Sunday, 23 June 2013

Folk Club

It was a typical West of Scotland summer evening, warm, close, but so, so wet.  Torrential at points. A good friend and I ventured to the local folk club for the first time.  We had kind of expected a raucous, smoke filled room, but then that is really just the images that my Dad's tales of youthful Humblebum's gigs (and other Scottish folk greats) have implanted on my mind.  It was BYOB, but I had never thought to check so it was steaming mugs of tea and diet coke for us!  As the night went on we saw beer, wine and cider produced from plastic bags on the floor- we will know for the next time!  The main attraction for us was the acts, Yvonne Lyon headlining and Andrew Howie as support.

These days Yvonne is rarely off my playlist having seen her play for the first time earlier this year. I have also seen Andrew before at a very special house gig.  To see them play on the same bill and together for a song was just perfect.  If you don't know either of them click on the links and check them out.  The picture above, captures perfectly, them playing a beautiful new song they have written together.

Roddy Woomble is playing the Folk Club in October, and he is another favourite of mine.  Then I will return with red wine, but I might still have a cup of tea at the break, served through the hatch by the organiser's mum (plain biscuits 3p, chocolate 20p!)!

{This post is for my Dad, a much, much better musician than he gives himself credit for.}

Friday, 14 June 2013

Weekend Reading

Happy Friday everyone!

Thanks to two of my favourite bloggers, Jen from Little birdie and Cherry Menlove I have some new reading.  Has anyone else noticed the bottom has fallen out of the secondhand book market?  You can get just about any paperback for as little as a few pennies these days either on Ebay or Amazon.  As someone who still likes an old fashioned paper book to read I have been indulging in some new (old) books.

These two are just brilliant and both written by wonderful women with unique and poetic voices. Please seek them out if you haven't already.

And yes, another cushion from Jane at Teawagontales.  Just because her cushion's are perfectly made, reasonably priced and the most amazing colours and patterns.  Thank you Jane. 

Monday, 10 June 2013


Its been a while since I shared anything from my home, hasn't it?

Well to remedy that here are a few new fave things.

1. Very lucky rummage in the fabric section of the Salvation Army. Pillowcases and a perfect set of curtains!
2. Mainly to show you those silver trays at the top - they are designed by Gerald Benney for Viners and I can totally see them at a 70's cocktail party!
3. My new cushion from Jane at Teawagontales. I love it and I love Jane's Etsy store, please visit if you haven't already. 

Have a wonderful week, Jo xx

Summer Rice

I was born in July, so most every celebration that I can remember for my birthday involves a barbecue.  I know its near that time, well summer, when I start to think about making this rice dish. I call it summer rice here but it is really my Aunt Moira's recipe.  My Aunt, despite what she thinks is a good cook and she used to feed lots of us in family gatherings at her house with delicious food and with ease.

She made this rice to go along with her Chilli, served with pitta breads - it seemed terribly exotic to me at the time.  And I never forget how good her Chilli tasted, it was ever so slightly sweet and went so well with this rice.

You make it by frying an onion in olive oil, with as many crushed or chopped garlic cloves as you like, then you add a finely chopped red pepper.  Once the onions and pepper start to brown a little add your rice. You can use basmati or long grain, although my Aunt used long grain and I do too.  Stir the rice in the vegetables until coated in the oil, then add a teaspoon and a half of turmeric and a table spoon of white wine vinegar.  This rice works on the 'double the amount of water as rice' absorption principle. For example if I make it for the four of us I use a standard mug of rice to two of water.  It is easily doubled.  Pour in your water and crumble in one chicken or vegetable stock cube, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer.  Just when the water is about to be absorbed completely I turn off the gas, put a tea towel over the pan and put the lid on top.  After 5 minutes or so fork it up and transfer to a serving bowl.

I find that this rice is a great accompaniment to a barbecue, where you may have grilled some vegetables or chicken, or maybe some veggie burgers.  With a green salad and a potato salad you have a good  mix of dishes.  The bonus is that small children love it as well as adults, and its good the next day with a little lemon olive oil stirred through.

And yes that is a retro sprinkling of smoked paprika on the top!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Some time has passed.........

All of a sudden so much time has passed since I last posted here.  How that happened I am not sure.

Its so good to have summer beginning.  We have had some beautiful sunny, happy days.  Some of them spent with family that we have been reconnecting with in a really joyful way.  Again I wish I could share more of it here but I can't.  But rest assured these are happy times around these parts.

The images above are of days where I have felt for the first time in years an optimism for the future, that sparkling, dazzling light of happiness that needs to be acknowledged when its fleeting light passes over you.

In other dispatches my two wee ones are growing so fast.  The oldest nearly finished primary one and an insightful and super positive report card brought home yesterday which brought tears to my eyes.

And quite unimportant but a nice little treat for me, some jewellery from Collard and Manson winged its way to me a few days ago.  A wonderful, edgy boutique based in Sheffield and which I could happily own everything it sells.

I hope everyone who visits me here is well and enjoying a bright and happy weekend.