Monday, 30 August 2010

In which it turns out I cannot do everything

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Here was my plan:

My guests would arrive, admire the newly hung pictures, eat the Aberdeen Angus beef, drink the good 2005 claret, dispose themselves about the house, while I would waft about in serene hostess mode, and in moments of quiet, calmly keep up with the blog. Oh, and I also thought they might like to sit in the sun. SUN. In Scotland. In August. Ha.

Actually, what with avoiding the monsoon rains, going on expeditions along Deeside, Donside, and all points in between, attending the Lonach gathering, getting up before breakfast to make the bread, and cooking lunch for ten yesterday, I hardly know what my own name is. So it turns out I ruthlessly abandoned you, which is perfectly disgraceful after all the incredibly kind and lovely comments you left on my last couple of posts. I am a perfect shocker, and there is no health in me, and I keenly apologise.

The guests are still here, but there is a tiny moment of quiet, so I have rushed to my desk for a swift interim update.

It's always the most humble things which are the greatest triumph. The fine wines and the best beef in the world were obviously appreciated, but actually what gave the keenest pleasure were: the dogs, leaping for tennis balls; the hills, turning purple now as the heather comes out for autumn; and the soda bread, that great peasant staple of old Ireland.


My funny pot table was also much admired:



I am very excited about my new violas:


And my rather splendid pot hydrangea, which actually no one much noticed but me:


Now I must go and start planning lunch.

Normal service shall resume tomorrow.

PS. You may remember that I told you how the duchessy dog occasionally gives one the Lady Catherine de Bourgh look. Sarah was sitting quite innocently on the sofa last night when she got The Look.

'That dog,' she said, 'just raised her eyebrow at me.'

It's always a little bit of a shock, the first time.


  1. I am sure your guests are having the best time and feel perfectly cossetted.

    I am still chuckling at the image of duchessy dog raising her eyebrow.

  2. I love the description of your dog's expression. That really made me laugh. I even think I know which one it is, I've commented on her before.

    Cooking dinner for ten would have finished me off, let alone all the outings! I'm not surprised you've had no time to blog. The beef sounds wonderful and I'm sure it was delicious if you cooked it.

    Your pot table is coming on a treat. I put miniature purple, yellow and white winter pansies in my window boxes last year. I thought pansies would be like their name but they lasted from September until June, surviving all of the snow we had. Amazing really. And they continued to flower throughout. They turned out to be the toughest things in my garden! xx

  3. The pot table is looking splendid isn't it? Have you taken any full shot pictures so that you can compare it directly to that lovely one you took when you first got the table?

    *is also chuckling about the Duchess*

  4. Ah that gorgeous soda bread. An Irish friend of mine gave me a recipe. Haven't made it for yonks but your post reminded me of how wonderful it is. Shall make it this week. Here is her recipe:
    14oz stone ground wholemeal flour (plain), 6oz stone ground wholemeal flour (sr), 1 level tsp salt, 1 heaped tsp soda, 1 oz butter, bit less than 1 pint buttermilk. Grease and flour tins. Fairly hot oven for 40-45 minutes.

  5. Me again. This recipe is called IRISH WHEATEN BREAD - not sure if it's quite the same as soda bread.

  6. Love the description of the eyebrow being raised. Sounds like a happy time. You may excuse yourself from blog duty!

  7. Dear BWIHH,

    Laurel Canyon calling. Will you please share your soda bread recipe?

    I find it very hard to imagine that you can't do everything, btw.


    Miss W


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