Mystery Guest

She drove down to see me a couple of weeks ago. It was a rare, sunny day and wonderfully hot. We went for a little walk, with the Wrekin watching us from afar. I took her to my favourite spot, a ruined red brick building with clumpy trees. I had thought it was some kind of old feed barn, but she revealed that it was a disused World War Two firing range.

We sat and drank ginger beer. She noticed a buzzard being mobbed by crows, and taught me the song of the chiff-chaff. We wandered home.

 She gave me a gift - exquisite vintage decoupage clowns, which made me squeal with joy.

I made gluten free Lemon Cake, from a recipe I begged from Jenny Tidman, after seeing hers on Twitter - and  with her permission, here is the recipe as she gave it to me. For the record, I mixed mine by hand. 

Gluten Free Lemon Cake

Oven @ 180°. Grease a 1lb loaf tin.
Mix with an elec whisk 200g soft butter, 200g caster sugar, 4 eggs, 150g gluten free self raising white flour blend, 2tsp gluten free baking powder, 50g polenta and the finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon. Spoon into the tin & bake for 45 mins. Meanwhile make a lemon syrup by whisking the finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons with 75g of icing sugar. Make holes all over the top of the cake as soon as out of the oven. Spoon the syrup over the cake allowing it to seep in between spoonfuls. Leave to cool completely before turning out...then scoff!

She brought along her Grandmother's patchwork quilt, which she is renovating. We sat examining and admiring it for the best part of an hour, as fabric lovers do. So many beautiful materials, even though faded and so much work in the stitching.

We decided that this sweet yellow print was one of the loveliest patterns. My  photos don't do the fabrics justice, but there are lots of fabulous samples of them on her Flickr set here.

She accidentally left behind her walking boots, so I am hoping she will come back for another visit.

Who was my mystery guest? She was the lovely Sue, from Mouse Notebook, of course. Thank you for a wonderful day, Sue.


Lo said...

So glad you had a visitor and such a lovely day. Hope there are many ,ore like this one.

Thinking of you often and wishing you well.

Love, Lo

Gill Edwards said...

sounds like an almost perfect day and that quilt is just lovely

Gill x

Vintage Jane said...

So pleased you had a lovely day with a like minded friend. I'll be trying out that cake recipe - sounds delish. M x

rossichka said...

Hello, dear Gretel! It seems you've both have had a fantastic day together - full of warmth, joy and quietness! So many precious moments to remember now!
I like that you kept the mystery about your guest till the end of your post!:))
Sue will definitely come back! Her boots are a promise...
Hope you are feeling better if that's possible. I'm thinking of you very often!


Claire said...

Lots of elements came together to make a wonderful day.........
Good weather is a great start add some beautiful scenery, yummy cake and that gorgeous quilt......♥

Claire X

the woolly dog said...

What a lovely day, what a lovely looking cake and what a lovely friend. Of course she'll be back, you only leave something behind by accident if you don't want to leave.♥

Frances said...

Oh Gretel, I knew it would be Sue even before you told us.

How great to have the weather also be part of the welcoming party.

That cake looks very, very good.

The vintage quilt is a beauty.

And as you say, those boot signal a return trip.

xo to you and to Sue.

Janet Metzger, Artist said...

So happy for your lovely visit from a friend and for bringing us along. You will bake a cake for me one day my friend!!!

Janet xox

Janet Metzger, Artist said...

So happy for your lovely visit from a friend and for bringing us along. You will bake a cake for me one day my friend!!!

Janet xox

ellen said...

What ab absolutely lovely visit for both of you.
Much love.

Twiglet said...

Sounds like a perfct day to me and I am sure she will return for those boots. Email me if you fancy another day out. x Jo

Lisa Oceandreamer Swifka said...

It sounds like the perfect visit! A good friend to friend soul day!
I want to make that cake....need to transfer measurements though in to US equivalent! So what's 180 degrees translate to?
Thinking of you always Gretel.

BumbleVee said...

Oh, what a fun day! .... lovely ares for walking and enjoying all nature has to offer ....and the cake.....yum! My brother has gone gluten free by choice and claims it is helping his arthritis...so I'll send him the recipe to try. He loves to bake.

Now that I am in the midst of putting together some fabric blocks.... I can appreciate the quilting all the more.... so far I don't have any 'hexies' added to my little wrapping cloth ...but, they were part of our class information and there will definitely be some on it eventually....

L-A said...

love the scraps! and the cake sounds like something I'd like to try

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful day. The old quilt is fabulous - I would have spent hours looking at it!
It was lovely to see a happy post!!

jerilanders said...

I am partial to the block of powder blue with tiny white flowers, so many of the old prints are charming. But the fabric I REALLY like is on the clown suit with the bee and ladybugs.

Camille said...

Oh Gretel; how I wish I could fly across the pond and spend a lovely hour or so with you smoothing and examining my Great Grams rag-tag quilt. It's so lovely. I know you could give me such insight about the fabric and pattern. So very few people understand and appreciate these old lovely things. Holding you in my thoughts these days, ever and always.

School on the Heath said...

Oh dear, now where to start? A walk in beautiful Shropshire with a friend to share, or those adorable decoupage clowns...does anyone do work like that today? I would love to see the process. The quilt is just too much, a genuine scrap quilt pieced and hand stitched by a skilled and artistic needlewoman.The restoration will be a labour of love. I'm so glad that it is in caring hands.
Thank you for a lovely virtual walk and visit.

Annie Cholewa said...

Oh my ... those clowns, that quilt, the cake ... so glad you and the lovely Su had a good day :)