I'VE DONE IT... JUNE

My partner walked in this afternoon and asked what the pleasant smell was. I will often have an essential oil burning when I am at home on a...

My partner walked in this afternoon and asked what the pleasant smell was.
I will often have an essential oil burning when I am at home on a weekend but this was even better.

The house was filled with the gorgeous aroma of rose geranium cuttings brought in before they wilted on a warm mid-winter day. Right now they are a scented centrepiece on our dining room table, but tomorrow I'll trim the leaves and strike the cuttings. Discarded leaves will be dried for their scent and the cuttings, once they root, will be passed on to keen gardeners at my local produce swaps and potted up ready to be gifted closer to Christmas.

What simple pleasures are you enjoying right now.

IN JUNE:

I WENT TO... Newcastle for a solo day of pottering around Islington's secondhand stores and op shops. With no timetables, no one to answer to and no map to follow I had a glorious day, stopping for a coffee when I felt like it and generally mooching about in racks of vintage clobber.

I ATE... A good sandwich is worth its weight in gold and a late lunch stop in Newcastle's Darby St introduced me to Haywire on Darby and a brioche roll with haloumi, grilled mushroom, fried egg and tomato chutney. Perfection. I loved it so much I reinvented it for home-baked bagels the following weekend.

Also on the home menu this month was a 1960s-inspired prawn curry ("you know, with peas in it", my partner kept saying as I hunted through my collection of vintage cook books), bagels and biscuits.

I OP SHOPPED... 1970s and '80s glam, a full, a calf-length mustard yellow skirt made from a thick, fat corduroy, and this Pretty in Pink cotton jumper.

I MADE... I have almost finished this cardigan. There are many, many, many mistakes, most of which I've left in. You can't progress without mistakes and I quite like the metaphor and reminder of that.

I READ... Two 2018 Stella Prize nominees, An Uncertain Grace, by Krissy Kneen, and Mirandi Rowie's The Fish Girl. I found both at my local library and grabbed them without really knowing what they were about. An Uncertain Grace was both disturbing and beautiful. If you like Margaret Atwood's work, certainly the dystopian futures of much of her writing, this is for you. Rowie's The Fish Girl was equally as disturbing but for a very different reason. I was rattled, and I defy any woman not to be, rightly so.

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