Within these walls of grey

There is a school reunion this summer, June 28th this year girls.

This year is a big number, too big. I feel old.

We have recently been asked to proffer information on what we are now doing. Which is enough to bring out ALL your insecurities. Especially when you were at an all girls' school.

If you look at the alumni section of the girls' and boys' school, there is former Mayor of London, former Chief of staff, first female red arrows pilot, Emmy award winning actress.......

I work in a flower shop, half a mile from school.

I'm going to claim to have invented post-its.

these photographs are of our actual school, from 1904, 1905, 1925.

I am NOT in any of these pictures, the number isn't that big.


Scene stealer

I swear I spend more of my day talking about The Hound than I do flowers.

I know he's adorable but be a darling and buy some flowers too yes?


Name that film

Valentine's Day 2013
it is interactive
to engage the men

10 quotes from 10 films in the form of banners in the window

and stickers for bouquets, or vases or men.

We will be delivering locally or you can pop in and purchase a bouquet, and deliver it yourself.

It is a Thursday this year so you can arrange for something to be delivered to her work. Make her colleagues green with envy and win many brownie points.

or his work

men like flowers too, tulips mainly, anything pointy.


The winter blues

I want to sit on a terrace shaded by flowering honeysuckle
eating ripe peaches
with slices of prosciutto
and perhaps walnuts
and picos blue

I'm over it being cold and bloody "seasonal"
and people saying things like "there's no such thing as cold, just inadequate clothing"

The lily of the valley are helping
but i always forget I'm allergic to hellebore.

The move to Beverly Hills is back on. I bet you never have to wear 6 tops, 3 dresses, and 2 pairs of socks there.


Tales from a shop window

Due to the nature of it's shape and depth, you have to physically climb into the window to make any changes.

This leads to all sorts of hilarity and helpful comments from passers by.

The Valentine's Day window is going in.

I am going for the usual mix of romance and mischief.

Heavy on the mischief.

A small glimpse here 


I knew you were trouble when you walked in

A weekend of delicious hibernation.
I have discovered you can rent films from i-tunes, and there is a whole section on documentary films.
Fact is so much better and far more obscure than fiction.
and I have stumbled upon a wonderful blog that is neither floral, nor wedding, nor hound.
It's so easy to get bogged down reading blogs within your own industry, comparisons made, and generally leaving you feeling inept or jaded.
or just looking for dogs.
and this
and The Hound played in the snow.
off the lead, i have decided that losing him is preferable to him pulling me over on the ice. Which has happened twice now.....
and flowering bulbs are my current drug of choice.
This week sees the installation of the Valentine's window, and a little photo shoot.
for which I am going to need a few good men.
Volunteers please.


In the shop today

Crates have been screwed to the wall and a ladder
to which i have looped ribbon  in suitably chichi colours
its quite a good way of putting a colour scheme together
there are only so many times you can raid the paint chart strips at Homebase.


Just saying

There is a chair in the shop now
for customers to sit in whilst they wait for their flowers

instead of standing at my shoulder, telling me how to make a bouquet.


Roasting aubergines in the snow

It has snowed here.
It is cold.
I have been forced into buying proper thermals, the best money I have spent for a while.
and now is the time for soup.

Adapted from a recipe from Ottolenghi's newest book, Jerusalem.
His is burnt aubergine, which involves wrapping your gas burner with foil, and burning the skins in the flame, and who wants to faff about with that? and his doesn't have pancetta, mine almost didn't, who can resist eating the crispy bits whilst you do the rest? Not me.

Roast aubergine and tomato and pancetta soup, with apologies to Yottam
3 aubergines
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
juice of a lemon
1 tbsp cumin seeds crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tin tomatoes
fill the empty tomato tin with chicken or vegetable stock
then fill it again with water

Roast the aubergine, whole, in the oven at 250 degrees C until the skin in crisp and the flesh very soft. (one of mine exploded, fear not if this happens)

Meanwhile in a big saucepan fry the pancetta until crisp, put to one side and fry the onion and cumin and later garlic in the rendered fat.
After some time, add everything else and simmer.
Scoop out the aubergine flesh and add to the pan.
Pour into bowls
titivate with oil and what is left of the pancetta that you didn't eat.
and whilst you have the oven on
roast a chicken
and watch the sunset.