I want to talk to you today about cutlery.

There are some things in life that, for me, represent adulthood. They’re a sign that you’ve made it – that you’ve made the transition from studenty type who can’t afford anything that matches, to proper grown up who has things like mugs that are actually beautiful, rather than just a collection of random gifts and 1990s Easter egg freebies.

Cutlery is one of those things.

Both of my sets of grandparents had strong cutlery games. I could describe their cutlery sets to you now, even though they’ve been dead for years. Both kept their cutlery in sideboards next to dining tables that were actually used to eat meals at, rather than to ‘store’ important documents and style photos of pretend meals. (Like I do.)

My cutlery drawer on the other hand, has always been a shambles – mismatched knives and forks that I’ve accumulated over the years, which often double as tools when I can’t be bothered to look for a screwdriver. It’s the cutlery collection of a 22 year old.

UNTIL NOW.

Now I have the cutlery drawer of dreams. I have a set of Robert Welch Malvern cutlery.

Ooh!

Robert Welch Malvern cutlery View Post

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How did you imagine your life would look when you grew up? What were your dreams and, more importantly, have you achieved them?

I’ve found that as I’ve got older, my dreams have changed. Whereas once I might have imagined myself in some high-powered job, or living in a mansion, (what is it with being a kid and wanting to live in a mansion?!), now I’m quite content pottering about watering my plants and buying cushions. 

Fiancé too has pretty simple dreams. (Which is why we get along). If I had to compile a list of his top ten best things, it would go something like this:

  1. Me (natch)
  2. Somerset County Cricket Club (generally)
  3. Marcus Trescothick (specifically)
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Music
  6. Banana flavoured things (If you’re ever in Bristol, the banana gelato at Swoon is amazing)
  7. Books (especially biographies)
  8. Looking inside churches that we find when we are out for a little drive
  9. Imagining he has a pet polar bear
  10. Watching reruns of classic comedies

(I’m not sure of the order of the first three.)

He is especially happy when I manage to combine two of more of the ten. For example, I have set up a Goggle alert for ‘Marcus Trescothick’, so when any interesting Marcus related news breaks I can act interested and knowledgeable about cricket, thus combining the entire top three.

This sort of scene would get him excited – it’s a cricket pitch with a church in the background to look at:

university building Oxford church and cricket pitch

If we were sat together at the edge of this picture, watching Somerset and eating banana ice-creams while a small polar bear slept at his feet, he’d be just about in heaven. I think it could probably only be improved if he got to actually play for Somerset County Cricket Club. This really would be living the dream. View Post

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Do you make your own Christmas cake?

I have once. It was a right faff. Totally worth it though in terms of how smug I felt come Christmas day, presenting the cake I’d been liberally soaking in brandy for what felt like about two years. Plus once I’d trimmed off the burnt bits and covered it all in marzipan and icing, it tasted pretty good too.

It went nicely with my display of intricately decorated Christmas gingerbread cookies:

Christmas gingerbread cookies

Haha! Not really. Can you even imagine?!

Still, when you think about it, it’s cake plus alcohol, so what’s not to like about that, regardless of how it looks?

Christmas of course is not just about cake and booze.

(Seriously?! That’s disappointing.) View Post

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unicorn poo cupcakesAs you may have picked up in the seven or so years that I’ve been blogging, I don’t have what you’d call a passion for housework. My ideal way of spending less time ironing is simply to not do it, and instead to wear stretchy clothes where the creases get sort of pulled flat.

Or, to get out of ironing other people’s clothes, you could try the method I accidentally employed on an ex-boyfriend. I was trying to be helpful and was ironing a few shirts. I was doing his favourite white shirt when Bee showed me a picture of a baby doing something cute. I can’t remember what exactly – it was dressed up as a lobster or something like that I think.

I laughed and dropped the iron on the floor. 

Whoops.

I figured that if I just picked it up really quickly and carried on, that no one would notice. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the large amount of carpet that had melted onto the iron and which I then proceeded to iron onto the back of the shirt.

I wasn’t hugely popular when the boyfriend got home to find a patch of carpet missing. Even less popular when he discovered the missing patch had found a new home on his shirt.

Double whoops.

I do appreciate though that neither of these approaches are an effective long term strategy, and that ironing is one of those things that you just have to do, both for everyday things and more special occasions. Like last week when I bought new curtains for the two windows in our bedroom. Seriously, it felt like I was ironing those curtains for about two days. View Post

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I was a massive fan of Roald Dahl stories when I was little. I know, who isn’t? But I loved them. I had a tape of Fantastic Mr Fox that I listened to again and again and again, and my favourite books were probably The Witches, Danny Champion of the World and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (The latter was a particular favourite as it had a character in it called Josephine. Which is my name, in case you didn’t know.)

With Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it was never really the idea of a lifetime’s supply of chocolate that did it for me, it was always the factory itself. I desperately wanted to try the chewing gum that was a three course meal. As I read it, I would try to imagine the warm tomato soup trickling down the back of my throat, morphing into roast beef and gravy. I’m doing it now as I type.

I wanted to be there, seeing how things were made, seeing inventions come to life.

A couple of weeks ago I got about as close as I am ever likely to get when I went to visit the Thorntons chocolate factory. (Although I don’t remember them wearing sexy hair nets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)

Thorntons chocolate factory tour View Post

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