Monday, 25 July 2016

David Austin Roses

They're impossibly beautiful, and they continue to delight as they open and become even more beautiful.

All Monday blues have been chased away by their divine perfume. This single one sits on my bedside table infusing my dreams of one day growing a garden full of David Austin roses.

Kate  x

Saturday, 23 July 2016

En Saison

En saison, or the very opposite, in this case. 
It's a blustery winter Saturday here. I set out to buy an inexpensive bunch of daffodils to bring some cheer indoors. I've been patiently waiting for the daffs to start appearing in florists and green grocers this season.

Then, my usual flower man had David Austin roses. In winter! A little more expensive than a bunch of daffodils or jonquils, but Oh-so-worth-it.

The smell is divine. But that's a redundant statement when talking about David Austin roses. They tick every box. 

Simply a superior rose.

We also came home with kalettes. The kalette is the newest vegetable on the Australian market, a cross between kale and brussel sprouts. Should be interesting. 

Kate  x

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Winter pears

The apple tree that we usually pick raid from each autumn was almost entirely bare this year, so I am embracing pears in a big way to make up for it. A healthy addition to the fruit bowl, but also easy to turn into a sweet dessert.

They're beautifully photogenic. These are the Corella variety. The prettiest of all the pear varieties in my opinion. They lend themselves to a still life composition so nicely.

Ever since I read A Garden in the Hills by Christine McCabe (one of my favourite books of the last 18 months) I have thought about trying her apple fritters recipe. Now I am wondering if I should try it with these pears.

Recipe from A Garden in the Hills, page 307

To make the fritters, sift together 1 and a 1/2 cups of plain flour, 1 and 1/3 tsp of baking powder and a pinch of salt. To this add 1/2 a cup of brown sugar, 2/3 of a cup of milk and 2 well beaten free range eggs. (Preferably Claudette's. Of all the hen's eggs hers are the loveliest- brown shells, saffron yolks. We know they are hers for so resolutely independent is she that Claudette commands her own nest, frequently escaping the confines of the large chicken run to rummage among my vegetables.)
Mix well and add the apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices, or grated if you're in a hurry. Drop tablespoons of the batter into hot oil (Mum used fat or dripping) and cook until golden. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with great, fat dollops of cream.

I think this would work well as a sort of pancake/pikelet recipe too. 
Maybe for brunch this weekend.

Kate  x

Monday, 11 July 2016


I had my British passport and vintage sun hat ready for an English 'summer'.

And then we were delayed...

We should be England bound in time to experience the very last few days of summer now. Arriving on the cusp of an English autumn ain't too bad!

Kate  x

Monday, 4 July 2016


I love the freshness of all white manchester. I have slowly been collecting new sheets, pillowslips and towels in white to replace worn out, mis-matched and generally less attractive manchester. The white things we already owned have also been getting a 'white boost' with some extended soaks in the laundry tub.

I spied these lovely Euro slip covers in a shop on Saturday and couldn't resist them. I adore the embroidery detail.

In my experience as a once-a-week bed sheet changer, Euro slip covers tend to wear out at a very fast rate. And, they can be rather pricey. These weren't, so at $40 for the pair I didn't really think twice about bringing them home with us.

Washed and ironed (loose use of the term ironed), they're going on the bed on this Clean Sheet Monday (as Mondays are referred to in our household).

Such sweet details.

It has been a weekend of acquisitions. As well as purchasing these covers, we were also graciously gifted two nearly-matching old oak bank swivel-chairs. They need a little TLC. I was going to photograph them, but I am not sure how best to capture their patina and loveliness. I would like to have them completely restored, but the expense of having someone else do that for us is silly. It might have to be a project for me to complete myself. I know nothing about stripping and refinishing antique wood though. At this point, I don't know if I should leave the wood as is and just have the seats re-done in a nice heavy duty cream coloured drill material to give them a 'lift', or bite the bullet and do a proper restoration start to finish. More research is needed...

Kate  x