Saturday, 14 September 2019

Photo diary: weeks 36 and 37, project 365

Last weekend was super hectic, and I haven't had a chance to do a weekly post of photos, so today it's a double portion of our news.

Walking through the flood fields into town, the Sun was bright, stretching its rays like arms towards the Earth.

Last week I had to write two book reviews. One was for Nadine by John Steinberg, a story of the tragic French ballet dancer Nadine (if you fancy reading my review, see the link above).

We finally watched the Endgame on DVD, and enjoyed it very much. Eddie takes all the Marvel business seriously, and watches a lot of YouTube videos on the merits of different characters, actors' insights and gossip on filming the Avengers.

I have an antique carved wooden board for pryaniki (Russian spiced cookies). Ever since reading the proof copy of The girl who speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson, I wanted to bake some old-style Russian spiced cookies. As Thursday was the official publication day of the book, I baked the cookies the day in advance, so that I could make a post to celebrate the event.

how to make pryaniki

I'm a big fan of Sophie Anderson, and loved both of her books, which are inspired by the Russian folklore, but present a completely unique interpretation.
These are the pryaniki (spiced cookies) I baked the day before.

Russian folklore-inspired books

Walking through the fields, and admiring the red colour of hawthorn berries.

September berries

Eddie and I were planning to go to the book-signing event with Sophie Anderson at Oxford on Sunday. She saw my spiced cookies online, and I wanted to bake a new batch for her. I bought a bear cookie cutter in Lakeland, and did a template for a girl. The cookie dough was exactly the same as I used for the bird-shaped cookies. I also used cake pens which you can buy in Tesco. 
This was meant to be a surprise gift for Sophie.

Russian spiced cookies

Meeting Sophie Anderson was the highlight of my week. She is as charming, sweet and endearing in real life as she is on social media.
The event took place in Blackwell's book shop in Oxford. It was all about myths, retelling of myths and even creating a new one, involving the ideas from the audience. It was such a fun event, and Eddie and I enjoyed it very much.
We met Sophie's family too, including adorable baby Eartha.
Candy Gourlay, the author of Bone Talk, was the second speaker. It was wonderful to watch these two talented creative women who've elevated the banter to the next level.

children's books authors

Monday: Back to school, back to the prose of life. The day was rather dull and grey. I took the photo of the birds resting on the roof in the town centre, as if they were having an important meeting.

Witney town centre

We watched too many Marvel movies, and now see "Marvel" symbols and things around us, like this Hawk-Eye's bow and arrow in the sky.

I found this little gem of a book in the charity shop. This copy of Jo's Boys by Louisa M. Alcott was presented to a girl named Margaret Beckley for Arithmetic standard VI by South Oxford Girls' School Council in July 1926. What a splendid colourful dedication!
There were around ten vintage books, signed by Margaret. It's clearly a collection which has been donated to the shop by the family, who doesn't want these much loved books.

vintage books

We spotted this funny-shaped cloud on the way home from school.
As we watched the Black Panther the evening before, we thought it does look a bit like a panther.

old houses in Witney

St Mary's Church is my favourite "model". I take its image in all weathers and seasons, and its spire looks like the guardian of Witney.

It's so warm today, it feels like summer. I suppose, it is the Indian summer. My tomatoes in the greenhouse keep giving plenty of fruit, and I've picked a little bowl for dinner today. They're so sweet and smell lovely.

growing vegetables in greenhouse

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  1. The cookies look gorgeous. You've made a really lovely gesture.

  2. I am so pleased Eddie finally got watch Endgame. I hope he loved it.
    All of those cookies look fab!
    Gorgeous photos! x

  3. Beautiful photos. You know how much I love your photo of the cookies! I'm so glad that Sophie Anderson liked them too. I love the dedication in the book. How sad that a family gave it away when it had obviously been so precious to someone. I love that you take photos of the church in different weathers.

  4. Love all the spiced biscuits. So cute, bet they tasted good too.

  5. That cookie mould is beautiful and the cookies look very impressive. Glad you had a good time meeting Sophie Anderson. #365

  6. How lovely for you to make some cookies for Sophie, hope she liked them, they look amazing.
    Wow at the book in the charity shop, love how people back in the day used to treasure such items and keep them worth selling on nearly 100 yrs later

  7. So glad that book has found a good home with you. I love the sound and look of the Russian spiced cookies.

  8. How great to meet Sophie and I love the cookies you baked for her, they look really yummy

  9. That is good Eddie finally got watch Endgame. I hope Enjoyed it. Love the look of those cookies x

  10. I am very interested in the cake pens, lovely effect! I have a few books with plates like that and I love the connection with people from the past #project365

  11. Wow the tomatoes look gorgeous! We are huge Marvel fans too. Those biscuits look great and I am very impressed with our art work. So lovely for you to make them for her x