Absolutely Nothing To Wear on holiday….

Simple. Take a Tallulah and Hope kaftan or pareo and that’s just about all you need. I wore this long “Strongshark” silk dress more than anything else in my suitcase and I absolutely love it.

Am very honoured to have this picture included on their lovely blog too. They are very clever ladies indeed and I think T&H could well be my new fashion addiction.

Another wonderful week doing Absolutely Nothing…

It’s been quite a crafty sort of week on Absolutely Nothing. We’ve made pom poms, grown tomatoes, made soup, continued our love of peonies and claimed a little space at the top of the house from where I will be bringing you even more of Absolutely Nothing.


Absolutely Nothing To Do : DIY or get someone else to DIFY by Mel Moss

Absolutely Nothing To Grow : I say tomato…. by Micki Myers

Absolutely Nothing To Buy : Cologne and Cotton by Mel Moss

Absolutely Nothing To Smile About : Pink flowers everywhere by David Loftus

Absolutely Nothing To Smile About : In continued appreciation of the peonies by David Loftus

Absolutely Nothing To Make : Peony pom poms by Samantha Taylor

Absolutely Nothing To Cook : Some Summery soups by Mel Moss


DIY or get someone else to DIFY

I love Saturdays. I love them even more since having children because the absence of a lie in also means the wonderful absence of a hangover. You have to look on the bright side afterall. All manner of things can be achieved on a Saturday and often all before we’ve even begun to think about lunch. Today is such a Saturday and – having been up since 5.45 – I now have a brand new, interior designed (by me) home office at the top of the house, which last night didn’t even exist.

I’ve been throwing regular tantrums about needing my “own space” for a couple of years now. I wasn’t really sure what I needed it for but I was determined that I definitely wanted it. My husband, an artist and collector of things I can’t even begin to list, has a vast 3000 sq ft studio at a nearby farm where he tethers his dinosaurs and plays with his Mclaren airfix kit. He can escape there at any given moment citing “important work” leaving me grumpily at the kitchen table, tapping away on my lap top feeling like a terribly inattentive mother.

So now at long last my idea for a home office in the eaves of a rather badly used landing space, has suddenly and miraculously become his very clever idea and has materialised in less that 24 hours. It’s lovely and I know that all kinds of important writing and clever PR’ing will come from this very desk.

I’m not sure what tip I’m trying to give, maybe that planting a good idea and patiently waiting for it to grow in someone elses head, will eventually give you what you asked for without having to do it yourself.


Absolutely Nothing To Grow – I say tomato….

For a gardener, the culinary year begins long before the fruits of their labor show up on a plate. In the dead of winter, seed catalogues arrive in the mail, and with them the dream of a garden so large it can contain all the cornucopia of riches you’d like to grow. Writing up your order list is rather like packing for a holiday; you put in everything you need then take out two-thirds. Especially if you only have a small garden. I always order Brandywine tomatoes — an heirloom variety that produces big beefsteak tomatoes that are perfect for slicing. They have a well-deserved reputation for being the best-tasting, too. They come in red, yellow, pink and black and look beautiful on a plate.

The packets arrive in the first week of February in a teeny-tiny cardboard box hardly bigger than a seed packet itself. A moist mixture of potting soil, sphagnum moss and peat gets packed into trays, and in go the seeds. A light mist of water and on with the clear plastic lid. They sit in the basement until the little green shoots appear, then it’s upstairs on any surface near a window I can find. I always overdo it and end up with a couple of hundred plants and have to give them away to anyone willing to take them. By late March they are ready to be hardened off outside during the day, and brought in at night. Meanwhile, as soon as the earth is pliable, I dig in compost and manure. This needs to be done a couple of weeks before you put the plants in or the rich nutrients will “burn” them.

Once the baby plants are put in the ground it looks like you’ve left far too much space and could pack several more in, but this is just a illusion; by June it’s a jungle so thick you have to start cutting them back or be overrun. Tomatoes are vines, so given the chance they will grow and grow and not stop growing. I end up tying mine up to the nearest immovable object so they don’t fall over, but they still top out at six or seven feet.

And then…they appear — light green at first, but turning bigger, softer, redder….

By late July, when the heat is beating down, you finally get to slice one still warm from the sun. Drizzle on a little olive oil, a pinch of Malden Salt, and voila: perfection.

Absolutely Nothing To Buy – Cologne and Cotton

Anyone who follows this blog will know that I’ve a bit of thing for online shopping. It’s nothing to be concerned about, I don’t have bedrooms and cupboards full of online acquisitions, but for the most part it’s my preferred form of shopping. I think I like the packages arriving at my door more than anything else really and today is one of those days.

As well as having a bit of a thing for online I also have a bit of a thing for bed linen and all things which make me feel like a real life home maker and grown up. The last time I really indulged in any kind of bedroom linen stuffs was when we were married and other than the odd pillow case here and there, I haven’t treated myself for ages – really truly. Have you seen the prices of duvet covers these days?! Blimey. So I’ve been saving and waiting for the Cologne and Cotton sale and am now the proud owner of a MATCHING set. It’s the little things which make me smile on a Friday.

It’s white and cotton and lovely and will guarantee me the perfect full 8 hours of restful sleep. And when I’ve made my tissue peony pom poms to hang from the beams, my boudoir will be complete and my husband may never forgive me.

And Pink Flowers Everywhere…

In continued appreciation of the peonies…..