Monthly Archives: December 2012

(c) BRIDGEMAN; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The days between Christmas and New Year (Hogmanay) are called the ‘daft days’. Perhaps because the usual routines are out of action. We swim about in unstructured time. I have to say I’ve been enjoying it very much. I’ve been crocheting and making traditional Scottish Tablet.

If you are at a loose end or are looking for a present for someone here’s my mother’s recipe. It is incredibly sweet a little goes along way. Great with a large cup of coffee and a book.

2 lb Granulated Sugar 1 Tin Evaporated Milk
4 oz butter 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
1 tablespoon golden syrup (you can substitute honey if you like)
Using a heavy bottomed pan, combine all ingredients except the vanilla essence. Cook slowly until a boil or 245 degree Farenheit or makes a soft ball if tested in cold water. Stir continually. Once boiling reduce down the heat once it starts to darken. Remove from heat and add vanilla essence and beat until thick. Pour onto a tray which is lined with parchment paper and score into squares when the mixture is almost cold. If once its cold you don’t feel it is achieving a satisifying level of hardness return to the pot and reboil.

Postal Joy!

One of the things that brings me great pleasure at this time of year is the post – real post. Actual cards instead of everlasting junk mail and bills. If you want to extend that feeling of real mail I’m offering Postal Joy again this year. Postal Joy is a service I offer for real mail. There are three options 8, 12, or 18 items of mail. Mail starts in the first week of January and extends until Febuary (mid February for those who opt for 18 items of mail). Each will get a small packet of tablet, a mail surprise ! and a mix of postcards. All cards are handwritten.

Newsletter subscribers get 20% off subscribe HERE and I send you the code. Find out more at my Etsy shop. The cost by the way is the same where ever you live in the world! No extra postage charges.

The picture is by Anne Redpath Scottish Colourist painter. Over at my facebook page I’m posting one Scottish Colourist a day to chase away the winter gloom.


On Christmas Eve I decided that I had to be able to borrow library books over the Christmas period. Three days when I would be sequestered at home unable to get hold of books seemed to be unsupportable. Book supplies needed to be had in abundance. Now I’ve been shut out of the library for about 6 months now due to a VAST library fine. I moved bedrooms back in the Spring and in the move mislaid two library books for several months. So I decided to use some money to pay it off. I thought I could perhaps negotiate with the library if I paid off some of it and owned the rest later. Anyway I expected to hand over somewhere in the order of £40-£50 in fines. Things didn’t go well firstly I didn’t have my library card with me when I went into the library. But one of the assistants said I could get books out if I could prove who I was. I picked out two fiction books and a book by Kaffe Fassett on patchwork and stepped up gingerly to the desk. I handed over my bank card and they called up the details on the system. Rory (for that was the name on the badge he had) swiped the three books and handed them over. ‘Isn’t there a fine?’ I asked. ‘Oh your account seems to have been suspended and the fines wiped off the system’ said Rory.

I skipped out feeling I’d been a) let back in the world of books and b) given an unexpected Christmas present!


When I was in Grenoble I managed to see this fabulous exhibition of Doisneau’s photographs of the Alps. He went there regularly. Sadly online I’ve failed to find any of the realy interesting pictures of early skiing (in every day suits!) or the wonderful pictures of peasant life.

(c) BRIDGEMAN; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

I love this picture – my mother painted a toy chest in orange with folkloric images on it (it was the 70’s!) so this particular picture gives me added joy.

I bought last minute present of a light up LED dove which I’m going to see if I can work, put on coffee and open presents now. Seasons Greetings to you all however you celebrate this time of year.