Volume

Enjoying the late afternoon sunshine with a cup of tea and a good book.

Perhaps I’m just looking for an excuse, but when I hear the word “volume” I think first of books.

It’s a shame the phrase “a slim volume” so often has negative connotations of insubstantial work by little-known authors, because it’s really perfect for Alan Bennett’s wonderful, short but very substantial, novel in praise of libraries and reading.

Volume is Debbie’s choice for this week’s One Word Sunday. So tear yourself away from whatever you’re reading and visit her post.

Advertisements

Reading and writing

“This book is for the reader who seeks a language with which to counter the development imperative in our accelerating culture. The various crises we encounter — ecological, economic or psychological — are very much the result of a blinkered philosophy of endless growth and cultural acceleration.”

— from the Introduction to Stand Firm

Definitely words to reflect on and process in my journal (over coffee and an early hot cross bun).

And an image for the Ragtag Daily Prompt | book

Attempting Mrs Oberon’s Cock-a-Hoop Honey Cake

One of my son’s favourite childhood books was Margaret Mahy’s A Busy Day for a Good Grandmother.

The good grandmother is Mrs Oberon, summoned by her son Scrimshaw to deliver one of her cock-a-hoop blue borage honey cakes — the only thing that will pacify his crying, teething baby son.

Her journey — by trailbike, plane, raft and skateboard — involves navigating rapids, and fighting off hungry vultures and alligators.

Arriving to find Scrimshaw at the end of his tether, she not only calms the baby but teaches her son to make his own honey cake.

I was reminded of the book recently by Amanda at Silkannthreades, and began wondering what a cock-a-hoop blue borage honey cake might look (and taste) like.

I did find a recipe, but not only was it missing blue borage honey, but seemed to lack the ingredients one might expect in a teething remedy.

This is my first attempt. It’s flavoured with blue borage honey (naturally), as well as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and chamomile — to soothe.

It’s ok. The texture is good, but none of the flavours emerge strongly enough and it looks disconcertingly like gingerbread.

Definitely not a six-word post this week — but bookended thus.

So, back to the drawing board.

Posted to Debbie’s Six Word Saturday

The Changing Seasons: June 2018

Low cloud hangs over hills and the Whanganui River at Papaiti Road, Whanganui. Su Leslie 2018

Late afternoon rain clouds, Papaiti Road, Whanganui. Su Leslie, 2018

While some months can certainly be summed up in a single image, June hasn’t been one of them.

The first part of the month was shaped by my father’s admission to hospital. He’s nearly 86 and has a series of medical problems. On the plus side, this means that any change in his condition is taken seriously by his doctors and he receives swift and usually excellent care; on the minus side it’s incredibly worrying for my step-mother and for me.

Visiting my dad entails a six-hour drive through some of the North Island’s most beautiful countryside (well it would be six hours if I didn’t stop to take so many photos). Whanganui itself is a lovely place and turned on one day of glorious sunshine during my visit.

My drive home was also favoured with brilliant — if not particularly warm — sunshine. An early morning stop in the small town of Hunterville revealed these beautiful frosted roses in a series of little gardens lining the main street.

Back home, and relieved that my dad is recovering, I could turn my attention to a project I’m working on with artist Claire Delaney to document the life of her studio over a year; this month hanging out at a couple of weekend workshops as well as a regular weekday class.

June has been particularly special in the studio as it’s where Claire hosted the launch of a book she illustrated. Dining with Vikings, written by local chef Penny Webster, is part cook-book, part family memoir.

The shortest day has now passed, and while the weather will undoubtedly get worse before it gets better, we are now heading back towards a time when the outdoor furniture will be covered in food rather than leaves.

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

UPDATE

See how June has played out for other bloggers:

Max at Cardinal Guzman

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Garry & Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Joanne at My Life Lived Full and Following a Bold Plan.

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Klara who’s joined us again from Brussels.

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Deb at The Widow Badass

Mick from Mick’s Cogs

Ladyleemanila

Wordless Wednesday

We discovered very early on that sharing a book with him - just holding it, reading the story and talking about the pictures would engage him.Books have always been part of the boy-child's life. His father was reading The House at Pooh Corner to him while we were still in the maternity ward.An epiphany at about five months; we handed him a book upside down and he turned it around.Early favourites; The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Buzzy Bee counting book, Ten Little Rabbits and appropriately enough, The Baby Who Wouldn't Go to Bed!Adding a new dimension to the term "devouring a book."
Apologies to anyone who has seen these before, but I have been thinking about children and reading since Leanne at Nihongojapango posted some wonderful photos of a little one enjoying his books,  and Janet at This, That and The Other Thing wrote a very funny post about her reading addiction.

And of course books are also this week’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack.

 

 

Will it be as good as it looks in the book?

Recipe books, garlic, tomatoes and basil. Preparing to make Spanish Braised Chickpeas. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Recipe, tick; ingredients, tick. Looking forward to dinner. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

With the Big T working in Melbourne pretty much every week, and the boy-child electing to spend his evenings with friends, I’m doing a lot of “meals for one” at the moment. The bonus is that I get to cook stuff that doesn’t have to please anyone else’s palate. The downside is that I’m running out of ideas.

But an afternoon spent poring over some recipe books has provided plenty of inspiration.

Now I just have to remember to scale the recipes down, so I don’t drown in leftovers.

This post is written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge, which has as its theme dinnertime — and for Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack. The theme there this week, is books.

 

Random moment of delight: two kids and their books

The boy-child and a friend happily "reading". Photo: Su Leslie 1999

The boy-child and a friend happily “reading”. Photo: Su Leslie 1999

Now both teenagers; these two are separated by half a world geographically, but remain connected by long-standing ties of friendship (their parents go back to university days), and an on-going love of reading.

And to me, books and kids (especially together) are the ultimate sources of delight.

This post was written in response to Meghan AKA Firebonnet’s “Random Moments of Delight” challenge. You can see Meghan’s latest post here.