Month: December, 2012

book give and book receive

one of the most beautiful gifts that anyone has ever made for me – a handpainted copy of alice in wonderland with a quote from the lobster quadrille (one of the few poems that i can recite by heart because i love it so…)


and in exchange a small concertina book with a wonky gold cloud on grass green bookcloth



the lobster quadrille

“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance? 

“You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!”
But the snail replied, “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance—
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not,would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.


“What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied. “There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France—
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?”

getting in the spirit

this week i watched muppet christmas carol and it’s a wonderful life, made mince pies and mulled wine and started to get excited about christmas.


and i also ate this nice dinner – roasted butterbeans, tomatoes and brocolli with cous cous…


mulled wine recipe

half a cinnamon stick

2 cardamom pods

pinch of grated nutmeg

rind and juice of 1 orange

4 cloves

75g sugar

bottle of red wine

put all the spices, sugar and orange rind and juice in a pan and pour over enough wine so that it’s just covered. then boil until it’s all syrupy. turn to low and add the rest of the wine and maybe a cup of water if you like (i like). it smells and tastes amazing!


i made this christmas tree thing:

i received the best christmas card/ornament:


i bought this jacket:


i made this steak, ale and marmite pie:


half a million years binding

we just finished the last book we will make in class before christmas – it was meant to be a quick and easy long stitch binding but for some reason it took us weeks of classes. although it was an extremely long labour of love i’m pleased with the results – i got to try out my first bit of fancy stitching and i think it looks pretty good!



i used a paper called khadi paper for the cover of this book. it’s a handmade paper and this one has been made with blue wildflowers running through it – unfortunately the best flowers are inside the cover so you can’t see them. maybe it’s best that they are protected inside though…


december is moving really fast – i’m nearly halfway through my advent candle already. i’ve been spending my dark winter nights paper mache-ing and making decorations out of old oranges.


the one on the left is the beautiful advent calendar that louis bought for me and the one on the right is the one that i made him (it’s got homemade white chocolate buttons inside…). my friend showed me how to do the orange slice thing – you just slice up an orange, in a much neater way than i did, and put the pieces to dry out on the radiator. then you can do anything with them – i’ve tied red bows to mine and stuck them to the wall.


paper, paper everywhere – a magazine christmas tree and a paper mache bowl in the making…


another old orange i found in the fruit bowl  – i made a pomander to make our hallway smell less strange. it’s looking more christmassy – but sadly we still do not have a tree.

the greenhorns

i first read about the greenhorns here and since then i keep coming back to their website, it’s really making me excited about going away next year and actually doing this – being outdoors and farming and helping and not working in a cafe.


this is the first video in their video series and it’s great. there is so much shit in the world it’s nice to just see people taking action in a local way that may not be saving the entire universe but is a definite step in the right direction.

OUR LAND EPISODE 1: The Solution to Pollution is Life from The Greenhorns on Vimeo.

you live in brighton nick cave, come and see me

kafka on the shore


this book was given to me by one of my close friends (thanks anna you are great). the only other book that i have read by haruki murakami (after dark) was given to me by another friend last year. i loved them both and i really want to read more by him now – the way he writes feels so clean and beautiful and intriguing all at once. i felt slightly confused all the way through (in a nice way) and from the two books that i have read by murakami i get the feeling that all of his writing is like this. with books i tend to like everything to be explained and for there to be a happy ending – this doesnt happen in kafka on the shore, the book seems to end quietly, like the moment has closed and you’ve been exposed to everything you are going to see, leaving you guessing. for some reason in this book it didn’t annoy me that it ended this way, in fact i really liked it.