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I feel very lucky to have grown up in the countryside and to have been exposed to the magic of nature from my earliest conscious moments…my father was a mad keen bird watcher and its funny, as I grow older, I find myself more and more fascinated by birds… last night on my evening bike ride I was joined briefly by an exquisite Great Spotted Woodpecker (I think) … he kept flying ahead of me, landing on a branch, before repeating the process several times … it felt quite magical and I found myself Googling Woodpecker …not realising I still had the word Meaning in my search bar…this is what came up and I love it so I thought I would share it … “The woodpecker meaning encourages you to strike a balance between being kind and being cautious. It symbolizes the need to understand different rhythms, patterns, and cycles, and to do your best to adapt to them and flourish. It represents warnings and prophecies, and the need to be connected with the earth”… what a wonderful nudge from Nature right now…
Nature never ceases to amaze me…whether it’s the raw enormity of being up on a glacier in the high mountains and spotting a rare loan wolf (that happened to us in January and the memory still gives me goose-bumps)… the infinity, yet unpredictability of sailing on the high seas and the delight of being joined by a pod of smiling dolphins (yes, they look up at you and I am sure they smile) … or the simple joy of hearing the wind rustle through the trees and the smell of fresh mown grass…Spring unfolding into Summer... all of these elements feed into my design memory bank.
One of my father’s favourite books was Jungles by the wild life photographer Frans Lanting which is now sitting on my desk (slightly battered I must admit) but it continues to be the source of visual delight and inspiration…For one of my Summer prints I drew on the beauty of feathers, working the photo-imagery (not his, for the avoidance of doubt)…in an almost kaleidoscopic way… I wanted the design to have a distinctive placement feel …fading into the solid colour… The prints were created to be used in volume… When I think of printed summer pieces I always imagine warm breezes catching the fabric and there is no better base to print on than a fluid and sensual silk… I am dreaming of it being warm enough to wear our cold-shoulder kaftan… with a pair of chunky slides and one of our stamped weave bags … this look just screams holiday to me without needing to be in a tropical climate … has there ever been a time when we all crave a perfect English summer more?… I, for one, believe we may be pleasantly surprised this year…
I don’t know about you, but for me, when I am ordering Online the most important thing to know is how I can actually return an item that isn’t suitable…I know, that sounds really negative but if it falls into the “too hard basket” then I move on to something more user-friendly…with this in mind we try to take all the hassle out of that for you …you literally call up our customer care line (which I am pleased to say has extended hours) and they will organise a collection from you…no filling out reams of paperwork, taking a package to the post-office …our little customer care team all have experience on our shop floor…so they understand the fit and sizing of the collection too…
Even better…they are happy to process the sale for you while you are on the phone…job done!
And here’s what can happen when you order on-line and unpack the box….Happy Tails
So from Chocoholics Anonymous …this weekend I am bringing you Hot Chocolate Lava Cakes …yes, yes we can do a Fast day on Monday…but in the meantime a little VE Bank Holiday weekend indulgence is good for the spirits especially served straight out of the oven…molten on the inside and better still with lashings of Double Cream or Crème Fraiche….
INGREDIENTS FOR 2
1 ½ Tbsp White Sugar
1 Tbsp Milk (any variety)
1 ½ Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
3 Tbsp Almond Flour (Plain is an alternative)
Splash of Vanilla Essence
Melt Coconut oil and stir in sifted cocoa powder
In a separate bowl beat the egg and sugar until pale and fluffy
Combine the two
Add sifted flour and mix
Pour into buttered ramikins
Bake at 180 for 7-9 minutes (I prefer 7 so gooier on the inside)
How incredible to realise that it is 75 years since the end of WWII and because of the selfless bravery of so many of our forefathers we are able to live with the freedom we do today…it’s humbling to realise what they gave up to secure our future and we certainly owe them a huge debt of gratitude…Perhaps this moment also helps put the current Lockdown into a little more perspective for us? To this day one of my favourite possessions is my Grandfather’s WWII identity bracelet… I believe every serviceman heading to war was issued with one to wear so that should the worse fate befall them they could be identified … thank you to all those brave service men and women…
Wishing you a peaceful VE Bank Holiday Weekend wherever you are…stay well and stay safe