Everyday pleasures

1. Curating A LOOK on Pinterest! There is something indescribably pleasing about collating together all the great things that you see online and organising them into pinboards, then using this as inspiration to refresh one’s wardrobe.

2. Photographing Reading’s bricks. I am amassing a library of photos of bricks on my errands about town and they please me immensely with their many tones of clay. I love the distinctive regional pairing of rusty tones with creams and greys which typifies Reading’s Victorian architecture. I love the dirty, historic aspect of these bricks; the work-worn earthiness of them; the physical evidence of history that they present; and the glorious patterns which their ornate placement around dormer windows and doorways lend to the views. Many Reading bricks were kiln-fired in the 19th Century a couple of roads South of where we now live – on Rose Kiln Lane, Waterloo Rise, or Elgar Road

3. Admiring the terraces which cloak the hill I ascend on my way home from town.

4. Reinventing familiar places by exploring new routes through them; allowing oneself to be diverted by enticing, brick-walled alleyways leading off the main thoroughfare.

5. Finding new uses for my sourdough starter. I have been experimenting with using it in place of shortening or butter for the creation of tasty, fullsome pastry, such as that used in the case I made for this pear tart. This is thrifty both from calorific and financial perspectives, and I am amazed by how many pleasing things can be made for a 50p bag of plain flour from Morrisons.

6. Making Naan breads to have with our curry. The secrets for good naans in my opinion are milk powder, yogurt and black onion seeds! And sourdough starter, of course.

7. Reading discarded shopping lists. Found shopping lists are an amazing document of intention, purpose and personality, and there is an indefineable poetry about the shopping list – like the poetry of bricks and bread – that is earthy and real and practical. This one displays to my mind a wonderful sense of thrift, variety and luxury and reading it makes me nostalgic for Fray Bentos pies.

8. Tasting BREWDOG BEER! Today I tried Trashy Blonde and Punk and although I am suspicious and snobbish about the self-consciously STREET branding of this ale, I have to admit that it tastes amazing. I like really hoppy, fresh alez with bite and vitality, and some light, interesting aromas… think Golden Glory; Summer Lightning or Dr Hexter’s Wedding Ale (though Dr Hexter’s Healer is also very fine). Punk IPA is the best hoppy, light, invigorating ale I’ve come across in a while and if you like beer you might enjoy this.

9. Reading about Mark’s teenage years. I am loving the post he just wrote about the rivalry between Portlanders and Weymouthians (hope I got that right!) especially all the details he included about the night-bus home; lust, chips, cigarettes, pernod and black… here he is being smiley in a park in Windsor a few weekends back.

I hope you are finding pleasure in your everyday this weekend.

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