Saturday, 9 April 2011

Mothering Sunday

I just wanted to share this beautiful, glitter-festooned clay heart that the Beautiful Girl made for me at her Saturday morning art class for Mother's Day. I received other presents too; a new Persephone, series one of Downton Abbey on DVD and a set of vintage teaspoons with pretty enamelled handles. (I detect the work of the Lovely Husband there). But when she asks me which present I love the most, we both know it's her handprint that makes my heart skip with joy.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Little luxuries

My favourite part of Desert Island Discs is the last minute or so, when Kirsty Young asks the guest which book they'd take to their desert island and which luxury. In moments of idleness I often wonder which book and luxury I would choose. I realise that sounds like an exaggeration, a clumsy way to introduce this post, but sadly no, I really do ponder this question quite often.

Sometimes I think for my luxury I'd have to choose a Roberts Radio (one of those gorgeously floral Cath Kidston ones, naturally), tuned to Radio 4. Radio 4 provides the soundtrack to my life. Switching on the Today programme is the second thing I do every morning and the radio often stays on all day. I listen to all sorts of programmes and learn all sorts of things, from the plight of native British songbirds to the effects of public spending cuts on partially sighted people in the North. I love Radio 4.

Sometimes I think I'd have to take my crochet basket. My goodness, I might actually make some real progress on the Heirloom Blanket with no distractions and nothing else to do, stuck on a desert island. Then again....

Ultimately though I come to one of two choices for my Desert Island luxury. Firstly, lavender oil. I use lavender oil all the time. I sprinkle it in my bath and on my pillow before bed. I use it as a perfume. I blend it with sweet almond oil and smear it on my face. I use it for first aid, for burns and insect bites.

My other option would have to be tea. Oh, how I love my cups of tea. Switching the kettle on is the first thing I do in the morning and cups of tea punctuate my day. There's the big mug of builders first thing, the scalding, got-to-drink-it-in-the-five-minutes-I've-managed-to-grab-for-lunch at school and the tucked-up-in-bed-with-a-good-book-and-cup-of-Earl-Grey. I just can't imagine a day without tea.

So I was intrigued, on a recent trip to the farmers' market to find a way to combine my two favourite luxuries - lavender tea. I bought some and was really looking forward to trying it. Trouble was, I just couldn't find the right time. I'm a creature of habit and forgoing any of the aforementioned cuppas was just unthinkable. And then, the perfect opportunity arose - a sunny afternoon, a snatched solitary half hour and a favourite magazine. Perfect.