Recipe: Tarka Dahl

tarka dahl recipe spices

Thick, spicy and full of warmth, Tarka Dahl has been my order of choice from the Indian takeaway for a long time, but it never occurred to me to make at home. I think I imagined it would be faffy, as many Indian dishes are – requiring complex curry pastes and ingredients we didn’t already own. So I was pretty excited to read this recipe and learn that it is, in fact, a simple pantry…

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Show & Tell: January


January in iPhone snaps… 1. WE HAVE A WEDDING VENUE! PHEW – with only seven months to go, that was feeling kind of close. It’s a big, beautiful cowshed on a big, messy old farm, and I’m suddenly VERY excited to wed this fella of mine. 2. The first snowfall of winter came, meaning the first snow in Orla’s memory – though she enjoyed it last winter, she’s since forgotten it happened. We (I) made…

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Recipe: rainforest alliance chocolate cake with Magnum Ice Cream


As I write this it is raining; it has been raining all week. I remember days in the city where the rain only stained the streets a darker grey, but out here a damp day turns the landscape a deep, lush green. We potter about our rainy day activities, accompanied by the sound of it bouncing on the roof, splashing on leaves and gurgling through the gutters. It’s proper comfort food weather. I’m baking an…

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bump in the night


This whole house speaks. It creaks and yawns around me as I move, tiptoeing across the floor from the softly curled apostrophe of my daughter’s sleeping form. A comma, a pause, she never quite hits full stop. The doors sing on their hinges, need slamming into their frames. Three floors of ancient pipes clunk and bang when you turn on the tap, before the merry chuckle of water splashing into the bowl. The AGA ticks…

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quotes for my daughter: Ani Difranco

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Alternative title for this post: everything I know about life I learned from Ani Difranco.   If you’re not getting happier as you get older then you’re fucking up. If you don’t like abortion don’t have an abortion and teach your children how they can avoid them. But don’t treat all women like they are your children. All I can say is if you stretch your mind all the way as far as it goes then…

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a mindful 2016


Happy twenty-sixteen! No doubt I’ll continue to write 2015 for at least another three or four months yet – some days I still think it’s 1997 – but for context, there it is.  Last year I leapt into January with a pretty exhaustive list of all the things I needed to slow down, and I kicked a surprising amount of ass. In fact, my whole life has changed a lot since then – so much so…

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slow living: bath night

good earth copper cups candles

Whenever Orla is grumpy or sad, I throw her in the bath. It’s like my fallback parenting skill, coming just before chocolate and the iPad, & it never fails to lift her mood. It occurs to me now that I’m pretty bad at taking my own advice. Lately I’ve been just stupidly frazzled – that combination of the pre-christmas rush, over-stretching with work, and the toll of dark days & late nights. I’m grumpy and emotional, falling…

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protecting christmas morning + a NEXT giveaway


I have come to a reluctant acceptance that it is impossible to plan a quiet Christmas Day . No matter how much I swear to be steadfast & stubborn, defending our wish to stay home alone December 25th, our plans inevitably tangle up like forgotten fairy lights. So many other people’s hopes and plans are wrapped up in our own, and when push comes to shove I always cave and find a way to compromise. That’s what Christmas is about,…

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video: a slow afternoon with home & roam

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A few weeks back Emily & Harrison visited as part of our stay project, and we made a video. I say ‘we’, but really it was all Emily, of course. I just made the tea, & got on with my regular Sunday, to be honest, albeit with a liiittle more makeup than usual. This is the video I’ve made a thousand times in my mind, but never known how to begin. It is our sense…

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live with less: toy clutter

live with less toy clutter

In the run up to Christmas, I’m growing increasingly twitchy about the deluge of toy clutter about to hit. It feels like I’m constantly trying to find equilibrium, walking a delicate line between a sea of pink plastic in the living room, and sad little Orla playing with a lone broken doll in a corner. Simplifying is so much more difficult when it comes to Orla’s things – every thing has gooey sentimental memories when I hold it in…

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