Saturday, 31 May 2008

Chocy Cake And A Watercolour

Houseboats at West Mersea

A Batch of Maggies Chocy Cake

Maggie has baked loads of cake this week, she has an impressive output, I'm still amazed even after many years together. It really takes a lot of stamina to adhere to our 'all homemade' ethos especially when the large catering suppliers offer quick and easy cake mixes in a single bag (with all the inherant chemicals and preservatives) with the promise of exact portioning and precise profit margins. At the time of this post her repetoire comprises:~ Orange Fruit Teabread, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Lemon Poppyseed Cake, Bread Pudding, Carrot Cake, Fresh Cream Victoria Sponge, Flap Jacks, Sticky Orange Cake, Plain Scones and some very cheesy Cheese Scones.

I, for my part, have done quite a bit of design work this week both for the artcafe and Transition Island Mersea (more about that later). I also managed some painting and finished a small watercolour of the houseboats at West Mersea. This part of our lovely island really hasn't changed a bit since I was a little boy. I must confess I hope it never does.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

A Few Days In North Norfolk

Hilke MacIntyre ~ Linocut

The Dunes ~ Burnham Overy Staithe
A few days away in Norfolk to recharge our collective battery really seems to have done the trick, I found myself wide awake and in my studio at 6am today. While we were away we had a good look around plenty of galleries, this part of Norfolk seems to be stiff with 'em, some quite 'pricey' work too. So, as well as sampling lots of cafes, deli's, etc. we also returned with some inspiration for the spirit. A couple worthy of a mention, I think, are 'Bircham Gallery' in Holt where I was particularly taken with the current exhibition of work by Hilke MacIntyre (gorgeous and rather colourful ethnic influenced paintings, linocuts and ceramics), 'Big Blue Sky' in Wells-Next-The-Sea, where I was really surprised to find a large collection of old wooden letterpress headline type for sale. Maggie and I also got some exercise and some lungs full of fresh sea air at Burnham Overy Staithe where the seawall and footpath wind their way towards beautiful white sand dunes for miles and miles. This seems such a surprising landscape and for us so close to our home. Sometimes living on the Essex coast you can be forgiven for thinking the sky doesn't get any bigger but on the edge of North Norfolk it certainly does.

Monday, 26 May 2008

I am a bit Shy

I am a bit shy about putting any of the things I think about on here so that anyone can read it but as that's the whole point of it I will have to get braver.
We went away for a few days last week to Vine House Hotel in Burnham Market and it was fabulous. The meals we had in the evenings were quite spectacular and for me the most interesting thing was Truffle Oil in Honey served with a selection of cheeses and biscuits. Maybe everyone else already knows about this but to me it was a completely new idea and I loved it. It was actually part of Jim's dessert but we always share and that way we get to try double the amount of dishes. We also tried other cafes to check out their coffee and cakes always on the look out for new ideas and so can only go for a few days before we get too full to get in the car.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Our first post

Having deliberated for some time whether to blog or not to blog we (James the 'artist' and Maggie the 'tartist') have decided to blog, to share our thoughts, opinions, musings, rants etc. with the wider world just incase someone out there somewhere may be interested in what we recon about food and drink, art and design and almost anything else that may prevoke us to make a post on here.