I took this photo on Christmas Day. Sorry it’s been so long before I could post it! I’m having real issues uploading stuff to flickr, is anyone else having problems?
Today I had Christmas dinner at Kalman’s crazy converted warehouse flat in Seven Sisters. It was a very proper Christmas with a tree, two turkeys (and nut roast for the vegetarians!), crackers, presents, the works. Amazing, and I got snap-happy with all the eclectic bits and bobs in the flat too – it must help to live down the road from a flea market! I will let the photos speak for themselves:
It’s all Christmas all the time chez fingersandtoes.
First up a Christmas FO:
Buffalo Slipper Socks, from the Winter 06 IK, for my aunt. Unfortunately not knit in buffalo! I knit these in RYC Cashsoft. I really hope she likes them (I also hope she doesn’t read this, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog)
Second up, I finally got myself a little Christmas tree the other day. It has fibre optic lights, which are admittedly a little tacky, but they save buying extra lights and I’m actually warming to them. If you can’t be tacky at Christmas, when can you be?
I needed the tree in order to display my growing Christmas ornament collection. I collect them on my travels and so far have ornaments from Germany (unfortunately they are back in NZ), England, Wales, New Zealand, Italy and Spain. If you click on the picture it will take you to the flickr page where I have flagged all of the decorations with descriptions!
This is what the tree looks like with the lights off:
This actually happened on Sunday night, but it takes me a while to get around to posting during the week. Four hours later I had a Christmas cake, but you’ll have to wait for the photos of that!
I love looking at Christmas baking traditions around the world. In Germany we had the most wonderful spiced biscuits made from pressing the biscuit dough into detailed wooden moulds. We also had Zimtsterne, which I am sure to make this year so stay tuned (does anyone know where I can buy large quantities of cheap ground almonds? I’m thinking an Indian grocery perhaps).
When I lived with Marissa, every year she would buy large quantities of dried fruit and other ingredients to take home with her to Sri Lanka for Christmas. Half of her luggage allowance would be fruit! I wondered at the size of cake it would make. She would always bring back a little chunk of Christmas cake with her, and boy was it good. One year I got her to write down the process of making a Sri Lankan Christmas cake, and you can find it over on her blog.
What is your favourite Christmas baking?
Bloomsbury is full of beautiful leafy squares and my favourite is probably Tavistock Square. It is a peaceful, leafy square near the University, and has a statue of Gandhi in the middle of it, perhaps because he was a student there. Through my experiments with pacifism (more or less abandoned) and vegetarianism I have long considered myself a student of Gandhi’s, and I even took a history paper on him at university. Everyone knows the story of Gandhi the great man, but I find his time in London to be one of the most interesting parts of his life. He came to London promising his mother – a strict Jain – that he would abstain from meat. At first he did so purely because of his vow, but it was in London that he made the decision himself to be vegetarian. He did not find it easy but even in those times there were vegetarian restaurants in London, and he joined the Vegetarian Society. I would actually like to see a statue of the young Gandhi in London, but as I look upon the statue of the Gandhi the Mahatma all of this comes to mind.
Here’s another vegetarian in Tavistock Square:
This has been all over the papers this week in the local papers and I understand newspapers around the world. I’ve been listening to the spoof announcements, and I suppose sitting on the Northern Line for two hours a day probably makes them funnier but even if you’ve never taken the Underground in your life you’ll probably still like them. If you want to listen to them, they’re here. Her website is actually very interesting too, a real insight into the life of a disembodied voice!
The funniest Tube announcement I’ve ever actually heard was on the Central Line a few months ago, I think I may have posted it here already. But just in case, it went:
“Customers whenever you hear the door alarm that means the doors are about to close, please do not jump between them or you might get hurt. Also please do not use your children as wedges to hold the door open”
Below I’ve posted some other actual announcements that have been heard on the Tube (although not by me).