Finally, the Lady Friend and I are getting suitably Christmassy. For me, this means buying a tree as big as me (not very) and for her, it means listening to Barbra Streisand and ordering masses of stuff online. Either way, it’s such a fab time of year to be at home – I never miss the sun of summer.
A friend has gone gluten-free. I think of myself as a good cook, so, gluten-free brownies here we come. Doves Farm GF SR flour has already yielded a lovely lemon poppy seed cake, so today the chocolate brownies are underway – currently cooking (rather slowly) in the oven. Will I take them to the party in the tin – ie clearly whole – or will I have trimmed off a little taster… ?
I am rather pleased with this! It’s from Lucinda Guy’s book of children’s knits, And So To Bed. I meant to make all kinds of things for actual children from this book – but ended up making this for myself and my Lady Friend. It was quite labour-intensive but it’s exactly the right size. The buttons are second hand – or, I should say, vintage – from a charity shop. The whole thing is basically oddments. Lovely!
Finally nearing the end of Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child. This has been a fantastic read: a country-house novel, in the wake of Brideshead Revisited. The house, Corley Court, and the lives of those who inhabit it have been richly detailed across the decades. Each strand of the story is beautifully told and his characters are minutely observed. His wry tone stops the narrative ever becoming stuffy.There are great observations on everyday situations – the etiquette and mild competitiveness of being in line for the loo at a party, for example. It struck me that he often writes about ‘outsider’ types and that Paul Bryant is rather like Nick of The Line of Beauty. It’s a testament to the quality of his writing that this book has only ever been a delicious pleasure, never a drudge. Next on the list: Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot.