Sunday, 29 November 2015

Baking on holiday

Who knew that American flour is different from British flour?!  I couldn't understand why my cakes here are not as light and airy as my cakes in the UK :-(. So I have resorted to cake mix.  You know, those packets that have everything in them except egg and oil.  

To my mind this is cheating.  On a grand scale.  No weighing and beating and sieving. Just splosh and stir and bake.  However, it was easy to choose which box to buy:

I'm waiting now to take said mixture out of the oven.....

All I can say is, "Oh dear," and make some icing. 

I miss my UK kitchen. And my sons. And my cat.  Not in that order. 

Thursday, 26 November 2015


View from my computer

Yes I'm still in bed. It's Thanksgiving, and I am grateful for so many things.  One of them is that I can get up when I want to.  Shall I make a list?
My children. They are the best sons a mummy could wish for.  They have turned into intelligent, kind gentle men.
My husband.  Another gentle man.
My brother (of whom I have written too much already - any more will go to his head).
My friends - you know, those people you can tell anything and they still love you, will tell you when you're being stupid or foolish or nasty, who will say kind things when you need care and understanding, but will always tell you the truth.  
And then you know all the rest - enough to eat and drink, a roof (or two or three) over our heads etc etc.
And the bear?  He's called Lewis.  There are three things that are the best things I ever bought for myself with my own money: a car (I still miss it - a dark blue VW Eos hard top convertible with cream leather interior); Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (bought in Blackwells in Oxford in 1974 - it's just beginning to fall apart!); and Lewis (who is just 7 years old, so he hasn't started falling apart yet).
Happy Thanksgiving. 

Monday, 9 November 2015


I'm not very good at keeping my mouth shut.  I mean, I have to have my say, especially if I disagree with someone.  And even more especially if I think they are talking nonsense.  But now I have to belie that here by being very circumspect and keeping my fingers from tapping.  Because the latest recipient of my opinions may read this and I really don't want to hurt feelings.  I really don't.  
BUT he thinks the moon landings are a fiction. I CAN keep quiet.  I can keep quiet....
Here's some photos instead!

Friday, 6 November 2015


We are back in Florida.  In a heatwave.  I had forgotten how hot hot is.  We walked out of the airport to get our car, and I was reminded of those times when you open the oven door and have to stand back because of the heat.  And this was at 9pm!  

But that's not why I'm writing this.  I'm writing this because I've found a new book, and I want everyone to know about it.  It's called Room. By Emma Donaghue.  

I bought it on Tuesday and finished it within 24 hours. It's heart-wrenchingly breathtaking. Literally. I found myself not breathing, with pounding heart and clenched muscles. I had to force myself to put the book down, so that life could happen (which is kind of ironic, as you will know if you read the book). Will it go into my top twenty? It's possible. That's how good it is.
Read it. Please.