Tuesday, 24 January 2012

January amusements.

How's your January going? I'm having a super quiet one, trying to be healthy and working lots, sometimes in my new local cafe, bread and bean. Really nice coffee and cakes, tea served in pots with proper china, free wi-fi, comfy seats, friendly peeps, cloth hand-towels in the bathroom…it's seriously good vibes! Highly recommend, if you're in otherwise drab Archway.

I've been doing a bit of reading. I've been meaning to read Alice Munro for a while, after hearing so many superlatives about her. Too Much Happiness is a collection of short stories; I was gasping and wide-eyed by about the third page! I love Margaret Drabble's dry and clever writing. The Radiant Way is a novel set against the backdrop of the 1980s, almost a sociological study of the decade. Interesting. Restoration is my bookclub book this month. I'd never normally pick this book up (the beauty of book clubs!) but I'm loving the character of Merivel! Next to read, this Isabel Allende novel I picked up in a chazza. I can be a bit narrow in my reading, I tend to stick with British or North American authors, so I thought I'd go South American for a change. Seems to be all about the ladies in my reading at the moment.

I've been doing some thrifty and healthy cooking! I mentioned in my last post that I love Pinterest: one of the things I'm really enjoying about it is food inspiration. I get in a food rut really quickly and end up eating the same thing over and over again. But on Pinterest there are so many tasty-looking food pictures it's easy to get inspired; I've eaten two Pinterest-inspired meals in the last week, including this yum and pretty meal. I love the tumblr the picture came from, as well. (Another bonus: you find new blogs.)

Did anyone watch Sicily Unpacked? A three part series featuring Giorgio Locatelli (swoon + yum) and Andrew Graham-Dixon (chin rub), investigating the food and art of Sicily. Perfect for dreaming of summer days surrounded by mediterranean blue. It's available for a few more days on iPlayer.

Oh, and I love this tune by Django Django. You can buy it here.

That, as they say, is me. What you all been up to?

bread and bean picture credit


  1. LOVE this blog post although makes me feel v. lazy - that cafe looks like it needs a big old check out. And what's the recipe? x

  2. Sicily Unpacked had me swooning too (Thought of you whilst watching...fellow Sicily lover!). My love for Pinterest never weans. I will be purchasing 'Too Much Happiness'...sounds interesting and I love a short story. Thanks Caroline!

  3. Isabelle Allende is one of my favourite novelists, South American writers are just magical. If you enjoy her book you should also try Gabriel Garcia Marquez if you haven't already done so. I am pretty sure I have read this book but might have to read it again.

    Watched the first episode of Sicily Unpacked but the boyfriend got annoyed by the food bits (which I love - travel is all about the food for me). Might have to watch while he isn't looking ;)

    And pinterest for food is brilliant, though I mostly seem to pin wicked looking desserts.

  4. To my shame haven't read any Drabble or Munro but LOVE Rose Tremain. Sacred Country is fab. Unlike you I am having a shockingly lazy January - it feels like a big achievement if I get a load of washing on and cook dinner. But I am reading Red Plenty by Francis Spufford which I'm loving, and I've nearly finished a cushion I'm crocheting. Does that count as doing stuff??

  5. Hey Ladies!

    SD -- there was no recipe. Just plain old scrambled eggs, sliced tomatoes and sliced avos, all in a pretty bowl. I've now been (slightly autistically) having little groups of sliced colourful things in pretty bowls. Come up and try out bread and bean one saturday!

    Lisa -- ahh, you thought of me! :) hope you enjoy the Munro. And yeah -- I'm hoping to go for a trip to Sicily in May for my birthday. SO lovely there.

    Thanks Michelle, looking fwd to reading it even more now. What's your Pinterest name? (will stalk and try to find out.)

    Yeah. You're doing stuff Nat. Might explore more Tremain. Seriously know nothing about her, just trying to power read thru this book for bookclub on Thursday!


  6. Ahh..gotcha Michelle. You posted that coral/gold pin I liked yesterday. :)

  7. Love Pinterest for food ideas too, if you haven't seen it already you should also check out Foodgawker. It's the BEST place to find ideas and get your stomach rumbling! xx

  8. "otherwise drab Archway"?!?

    The black tower? The Planet Kebab/other one eternal struggle? Mosaic's bizarre oriental waterfall garden? The weirdly spacious Christian charity shop? The Mother Redcap? The highest concentration of shifty itinerants in north London?


  9. Haha. You're right. It is charmante. I can see the towers of Archway from my bedroom window; I like to pretend I'm in Berlin.

  10. Thanks for the tip about the Sicily programme!

    My January is similarly easy going and pleasant. x

  11. I am absolutely OBSESSED with Django Django! Glad someone else likes them, literally don't know anyone else but you and my husband. x

  12. Oooh haven't come across any of those books... the 'too much happiness' is so going on my list. laughing that you're using pinterest for healthy food though, I mainly pin cake! ;)

  13. I knew it, I am going to have to move to London to find a cafe that serves tea in proper cups. It's all Styrofoam and collapsible paper in Chicago. Your book suggestions are wonderful, I am always so happy to stumble upon a few great book ideas. Thank you!

  14. !The Bread and Bean is majorly yummy!