Wednesday, May 31

{ my may }

Reading back over my goodbye April post, it feels my thoughts on June might have been somewhat prophetic.  My diary stayed quite quiet, and the month did indeed lead to much knitting, reading, and gardening.  This month I proved myself very much a homebody, in fact if you took a look at my IG feed, I look as if I've barely left the house.  

{ knitting }
So my promise to share a little more of my knitting on the blog this month didn't quite happen, though I did share a little look at the mood board I've been putting together, and some of the very very lovely yarn I've been ordering.  Some sneaky doubts have crept into my mind this month, and although plenty of knitting has got done, it doesn't feel it's got me to the point I'd hoped to be at.  And with the distraction of a little paid work I've found myself procrastinating over the To-Do list I'd set myself this month.  But writing this, and looking back on that mood board, has given me the impetus to re-focus a little, remember the simplicity of those images I pinned, and remember the excitement I felt when I decided to start knitting again.

Oh, and I promise to share a little more in a post or two next month, starting with the finished blanket you can see partly knitted above.

{ baking }
The beginning of the month did see me venture away from home, for a little clandestine cake eating. A small group of bakers gathered to say a belated Happy Birthday to the Queen, with a Best of British theme.  A wonderfully classic Victoria Sandwich was joined by an equally classic Parkin, and I made the Queen's favourite chocolate biscuit cake, adorned with a very chocolately Union Jack. Another lovely Clandestine Cake Club event full of coffee, cake and chit chat.

I had been dreaming of another British classic, Madeira Cake, when as luck would have it { thank you Cake Gods } a recipe from Donna Hay popped up, and it just seemed rude not to.  This is a super easy cake to make, but I do have mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand it is just so lovely, light, tasty, and my addition of a yogurt drizzle added a wonderful fresh tanginess to it.  But, I'm not sure I'd call it a Madeira Cake as I know a Madeira Cake.  Which, now I think about it, gives me the perfect excuse to make a classic Madeira Cake.

And speaking of perfect excuses, Real Bread Week gave me a whole week of reasons to bake bread, but the highlight was definitely this Fig & Walnut Loaf, which was devoured enjoyed for breakfast topped with ricotta, pear, pecans and honey.

{ reading }
I think I could sum up May as a month of quietly sitting reading, or as the pictures above show, quietly sitting reading and eating. Three Agatha Christie's have been enjoyed this month, The Secret of Chimney's, the incredibly clever Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and the slightly silly, though not intentionally so, The Big Four. The interesting thing about reading these in the order that she wrote them, is you can see that The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, lauded as her best work, was then followed up by a 'less than best' Big Four, which though enjoyable, is best described by this review on Goodreads;

" Once upon a time, Agatha Christie stayed up way too late, drank her way through three bottles of Chardonnay and watched a Sean Connery James Bond film.  As she was going to bed, some time about 3am, her eyes rested for a moment on her typewriter.  I would not be in the least surprised if that was all she remember about this book.  For shame, Agatha.  This is exactly the same reason I'm not allowed whisky and Twitter on the same evening any more. " Fiona 

In addition Ms Christie, I read Raffaella Barker's From a Distance, a story which moves between Post-War Cornwall, and present day Norfolk, revealing family secrets which knit together the two strands.  Rather like The Muse, the second novel from Jessie Burton, which tells the story of a painting through the eyes of Odelle, an immigrant living in London in 1967, and through Olive Schloss, living in Italy in 1936.  This was also the first book read by The Little Book Club, a newly formed book club in Harborne, and another of my few ventures out of the house this month.  I've been wanting to join a book club for a long time, but have felt intimidated by the larger, more established groups in Birmingham.  To be able to join one from the start, with such a lovely group of people was a Saturday morning well spent, and I'm already looking forward to reading our next book, The Little Paris Bookshop, before meeting to mull over our thoughts and feelings once more.

{ foraging }
May has been a month of flowers, admiring the gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show, all be it from afar, and watching my IG feed fill up with the most fabulous flora and fauna. A little foraging of my own has allowed me to fill up my window sills with May posies, dotted all around the house. Outside the pots have been tidied and planted and are coming into bloom. Elsewhere in the garden wild flowers are proving a haven for the bees, or so I tell myself, and that will continue to be my excuse reasoning, until I can find the time to tidy up a little more.

And so tomorrow will be June, bringing with it the first of the Summer Markets, a second Book Club, and at the end of the month, just after we say hello to Summer, another cake club, in a city centre Secret Garden, of which I'm a little excited about.

{ have a happy last day of May }

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