Sunday, 30 May 2010

“No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise.” IF prompt is 'slither'

A mackerel remarked to a trout:

"So what was that swordfish about?

I found him quite rude

with a bad attitude

and a pointy and dangerous snout!


fish.fishFish Fish - 2009 

I have deep and abiding devotion

For what lives on the floor of the ocean.

There's nothing profounder

Than coral and flounder,

And the benthos is god's greatest notion.




Whether slippery, silvery, slithery, shiny, sleek or scaly – fish are undoubtedly the jewels of our underwater world.  And you can eat them.  Unless you're a vegan - obviously.


 "Ruling a large kingdom is like cooking a small fish." ~ Lao-tse, Chinese philosopher

In other words....handle gently and never overdo it.




Sea bass with its firm, large-flaked, juicy white flesh, is the perfect candidate for baking in foil. This is SO easy and quite divinely delish.  (Bows low to esteemed Mpishi Janie)

  • 1 sea bass (about 1.5kg), scaled and gutted
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 6-8 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 fat red chillies, deseeded and thinly shredded.
  • a walnut-sized piece of fresh ginger, slivered
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • A good squirt of fresh lime juice
  • A pinch of sugar and sea salt

Heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4. Score the fish 2-3 times on both sides and lay it on a sheet of well-oiled foil, shiny side up. Sprinkle inside and out with spring onion, ginger, soy, sugar, salt, lime juice and a little more oil. Fold the foil over the fish and then make a double fold over the top and tuck in the sides.

Bake the fish for 25-35 minutes, depending on its thickness. Test for doneness with your thumb - the flesh should bouncy but firm. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before unwrapping. Serve with lime quarters, a sprinkle of the slithered chilli and more spring onions.

You could also whack this on the BBQ if the sun in shining and you feel so inclined. (Turn it over after about 10-ish minutes on one side.)

still life fishDoodle Fish ~ 2008 







Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Food, glorious food.


Thank you for all your wonderful words of encouragement and love and inspiration when things got a bit melancholy in my last post.  As I've said before - you, dear bloggy pals, are the chocolate buttons of LOVELINESS on the great Caramel Pudding of LIFE.

And speaking of food.....


How many of you have been presented with weird and wonderful menus or exceedingly dubious dinners during your travels? I’d love to hear your stories!

Here's one to tickle the taste buds....

In 1986, travel writer William Dalrymple finished college and spent his summer retracing the 12,000-mile route from Jerusalem to Xanadu that Marco Polo had (allegedly) traveled 700 years earlier. He published an account of his journey in his book In Xanadu, which contains this vignette about an unforgettable dinner experience he and his travelling companion Laura shared while on the road:

The waiter brought over a grubby document, creased at the corners and covered with tea stains. "Ingliz menu," he said, beaming at Laura. We opened the menu and studied it closely.

Kujuk Ayas Family Restrant



Ayas soap

Turkish tripte soap

Sheeps foot


Water pies


Deuner kepab with pi

Kebap with green pe

Kebap in paper

Meat pide

Kebap with mas patato

Samall bits of meat grilled

Almb chops


Meat in earthenware stev pot

Stfue goreen pepper

Stuffed squash

Stuffed tomatoes z

Stuffed cabbages lea

Leek with finced meat



Brain salad

Cacik — a drink made ay ay

And cucumber


Fried aggs

Scram fried aggs

Scrum fried omlat

Omlat with brain


Stewed atrawberry

Nightingales nests

Virgin lips

A sweet dish of thinsh of batter with butter






Saturday, 22 May 2010

IF - Early


This is for Guy, Georgina and Alexandra. 

With all the love in the world.


Early Light - Holkham, Norfolk 2010 001

Carpe Diem

- Holkham Beach, Norfolk 2010


She sat there and looked until the light began to fade and then slowly she felt the pieces of her life fall away gently and suddenly she understood what it meant and she sat there for a long time crying and laughing all at the same time.

I want to convince myself that I must learn to make every act count since I’m going to be here for only a short while - in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.  But, believe me, I am so very happy and so deeply grateful for the myriad of marvels I have witnessed and will continue to witness until the time comes.  And then.....well, who knows?

Friday, 14 May 2010

Party Animals


The following photograph carries a warning: 


Distinct possibility that the g'mama

may explode with pride. 



henry.2010.SAHenry, nearly 6. 

The Gemini part of May and June is a crazy, cork-popping, balloon-bursting, gift-giving, merry-making  humdinger of a time for us.  As a family we have a veritable cacophony of  birthdays.  Two grandboys; both daughters; one husband; one son-in-law; one sister and one niece.  As the only Aquarian, I stand alone but undaunted!

Back to Henry.  It's become a tradition that each year Loulou (his name for me and no, I have no idea why) paints a picture to be used as his party invitation.  His passion for wildlife must be genetic because invariably the request is for an animal of some description. 

Since birthdays are for sharing, I thought that those of you who have littlies and/or smallish grands may like one - or all - of these paintings to use for party invitations or just simply as greeting cards.  All you need to do is pick the ones you like, email me and I'll send you a high resolution jpg for a good photo-quality print which you can then use as you wish.  Here you go:

henry.2nd Over the Moon (2nd

Henry.3rdThe Elephant Boy (3rd

henry.4thInto The Wild (4th 

hippoHenry's Hippo (5th 

henry.5(add name/occasion to fat tum) 

cheetah.fini 001The Cheetah Chase (6th


From Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verse

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far ways,
And in another garden, plays.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.

Oh, and do remember, a grownup is just a child with layers on!



Sunday, 9 May 2010

Dancing with the pen


"How are you doing, Mama?"

"I'm good, thank you darling. You know....dancing as fast as I can!"

She looked at me smiling, then leaned over my studio table, grabbed a pencil and started sketching.

A moment or two of concentrated silence and she handed me a drawing.....

"You've often reminded us that dance is part of a 'noble education'.  This is to show you I really do understand and that I'm so proud of you, Mama"




Beani sketch 001

'The Dancer' by Alexandra Edwards


Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?”

Friedrich Nietzsche