Hilary’s China – 18 December
Hilary's China - 18 December

…of memories of tea-drinking and sonic nostalgia.

Tea and Biscuits
Tea and Biscuits

The past few months have been manic. Since my PhD studies came to an end and my AHRC funding ran out, I am relying 100% on my own wits and skills to make an income. I am trading as a self-employed artist, which is not the fantastically high-paid profession that one might hope. However, I […]


I spent today sawing and drilling and swearing at broken drill bits and I shall spend tonight editing audio and writing a script. Why? Because tomorrow I am setting up my work for Oxford Brookes’ Audiograft festival. Before I get right back onto tonight’s editing and varnishing, I wanted to share with you here the […]

31.14 miles: the A4074 walk part 1

I have written several times here about a project I’ve been developing that I’ve referred to as The A4074 project. The A4074 is a road that lies between Reading (where I live) and Oxford (where I work) and I drive it very often – sometimes 3 or 4 times a week. To make a conservative […]

Sonic Death Monkey

Several online sound projects have come to my attention and it seems that either my subscribing to sound blogs etc. has reached saturation point, or else every other website I look at has suddenly decided to develop a sonic element to their online presence. I have been planning my ideas for World Listening Day, and […]


My Mum noticed ages ago that I had put a Teasmade on my Christmas wishlist and she very thoughtfully picked one up for me just after Christmas and bought it to the sausages and cider party. Now my bedsit is an extremely small space and I am an extremely messy person, so unfortunately there wasn’t […]


I have been loving reading people’s posts about how they are spending the cold and snowy spell indoors, and I’m really loving seeing so much appreciation for domestic space in the blogs that I follow. It is a time for loving the sheltering qualities of home. Nobody appreciates these sheltering qualities more than our mascot* […]

Niftyknits and our mascot for this season on The Hub!

I have a *thing* for Meerkats. From bouncing on the sofa excitedly at any appearance by Aleksandr Orlov on the TV to insisting on watching every annoyingly-voice-overed episode of Meerkat Manor, I cannot get enough of these animals and their behaviour. I readily sought out and absorbed Tim Clutton-Brock‘s book on the subject of Meerkat […]

Taking the time…

I have been trying to sew a top over the past few days and it has been most instructive in terms of patience. For a very long time I have had a large length of deep fuscia pink tweed, given to me by my Godmother when she realised she would never get a suit out […]


Mark has some roots in the West Country, having grown up mostly in Devizes with a Cornish mother. I think that a mix of these Western origins plus some very fond teenage memories have given him an interest in Cider. And I have to admit, it’s an interest I’m coming to share. The thing that […]

Tropical Weekend in Berkshire

This weekend the views out of my windows have mostly been of grey skies and the swishing sound in the traffic tone tells me the roads are wet with rain so I’ve been busy at home, trying to make sunshine indoors. This has involved burning loads of lemon and maychang oils in the newly hoovered […]

Post of today #2: UFO

Does anyone remember this? It’s a massive Gansey/Guernsey (could someone more knowledgeable than I please advise re: the correct garment terminology?) that I gained via the marvellous UFO Project Administration Service, set up by Rachael Matthews and due to exhibit from 10th June to 19th July in The Jerwood Space as part of The Contemporary […]

Karen and the schedule of the week

A few weeks ago I interviewed Karen of Karen magazine. It was a real privilege to be able to visit Karen at her home, to meet her partner, her cat and her friends, and to experience the locale in which Karen magazine is so deeply rooted. And it was marvellous to meet Karen herself and […]

Current knitting adventures

Ignoring the ends I haven’t bothered to weave in, my brioche vest from Interweave Summer 2006 does not make the grade. It has not developed into the amazing summer vest of my dreams like I was hoping for. I think the stretchy brioche fabric is beautiful and I really enjoyed getting into the rhythm of […]

Back in the ‘hood

One of the rooms in the amazing Hall… I have had the most lovely Easter holiday with Rachael in the Lake District. It was amazing to spend time in the massive, dark, rambling hall that has passed down through generations of Rachael’s ancestors, to live without The Internet or much central heating for a few […]

Pretty cakes

Seen in Bath.


I appear to be having some kind of small arthritis flare up. The joints I know for sure have been actively flaring up in the past are very slightly aching but more than that, I’m absolutely shattered. One of the side effects of long-term illness and conditions is that they place an ongoing and difficult […]

Domestic unbliss / washing up…

You may remember the code I devised for ‘washing up types’ many months ago whilst working on the Fantastical Reality Radio Show with Mundane Appreciation?According to that scale I position myself resolutely as a type C washer-upper; i.e. I dislike doing it, I leave it until it absolutely must be done (i.e. there is nothing […]

Tea and Cake

Today has been enhanced by the combination of tea and cake. After interviewing Kate for the Perfect Cup of Tea feature of The Fantastical Reality Radio Show, I’ve started drinking vast quantities of loose leaf tea on her recommendation. It is amazing stuff, especially in terms of how strong you can make it… And today […]

Tea Spoon

Recently I acquired a very beautiful knitted spoon by one Suzanne Stallard of Reading. The museum archive box in which the spoon is housed instantly appealed to my archival tendencies. Somehow a relative of the plain brown tags employed by myself and Mundane Appreciation in the development of our respective sound and Mundane museums, this […]

Washing up: What’s your type?

Since today is Messy Tuesday, I thought I’d share the ‘Washing-Up: which type are you?’ key that I just devised for our FRRS Activity Booklet & Evening tomorrow at SLOUNGE, with a partciular emphasis on Type C. But before I explain about the washing-up types and accompanying button badges, I’d better explain about SLOUNGE. Organised […]


So after Blogger *ate* my last few posts, I’m tentatively starting again; this time with a nice picture of the kitchen tile I glazed, featuring Monkl. It was a good Easter weekend, starting with a creative Friday night spent making a tea-cosy out of felt. The tea-cosy ended up fitting with a general kitchen decor […]

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