things in a local department shop. I anticipated Ladurée-like airiness and deliciousness (the hope!) yet sadly they were further proof those beautiful confections really are best enjoyed super fresh! Still, they looked divine and what sort of blogger would I be if I hadn't snapped them on a suitably pretty plate?
Jack Frost has left his signature twinkling trail all over my little town the past couple of weeks so I've been deploying one of my favourite weapons in the war against a chilly home - candles all over the place. I miss an open fire like you wouldn't believe, but it is surprising how much cosiness half a dozen candles can give - mostly psychological of course! Besides which they look so gorgeous and festive, and - like the weirdo I am - I love the smell of smoking matches after lighting them!
The ornate wooden book-end above was one of the many lovely things I inherited while helping to pack up Andrée's (Tristan's Mum) house a couple of weeks ago ahead of her big move. I'm never averse to a little packing and wrapping since the boy and I have moved three times in the past six years and I'm now pretty adept, we had a fun weekend sorting and shifting. While T was small he and his family lived all over Africa and the Middle East so the house is crammed with authentic, beautiful souvenirs of the places they have lived. There is always something fascinating to look at! Andrée had saved all sorts of pretty things for me from vintage glass bottles to a box of old picture frames. I was powerless to resist the clutterbug in me! T also chose a few rugs, pictures and even a couple of antique guns and spears to bring home. Over the next few weeks I think we'll be giving our living room a gentleman's lounge-cum-campaign tent sort of feel as we find homes for everything!
Books! The 1950s Penguin Poets with the stunning patterned covers cost me all of £1 for the four from a local charity shop. You'll already know I have a thing for old Penguin and Pelican books if you've been a reader for a while and if you're that way inclined yourself will also know it is rare these days to pick them up so cheaply - I was grinning for hours. A birthday book last month from my oldest friend was Light Boxes by Shane Jones, it is one of the most engaging, bizarre, imaginative books I've ever read and since it is a novella I devoured it cover to cover inside 90 minutes. One of my very favourite bloggers, Dottie Angel, co-wrote a crafty book full of inspiration for a vintage inspired, handmade home that was released earlier this year. I hadn't managed to get my mitts on a copy until yesterday when I spied a copy in The Works for an totally bargainous £5.99. Well worth a look if you're at all crafty-hearted.
Taxidermy is one of those issues I feel slightly iffy about, I don't have a problem with the scores of dusty ages-old specimens already stuffed/petrified across the land - and we do seem to have more than our fair share in Britain, but knowing there are still people catching, killing, framing and selling butterflies today is a little upsetting to me. Without sounding too militant I feel that as human beings we should be treading a little more lightly upon the earth now. Yet, here I am about to admire the little vintage box frame of four beautiful butterflies I chose from a pile of pictures Andrée had set aside. Poor Eurytides Protesilaus - also known as bottom right - has lost his back end, but otherwise I'm amazed at how well preserved they are and maybe that is the point, these have been around for several decades. But would I feel the same way about a vintage fur coat given that I am anti fur? I'm not entirely sure. Any thoughts?
Hope you are all well, it has been too long since I last blogged and I have missed reading your posts as well as writing my own, are you in the festive spirit already?