Monday, January 30

{ my january }

January is very nearly over.  The first month of the year successfully, and quietly, navigated.  The year started with resolutions to last for the next few years, and I will be very honest in saying that since I published that post precious little has happened to make anything in that list happen.  Lets just say that getting the list done was January's contribution to the list, and lets hope I won't be writing the same thing at the end of February.

So how did I spend January?

{ reading }
I started working my way through Nigel Slater's second volume of Kitchen Diaries, made a start on "Golden Hill", which was then put aside for Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic". This is not the kind of book I usually read, I love escaping into the world of fiction, and I still can't quite remember what prompted me to order this from the library.  But I'm so glad I did.  It's a magical book, which shares Gilbert's view on living a creative life.  Through her opinions, thoughts, anecdotes of her own experiences and of others, she lends a unique perspective on dealing with the mysteries of creativity.  A thoughtful read for anyone who has ever struggled with the fearfulness that seems to accompany most creativeness. So back to "Golden Hill".  I tried and I hate to be defeated by a book, but I also believe there are too many books out there to spend time reading books you're not enjoying.  And so, once again, that was put aside. So I end the month having just started "Tony and Susan" by Austin Wright, the book that the film "Nocturnal Animals" was based on.  In spite of having seen the film, so already having an idea of the plot, after reading the first few chapters I have a feeling this one will draw me in, and will find me reading way further into the night than I really should.

{ baking }
Unlike last year, this January didn't bring with it any aspirations of sugar free eating, though I like to think there has been enough vegetables, good grains & pulses digested to off set the chocolate hob nob habit that was adopted part way through the month.  These chocolate hob nobs from Top With Cinnamon are just a little too easy to put together, and FYI the recipe does scale down well, if you weren't feeling that your resolve could take having twenty or so of these in the house at any one time.  I also discovered that they are just as nice, actually make that a little nicer, by swapping the golden syrup for maple syrup.  I'm not going to pretend for a single second that this makes them any healthier, but thought it was worth mentioning.  When I wasn't baking up yet another small batch of biscuits, it was Smitten Kitchen's everyday chocolate cake that was occupying my cake tin.  This calls for a little more patience;  an hours baking time, versus the wonderfully short ten minutes for those biscuits.  But worth the wait it is.  My tip, switch half the buttermilk for strong espresso coffee. 

{ watching }
* sigh* La La Land.  This is a film that I went to praying that it would live up to it's hype.  And it really did.  It is whimsical, magical, and lyrical.  It made me smile from the very opening scene.  I still find myself humming the tunes, I still sigh when I read that a friend has gone to see it, I would still love to see it once more on the big screen, and I now want to learn to tap dance!

{ visiting }
Just before it closed I managed to see the final "Fashioning a Reign" exhibition at Windsor Castle.  Having seen both the one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the one at Buckingham Palace last year, both of which were a delight to visit.  I have a bit of a soft spot for the beautiful ballgowns and fashions from the Mid Century and in particular to see the Queen's wedding dress and coronation dress, with the workmanship and detail that went into them, was wonderful.  Almost as delightful as the exhibition at Windsor, were the sweetest cottages on the estate, that I would have loved to have had a peek inside!  And there was more Mid Century loveliness at the Josef Frank exhibition which opened at the Fashion & Textile Museum this weekend.  After walking through the cold, grey, London streets, to arrive at this wonderfully colourful building and walk around gazing on bright blooms, paintings and prints, was a lovely way to spend a Saturday.

And now for a quiet end to the month.  To make the most of the last days of January and a little planning for the new month ahead.

{ have a happy day }

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. thank you for taking the time to scribble down your thoughts . i lOve reading All your musings .