8 April 2014

There is an exhibition at the Beinecke Library in Yale  about endpapers: we are very pleased to be featured. And by the way, we have endpapers for sale for £1 each or £5 for six – do call in to the shop. For example, the kind person who sent us this photograph has fallen in love with the endpaper for The New House at the back of the glass case and we are going to give her twenty or so in order that she can paper a awl (although the ‘actual’ endpaper is less brown than in the photograph).

Can W1A keep up its unparalleled brilliance? The second episode, available here (though alas  presumably not abroad) was one of the funniest episodes ever. The third is a treat we are saving up for Sunday night when we miss Call the Midwife or indeed Downton Abbey; but slightly nervously in case it is not as good. This is an interview with the genius writer, John Morton. And here is the link to the new Sunday night serial,  The Crimson Field.  The problem is that Sam Wollaston was so funny about it in the Guardian that we may never be able to watch it with the seriousness we should. However, this comment was probably fair: ‘Now, now, Sam lad…I think you’re being a bit uncharitabIe there. I know it’s corny and far removed from the appalling conditions at the field hospitals but I rather liked it in places. Some quite good writing and the odd bit of good acting. I’d rather watch it than call the bloody midwife.’

The Financial Times had a good scone recipe. Francesca is leaving next week so maybe we’ll have these at her farewell tea. Mix 250g butter into 250g self-raising flour, 100 g porridge oats, 350 g wholemeal flour, 100 g roasted and ground sesame seeds, a tsp salt. Add 3 tablespoons runny honey, a cup of milk and 2 beaten eggs. Makes about fifteen scones.

 The Daily Beast ran a piece  about the ‘neglected’ Penelope Mortimer, ‘a novelist ahead of her time’. 

She is not neglected in the UK where we have Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting in print and it is in fact this month’s choice of favourite book for Rachel Cooke: ‘ I always long for people to read Penelope Mortimer, knowing that they will be amazed by how modern she seems, how ahead of her time: Betty Friedan before Betty Friedan was invented.’

Megan Wilson of Ancient Industries has begun a new series on the Remodelista website where she chooses essential everyday objects every week. Last week she chose the cleaning cloth, which we approve of design-wise but it reminds some of us too much of the ‘60s when, before J-cloths were invented, we used to boil the dishcloth (in a special saucepan) every week. Nowadays presumably you would wash it in the washing machine. But some of us are too puritan for that.  However, her second choice – the tiffin box

 – is indeed one of the most crucial of all household objects and if only it was easier to buy in the West. One of the reason we love tiffin boxes so much is the deliciousness and healthiness of the food – dhal, vegetarian curry and rice. Please could someone bring us the multi-coloured tiffin box from America? 

 Finally, there are lots of rather fascinating courses at Perch Hill, for example this ‘Wonderfoods’  day about the protective effects of beetroot, pomegranate and broccoli.

Nicola Beauman

59 Lambs Conduit Street


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