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Friday, 10 August 2012

Cakes and other thoughts.

friDAY, august 10, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook: 10th August 2012

Outside My Window ... the darkness of a suburban street, except with street lights and Heathrow airport a distant glow it is never really dark here.

I am thinking ... that I have been married longer than I was single, the landmark date was in April this year but I hadn't worked it out then. Must say that the second half of my life is happier than the first.
I am thankful ... that London was awarded the Olympics, it seems to have made London a jollier place. Well, it seemed good on Wednesday when we went to South Kensington, and the Royal Brompton Hospital so I could have a CT scan on my sinuses. I must comment how pleasant, helpful and cheerful all the staff are at that hospital.
Afterwards went to Hummingbird café for coffee and cakes. When did iced buns become cup cakes? The icing is different, cup cakes have American style frosting, iced buns have water icing. My mother used to call them Sunday school cakes, this is what she made when we had to take cakes to chapel. 
Because of the VAT rules whereby the cost is 20% less if one has cake and coffee sitting outside amongst the smokers and traffic fumes, I was able to photograph the shop with no one inside. 

 Can recommend a cake called a black bottom, lots of chocolate cake with creamy topping.

The last picture is the view of the shop we had when perched on stools at the end of the café, a good place to be as I like sitting in a corner watching the world. Don't like being in the middle of a room, although in a crowded place that cannot be avoided at times.

From the kitchen ... yesterday made 12 jars of damson jam, mostly from fruit given to us by our vicar's wife but topped up with some from our garden. Have made two damson crumbles from our fruit, there are a few damsons still so will combine them with home grown blackberries for a couple more jars of jam.

I am wearing ...  East linen summer dress, aquamarine, grey patterned design, loose, cool, comfortable as I went to local studies today which can be a warm place to work.

I am creating ... still hexipuffing, but have finished the green variegated sock yarn purchased in Bath, it made 39 hexipuffs, would have been more if I'd not had such long tails sometimes when casting on, but so what, the colour has balanced out the pinks and blues. Am now completing the hexipuff that I lost and found in the kitchen drawer.

I am reading ...  The Victorian Railway by Jack Simmons. Found this is a bookshop near South Kensington station on our way to the V & A last Wednesday. It is not new, (was first published in 1991, then in paperback with corrections in 1995, reprinted in 2009)  but gives a rather different take on trains, such as structures, art, the railways' vandalism, literature. I notice that it is only in England, not America or Europe that there were excursion trains, and that the word "weekend" can be traced back to 1870 according to the OED. So much for Downton Abbey and the Dowager Countess's question 'What is a weekend?'
 It will be a dip in book, bit heavy to carry around but to open at those moments when the book catches my eye.

I am hoping ... to tidy up the back garden, needs windfall apples to be used or composted, some cutting back, weeding and watering of pots. In other words, a visit to the green gym.

I am hearing ... the dining room clock chiming 11, so will need to finish this soon as I have a sinus rinse to do and other medication to take before bed time.
Around the house ... investigations are continuing as to whether we accept the estimate/quotation for a glazed veranda to extend from outside the kitchen , along the side of the building to the garage pedestrian door. It will enable us to go to the garage, also used as a workshop by Ian, without getting wet. We cannot understand why it will be cheaper to have a loan from the company than to pay cash. I asked the question if we take the loan can we pay it all back as soon as we are satisfied with the work. 

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week ... not much of the week left, just one day as I believe still that Sunday is the first day of the week. Tomorrow morning may go to a Blooming Great tea party at the church hall at the other end of town, where fund raising is for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman

Good night everyone.


  1. My daughter was given the Humming Bird cookbook - the secret of the icing is adding milk to the butter and icing sugar and beating it for ages - 10 minutes or so with an electric beater. The other difference between iced buns/fairy cakes and cupcakes seems to be the size. Cupcakes are huge!

  2. The café looks very pretty! Funny how nobody at all was in there.
    I like your expression of "going to the green gym" - it is what keeps my Dad going.
    Glad to read that you are now in the happier half of your life!

  3. I too like the decor in those photos of the Humming Bird Cafe. Very Liz colours.

    One of my friends runs a little business making cupcakes. I'm not usually all that keen on cakes, but some of hers are divine and so pretty!