Tag: Nell

  • Concerning Nell: exposure and down

    As I drove up to the ‘home’ (I can’t bring myself to say ‘unit’ or ‘hospital’, as found on the signage) where my aunts now live, a small grey critter was trundling back and forth over the expanse of grass — a perpetual lawnmower (I’m told that it alarms the amnesiac residents, who inwardly inhabit…

  • Concerning Nell: Nude on a sofa

    There’s a character in Nell I’ve called Ilona. She’s Nell’s sister-in-law, an artist in an era of conformity and mainstream suspicion towards those who devoted themselves to an experimental, creative life. ‘Black sheep’ sums up the family’s early view of her. These days we’re proud of the enormous body of work she produced and of…

  • Concerning Nell: hacking it

    ‘When chopping walnuts put them in a sponge tin and chop with a mustard tin. Four edges to chop with, & the tin to keep the walnuts from spilling.’ Genius. In an earlier blog I showcased the little green notebook with the meticulously copied handy hints. I found, on exploring the cardboard box entitled ‘Old…

  • Concerning Nell: covering the cover

    Making a book cover is always a bit of a mission. Where do you start? What kind of image do you choose, and how abstract should it be? If you have a committee (publisher Cloud Ink Press, author, designer, booksellers, friends), possibilities can multiply just when you need to narrow down the focus.I had blue…

  • Concerning Nell: ‘Change and decay in all around I see’

    The roses are drooping in the vase. EBB’s poem bears a whiff of the past. Dust has settled in tufts on the books crammed into the shelves of the old family house. This is the house where Nell lived, her last home, which she disliked. Their move into town meant down-sizing and paying more for…

  • Concerning Nell: Stains of the past

    I’ve had a rummage through the recipe book drawer at the old family villa. I guess this book was my grandmother Nell’s, and Cakes was the best garnished section. I can imagine the buttery finger pressed to the open page, the quick check: ‘one flat teaspoon of soda, same of cream of tartar’, as she…

  • Concerning Nell: Handy hints

    I found the little green notebook in the aunts’ kitchen the other day. All written in their mother Nell’s hand with an ink pen (it was that or a pencil back in the 1920s, I guess). When cutting out georgette on table dip your scissors in hot water before (and during) cutting. Stew prunes in…

  • Concerning Nell: Strand by strand

    Cold sou’west rain in late January. Nothing like it to keep a person indoors and contemplating the sedentary work awaiting her. In this case the blog that groans and creaks from under-use. It always helps to start with an image. (Goes hunting through recent pics…) These rough strands? Chimney plugs. Earlier in the summer, when…