How to wear flowers in your hair - a cheat's guide part 2

Well Part 1 was an internet phenomenon, so here is part 2.

This is a nonchalant look, like you just picked a flower and tucked it behind your ear. Did you do that with daises and buttercups when you were little?

You will need a flower, I have used a single head of the spray rose Majolica, but a gardenia would be just fabulous. 1 small safety pin, 1 kirby grip in blonde, or brunette if you are one.

Snip the head off, leaving a little of the stem, otherwise the wretched thing will fall apart on you.

Skewer it with the safety pin, and close the pin. This gives you something to grip to.

Position at a suitably nonchalant angle, and grip in.

Easy as pie.

Are you loving these instructional posts? Do you think they would make a great book? A pretty hardback?With beautiful photographs and illustrations? Retailing at £20?

Me too.

Please note, roots have been touched up, a brush might have been useful though....

Next week, flowers for one of those o so glamorous messy up-dos.

You say you want to try again

Why you wanna break my heart again?
Why am i gonna let you try?

Every once in a while The Other Miss Pickering and I need to get the hell out of Dodgeville, on a school night.

To worship at the altar of Mr John C. Mayer

To Wembley, to feel the guitar reverberate through your chest cavity, albeit a chest cavity in a floral blouson.

If you haven't seen Mr Mayer live, you haven't lived. There are no giant lemons, no hydraulic stages, no backing dancers, just him, his guitars and his band.

Spotify him, You Tube him, turn the volume to high and lie with your head between the speakers. You won't regret it.

Tomorrow there will be jam jars, and floral headpieces, but tonight, for one night only, your little miss twee, was just a little bit rock n roll.


Beauty and the Beast

Preparations for parties and weddings, all the prettiness.

And The Boy Wonder, who is grumpy. So very grumpy.

Something is up. Paris is calling.

Last night whilst collecting foliages i discovered the full extent of the damage he had done the night before. Upturned willow wigwams, a whole patch of astrantia flattened, squashed lettuces, and a hole.


Housewives' choice

This blog has lost it's rhythm this week, I apologise. We will be more timely next week.

We had an electricity problem today.
We didn't have any.
Most of the town was affected.
People are blaming the Tories.

Here is some greenery i cut earlier for the wedding. Poppy, rosemary, thyme, honeysuckle,mint, marjoram, and another thing i can't identify.

and another picture of our dear Alan. I am delighted that you all share my penchant for men from t'dales.

Isn't he lovely? I have even forgiven him for that dark time known as "Ground Force"

More hair flowers on Friday


Driving through Chelsea

How i wish we had a camera crew in the car with us. It would have been television gold.
The hi-vis jackets we had to wear came with sleeves. You can see Mr Naylor's in the top photograph, he has his hand out of the window, pointing in amazement at the unusual garden ornaments.

I have ordered him one for his birthday, he loved them so much.

Whilst he drove i snapped everything, including Alan Titchmarsh, then i got the back of him later.

Mr Naylor, hobnobbed with horticultural types, i gawped at the beauty of all the planting. The planting and the landscapers. Men in shorts, and hi-vis tops, digging. I don't need to go on.

Later we went for dinner avec Caroline on the South Bank.

You can see more of Chelsea and Alan on the BBC website.

Congratulations to UK Horticulture who won a gold, aided and abetted by Mr Naylor's delphiniums and alliums.


Behind the scenes at Chelsea

On Sunday Mr Naylor and I made a voyage to London

Destination: Chelsea
Soundtrack: Regina Spektor, BB King, Donna Summer
Outfits: Him - Linen shirt, shorts, beads Her - Pretty dress, that turned out to be a bit low-cut.
Food: Scones, chocolate cake, crisps, tea, Diet coke and....Oasis (WTF?!)
Plants de jour: Iris, Allium, Lavender
Colours: Green, bronze, purple
Strange fact: Chelsea hadn't opened, it was a set-up day, we had to wear hi-vis jackets. Everybody had to wear them even Alan Titchmarsh I have pictures.
Overall mood: I thought i had died and gone to heaven.
Starstruck moment: Chatting to Jekka McVicar I was such a dork.

There is more to tell, but I am going to watch it on the box.

Back later


Men I would like to eat chips with. Part 1

We have covered the men i would like to eat tuna carpaccio with

and so a new series, Men I would like to eat chips with.

Because every uptown girl needs a downtown boy.

I'd eat chips out of a paper bag with Gene Hunt, even on the street.


