No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better...

Saturday, October 20, 2012


First week back at work.  Too churned up about it all to make much sense at the moment.  Don't have my camera with me so no pretty pictures of London town.  Back when I'm out of the vortex.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pump Street Bakery

Hello everybody,

When we lived in New York, one of our favourite weekend pastimes was to have brunch.  There are so many places for this in Manhattan, ranging from chi chi restaurants with massive queues outside to old school diners where everything is supersized and you don't need to eat for a week afterwards.

So, I was a bit worried when we decamped to the house by the sea that we'd have nowhere to get our weekly fix of excellent coffee and tasty treats while we flicked through the sunday papers.  I need not have fretted.  Because not very far from where we live is the lovely and amazing Pump Street Bakery.

You know you're in trouble when even the lighting excites you
Their sourdough bread is just delicious, and they do a fab bacon rocket and lemon mayo bap.  Their savoury snacks really are good - fresh ingredients, locally sourced, with perfectly balanced flavours.


But the real treats, the things that keep us going back there time after time, are the sweet treats.  Doughnuts filled with jams - rhubarb or raspberry - or creme anglaise, or brownies or meringues.  Eccles cakes don't normally have me salivating at the sight of them, but one bite of these and I was hooked.  Every time I go, I debate whether to have an Eccles cake or a Portuguese nata (I'm a sucker for custard...)


There's a fire in winter and outside seating in the summer months.  And the simple decor perfectly complements the good simple food...


But the best bit for me is Cedric.


From Wednesdays to Sundays, Cedric can be found around and about, selling bread and treats to those who can't make it to the bakery.



So, you see, I needn't have worried.  Brunch is taken care of wherever we are.


And you needn't take my word for how good Pump Street is.  The bakery has a finalist in the BBC's Food and Farming Awards.  Hope it wins.


ps I have no affiliation with Pump Street Bakery.  I just like their stuff!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

After Noah

Hello everyone,

Thanks so much for your good wishes on my (old) new job.  I'm excited and nervous and still very bemused at this turn of events and am trying to make the most of my last few days before starting work on Monday.  Mr. P. is away at the moment so I am quietly getting ready and doing a bit of writing and trying to reassure myself that my brain won't have turned to mush during my time off.  And I have had a project to work on and now something to show you.


I have been knitting.  You may remember earlier in the year I knit a sweet little cardigan from Debbie Bliss's Knitter's Year.  This was it.


Well, when we discovered a few months back that a little girl had come into the family, I knew just the thing I wanted to make. The pink cardigan was made of cotton yarn, but that felt wrong for this time of year.  But then the shop I went to for inspiration had the exact cardigan knit in baby cashmerino, and I knew that would be perfect.


I was on a deadline because I wanted Mr. P. to take it with him when he went away, so I've been knitting like a demon over the last few weeks.  I had given up all hope of finishing it, but then a stinking cold kept me inside last week, so I managed it with, oh, hours to spare!  (It wasn't helped by having cold induced knitting dyslexia which meant that I cast off the front and back the wrong way around so that the left front piece hung on one side of the back piece but the right side faced the other way - even now I can't explain it properly...).

And I have discovered in the process that I like to do things in twos.  I made a bag.  And then another.  A cushion cover.  And then another.  And I have plans for another wavery ripple scarf.  Oh, and another lampshade.  Okay, so it's hardly mass production.  But there's something satisfying about figuring something out and doing all the swearing and ripping etc. the first time around, and then tackling it the second time knowing roughly what you're doing.

As long as you don't have a cold.

So, here it is.  My Noah cardigan.  


Can't wait to see baby J in it.


PS Thank you for all your lovely comments and helpful suggestions as to what to do with the granny square blanket.  I suspect that it will remain as it is, at least until after the other second time around projects I have planned.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hi ho, hi ho...

Hello everyone,

Today, I was going to tell you about the Aldeburgh food festival, or to trumpet the recent success of the Pump Street Bakery, (more another day) but instead I want to share some news with you.

I started my professional life as a corporate lawyer.  I was pretty good at it, but for one reason or another I wasn't very happy in my twenties, and part of my quest to be happy involved leaving my corporate job in search of new experiences elsewhere.  So, for the last ten years, I worked for the UN.  Richly rewarding, at times frustrating, but I have never regretted my decision to leave and I wouldn't have traded the last ten years for anything.

But now I have returned to the UK and have been wondering what to do next.  I wanted and needed to take a career break when we came back to England, but now I need to work again.  I had a coffee with a friend of a friend at my old law firm to talk about clients of his that might be interested in my experience.  And at the end of our discussion, he offered me a job himself.  In my old firm.

