Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Spoiled for choice!

Dilemma, but a bit of fun, nevertheless.
Sitting by the fire a couple of nights ago, I decided I needed to create a few 'personal identification logos', little cartouches that I could pick-and-mix when I want to mention a blog-post on Facebook without using one of the posted images - or in the case of this blog, the only image, for 'Dilemmas & Delights' is a one image per post blog.

So I scribbled a page of faces; I now have a choice of twelve, yet to be coloured, from my pale golden hair of childhood to what I can only describe as bleached straw, though it's never had bleach anywhere near it! So from the delights (for me) of the first three blog posts, this is dilemma day, as to which face is really 'me', in all my moods.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Oranges light the dark table

Bright fruit on the dining-room table
We have bowls of oranges, satsumas and clementines around the house! Not only does the glow of colour light a dull day, they are a necessary part of my husband's diet. Which is a very mundane reason for having them. A shame I find them tedious to peel; so I leave them all for him. But reading through a newly acquired cookbook, I come across an intriguing recipe for marmalade which, it appears, can be made at any time of year as it does not specify the usual 'Seville' sour oranges. I'll have to reduce the quantity and try it. Lovely for breakfast, but alas, dear R. will not be able to enjoy it as fresh fruit is OK, sugary preserves are not. This is a dilemma.

PS It is so lovely to see some more readers have 'joined' my new blog. Thankyou. Now for a day in the garden as the sun is shining and there is much to do.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Aceto di Vino

A cherished delight
It's a crisp sunny morning here in the north Cotswolds, and a long way from Castellina in Chianti in Italy, where we discovered this beautiful 'vinegar jar' in a dusty shop on the main street - somewhere between Florence and Sienna. Why anyone needed a 2ft high ceramic vessel and so much vinegar I could not imagine but my husband reminded me that they preserve a profusion of produce in Summer and Autumn and vinegar, along with olive oil, is a much-needed product. (We make vinegar all too easily, by mistake; our apple wine is apt to become vinegar by default!)

That was all at least fifteen or more years ago and we had rented an apartment in another little village whose name escapes me, flew into Italy from Birmingham and hired the tiniest Fiat imaginable, along with our daughter and son-in-law. But we fell in love with the 'Aceto di Vino' jar; money was exchanged and back it came with us to the apartment. Getting it home was another matter. The car was already full to bursting with ourselves and luggage, so I sat with it between my legs. Raymond then wove a string cradle to carry it onto the aircraft - customs wanted the string removed but he refused - and he sat with it between his legs for the flight home. It now sits in an alcove in the lounge alongside other, much smaller, glass and ceramic artefacts we have collected over the years. Always a delight, and a reminder of one hot summer and a country now too far for us to visit.

P.S. Thankyou to all of you who have looked at my new blog, are following it and have taken the time and trouble to leave me a comment. It is much appreciated.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

A little bit of frivolity

Memories of Italy
Welcome: how wonderful that you are visiting this page, and have found my latest blog (I've lost count, but they all serve different purposes, so here's the story behind this one). From time to time - and particularly as now when I am sitting by the fire with a streaming cold - I forget about 'work' and decide to play. My energy fades, insufficient to write my usual 500-word-plus story-posts and source and manipulate photos. But thoughts are swirling, and I visualise this as a sort of scrapbook; minuscule patchwork 'entries'. Things that catch my fancy and are quick to post; pretty and quirky and even frivolous, stitched together with a thread of seriousness. As for the title; well, it fell from my pen into my notebook, and I liked it, and as both words have always been particularly relevant to my life, that's what I am calling it!

The little 'pocket book' shown above was made to accompany a visit to Italy that never happened, so in it I slipped mementos from former times - and as with everything I do, there is a story behind what you see. The  2ft tall 'Aceto di Vino' jar is one such; I'll take a photo and post that on another occasion.

Thankyou for visting - not much to read right now, but I hope you will come back often; and if you feel able to leave a comment, that would give me so much pleasure.