Saturday, July 26

Body Cakes

Yesterday I made  Body Cakes (Kroppkakor) with a Swedish musician called Linnea Olsen.

here is the recipe

cook and mash floury potatoes then grate in an almost  equal weight raw potatoes of a firmer character, add eggs and season then leave to sit while you sauté minced shallots in butter.  Add chanterelles to the soft but not coloured shallots in the pan then a glass of white wine, when the wet has simmered away add salt, pepper, finely chopped parsley and ground allspice.

get flour on your hands and make a tennis ball out of the potato dough, poke a hole in the middle and put in a spoonful of the chanterelle mixture, pinch the potato back over it.

Have a pot of simmering water handy and lower the body cakes into the water when they bounce to the surface they are cooked.

Serve the cake on a lake of thin cream with a 'click' of butter on top and a spoonful of sugared raw lingonberries

Friday, July 25

Recipes have flooded in

for my annual WOMAD event - the one where musicians come and cook for an audience

The musicians send me their recipes and I take Bristol apart in my quest for food things like rotting fish sauce, raw lingonberries and meat of the buffalo. I also search out hardware such as 'one large cauldron', 'a spit and fire' and 'baking stones'. 

Today I am filling my car with meat, this is one of the recipes for today with notes from the band:

Lecsó for 25 persons

12 slices of Hungarian lard
6kg Hungarian yellow paprika
12 Hungarian strong paprika
8-10 Onion
10 garlic
30-40 pieces of tomato
1kg Hungarian sausage

For the vegetarian part we just take out the lard and sausage and need sunflower oil. We will bring the cauldron and the bread too, as we won’t have time to cook any! Are we allowed to bring also Hungarian plum brandy! It’s not really the same without it, it’s really part of the tradition!

Monday, July 21

Today at the Brain Surgery

a patient with the same name as a hair accessory stood in front of me, diary open looking for a date that she'd like to come for another visit. The front was embossed in gold '1997' I said nothing but she guessed what I was thinking

I have piles of diaries at home I just pick one with January first on the same day as January first this year

I guess you have to watch out for  Leap Years

Yes and Easter's a bit problematic

Image: Mark Twain's Naming Journal

Thursday, July 17

Today has been heavy and hot

Last weekend, in honour of my sister's visit, I bought the best cheese in the world and put it on a shelf to get perfect for eating the next day and then I forgot about it until this evening when we had made a fire in the garden and suddenly the moment was perfect for cheese.
too late ... all inside the wrapper was alive with maggots


... on the green hilly piece where the scoundrels do drug deals I saw the man who uses Drunk Trike being given driving lessons on a shiny red motorised four-wheeler

Wednesday, July 16

Take me to the Bridge

The Brain Surgery has been painted  a cerebral sort of grey. This morning I glid behind the 'console', sat on the black vinyl spaceship-driver's seat and thought that what I needed were more Star Trek outfits.

Then a patient arrived wearing Coco Chanel-esque white palazzo pants and a Margaret Howell matelot jersey

Monday, July 14

My memory obliterates

all my previous gardening failures. Each year that I decide to grow vegetables I do it with the eternal sunshine of a spotless mind.

It's only when I am inspecting the fly-ravaged beans and worm-eaten peas, when the Man comes and stands beside me and says

I see that we've got lots of no-beans again this year

and I say

there are no-peas too

that's when I remember

Sunday, July 13

This morning

hedghogs and lollipops by Ella

My niece ate 4 donut peaches, a bowl each of strawberries and black-and-red-currants with yoghurt and an avocado, performed modern dance while executing a painting about hedgehogs and lollipops then went to film bees in the brambles wearing a long purple gown with wings and matching tiara


some scoundrels appear to have set up a drug racket across from my house, they are straight out of central casting, I'm keeping an eye on them

Thursday, July 10

I've just got a bike

so I cycled across the city, over the river to meet Ro at a restaurant near her house - she'd booked the last available table - 6.30 - this place is that popular.

Being warm and sunny we sat outside then we got chilly and went inside, trying out several tables before settling on the nicest one - we had the place to ourselves until 9pm - all the other people who wanted to be where we were, were in their cars, blocked by a lorry full of candles on fire in the middle of the big car road that crosses the river.

Boy am I smug

FYI : the candles were american and on their way to italy -  rome probably

Wednesday, July 9


turquoise is loneliness - wendy walgate

The days have been doubled up busy - painting and clearing out the Brain Surgery, tidying the community garden and making-lists for the annual cooking-with-music event.

Nooks and hidey-holes in the Brain Surgery are stuffed with accumulations. I sort and make collections of things that go together and make homes for them. The sorting and collecting and homing has infected me.

I dreamt about a vast bed in a dark wooden room, a high four-poster stacked with many layers of mattresses and pillows, filed in between them are dozens of sleeping labrador puppies, black ones and yellow ones. I patrol the bed pulling out a floppy hibernating puppy here and there, checking it's breathing before slipping it back in place and continuing my rounds. Also, in the interstices of the bed frame are tiny wooden tubes, each containing a bee which need regular, gentle watering.

Then Lennie Kravitz came into the room - I didn't want him to know about the puppies

Saturday, July 5

Spring Cleaning has crept into my heart

It felt so good to wash the kitchen floor that I took a set of muslin curtains down and put them in the washing machine with some other things.

I turned on the machine and  forgot about it. 

When I opened the washer the next day my knickers and t-shirts were bound round with shreds of semi-digested rags - it took a full ten minutes to remember about the curtains.

Friday, July 4

The Brain Doctor is away next week

he suggested that, in lieu of having aimless conversations with his patients maybe I could freshen up the waiting room.

I'm rubbish at cleaning so I plan to paint over the dirt.

I  mixed up two nice colours, painted them  onto a piece of cardboard and went down to the paintshop and asked if they would match them into a quantity of paint. The guy in the shop said.

It's always best to buy sample pots first then you can see if you like them

I like these colours - a big tin of each please

Ok and then if you don't like it you only have to wait a couple of years - get your money's worth out if it - and then you can paint it over

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