If I were getting married today....

I would want to be surrounded by vases of dahlias, ranunculus, crab apple branches and dill.
We would sit at trestle tables and feast on plates of San Daniele ham and mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. For dessert there would be bowls of marscapone rippled with blackcurrant coulis into which we would dunk quartered nectarines.
A man would play the fiddle and we would all dance.

Of course I am not getting married today, but people do ask a lot about what sort of flowers/dress/venue/cake I would have. So today it is this, next month it might be fuschia roses and copper beech, in the spring it might be tulips, or daffodils.

Shall we make this a regular feature? let's meet again in a few weeks time, I am bound to have changed my mind.


Foliage so loathsome it should be banned

Hasn't this blog all been a bit lovely lately? Time to be provocative.....not in that way darling, do behave. So I present to you, pittosporum, does nothing, smells funny. Here it is in action, you might also want to mix it with your aqua roses. Bellissima!

I do like the smaller variety, that is very pretty, and a completely different animal.
Are you reading this thinking "Who the devil does she think she is?"

Then my darlings
Bring it on...show me how it has been used beautifully, and I will post it here for all to see.

Tomorrow I bring you very beautiful things, with very beautiful foliage.


Cine cameras are like buses

You wait around for somebody to give you one, and then you get 2 in one day.
The first is the Elmo, it actually works, I think, it makes an nice whirring noise anyway. The film expired in 1996, do you think it might still work? Back in 1975 it cost £87.70, I am told that is what whole lot of money back in the day.
The second is a really old I think it is clockwork, but have no idea how to use it, do you?
Of course now I want to be an old styley videographer and make vintage wedding films, like this man

All hints and tips welcome.

The darkroom is back in use.....


Currently loving.....Lands End

Lands End, once the preserve of ladies who like slacks, it seems they have had a makeover. Loving the school tie style belt, and their canvas holdalls have just the right monograms. I love a nice monogram, don't you?

Extreme floristry

An outdoor wedding* in a gale force wind requires some last minute engineering to ensure the flowers don't end up participating in a wedding 3 miles away.
Rocks and wooden stakes did the trick.
Never before have I seen so much work by the bride and her family. Metres and metres of bunting were sewn, all the tablecloths were homemade, as were the cakes, scones, and hundreds of luggage labels stamped with guests names. Even the groom had a Martha moment. I can't wait to see the professional photographs.

* The wedding was held outside as it was a Humanist service. Whilst not legally binding (they did the legal bit a la registry office the day before) it means that you can get married in your back garden, on a boat, or at a Lyveden New Bield The law in England and Wales means you can only legally get married in a licenced building which is a permanent structure.

There are many more tales to tell of this wedding, but let's just say without the help of The Stamford Hen it probably would have looked a lot less beautiful, and they sure were the cleanest flowers ever seen xx

The day was perfectly rounded off with Mr F cooking hake in a green peppercorn sauce.


A labour of love

A day off

1. Squid with Asian salad, dressing made from Mirin, Palm Sugar, Fish sauce, chilli and a dash of something I bought in a Chinese Supermarket, I have no idea what it is all the text is in Chinese. Chinese supermarkets are a terrible place for anyone who likes pretty packaging, like a moth to a flame I fill my basket with mystery ingredients, paper lanterns and chopsticks.
2. Apricot thing, it is a recipe from Bill Granger, but like the last time it didn't seem to work terribly well, too much butter. It should have also been made in a Lamingtons Tin, but I don't know what size that is...Sooz, can you enlighten me? Does anyone else have problems with his baking recipes?
3. Monica Belluci in the Sunday papers. I like her attitude.
4. Given past performance we really shouldn't be disappointed with 2nd place, and Mr Barichello drove well, but oh what could have been, if only the tyres had been ready. 3rd place for Ferrari must have been small compensation for those foolish red car fans who rushed to see Schumacher and got Badoer instead.


No I won't do that

Red and white flowers, sorry it's just the way I am. I feel sure I am not alone.