Majolica rose x 4

It's really the same photograph 4 times.

Laziness or what?

Today a customer made me cry, and not in a good way.

Then Mrs B emailed me with a tale of practically the same events.
I don't think she cried, she is way more elegant than i am.

We'll cover it another time.

I brought my lunch in today, a sandwich of creole roasted chicken, avocado, cucumber, homegrown spinach, squeeze of lemon, drizzle of EVO, all in a toasted pitta bread (white)

I ate it at 10.07 am

We have danced to this song, and The Hound has been making mischief.


Day dreaming

I was all set to do a "Flowers so Loathsome" post today. I picked up one of the monthlies i read, and it was so twee i felt nauseous.

"What we need is some anthuriums or a germini" said The Hound.

As i google imaged for some awful photograph, i looked at my shop and this is what i saw.

1. Locally grown stocks in ice-cream shades
2. window vases
3. Rosa ranuncular, like raspberry ripple ice cream
and My Boy.

Then we went to rejig the window box at The Pub, and the sun was shining, and people stopped to say hello.

I decided i want to be a window box gardener, in Paris. The Hound and I will cycle the arrondissements, with our baskets piled high of geraniums.

We will start the morning with a pain au chocolat and a cafe, lunch will be a baguette, with the ripest brie and a handful of cherry tomatoes.

We will sip Pastis, play boules, and everybody will wave as we cycle past in our floral tea dresses or stripey tops.

At night we will change into our finery, light a Gitanes, and dance a tango, byt he side of the Seine.

Last night I accidentally ate some Wheat-free bread, and spent a lot of time gazing at this post. (I love this blog it plays music, but oh what sweet music)

Paris, J'arrive.


How to wear flowers in your hair - the cheat's guide part 1

You don't have to fancy floristry skills to wear flowers in your hair, you can cheat. They won't last as long, but if it is for a night out, or just for wearing whilst you do the laundry, who's to know the difference?

1. You will need a glittery alice band, a bit of ribbon, a piece of thin wire or sellotape, and some small flower heads, in this case i have gone for white delphinium flowers.

2. Group together a few heads and twist the wire, or thin sellotape them together.

3. Wire this cluster onto the alice band, and cut the stems short.

4. Tie on a piece of ribbon to hide the workings, and tie a little bow.

5. Wear with panache.

6. Make an appointment to get your roots done and clean soil from underneath your fingernails(this step applies to me, and me alone)
Calling this post Part 1, would suggest there is a Part 2.
Next week.


Labouring under false pretenses

I am not green fingered, I should hate you to think i had a vast knowledge of plants and their care.

The garden looks very green, but pretty at the moment, predominantly due to a large herb bed. Rosemary, sage, thyme, and mint need no great care and who would spend time sowing seeds of lollo rosso, when you can buy 10 plug plants at the garden centre for £1? I do sow some more exotic lettuces which do seem to be taking an age to germinate, but for instant gratification, some green and red lollo rosso in a terracotta pot is perfection. Within 2 weeks they will be at size that is just about passable to eat for a solo lunch. Provided you water them, more plants die of thirst in my garden than i will ever admit to.

I went back to the car boot sale and purchased plug plants of sweetcorn, Cavolo nero and some dwarf french beans. I haven't the patience for seeds that need sowing indoors, and i haven't the space for it all. Let someone else do that, and reap the benefits of their hard work.

I also found a sewing machine, isn't it pretty? No it isn't electric, and i haven't a clue how to use it, but it does have the manual, and the needle goes up and down so there is hope. It was £2, i would have paid somebody £20 to carry it back to the car for me, but they don't have porters. My right arm is now a foot longer than the left. Next time I am taking a boy.

Also here are some pretty flowers.

Did you have a good weekend?

and yes I also found another Dartmouth swan to add to my collection.


It's a jungle out there

The herb patch is getting out of control, all this sunshine has them stretching out their limbs and taking hold of more and more of the garden.

I think we will be selling bouquet garni this year.

The hound harvested a bowl full, which he blitzed with garlic cloves, lemon zest and the oil from a tin of anchovies. Add some extra virgin olive oil and you have the perfect sauce for a piece of grilled fish, or a dipping sauce for the oysters of chicken.

He went one step further however and added breadcrumbs and an egg to bind, pressed it onto a lamb breast, added the anchovies we didn't snack on, and rolled it all up. Roasted in the oven, and served with homegrown lettuce. A delightfully summery roast.

