This and That

orange wine, vin d'orange, aperttif

My apéritif of choice this weekend past was a glass of Vin d’ Orange. Now, I realize, that saying that might suggest I lead a charmed gilded-glitz sort of life gliding swan-like about the place wondering what on earth I will have as an apéritif on different days. I don’t. The reality is that I rarely have an apéritif. But I made a batch of Orange Wine back in January, stirring it daily for six weeks to made sure all the ingredients were properly mixed before decanting it into bottles and sticking them in one of my cupboards. I only recently remembered they were there and started to use them. Even if I say so myself my Orange Wine is delish. It’s normally made in winter when Seville oranges are in season but can be made at other times of the year with a mix of regular oranges and lemons. Here’s how


Do you suffer from it’s-for-best-only syndorme? The syndrome’s main symptom is a belief that some things are for, er well, best actually. Sufferers (including moi) often deem that certain clothes are to do duty only on special occasions and as a result they languish at the back of wardrobes and are seldom worn. I recently discovered I have the book version of it’s-for-best-only syndrome. I have not been reading much of late so I am trying to get back into the habit. Glancing at my bookcase looking to take one of the many unread books with me to read while having coffee and a scone at a local café I ruled many of them out. The reason: the books are hardbacks and therefore keepers; I didn’t want to get sticky jammy fingers marks all over them. I can live with my it’s-for-best-only syndrome with books but I definitely need to cure it when it comes to the many little worn items of clothing in my wardrobe.


I recently rearranged my pencil collection into my newly acquired pencil holder. Oh yes, it’s all high-octane glamour chez Just Add Attitude! My largish collection of pencils might suggest that I am an inveterate sketcher, but alas no. I occasionally, very occasionally, do a little sketching (very badly I have to add). Donkeys years ago I went to a drawing class and enjoyed it. I would love to improve my sketching so that my scribblings went from sub-passable to somewhat reasonable. I have read that practise is one of the keys to improving. Now rather that say to myself I will sketch for ten or fifteen minutes every day, a resolution which might last a week or so, I thought why not bring my pencils with me on my just-booked holiday to Italy. I am going in late October so I am hoping that it will be warm enough to sit by the lake and idle away some hours reading and doodling. Roll on October …


Filed under Musings

12 responses to “This and That

  1. H

    Dear B
    At least get out The sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and read it if you have not already done so – a gem of a book and readable over a coffee or two!

  2. Where in Italy are you going? I will be in Bagni di Lucca in October, drop in if you are in the area.

    • Thank you so much for the offer to drop in to say hello. I will be on the shores of Lake Como. As I am only there for a week I don’t think I will get to Bagna di Lucca this trip. However I am overdue a trip to Florence so who knows I may get there next year.

  3. Deirdre

    You could also try promarkers – they make everything that you colour look like you are an accomplished cartoonist. I’m heading to Seville next Wednesday so will think of you when eating oranges…..:)


  4. Oooohhh.. Italy, how exciting to have that to look forward to!! Lucky you!! I have tried to overcome the “it’s for best only” syndrome with my clothes. I figured the sundress I bought with lace could become a sundress just by wearing flipflops, lol. Good luck with your sketching!!

    • I am soooo looking forward to my Italian trip. It’s hard to overcome the ‘it’s for best syndrome’. The sundress with lace sounds lovely – maybe it was the one you were wearing in a blog photo a while ago (the tea post) which was very pretty.Thanks for the good wishes with my sketching. xo

  5. I laughed at your remark about leading “a charmed gilded-glitz sort of life gliding swan-like about the place.”

    In the past I often “saved” things for a special time and then missed using them. Now I am trying to use special things for ordinary times.

    • Thank you. Whereas it might be nice to lead such a life I am content with my somewhat humdrum existence. As you say it is a very good idea to use special things for ordinary times – I just need to keep reminding myself of this.

  6. I know I’ve suffered from “just for best syndrome” in the past, and made some concious decions a few years back to use things – from the antiques I inherited from my mum, or the clothes in my warddrobe. But to be honest I’ve slipped back on the clothes front and I’m now trying to wear things other than jeans again !
    Happy holidays – sitting by a lake sketching. I sometimes take things like that with me too, but I need to actually use them, I need to get over that “fear” of the first marks on the page!

    • Hi C and thanks for your comment. It is so easy to slip back into the the ‘just for best syndrome’. I know because I do it all the time. I remember reading somewhere that Terance Conran said (I think in relation to houses) that we should never buy anything just for best but rather should buy lovely things to use everyday. ( I may be misquoting him – apologies TC if I am!)

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