Strawberry disposal – A lesser issue in the worldwide Coronavirus crisis.

We were supposed to have a strawberry daiquiri party on Friday, which got canned as more and more friends got spooked by their offices closing for Coronavirus. My husband’s asthma only compounded our worries. 

Coronavirus was actually the second challenge in the party planning. The first had been spotting that to make good strawberry daiquiris for 20 people A LOT of strawberry was required. 

We settled on 6.5kg of strawberries, sourced from Lidl and Aldi in two trips, both of which made us look like we had confused strawberries and rum for toilet rolls and antiseptic hand gel and were stockpiling. I felt as guilty as if I was stockpiling. People gave us furtive hurt looks behind the scarves wrapped around their faces and eyed up the remaining strawberries as if they should take them because there was something they didn’t know about strawberries… 

(Top tip, the cheaper combos were the sweeter strawberries.)

So this cancellation left us the challenge of what to do with 6kg of strawberries.

Instant pot and strawberries
Daiquiri ingrediants

Obviously solution number one was daiquiri. The only catch is, I am pretty sure that alcohol and fruit on an all inclusive holiday recently was the source of a stomach ulcer. So we made a jam jars full and shared them with our neighbours, limited only by jam jars. This move seemed…. popular.

Solution number 2 was a 2l Pyrex dish filled with rum to preserve strawberries. No idea what’s going to happen with them next, but it makes me feel kind of safe… the rum strawberries gently bleaching in a dark corner of the house, waiting to provide a treat one day

Then there’s strawberry cake (to be cooked tomorrow) and strawberry breakfast smoothies, and strawberries in oats. The thing about strawberries is they are the kind of thing that you think could make you ill if you had too much of. Unfortunately you see that white bowl, in the pic, the big one? Yep, that’s still left and the best I can think of is the freezer. 

The ice will be sacrificed and forcibly turned into water.

With my husband’s underlying health conditions, we will be staying under the radar for the coming um… year..? So I anticipate updating the blog with our survival techniques for the social isolation. Watch this space.

PS – is there anyone else out there who is debating the meaning of the new guidance to self isolate in the case of a ‘continuous’ cough? There is no googleable definition of continuous. 

PPS – Of course you will need to buy more books in case of self isolation or other restrictions. I recommend my debut novel ‘Helen and The Grandbees’ PreOrder here;




It’s been a long time… A review of Eve in Covent Garden (cocktail bliss!)

It’s a long time since I descended (descended, like underground; like checking out the fire escapes like Jason Bourne, or because I’m just paranoid rather than really a spy) into a dark bar of loud music and bareshouldered couples but I’ve been hanging out in Covent Garden lately and I think that makes me quite cool. Well, cooler than I’ve been for a long time, so probably a little less cool than most… especially as I’m only there for a poetry class.

This was a beautiful bar, like I had forgotten bars could be, like sinking into a black velvet evening. We specifically booked a quiet corner, and even though the music was not really to my liking, it made for an atmospheric backdrop as we read intriguing cocktail menus to candlelight and considered that the date next to us would be going better if ‘he’ stopped talking about himself and his really dull sounding job (should take a poetry class or summat).

Here are some examples of the cocktails: Parsley Daiquiri – probably doesn’t need too much explaining.

And Beetroot Louisianne: beetroot rye, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, salt, peychauds(do you pronounce the ‘e’? The bar staff forgave us either way)

And on the topic of the bar staff.. they clearly loved their job: the crest fallen face that their alternative to a Cranachan Punch (why did no one think of whiskey, oat milk and raspberries before???) was not the most excellent; and the enthusiastic incitements to order cheese dounuts. 

We found the corn cakes, crunchy, semi-sweet, flavoursome… mmmm…. actually superior to the cheese donuts.

Corn cakes at Eve in Covent Garden

In summary the drinks were quite good, the food was pretty good, but the experience was one of its kind romantic.

Cocktails at Eve in Covent Garden

Anyway, while I’m here… it seems a good time to remind readers that Original artwork, paintings and posters of cityscapes with dramatic skies are available on

Virtually Deptford, A Review of Kitcho in Greenwich

Kitcho is somewhat off the beaten track from Greenwich, beyond even Davy’s wine bar, (in fact virtually Deptford). We were ordering for a friend on a delayed bus, ‘shabu shabu’ she called (via text) but we couldn’t find it on the menu, and when she arrived (and explained that was Japanese hot pot) she said she’d decided that there were probably more specialist places opening up that she would prefer to visit to try shabu shabu anyway.

The staff were incredibly eager to please. Unfortunately this didn’t help avoid a long gap between courses, a very long gap. And we were talking noodles here, not slow cooked nothing. 

But the meal started off well with spicy edamame, that we all agreed to order a second round of… and forgot. 

Spicy Edamame

But the sashimi seemed flavourless to me, or just sea-tasing, or to be specific a little bit sea tasting but less tasty than the sea. Normally I enjoy sashimi. In the noodle stakes the udon was average, but my beef chilli ramen was delicious. 

Udon Noodles at Kitcho

The stella part of the menu was the simple but elegant cocktails, starting with dragons blood, which looked like this:

Dragons Blood cocktail

And a sweet cocktail that we should have had instead of dessert, but we justified in that we only had teenie tiny mochi (and that hardly counts right?), made up of hennessy cognac, baileys double cream and some other sweet thing. Slightly on the sweet side but if you have a drink for dessert, that justifies all calories… right?