Winter and Woodsmoke

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Well hello ladies and gents. How are you enjoying the dark afternoons and chill weather? I am definitely a cool weather person. I love the sun, but mostly I love it when it’s bright and crisp and cold outside, rather than blasting heat and stickiness. How can you not love a season that encourages the consumption of dumplings and puddings and mash?

I’ve just got back from a few days in Italy; all up and down streets, sunglasses, fur coats, pasta and the smell of wood smoke in the air. Wood smoke is my favourite smell. What a lucky individual I am then – five days of wood-scented Italy, followed by a weekend in the borders, with bonfires, fireworks and a sitting-room fire. The house is sat on a hill, so after watching our own firework display, made all the more exciting by a lack of long matches, we watched the tiny and far off fireworks displays of the towns around us. I also made toffee apples, golden and crunchy and buttery.

And now we’re gearing up for Christmas. I came home from the countryside with a bag of Medlars and the base of a wreath, ready to be entwined with holly and ivy and other greenery. The Medlars are sat on my window sill, gently rotting to the point they can be eaten. I have a few, but I don’t want to make jelly, so I think I might put them in cake. They have a really nice, sweet, fruity taste, that would work well with a little spice and some vanilla-y cake. I’ll let you know how that goes.

If any North Londoners know any prolific holly bushes, then do let me know.  I am looking forward to making the wreath, but would rather not pay Colombia Road prices for my holly.

I am also preparing Christmas cards for some up coming events. This Sunday on 13th November, I’m going to be clasping a trug full of Christmas cards and decorations at The Clerkenwell Vintage Fair Christmas Wonderland. There are going to be over fifty vintage traders there and I’m really excited about being there, especially wandering among all the vintage-lovers with a basket full of goods. Shall imagine myself as a wench. Come along and say hello. I must also prevent myself from buying a huge number of things; last winter I spent an inordinate amount of time drooling over Russian fur hats, and they might be at the top of the ‘impractical thing to wear that takes up lots of room’ list, otherwise known as the ‘things that Mr Moll won’t let in the flat’ list.

On 19th November, the gorgeous Shipshape Studio is having an open day. It’s a new creative venue and boutique, with craft workshops and things on sale,  in Northwood, set up by Emily and her fella. Without trying to be too gushing, it’s lovely. I’ve been a long a couple of times, and it’s been really exciting to see it go from the painting and sanding stage, to a lovely space with vintage furniture and pieces. Keep an eye on the website if you’re in that direction, for details of upcoming events, film screenings, exhibitions and workshops. You can also come along on 19th November for some taster classes.

Finally, my lovely friend and new colleague Jen is running a Moll and Mostin Christmas Decoration workshop on 25th November, making these. This workshop for any eastside crafters. It’s at Creative Biscuit Ceramics Cafe in South Woodford and you can book tickets here.  Perfect Christmassy fun.



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