Click on the picture for fist clenching opportunities. Cliff Richard and Meatloaf in one week, Monsieur you are really spoiling us.

Preparations for a wedding

So far today I have
1. Plundered The Mother Hen's garden for clematis and wisteria foliage
2. Found my secret stash of original old bottles to fill with les fleurs pour le marriage. Don't worry my dear I have also put them through the dishwasher x
3. Except this one, Eiffel Tower Lemonade bottle is destined for my bedside filled with sweetpeas.
4. Spilt a bottle of Diet Coke into my handbag
5. Had a flipflop break on me in the high street, and fixed it with only an elastic band and ingenuity. (Flat shoes are troublesome)
6. Eaten a chocolate eclair
7. Nature Vs. Nurture? it's all nature, The Other Miss Pickering and I are a whizz with a bit of wire...it's in the genes. more on that later.


It's so funny..... how we don't talk anymore

The high point of this post, I have upgraded my phone to a Blackberry, just as everyone else is moving to an iphone. I have edited out some numbers, and lost all the text messages it is most liberating and I can heartily recommend it. Still getting to grips with the phone, struggling with email and an appropriate ringtone. Obviously I will mainly now be "In the style of " MKA. My new favourite blog

The Hound is not well, he has spent the last 4 days flopping about, not eating or sleeping, just looking miserable. Most worrying. The above "arty"picture was taken by The Captain. He thinks there are too many pictures of him looking like this

I beg to differ

Offee pie

Working on a Sunday, the start of 4 arrangements for the christening of Lily Rose.

Do you remember the evil potato plant from last year? It has returned, this time accompanied by a cherry tomato plant.

A gift of home grown carrots, with green bits, seriously twee.

Offee pie, made by the fair hands of The Other Miss Pickering, who has never before attempted such a culinary feat. The cocktail sticks? They denote the section for me without banana, hence the post title....Yes I am that much of a Princess, and yes you can still taste the banana if you just pick it out. Banana and I are not friends. Next week it's carrot cake.

Meat free Monday seems to mainly involve cheese melted on top of stuff. A little over cooked - i was distracted by someone. Cook and serve in individual dishes with hunks of bread to soak up all the sweet and sticky tomato juices. This version was red pepper, anchovy fillets, cherry tomato, and lots of basil.


Here's my handle, here's my spout

In the shop and in place for the ceremony at Burghley House.
Impulse purchase of the day...Wild Boar trotters at the farmers market, they saw me coming - who else would have bought them?
Have a simply fabulous weekend xoxo

Fancy ribbons and a brooch

From the first time that I saw you, I knew it was forever

Currently loving succulents, not just for the modern interior, fill a vintage wash bowl with them. They come in all shapes and sizes, you are sure to find one you love, but please no cactus.
I am feeling much less murderous today, all it took was a bit of Lionel Richie on the radio.
Feeling like a fool in love again.
Are you getting bored of the song lyrics as blog titles? Me too.
Must dash, the teapots will not get to Burghley on their own


Murder on the Orient Express

I have just received an email from the Orient Express extolling the virtues of it's getaways....I need no convincing. Yes please, destination Venice, I am longing to be back in Italy.

Many thanks to Marcelle, who has just allowed to vent my anger at her, sometimes only another florist understands...x

Now if you will excuse me the teapots are calling, we are styling them pretty



Earl grey

It is a grey rainy day today, I spent far too long blow drying my hair, only for it to curl the minute I stepped out of the house. The Hound is not amused by my attempts to jolly him, and has refused to have his picture taken. The bruises on my derriere ( a slight mishap last evening) are a lovely shade of purple, and I have left my lunch in the fridge at home.

But all is not lost, we have a whole host of teapots and cups to fill with roses for a wedding at Burghley.

On another note, my friend, groom to be, and all round good egg, Dan Twiddy has had his Navarra nicked. Have you seen it? Were you offered one in the pub last night? Has the man tarmacing your driveway turned up in a new truck this morning? Contact the police on 0116 2222222.