More goodies from the Autumn Selvedge Fair in St Augustine Church hall, off the Archway Road, N6.
Handmade wallpaper by Dunford Wood printed by hand from an original lino block designed by Hugh Dunford Wood in Lyme Regis, Dorset
Matilda Rose based in Whitstable, Kent embroiders blankets by hand and machine with squawking parrots and nautical themed motifs such as ships anchors and mermaids. Her pieces can be bought from her Etsy shop Matilda Rose Emporium
Throws, rugs and cushions in natural shades are made in a distinctive textured twill weave from Romney sheep fleeces by this family owned business - the family has been keeping Romney sheep for six generations
Romney Marsh Wools also produce a skincare range -
I tried a bit of the lanolin hand and body lotion with some trepidation as I don't like greasy lotions that linger on the surface of my skin. But this was lovely and was absorbed quickly (probably because I have dry lizard skin), smells good too.
Last week I popped along to see some of Belle & Bunty's beautiful frocks in the Sweet Couture cake shop in Covent Garden at the Vogue Fashion Night Out. The frocks were gorgeous, as always - the cakes were delish. But surely this is a dynamite combination?
A weekend in Gloucestershire drinking up the last of the summer sun and picking up windfalls. Time for apple and ginger jelly. I am not a purist, and proudly use Certo - bottled pectin - to ensure it sets every time. Well, almost.
1. Wash and roughly chop up the apples - removing bruised bits.
2. Peel, chop and bruise the ginger.
3. Use enough water to cover the apples and ginger - simmering for approx 30 mins, until tender, using a potato masher to squish them up.
4. Put in jelly bag, and allow to drip over night - I string up the jelly bag under a chair, but you can buy those on-the-counter jelly strainer kits from places like Lakeland.
5. Pour the juice into a pan, adding the sugar: 800g per 1 litre juice.
6. Heat slowly, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved - add a small piece of butter to reduce foaming.
7. Add Certo (1 bottle), stirring occasionally, then bring to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute.
8. Remove from the heat and test for set - this can be done by putting a few drops of liquid jelly onto a plate, allowing to cool (put into fridge) and pushing with your finger to see if it wrinkles.
9. Once the liquid jelly has cooled a little, skim it (the butter will have reduced foaming but there will still be some to skim off) and pot in sterilised jars - these can be done very easily in the dishwasher. If your dishwasher has a long cycle, then set it off long in advance of the jelly-making process. You can also wash the jars up by hand, and dry in a moderate-heat oven - but last time I did this, the jars got too hot and cracked when I poured in the jelly, so I favour the dishwasher method.
10. Allow the jelly to set - this could take a week or so if there is a low pectin content.
Looking out across Bruntsfield Links - taking the scenic route to the Traverse Theatre via the Meadows. I also swung by the flat where I lived as student - unbelievably it seems that the permanently pickled Mr Ross at flat 2F1 is still in residence; he of the tartan trews, always-full sherry glass and wifey in her Woman at C&A negligees, you know those long flammable frilly horrors in turquoise 'silk'.
Victoria Street from the Grassmarket. This street is spectacular, with activity at two levels: a pedestrian walkway above the busy shops and restaurants on the ground floor, and housing (perhaps now offices) above the walkway.
A 10 storey building which spans the height of two streets - this fine example is snapped from the bottom of Cockburn Street, the upper part faces out onto the Royal Mile which is above. Jane Jacobs said there should be 'eyes on the street' - there are plenty here (if slightly forbiddingly grey)
The glorious Museum of Scotland. When Scotland was European City of Culture, my Dad gave a lecture there and afterwards there was a dinner. I was invited too. It was in the room with stuffed animals* Best venue for dinner, ever.
*I could not find the stuffed animals on my visit, which was a shame, taxidermy being so hip 'n all.
(Taxidermy fans, check out Get Stuffed on Essex Road, Islington)
The Castle viewed from the Grassmarket
Last but not least: the magnifico Firth of Forth Bridge pic taken from South Queensferry, where I was staying.I could sit and watch the comings and goings on and under the bridge all day. Very soothing.
If you wade your way through the shops selling the touristy tat / fudge / Princess Diana tartans (eh?) you can find some fantastic little shops right in the heart of Edinburgh
The Scottish Soapworks on the Royal Mile, 263 Canongate.
(note: the soapy smells emanating from this shop is kind to the nostrils,
unlike the smell of Lush which shrivels the olfactory nerve from 100 yards)
These are cute: Scottish Fine Soaps soaps in tins, also available in tins that say: Happy Birthday or I Love You price £4.95
Fabhatrix in Cowgatehead. Sadly, there are not enough occasions in my life when a hat (and gloves) are required - otherwise I would be a regular here
More of Edinburgh coming up. Meanwhile, back in London...
Sunday's hellish visit to Brent Cross to buy school shoes, which was achieved after a long wait and the witnessing of a slightly unsettling spat between shop assistant and customer (not us I hasten to add), was redeemed by spotting this display in the Jigsaw window celebrating the Wool Week with The Campaign for Wool.
In light of a world-wide decline in the numbers of sheep, the plummeting price of wool and the increasing cheapness of man-made synthetic fibres, the Campaign was officially launched in 2010 (by HRH Prince of Wales) to support the sheep and wool industry. It has backing from fashion, decorating, design and wool carpet industries. Find out more here - and in the meantime, get your winter woolies on (although, it's approx 20 degrees outside, so perhaps not today).
It was this extra-large spool of wool that really made my day
(that is how bad Brent Cross is on a Sunday)
Note: do not EVER go to Brent Cross on a Sunday if you want to leave with your sanity in tact.
Really, this should be called Mrs Osborn's Big Adventure: 3 days, toute seule, in Edinburgh. Fine views, fine culture, and fine shopping.
Well you gotta buy a kilt. Made from Harris Tweed (swoon), natch. These beauties are from Gordon Nicholson on the Royal Mile, 189 Canongate. Look! The whole kit and kaboodle (incl. fluffy sporran) can be purchased here. I could tell you tales of men in kilts...but that's for another blog.
And you gotta buy a postcard with highland cattle / scenic views
Coming up next - little independent shops (take note, Mary Portas High Street Review) and some scenic views of my own.