Autumn light

With the exception of Thursday, we have been enjoying some beautiful crisp autumn weather recently.  By about 8:00 in the morning, at which time I should be nearly finished getting ready for work but am frequently messing around with the camera, the sun has woken up sufficiently to light up the beautiful honey-coloured buildings on the left side of the square we live on, and is catching all the oranges and reds in the trees.

Autumn leaves are one of my obsessions… once they start floating down I want nothing other than to walk through them, listening to the scrunching sounds and collecting all the ‘perfect’ ones I can find.

 

And finally, a shot from Munich in the Alte Pinakothek, which is in keeping with the honey-coloured stone theme.

The clocks are going back tonight, and soon we will be into the days where it’s light at 9am and dark at 4, and when it sometimes feels like the sun just pulled the covers over its head and refused to get up at all.  So I am gathering all the light I can.

 

 

New cushion covers

I made something!  Actually sewed something!  This should not be such a big deal, but somehow it is… if you were to ask me what some of my favourite things are to do, high up on the list would be sewing and embroidery.  I love textiles, and textile arts, but in a kind of secret ‘I wish I could do this more often’ kind of way.  I even like folding washing.  BUT recently other things seem to have gotten in the way, so I have had the beginnings of sewing projects lying around which have been left untouched for an embarrassingly long amount of time.

But no more!  I was in Ikea the other day, and noted that they have cheap, fun fabrics, so I picked up some cheery rainbow-y fabric with which to adorn my sofa.  It’s probably not the sort of thing that will stand the test of time (or my shifting tastes) but the fabric was less than £10 in total, and it took me about 2 hours to make the covers, so I am happy.

My design aesthetic at the moment seems to be whitewhitewhite with some wood and neutrals, and little pops of rainbow colour to liven things up and make me smile.  These cushions certainly provide the last element.

I also subconsciously purchased white fabric for the backs of the cushions which is actually the same fabric as the sofa (the benefit of buying sofa and fabric all from Ikea), so if I want things a bit more minimalist I can just turn them over.

So there we are, my first completed sewing project in well over a year.  I am now inspired to continue and make some more things…

Munich: objects behind glass

Wandering around Munich on a sunny Sunday morning was very enjoyable, except for one thing: all the shops were shut!  I am trying these days not to be such a shop-a-holic but there were some things in the shop windows which I would have dearly loved to investigate more closely… particularly:

Schnapps!  This shop was filled, floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall, with different varieties of schnapps, and little (or big) bottles you could take some home in.  It was very disappointing not to be able to sample their wares.

We also passed by what looked like a paint pigment shop, which I have never seen before.  Not general art supplies, just pigments, but in all colours and sizes of container.

Probably a good thing I was unable to be lured in by the pretty rainbow colours and buy some random pigments which I would have no practical use for whatsoever.  And finally, not behind shop-window glass, but deli-counter glass, some glorious slabs of salmon in a very fancy food shop.

We didn’t sample these either, although we could have, but instead chose not to spoil our dinners with late-afternoon snacks, which was probably wise considering the heft of traditional Bavarian fare!

Munich: a trip to the viktuelienmmarkt

On my first day there, we wandered around Munich’s viktuelienmmarkt in the late afternoon sun, and inspected the fruit, veg, flower, tea, and many other stalls.  The cheese stalls are particularly wonderful as your nose registers their presence long before you get up close!  Sadly they were all in the shade and not very photogenic, but here are some other tempting delights…

And my favourite… the walnut sellers!

One of the best things about Christmas is having a bowl of nuts lying around to be cracked and eaten absentmindedly on cosy winter evenings.  The walnuts inspired me to purchase a truly brilliant wooden nutcracker which is a cup with a big screw in the side of it with which to crack the nut, a bit like a vice.  The genius element is the cup which provides the perfect receptacle for the pieces of shell while you carefully extract the nutmeat.  It doesn’t exactly stop me from leaving nut detritus in the sofa cushions, but it does help!  The shape is difficult to describe but I’ll try and post a photo of it in its proper milieu (the nut bowl, obviously) once I feel it’s time to get the Christmas nuts going, which might have to be very soon…

A trip to Munich

I went to Munich this past weekend with my sister to visit my dad and stepmum, and enjoyed exploring the city in glorious crisp autumn weather.  For the first time, really, I took my ‘proper’ camera and tried to strike a balance between taking the time to actually use it, and not driving everyone bonkers by constantly lagging behind!  I will post some of my efforts over the course of the week.

For today, some photos of a building which I think was part of a seminary in the neighbourhood of Schwabing:

There were brightly painted shutters on quite a few of the buildings, but they didn’t all have mosaics in the entryway!

Mushrooms on toast

A jet-lagged dinner for one (Mr. Meg is currently working far from Bristol, so not here during the week) would ordinarily mean cereal eaten while standing in the kitchen, but I was inspired by a lazy page-through of the October chapter of Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries to make mushrooms on toast.  It was billed as a very simple yet tasty supper, and indeed it was.

My interpretation: chop one clove of garlic, simmer gently in a goodly amount of butter for a couple of minutes, slice mushrooms, add to garlic and butter, stir a bit until they go soft, add lots of chopped flat leaf parsley and remove from heat.  Toast bread (something chewy and artisan, for preference), butter lightly (butter butter butter mmmmmmmm), plop mushroom mixture on top, season with salt and pepper.

Leave washing-up for the next day.

Hawai’i

We have been in Hawai’i for two blissful weeks for the wedding of some dear friends.  Somehow I managed to take hardly any photos, so here is one of Mr. Meg’s:

This is the view from the house where we stayed in Lanikai.  We were a few minutes walk from a beautiful white sand beach, perfect for making sandcastles.

After two weeks of good food and good company, we’re back to cold and dreary weather, albeit relaxed and full of renewed vigour to attack new projects.