Tag Archives: books

Bookshelf Comb

We’ve lived in our house for two years and all our books from our old houses are still in boxes in the loft. A crime I know, I’m a librarian’s daughter for goodness sake…

I miss them, we’ve got some new books that we’ve read but I’m hankering after the familiar titles and that comforting old book smell. Since we finished de-uglying the house from a 1970s pub style we’ve been looking for the right bookcase to put them in.

I think I may have found it.

Jaanus Orgusaar - Comb

Jaanus Orgusaar’s Comb is £390 for the bookcase size and £210 for the small version and are available in white, black and light brown from Bouf. There is also an in-between size on his website. I love the way it curves out from the wall like an eye. Obviously it won’t hold as many books as square or rectangular shelves but I can live with that because of its design, and it also means you could get creative with how you stack the books.

Jaanus Orgusaar - Comb in white

It’s flat-packed which adds to my excitement, I appreciate not everyone will feel the same, but imagine the smug feeling after you put that together correctly.

What do you think of it?

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In Search of Christmas Spirit

I am hankering after some Christmas spirit. Last year I had it in abundance, this year it’s yet to appear…So I did what Nigella might do and made the most Christmassy thing I could think of. It worked! Well, I’m at least 50% more Christmassy than I was before I made these mini Christmas puddings, aka Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Puddini Bonbons from her ‘Nigella Christmas’ book.

Christmas Puddini Bonbons

Ingredients:

  • 125g melted dark chocolate
  • 350g cooked and cooled Christmas pudding
  • 60ml sherry (Nigella recommends Pedro Ximenez but I couldn’t fit it so used Waitrose Rich Cream sherry instead)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 100g melted white chocolate
  • red glace cherries cut into small pieces
  • green glace cherries or angelica cut into short lengths

They are so easy to make, just mix all the ingredients together (adding the melted chocolate last) then roll lumps of the mixture between your palms to form small balls and pop in the fridge to firm up.

When they’re less gooey decorate with melted white chocolate and the red and green glace cherries. I couldn’t find green glace cherries or angelica so I bought some of those red gummy strawberry penny sweets and used the green for the holly leaves and the red for the berries.

Maybe I should have this Nigella sampler on my kitchen wall for inspiration?

What food gets you in the Christmas spirit?

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I Heart Sylvia Plath

I’m reading Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel ‘The Bell Jar’ about Esther Greenwood’s year when she finds herself under a metaphorical bell jar suffering from a mental breakdown. The description of depression as “struggling for breath under a bell jar” really resonates with me. Unable to make people hear her soundless screams from within the vacuum of the bell jar Esther is driven to act out her feelings to communicate them.

Earlier this year I heard a recording of Plath reading her poem ‘Lady Lazarus’ and her voice, both staccato and drawn out in turn seduced me with a wonderful tone that I associate with a time gone by. While reading, I can hear this voice coming out of the pages of ‘The Bell Jar’, drawing me into the story.

There is a remake of the 1979 film coming out next year starring Julia Stiles and Rosie McGowan which I’m interested to see. I hope I won’t be disappointed by it, which is so often the case with film versions of books I’ve read (‘The Golden Compass’ was a particular let-down in contrast to Philip Pullman’s amazing ‘Northern Lights’).

The imagery on the original front cover of The Bell Jar, published in 1963 under pseudonym Victoria Lucas, is so perfect for the book and if you were to judge the book by its cover, gives a real sense of the story within. In fact, I’m hankering after this first edition available at Abe Books so much that if I had a spare £7000 I would surely make it mine (is there such a thing as a ‘spare’ £7k?).

The Bell Jar - Victoria Lucas, 1963 First Edition

I may have to make do with this £10.95 poster of the 1966 cover design instead from The Literary Gift Company.

The Bell Jar Poster - The Literary Gift Company

I’ll leave you to be hypnotised by Sylvia Plath’s wonderful voice reading her amazing poetry.

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