September 2nd, 2016

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September 2nd, 2016

Welcome to the first edition of the The Small Batch List, my sparkly, brand new newsletter.

In a spur-of-the-moment, caffeine-fuelled decision, I am committing to bringing you some interest and joy every Friday. I hope you enjoy it.



Eating and Drinking

Summer Harvest Overload – Got Plums? Our plum tree is exploding with ridiculous amounts of fruit. Ridiculous amounts. It seems to be an island-wide issue so next year I am going to suggest to the Chamber of Commerce that we have a plum pop-up shop called “Plum Outta Luck”, or “Plum Crazy” or “Plummer’s Crack” or something… with exclusively plum products. Until then there’s a whole lot of bubbling and hot sugar going on in our kitchen. We picked the last of our little purple ones last night in the twilight with a family of peevish raccoons looking on. Now I have another full box sitting on the counter and the question is Pie? Cake? Torte? More jam? Freeze them? Or leave them there in a massive pile until a squadron of fruit flies move on in and make it home-base? The best thing I have made is some plum cordial which was exceptionally easy and really delicious in cocktails.


Speaking of cocktails…  As summer winds down, I am slowly but surely (considering) cutting down on my alcoholic beverage consumption. “What the what?” I hear you cry. Yes, really. The decision is fuelled by health and finances but this week I also read Giving Up Alcohol Opened My Eyes to the Infuriating Truth about Why Women Drink: Kristi Coulter writes about female drinking, feminism and sexism in Enjoli on Medium.  “That’s the summer I realise that everyone around me is tanked. But it also dawns on me that the women are super double tanked — that to be a modern, urbane woman means to be a serious drinker. …I see that booze is the oil in our motors, the thing that keeps us purring when we could be making other kinds of noise.”



A Guide To Wes Anderson’s Paris:  “Did you know Wes Anderson lives in Paris? When he’s not off making one of his beautifully idiosyncratic films, the director keeps a low profile in his Parisian apartment and office, no doubt decorated as charmingly as his movie sets… I thought I’d take an educated guess as to what a day spent with Wes Anderson in Paris might be like…” . One of my very best friends is in Paris at the moment (oh envious me) and I just sent her this old article from Messy Nessy — lovely stuff. I’m booking my imaginary plane ticket immediately.



Not reading, preordering: Former screen writer (including Arrested Development and Mad About You) and all ’round wonderful woman, Maria Semple has a new book Today Shall Be Different coming out and it’s now available for preorder (follow that link to sample the first chapter). I have been waiting for this book ever since I closed the back cover of her last book, Where’d You Go Bernadette.


Her voice rings clear, funny and true. Its release date is October 4th. And speaking (previously) of Wes Anderson – his brother and illustrator Eric Chase Anderson has created artwork for the book – a 12 page graphic novel. If you preorder now you can register to receive a print signed by the author and artist.


Living and Breathing:

Teen drama: Our teen kid has just been away at Improv Camp for seven days, on a distant PNW island which required her to travel there and back on two boats with three other equally nervous friends. It feels like a turning point for her as a young adult and us as parents.  What Teens Need Most from their Parents in the WSJ : “The new longitudinal research is changing scientists’ views on the role parents play in helping children navigate a volatile decade.


Once seen as a time for parents to step back, adolescence is increasingly viewed as an opportunity to stay tuned in and emotionally connected.”  Perhaps we should have held her hand all the way. Uh, no.



Pretty, practical, perfect: Hobo Wallets – My favourite wallets ever… and secretly, between you and me, I now have two and I’m coveting another. They are beautifully made and come in a rainbow of gorgeous colours. Mmm.


Available from one of my favourite local haunts; Twang & Pearl.


That’s it for this week.

 I’ll be back next Friday.

Over and out,

Claire Robertson,
Person with a keyboard
The Small Batch List

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