I've been living in a creative maelstrom this week. It all started with a cake I made.
We've had success with the vegetable garden this summer, and have a lot - a LOT - of courgettes coming to fruition now. Zucchini, for our American readers. We're eating them with supper most nights, cooked in a variety of interesting ways, often sliced into long thin strips and pan-fried with mixed herbs and a little butter. Nom nom nom.
Anyway. I was flicking through a free magazine that came through the door, and lo! it contained a recipe for chocolate courgette cake. I had to try it.
Readers, it was excellent. Really. Plenty of sugar, cocoa, eggs, flour, vanilla. All the usual malarky, but you also add loads of finely grated courgette. The cake was dark, moist and delicious, and I shall definitely make it again. I tore the recipe out of the magazine and put it in the new noticeboard.
In fact, here's a link to the recipe. Try it, you'll thank me. Plus, it's a great way to make children eat vegetables, apparently.
What's that you say? Why, yes, I have made another fabulous notice board, thanks for asking.
Here it is, look:
Hanging in the kitchen, adding a much-needed point of interest to the otherwise dull sad corner where the bin lives. None of the cool appliances ever go there. It's like the Woking of the kitchen world.
Inspired by my soaraway success in the noticeboard arena, I made some cushion covers to replace a couple that had got tatty and spotted*, utilising some of the fabric liberated from father-in-law WithaY's antique-restoring stash.
Unfortunately, this gold one looks a bit sad and flat. I think it needs a new feather cushion thingy. We all get a bit squashed by life, I reckon, but this poor cushion shows it more than most.
However, this one I am delighted with:
I spent bloody ages making sure the pattern was central to the front of the cushion, as I knew that otherwise, every time I looked at it I'd get all anal** and grumpy about it being off-centre.
There is a new set of bathroom curtains almost finished, too, I plan to get them up tomorrow.
Other news: Went into town today thinking that the rain had stopped for the afternoon. Fool that I was. Mr T would have pitied me, no doubt about it.
As soon as I parked the car and got the heavy box of crockery and assorted ephemera from the boot, the heavens opened. Actually, I think the heavens opened, and hell was raining upwards, there was so much sodding water everywhere.
I had to walk (slowly because of the heavy box) to the charity shop in torrential rain, blinded by the wet stringy hair that was in my eyes (mine, not someone else's with no concept of personal space) and my raincoat hood blinkering me like some sort of piteous Victorian cab-horse.
By the time I got to Oxfam and handed the box to the nice lady behind the counter, I was soaked. My trousers were absolutely drenched, but my feet stayed dry - hurrah for Converse shoes! - so I thought I might as well walk around town as it wasn't physically possible to get any wetter.
A man from Wessex Water was stood on the pavement beside his van, watching the rain flooding down onto the main road from a narrow driveway, muddy water cascading into the drains.
"You out collecting?" I asked him.
He laughed and said "Don't need to, we've got plenty thanks."
It's rained almost every day this month, or that's how it feels. Hopefully we'll have a nice Indian summer next month.
My roses are looking splendid though. All this rain has brought out a second crop of flowers, so I am dashing out and cutting a few in between downpours so we can enjoy them in the house.
Mr WithaY bought me a proper woven willow shopping basket the other week when he was at the Wilderness Gathering. It's a three day event where Men*** gather to do Manly Things. However, he didn't stay there this time, he commuted from home daily. Last time he went he slept in his little tent and spent the weekend making a fish spear, casually whittling and lashing as all the other manly men wandered past enviously.
I imagine he'll get a stern letter from Ray Mears, telling him off.
It was very impressive, though.
*Spotted with bits of food, mostly, from where we use them to rest trays on when we scarf down dinner in front of the telly. Shame, shame, we are chavs and slatterns. But, hey, Star Trek and all, right at dinnertime.
**Welcome, dodgy word googlers!