If you eat a crunchy salad, you can't hear the noise of your arteries furring up. Breast of lamb isn't the leanest of cuts, but is very delicious.

I promise in weeks to come, our cooking from the garden will be more varied. Due to Alys Fowlers influence we have sprouting broccoli, kale, sweetcorn, courgettes,artichokes,tomato, cavolo nero, spring onions, french beans, broad beans and many others still to come.

Never before has a television series so inspired me, i have always grown bits and bobs, but The Edible Garden will soon have us setting up an honesty table outside the front door.

"That Miss P. gets about a bit doesn't she?"

Not content with prattling on here, The Hound and I have been featured on some lovely wedding blogs.

First up Love My Dress, we had a lovely interview with Annabel a girl who knows how to wear a wedding dress. Go and see, seriously it's amazing.

In amongst chats about our Hounds, she also managed to extract from my waffle some useful tips for brides. I didn't actually know i could be helpful. Brilliant.

Second up, The Little White Blog, written by Sarah, who is also sub-editor at Wedding Magazine. She is just starting out in this weird and wonderful world of blogging, and promises us lots of real life weddings.

Thank you ladies.


And the winner is.........

My goddaughter randomly selected Just Original from an oasis bowl.
And look at that face, nobody argues with Lottie.
I love this child, i love her more as she as at the age where she always has her beautiful mother attached. This means i am not responsible for wiping chocolate off her face.

So congratulations to Just Original, email in your address and we will send out your goodies. The hound had been upstairs at Equilibrium all day, having an inch loss wrap, and a facial in readiness for a new photograph just for you. he has also had many visitors today, including a couple who came all the way from North Lincolnshire to meet him.

It is all going to his head, he is in talks with Wembley Arena demanding a bed of Egyptian cotton and only blue smarties.

The sandwiches having been keeping us all entertained for days, and a few deserve a mention, not cereal though.

For the longest reply ever: Becca x
For the shortest reply: Simon
Taste sensation as voted for by The Hound: Mrs B and her peanut butter
My favourite: Twinkleberry
For reminding me that once upon a time there was such a thing as Tudor Crisps: Harriet Hat Peg
For joining in with the spirit of things even though the giveaway had closed, and because i went to school with her: Jenny Rudd
For sheer sneakiness: Madame Poulet, aka The Mother Hen

We could start a recipe book, have a look over all the replies, and perhaps make one for a light snack over the weekend?


A garden wedding

This is the first of our "jam jar" weddings.

There are to be many more this year.

I hope the sun keeps shining.

It is not too late to enter our cereal based giveaway. Entries close ce soir at 6pm BST.

What will you do this weekend do you think? Might you be thinking about rehoming a dog? Will you be all eyes on Monaco? Cooking? gardening? Trying to work out why brides use mirror tiles? Taking photographs for fun?

The winner will be announced tomorrow. The Hound is offering to make the winners favourite sandwich for me.


Emptying out the fridge

Do you find you end up with half a tub of this, half a tub of that, slimy things, and some downright noxious things in the back of the fridge?

Me too.

Last night i decided to use it all up, in some fritters. Interestingly i made them this time last year as well.

Harvest herbs and salad thinnings
In a bowl mix ricotta, herbs, chopped asparagus (precooked) and some fried bacon
Add breadcrumbs, lemon zest, an egg, some Umami** and some cheese.
Combine, form into patties and shallow fry
Serve on a fancy plate, plain white is so dull, and i am quite capable of distinguishing food from pattern, as i am sure you are
Serve with scattered herbs and asparagus spears

I used up loads of odds and ends, the bacon was 3 weeks past it's best before date, and the asparagus* was a little slimy, the cheese was rock hard and dry, but you would never have known.
*This may seem awful to you, to have not used asparagus up in it's prime, but round these parts it grows on trees, you actually can't walk down the high street without somebody trying to sell you some. It's a lot like Lobster and the town of Mystic. Tell me you have seen the film?

I tried to put cuncini berries in as well, but was met with a universal no. Boys are such spoilsports.

I a loving the sandwich suggestions, some sound lovely, others not so much, but the fact that you are all so passionate about them makes me smile....a lot.

There is still time to enter our Grand cereal based giveaway, even The Mother Hen has tried to enter, her entry however funny is null and void, sorry xxxx

Tonight we will be using up rhubarb.

** Umami tastes like an Italian miso, i am not sure it added anything.

***The Hound also loves asparagus
****I am loving the asterisks