Never, ever, did I expect to go back.  And never did I think I would be excited at the prospect.   But I am. It will be in a new role, and will be a challenge, and it's temporary.  But that's just fine.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.” 

Life.  Never will it cease to surprise me.  

Wish me luck.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A day of plenty

Hello there,

Firstly, thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post.  In the (too long) break from blogging, I pretty much stopped taking photos at all, but in coming back to the fold I realise just how much I enjoy it, and how important a part of blogging it is for me.  Taking photographs makes me really see things and I love it.

Secondly, welcome, welcome to my new followers.  It's lovely to have you here.

So, today, I have lots more photos of a market.  Because finally, I have uploaded my images of the vintage market I went to recently in Woodbridge.  Oh, my!  You know there are some days when you visit a flea market or vintage fair, when you traipse around scanning ahead from stall to stall and reach the end and wish you hadn't bothered?  Well, this was the exact opposite of all that.

It fell on a crisp clear day a couple of weeks ago and wandering around felt like being in the South of France.  Yes, really.


And even as I look through these photos, I see all sorts of things that I somehow missed ,and want to go back to.  But before you feel too sorry for the opportunity lost, let me show you what I DID buy....

I started slowly with this sweet little dish, made of Welsh pottery.  Love the flowers.  Love the dots.  Love everything about it really.  (And it didn't cost a lot.)


Then I spied these two lurking in the shadows.  No House by the Sea should be without them.


Then I happened upon a stall selling tiles made locally in the 1950s in my favourite colour of the moment.  (Can't seem to get enough of mustard...). 


By this point I was giving myself a stern talking to about the Age of Austerity ruling in the House of NKK etc, but the woman in the bird's nest hat simply smiled.


And that was my final purchase.  Final final.  Until I saw this.


Really, I shouldn't be let out.  Clearly, I cannot be trusted.  But in my defence, I defy any of you to have walked away without this beautiful blanket.  I know I should just have gone home and whipped one up myself.  But we all know how long that's going to take...  And this is made of pure wool.  And in such lovely colours.  And I couldn't buy more than a few of balls of yarn for the price I paid for it.  So really, it absolutely had to come home with me.  Don't you think?


So, now I need some advice, please.  As you can see, it's a little too small for our stupidly big bed (for which, I have Mr. P to thank).  And I am wondering about the best way to add to it.  I know I could just add to the border.  Or I could make granny squares in a single colour (probably either red or navy to tie the room together (in a non matchy match way, hopefully) and sew these in a sort of mega border around the outside, expanding the blanket by a granny square width all around, which I think might do the trick.  

What do you think?


PS the lovely Rebecca from Posh Yarn was there and I chatted briefly but then ran away in a fit of shyness (more of that another day).  Sorry.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Borough Market

Hello everybody,

When I was down in London Town for Handmade Renegade I finally managed to do something that was on my list of London lovely things to do fo the longest time:  visit Borough Market.

I could tell you about the posh coffee, or the delicate first picked leaves of darjeeling tea I tasted, or the amazing breads and cakes, or the granola or home made jams.   Or the amazing butchers and fishmongers.  Oh, and the cheese.  But instead I thought I'd just show you lots of photos to drool over.  Just in time for dinner.


A feast, I tell you!

There were other things too around the market....
loved the light here...
I know how he feels sometimes...



And best of all were these, used as shade outside a new restaurant.  They make my hear skip a beat every time I look at them.


Back soon with goodies from the flea market.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Handmade Renegade comes to London

Hello everybody,

Hope you're having a fab weekend.  I have had the most lovely couple of days.  Lots to tell you, but for now, just a quick post because I am about to get in a car and hurtle up the motorway to Yorkshire for a few days.  Trip to Harrogate planned.  V excited.

But before I get to that,  let me tell you about a fantabulous craft fair that's on in London this weekend.


Went yesterday with my sister and niece.  I was a big fan from my time in the States, written about here so was very excited to see what London had to offer. 



Those ice lollies are now on their way to my niece's bedroom wall.


Folksy had thoughtfully provided the materials for those overcome with the need to craft.  Check out the sausage dog!


And there was a paper flower making class in progress.  Just the thing to brighten up a winter window ledge.


And tucked away on a shelf were these rather shy looking sheep.


But the highlight of the day was meeting the lovely Emma from Silverpebble whose jewellery is just delightful.  My first real life blog encounter - my niece was very excited.  (Sorry there is no photo of her fab stall.  I was a bit shy to ask.)  Were we not living in the age of austerity in the House of NKK, I would have bought the spinny windmill.  And I have plans when normal salaried service resumes to attend a workshop with Emma.  For now, it was a delight just to look.


Yorkshire bound.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  More soon.

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