Sunday, 14 August 2016


Enter Sylvia Plath, the sad books, relapse, America; and I'm quite sure the cake days are soon over; but presentness is grace, or so I've heard, so just for now, enter the sorbets too.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


I am devouring an average of three and a half books per week, yet my writing fails me; what doesn't fail me, thankfully, is the baking (or non-baking rather); which results in summery tarts or pies or crostate to also be devoured merrily. Spoiler: they taste much better than paper.

Saturday, 30 July 2016


I could sing a month-long fado song about all that's been going on these days, and I would be even whinier and more catastrophic and melancholic than the Portuguese I swear; and it would probably be something about being all stitched up and plastered and not leaving the sofa and can I go back to massive book shops in former fabric factories and where do I develop my slide film and does it have to be so hot in this country and can I have my bread and my peaches now and am I in Japan yet; but instead of depressing the duck out of everyone I thought I could make good use of pretty Bundt cake tins from a country of sardines, swallows and sailors; and some fancy saffron and huge juicy oranges; for a cake that's free-from everything so even I can have it and spare you all the whining too.

Friday, 22 July 2016


It might be a very English thing to do, to talk about the weather and carry on with your business as usual, for the joy of airlines and online accommodation marketplaces, when a few selected bearers of darkness come find you and knock at your door; but I'm working on it, and truth is I've only been here a couple of weeks; and in fact, just one week in this country where seasons are a thing and I've learned more about the weather and seasonal produce than in five years on an island of potatoes and plantain; and it turns out that strawberries are still in season in this one Italian region up North, and so one shopping expedition later, I find myself mixing syrups and vinegars like in a puerile version of a clandestine brewery in the prohibition era; and between country #25 and surgery and country #26, here's my new delicious fruity summery drink of choice.

Friday, 15 July 2016


My perception of reality must have got packed by accident into a Wilson box last week, bubble-wrapped like my Vancouver mug, and my cake tins, and all the sugar sprinkles, as I woke up one morning to find myself in a tiny, sunny town by the foothills, with no going back. Until I get that delivered to me (after it's been taken to a very spontaneous trip to Venice; or Belarus, for what we know), I really won't have a clue on what to get used to first, whether it's the 30+ degrees or not being invisible or the nice food or cheap coffee; nor an alternative to being reverse-culture-shocked (why is the icing sugar sold in 100g envelopes only. Where's the imported Asian flour. Ooh look at the colourful candied peel), or making recipes up with random, yet pretty, and pretty delicious, baking ingredients. If I get my discernment back, I will let you know; either way, I have done great with the baking. The Italians approve.

Sunday, 10 July 2016


It all starts with rice pudding, a tiny flat and one lifelong ally, and it looks like that's how it ends too; and what's in-between, I wouldn't know how to spell out in words; but it's not all bleak; and there's the darkest London but a way out of it too; and the darkest night you'll ever see, but also night travellers, who have the heart of a lion and take your hand and walk with you morning-bound. And never mind all the books I should have written; the Book of London is one I will carry with me; but now I better go, and I've said it before but I'll say it again: bye.