On my way down the hill to the vegetable market while England play South Africa in the final of the Rugby World Cup, roads are turned to rivers and the streets are quiet. Crossing the flooded astroturf in Chinatown, I spot a group of England fans gathered together for a half time smoke outside a budget hotel. A lucky cat waves from the window of a closed café and a row of roasted ducks hangs limply behind steamed up glass in a Cantonese restaurant on the lower floor of the Mapstone building.
I keep a notebook for the stories and scenes I encounter in my everyday life as well as for illustration ideas. It’s a commonplace book, of sorts, and somewhere I note down songs I hear, ideas that I have for new projects, and an assortment of other bits and bobs that I want to remember or use as inspiration in my photography, films or other creative projects.
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.
This afternoon Ed and I went for a walk to see the wild Exmoor ponies in Sutton Park. I’ve lived in Birmingham for fourteen years and visit the park fairly often, but I’ve never seen the ponies before, just the cows. I just assumed the ponies were shy, and largely kept to themselves in the deepest parts of the woodland. I was hoping to see them today, but didn’t really think that we would.