On my eighth birthday my parents packed up the house in Berlin where we had lived for four years and our family moved back to England. English was my first language, my parents were British, I had gone to an English language school in Germany and I held a British passport, but culturally I didn’t feel British. I didn’t know what a pound or a penny was, having only ever used the Deutsche Mark and Pfennig, and I didn’t know the pop-music or TV shows that were popular among English children my age either. We had SSVC and Cartoon Network in Germany rather than BBC and ITV. I simply didn’t hold the cultural reference points that other children who had grown up in Britain did, and felt like a bit of a misfit.
I thought I’d share my skincare routine because every time I tried searching for a minimalist skincare routine for normal skin I found routines with ten steps and twenty products, and to me that’s not very simple! If it’s not simple then I know I won’t bother with it for long. I’ve put together my own routine and I’m sharing it in case it’s helpful for anyone else who is looking for a simple, minimalist skincare routine.
Ed made me a birthday cake following this recipe for a vegan coffee and walnut cake. I first trialled this recipe back in the spring, and it has taken the place of my old favourite sponge cake recipe. The Rose Elliot recipe is pretty good (it was our go-to birthday cake recipe for nearly fourteen years), but the Veganuary one is fluffier and tastes more like a traditional victoria sponge. I made a few adjustments to it though. Instead of 1tsp xantham gum, I use 2tbsps soya flour, and instead of 200ml instant coffee I use 50ml strong filter coffee and 150ml soya milk.
September has been a frustrating month in books, but a good month in non-fiction articles. I’ve abandoned two novels and stubbornly completed two others even though I promised myself at the start of this year that I would freely abandon bad books. There are so many good books out there and not enough hours in a day to read them all, so I really shouldn’t be wasting my time on books I don’t love, but there we go. Old habits die hard.
This month I read an interesting article about voice, pitch and the gender bias present in recording and broadcast technology. Out of curiosity, I tried to find out what the pitch or frequency of my regular speaking voice is. It turns out it is F# below Middle C. I have an alto singing voice, although I haven’t sung in a choir since I was eighteen, so the range doesn’t surprise me but the pitch is interesting.
On Sunday morning I woke before dawn and watched the sunrise over the fields at my parents’ house in Somerset. I can’t sleep very well in the countryside as I find the silence a bit eerie and I’m used to a gentle hum of traffic at all hours. Having been on my feet for ten hours shooting a wedding the day before I was a bit frustrated by the lack of sleep, but the pretty sunrise softened the blow.
One of the many things I love about our flat is the light. Our windows face north-west, which means that in the afternoons the whole flat is bathed in soft, slanting golden beams that illuminate the dust and my imperfect paintwork. From March through early October the light reaches around doorways and paints the corridor gold too. There are few things that make me happier than coming home late afternoon or early evening, opening the front door and walking into a wall of light.
Yesterday afternoon I went for a walk around Sutton Park before shooting some b-roll for a documentary I’m working on at the moment. While I waited for my friends to arrive I went to see if I could find the ponies in the woods near Bracebridge Pool. Just as I was about to give up hope that I’d see them, I turned a corner and found what appeared to be the entire park pony population grazing on heather and roaming the paths down by the lake. Needless to say, I was in my element. I think I’d quite like to be a pony, they seem to have a good life.