Wednesday, 29 June 2011



at the moment, i don't sleep well and have constant tension pain in my neck and/or headaches. i just can't relax. herbal teas, taking baths or a glass of wine in the evening, you name it, i've tried it. do you have any good tips? i'm just a little worried that this will continue until the end of summer, as i'm chock-a-block with projects (which is great, but stressful).

Monday, 27 June 2011



things are still mad here, so just a quick hello.

some time ago, pascale wrote about going 'hybrid' - using analog lenses with a digital camera body. i really liked the idea and have been trying my hand at it last week, but have yet to get used to using the DSLR with an 'all manual' setting. my heart still is with analog photography, but this gives me an immediate feed-back that's really useful when playing around with angles, light, focus etc.

p.s.: new pins.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


bixels berlin
bixels berlin
bixels berlin
bixels berlin

when jo was in berlin, we had lunch at bixels.

it might be a bit quiet around here for a little while projects are taking up all my time. but do keep leaving your comments, they are always appreciated and make me smile!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

don't read this if you're hungry (make yourself a sandwich and a cup of tea first)

jam on bread

i do realise that if you don't LOVE food, this blog must be turning into a slightly boring read recently. but i promised you 'random thoughts and inspirations', you see.

might well be that the wind is turning again sometime soon and i'll be going on about philosophy, potato beetles or charlotte gainsbourg. you just never know. i so believe in the versatiliy of the human mind.

anyway. since some of you were asking, here are two recipes for a fig balsamic chutney that i found.

number one here
i shall be giving this one a whirl - sounds and looks spot on.

number two here
ok. this is from bon appetit magazine and has fabulous ratings. but honestly, the combination of ingredients sounds like a bit of a car crash to me. why oh why black and green olives with figs? or am i too much of a conservative mind (ha, joke for those of you who know me in person)? what do you think?

while browsing for recipes, i came across really nice recipes, and it seems not only really nice, but also really useful. lots of basic recipes, simple typography, no advertising, lots of step-by-step images. here are some recipes and chapters that caught my eye:

a wholemeal loaf
how to make brioche
potato recipes

p.s.: while you're at it and if you don't know it already, you should also take a look at xavier encinas' food blog. an absolute favourite.

Friday, 17 June 2011

just quickly

riga, whirlwind

i'm über-busy but fine. could do with a bit more sleep and a bit less pressure. but life is good.

the cat's always busy too, as you can see (and if she isn't busy playing or watching the street from the window sill, she's busy sleeping. as you do. - these pictures were taken with my praktica ages ago.)

oh, and i'm looking for recipes for preserving fruit and vegetables, for chutneys etc. i've already found some contenders for a fig and balsamic chutney and a rhubarb chutney, but i'm grateful for any tips, book recommendations and links.

happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011



everything's growing so fast! honestly, the photo above is already seriously outdated: the spinach is all gone by now (blanched some and put it in the freezer), the peas in the foreground have almost reached half the height of the supporting sticks and have first light green, almost translucent pods. in front of that (outside the picture frame) there is a row of sunflowers, now almost reaching up to my shoulders, but not flowering yet. the tomatoes at the back are growing into a virtual djungle, we now really have to keep breaking off the surplus offshoots regularly and put in higher sticks for support.

a bit of a challenge: we've got potato beetles. nasty little buggers.

last time i was there it was quite muddy as it had been raining heavily, and sure enough, in the end i had to run for cover when another mighty downpour happened.

in my little 'flower garden' (i.e. some big planters outside my window) i planted some white cosmos, a little wild hydrangea bush and some lavender.

i'm feeling quite energised after a bank holiday yesterday - a good start to a busy week. have a good one!

p.s.: the ground looks rather dry, since i took the photo before my watering round. luckily, that's a bit deceiving, it's a perfect loam soil that retains humidity well. scratching the surface before watering regularly shows me the ground is moist just four/five centimeters below the surface.

(our patch is the one with the many supports, to the right of my baskets and watering can. it's a bit of an unusual concept: many people sharing a big field. our patches are only seperated by small trampled paths.)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

early summer


i was invited to a lovely birthday party a while ago. it was an early summerish afternoon, and we gathered in the communal garden, amidst the trees, shrubs and lavendar bushes. there was sparkling wine with home-made rhubarb cordial, a delicious herbed, lemony quinoa salad with feta cheese and an ever-so-pretty, scrumptious cake with tiny dried roses on top, which suzy had made. thank you for having us over, sylee!

recently, i have had an exhausting work schedule (and still have), but i try to make time, a half-hour here, a half-hour there, for little projects. i made elderflower jelly. i mounted some prints. and, as a treat, spent an afternoon in the garden and brought home large branches of wild roses, cut along the way. and you know, sometimes small projects can lead to bigger things. try it.

have you read about kinfolk magazine? oh. cannot wait.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

bread stories


one of the reasons why i've gathered a veritable stack of nigel slater cookbooks over the years, is that his cooking is truly unfussy, unpretentious. i don't mind cooking being a bit of a challenge sometimes, but i believe it should be compatible with the demands of my day to day life, and i can't and won't get up at five in the morning to start some infusion or other with circa twenty-three herbs for a dinner two days ahead. and even though cooking is some kind of slow-down, grounding process i enjoy, the whole thing - ultimately - is about eating the food. at least for me.

so the country loaf i baked a little while ago just hit the spot. after it had cooled down enough, we had thick slices with home-made strawberry jam. so good. the next morning, i had it toasted with sliced tomatoes.

the recipe is from nigel slater's appetite. it's too long to just type it up, but it involves nothing more than 1kg bread flour, 2x 7g dry yeast, 20g salt, c. 700 ml water.

what are your favourite bread recipes? and have you tried baking with sourdough? (my attempt looked pretty, but tasted bland. the sourdough was store-bought.)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

night out

night out
night out
night out
night out
night out
night out
night out
night out
night out
night out
night out

you know how some friends always come up with the best ideas? well, a while ago, p suggested we go to the (somewhat politically incorrect titled) gypsy restaurant at claerchen's ballhaus for j's birthday. so we did. can you tell how much i loved that night out?

some of you might recognise the spiegelsaal (hall of mirrors), upstairs from the regular ballroom, which most of the time is quiet and empty. it's also occasionally used for music and restaurant events like this, for dancing classes, and also rented out for private functions.

(more infos about the ballroom here, in german.)

Monday, 6 June 2011


light & shadows
light & shadows

recently, quite a few new readers seem to be around here. welcome!
would you mind telling me who you are and how you came here? no pressure, but it would be lovely to get to know you a little!

also thank you for your well wishes. still feeling a bit shaky, but much better already.

light and shadows in my kitchen, late afternoon.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

light headed


i'm feeling a little light headed. after getting sick suddenly yesterday around lunchtime, i went to bed and slept for almost 19 hours. i guess this is my body telling me quite clearly that i needed a rest. (no, i didn't have any cucumbers, so this shouldn't be anything serious.)

having some green tea now, as i'll have to work on a text today. which may happen on the sofa instead of at the desk. we'll see.

Friday, 3 June 2011

a quiet moment


the less time there seems to be, the more i need those quiet moments.

p.s.: who are your favourite photographers?
i hope you'll forgive my lack of commenting of late. i'm working so much it's not true.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

after the storm


last afternoon we had another big storm. today it's much colder and i can hear the wind trying to wheeze through the old windows.

photos from a place about which i hope to post more over on mostly berlin. soon.

p.s.: i can't stop adding things to my 'random beauty' moodboard on pinterest.