Property prices in the UK, especially in London and the South, are absolutely bonkers. If they want to own their own home, many buyers may not be able to afford much more than a small flat or bedsit. Studio living is many people’s reality.
If a home is compact & bijou – there’s a lot that can be done to maximise a living space. Items such as room dividers and rugs help to zone & delineate the different living and working areas.
Use space-saving and metamorphic furniture & fittings. Compact, folding, collapsible, stacking versions of usually bulky items such as chairs, tables and beds can free up a lot of space when not in use.
Multi-purpose items of furniture prove useful additions to studio living. Daybeds, sofa beds and shelving units that double up as room dividers cut down on the number of necessary furnishings and stop a space feeling over-crowded or cluttered.
Unfortunately, smaller doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper – mini versions of fixtures and appliances aren’t always less expensive than their full-size versions.
This cute & colourful little cockerel dish was designed for Stavangerflint by Inger Waage in the 1950s. It’s for sale by & in support of the Woking Hospice* and the price currently stands at a mere £4.08 (with £3.50 P&P on top). It’s a fairly rare design, the last one listed on eBay sold for over £20.
*The Woking Hospice exists to provide and promote the highest quality care possible for people with advanced terminal illnesses, and to provide help and support to their families and other individuals important to their care.
Hand-written address books are fast becoming an endangered species in the 21st century. They’re share the same (sinking) boat as writing paper, postcards, thank you notes, journals… The mobile phone, computer and other technology have a lot to answer for!
Don’t allow them to become extinct, fight back! Go get yourself one and transfer all your Outlook contacts to it – in your best handwriting and using a nice fountain pen!
As the front cover of address book #1 muses (or predicts, if you’re that way inclined!):
“Quite sweet how we still write everything down, just in case aliens come and smash up all our computers or something.”
Wild fruit has been bountiful this year. During the month of August we foraged over 4 kilos of blackberries. We could have had much, much more; but it was all we could fit in our freezer. Besides, we didn’t want to be greedy – we left lots for other people and hungry birds.
We make blackberry jelly and mixed berry jelly every year; along with a few jars of wild raspberry jelly if we harvest enough of those. Blackberry jelly isn’t the kind of thing you can normally pick jars up of in the supermarkets. I’ve no idea why, it’s dark and delicious and doesn’t cost much to make. All you have to fork out for is some white sugar and a few lemons!
Rinse & drain the blackberries in a colander in the sink
Put the berries into a heavy-based saucepan or preserving pan with 400ml/14 fl oz of water and cook on a low heat with a lid on for 20-25 minutes
Occasionally give them a mash to reduce them to pulp and squeeze as much juice out of them as possible
Still on a low heat, add the sugar and squeezed lemons (the entire lemon - seeds, juice and actual lemon!) to the pan and stir until all the sugar has dissolved completely (about 10-15 minutes)
Turn the heat right up and boil fairly rapidly for 8-10 minutes, stirring now and then to prevent it from sticking to the base of the pan
Carefully pour or ladle the blackberry mixture into a jelly strainer set over a large heat-proof bowl or saucepan (you could also use a square of muslin set into a strainer over the bowl/saucepan)
Using a wooden spoon, get all the liquid through as quickly as possible, squeezing the remaining pulp as much as you can - but do be quick, as the jelly sets if you take too long (if it does begin to set before you've had a chance to put it into the jar, just gently reheat it)
Decant the jelly into sterilised jars, cover with waxed discs and allow to cool before screwing the lids down tightly