Monday, 9 February 2009

For the love of Rod

This is one of my favourite desserts photographed mid-construction. From The Ivy cookbook, it's also the dessert that Ian and I chose to have at our winter wedding eight years ago. Frozen berries covered in a hot white chocolate sauce...the sensation of eating the sweet hot liquid and the cold, thawing berries is quite magical.

I have also been enjoying baking these heart-shaped shortbread sandwich biscuits with a lime flavoured cream filling. And trying to recreate the loveliness of my sister's spicy cheese stars as a treat for Ian's birthday...but we both agreed that she makes them much better...and that I need to go back to the classroom next time my sister is home.

And just when you thought I might have had all the doorstop fun I could take (or just when you were hoping for a post that didn't involve sand-filled stitchery), I have one more to share. This is the final contestant in my quartet of recent adventures with anti-door-banging-devices. The applique for these takes so long that when I recently made a grown-up, non-appliqued doorstop I realised that at my starting point of assembling the actual doorstop, for the applique version I had begun to think of this stage of construction as the home-straight. This one is actually an order from just before Christmas for a sea-creature obsessed little boy who loves orange.

This week I have been making bags...after my last post where I'd been thinking about doing a large applique picture for the playroom I started it, but nothing felt right. Then I realised that guilt was stopping me from enjoying it and that I'd feel much better if I made a few summer bags for my shop first. And actually, after the tiresomeness of bulk pattern-cutting I've really enjoyed spending whole days with uninterrupted time in front of the sewing machine. Rainy and cold, the perfect weather for cosy stitching.

I used to turn my laptop on so that I could listen to music while I was sewing, but it's been so nice to be able to leave it turned off since Mr Teacakes treated me to an Ipod. I have realised that I am a one-dimensional user sits firmly in its docking station after my few trips out with it left me suffering from a strange paranoia that I might be breathing too loudly as I walked along with the headphones in. No amount of temporary earphone removal to check that, yes, breathing was normal and not audible to passersby left me only got worse and I found that I was holding my breath to try and solve the problem altogether. It seemed I had to choose between killing myself or confining use to speakers in my own I chose the latter, but with an awareness that I am decidedly uncool and with a new admiration for those that swagger nonchalantly down the street with their earphones in with a complete lack of concern as to whether they might be loudly hyperventilating unbeknown to themselves. My friend, the lovely Miss L, tells me that she thinks this is a deep-seated wish to apologise for my very existence. I don't think it is that though...I just think I'm a little odd at times.

Poor Mr Teacakes now wishes the docking station would spontaneously combust. On several occasions he arrived home from work and asked worriedly if I was listening to Rod Stewart. No, I replied, it must just be someone who sounds like him. Eventually though, I wondered whether all these people I like who sound so similar to Rod Stewart might actually mean that I would like Rod Stewart himself. A quick iTunes session revealed that I knew more of Mr Stewart's songs than I'd ever imagined and that, actually, I loved them all! I think Mr Teacakes may be plotting the removal of the docking station so that his ears aren't polluted by such things. An event which would mean that I would then have to choose between a life without Rod or potentially killing myself by risking using the earphones again. It would be a difficult choice. But while I decide, in Ian's presence I am listening to a play list which I have entitled 'Songs That Ian Will Like Too'.


  1. Nothing wrong with a little Rod Stewart I say (but then I am of a generation that grew up with him!) I love the look of your baking, especially those cookies.

  2. Hello Florence. Lovely blog and you did make me laugh with your Rod Stewart confessions. I have to admit (but no telling please!) to a secret liking for his version of If Loveing You is Wrong!
    I really like your doorstops and particularly like the sea theme applique. Hope they are going onto your website? And where has your pretty photo gone on the sidebar? I like covetting the satin binding on your kimono!!! xx

  3. I don't mind Rod Stewart either. I have no standards though - my iPod has things like Christina Aguilera on it too. My own iPod worry with earphones is that I am actually singing out loud, which I do a lot and don't realise it. This is probably worse than worrying about breathing loudly, although in some ways better as it's justified, and as far as I know, putting things in your ears doesn't tend to increase the noise of a person's breathing. Yes, you are a little odd, but the right kind of odd.

    I feel guilty for not sewing for my shop. I am not very good at having a shop, I think, since it now feels like an imperative, and I rebel against imperatives whether they are of my own choosing or not. In a moment I will feel guilty for having bought a new sewing machine last year...

  4. Hi Florence, that dessert looks yummy!

    I think Rod Stewart is ok too - I have his greatest hits album much to Mr Marmalade's disgust, and the other day in Oxford, I saw a woman of about his age, wearing a similar pair of lycra leopard print leggins to the ones he wore in the 70's when performing "do ya think i'm sexy" ... xx

  5. Hi Florence, I have been "lurking" on your wonderful blog for some time now as i am beginging to get quite a complex about such a term (as lurker does tend to conjure up visions of dirty macs and dodgy intentions!)i thought i would send you a post to say how lovely you blog is. Your work is so pretty and inspiring! as for the liking of Rod stewart, well i wouldnt say i am a great fan but i dont mind some of his stuff. And as i love the sterophonics and think Kelly Jones has the most sexist voice Ever! but he does remind me a bit (voice wise) of said Rod! (bit strange!) looking forward to seeing more of your work and musings!

  6. Your baking looks wonderful. Your heart-shaped shortbread sandwich biscuits looks delicious and look pretty with a strawberry jam filling for valentine day? Thanks for the inspiration


  7. Apologizing for your very existence? Too funny. I don't think you are odd--in face, I think that you and your blog and your sewing and your baking are LOVELY.

  8. I like to do the ironing singing along to Rod. Am I sad or what!!

  9. What a lovely blog! I enjoyed looking through your beautiful pictures.

  10. that really made me laugh - I am an "at home" ipod user too - the (one and only) time I tried to swagger about listening to music as I went (ahortly after getting it for xmas few years ago) I almost missed my flight to visit my sister as I got on a train to victoria rather than luton airport. Yikes! it's a far more dangerous business than Apple would ever have us know...


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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