Monday 18th January

Last Sunday morning (10th) was a more casual affair, as we had a lovely couple sitting at the breakfast table who had been B&B hosts in the not too distant past. We swapped stories of guests and the funny things that people do when they stay with you!  We all agreed unanimously how much fun it was and that our children who had grown up in a B&B had become confident young individuals, and how the world, in fact, comes to you.  We also agreed on the need to like people and cleaning!

It’s moments like this that make the domestic industry, that I am passionate about, so worthwhile. Since reading the book by Marie Kondo about the Art of De-cluttering, I have been taking on a project every 4 or 5 days. Today was the store cupboard of cleaning materials – the sense of achievement of working my way through the cupboard has already made me feel lighter. Books are the next task and one that I will find the hardest…

I suppose I am feeling a little sad and reflective this week with the news about David Bowie passing away. I grew up in Bromley and spent a lot of my spare time in Beckenham.  Bowie was a well-known figure around the area at the time as it was during his ‘Ziggy’ period.  He performed at The Three Tons on the high street and it was a pub that I used to go to with friends on a Sunday night in 1970-73.  In the 1980s I went to his China Girl Tour with my cousin Paul – it was always very hard to get tickets to his concerts, I only managed to get them through friends of friends.  The last time I saw him live was at Live Aid in 1984.  He is a rock icon and his music will live on!

A guest arrived towards the end of the week from Oman, she was here to attend a five-day masterclass with Robert Haynes who is an expert in teaching Sugar Flower Art.  It has been a sheer pleasure looking after Valerie whose hobby and passion are making cakes which she also shares with her husband.  They run a small business from their home making amazing cakes in the evenings and weekends.  She and I have swapped recipes and ideas whilst sitting round the kitchen table with a nightcap in hand.  

Chadwicks (the Butchers) who are based in Balham – have opened up a branch in Tooting! I couldn’t resist popping in to see the new shop. It is taking on the personality of a farm shop and will stay open until 8pm most nights!  It is certainly a welcome addition to the high street as I am a keen supporter of a local butcher and where possible, prefer it to buying meat in packets from the supermarket. 

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That being so, I purchased a piece of gammon and thought I would create a couple of dishes from it. Paul made two lots of chocolate brownies this week, as everyone was grazing on them and the feedback was that they were SO DELICIOUS!  So I took that as a call for ‘we want more’!! 

After several busy weeks, it’s nice to empty out for a few days which means I can catch up with my paperwork and de-cluttering (yes, that is still an ongoing task), and as the rooms are empty I will start to tackle the book shelves. 

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