Monday, July 31, 2006


When is the '80s revival going to be over? We've been plundering the depths for years now. I can't stand all this nostalgia anymore. '50s or '60s nostalgia - no problem, I wasn't there first time around. Yesterday I went high street shopping with childhood friend Gracie. The music playing in the shops was Rio by Duran Duran, then Holiday by Madonna. I tried on a pair of yellow jelly shoes (just for a laugh) which took me straight back to my childhood when I had 2 pairs in exactly the same style. I thought I was the epitome of cool with my jellies and yes, I admit it - floral jumpsuit.

Can we just get into the '90s revival please? I've had enough of getting into the groove (harhar). I get it - harking back to those carefree days pushes our nostalgia buttons, making my generation with our disposable income punch in our credit card numbers like good little sheep. But please, this is winter stuff I'm seeing now and - still gimmicky '80s! I think we passed saturation point some time ago. Now we're just regressing. Yesterday after seeing only and exclusively clothes that we had already purchased 20 years ago in child sizes, Gracie and I found ourselves eating sausage, 'potato' smiley faces and peas for lunch from the childrens menu at John Lewis' The Place to Eat cafeteria.

Later on, I intermittently watched the last ever Top of the Pops. I didn't catch all of it so I missed the '60s and '70s archive footage, but of course switched it on just in time for the '80s clips. Madonna wearing a pink wig and writhing around the stage - I actually remember watching that at my primary school as we waited for our school play to start. The Womble Song! I remember that too, rushing home (I must only have been 3 or 4) to watch TOTP on a Thursday evening. My memory for trivial things like this astounds me. I can remember The Wombles on TOTP but I can't remember my first day at school. Frankie Goes to Hollywood - rollerskating up and down the hallway singing "Relax, don't do it - when you wanna come!" at the top of my voice, having no concept of what the words meant. And finally asking my dad what a virgin was when Madge's Like a Virgin video (watch it here) aired for the very first time. He told me it was someone who isn't married. Quick thinking, Pa! So here I am on my own nostalgia trip, helped along by Jimmy Saville wearing a no doubt custom made for the occasion shiny gold tracksuit and brandishing a cigar.
I realise this will mean nothing to anyone who wasn't too young to know any better in the '80s, or who missed the golden age of TOTP.

What do you remember about 1986? Just don't get me started on Rubik's cubes.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Do please excuse us if you see funny goings on here for a while - we are caught with our drawers down so to speak. Now that I've managed to change the font I think I'm sooo clever. I am an html virgin taking my first tentative steps and tomorrow morning I'll probably go 'oh my god what the hell have I done?' And not be able to change it back.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Claus Porto liquid soaps:

It's somewhat telling that I didn't even bother to smell these, the packaging alone is so amazing. See the whole range here. If anyone ever wants to buy me a gift...

Blue and white:

Especially these plates from Rosanna which come in beautifully designed boxes. Turns out Rosanna is the company that makes those cute pastel mixing bowl sets, cake stands and ceramic cupcake trays I keep seeing everywhere. Makes me want to be all domesticated.

Green and Slimy:
Swimming in The Serpentine. In the second installment of my 'how to stay cool when it's hot: London' series I bravely tested the Serpentine Lido. For £3.75 you can spend all day there and it's enclosed so you can wander round in your bikini unperturbed. And go swimming! It 's a bit murky and it smells like a fishtank, but it's kind of refreshing and it's in the middle of Hyde Park so you can't knock it really.

Found by way of Ms Spinach, the blog it's really hard to mention without mentioning a certain hotel heiress really is hot. Because Katey of online shop One Good Bumblebee tells us about stuff that's hot like Rena Tom (of Rare Device)'s beautiful jewellery. And that's hot. I don't know how either of them finds the time as well as their other ventures, but I'm glad they do.


It started when I walked around the corner straight into the path of a five year old girl. She had blow dried long blonde hair, a checked sundress and oh, my, goldfuschiapinkfauxleopardskinhighheeledpeeptoedmules. (Saying it fast is less painful.) Her toenails were painted in matching fuschia. She was walking along the street, holding her daddy's hand and her demeanour was not 'look I'm playing dress up', it was deadly, scarily serious.

The next day I somehow found myself in possession of (U.S) Teen Vogue. As I flicked through it at first I marvelled at how good the fashion was. Two stories were styled by the amazing Havana Laffitte, whose work I've swooned over forever. The models were thankfully young and in non provocative, smiley poses but the clothes - I would wear that! I would aspire to wear that! Especially those in the rockabilly style spread. Looking at the rest of the magazine I started to feel a bit, well sick. The 'inspirational' teens featured - not just La Lohan who is featured with alarming regularity but 'real' girls were what made me feel distinctly uneasy. Uneasy like; "eugh, get this away from me, evil!"

We see Charlotte, 13 who wears an Express dress layered over leggings and an A.P.C shirt with Louis Vuitton logo flats. She says "I like to mix classic clothes with more bohemian touches, like oversize jewellery." Bijou, 14 wears a Marc by Marc Jacobs cardigan, Miu Miu belt and Marc Jacobs flats. She poses in her bedroom which is plastered with M.J ads shot by her idol Juergen Teller.

I haven't got a leg to stand on here high horse wise, since when I was 14 my bedroom walls and ceiling were entirely plastered with pictures from Vogue, even the ad campaigns. By the age of 15 I'd worked out that waking up every morning to images of modelly perfection staring back at me was not improving my fragile teenage self esteem. So I ripped them all down and painted my room white 'cos minimalism was in. But even though I was obsessed with glossy fashion magazines I knew they weren't actually aimed at me. Jackie and Mizz were aimed at me, but I wouldn't have been seen dead reading them.

So if you go by the rule that teens are going to be like, so totally over any magazine with 'Teen' in the title by the time they're 12, there are 10 year olds reading Teen Vogue. Reader's parents on an average income will be thrilled to know that this month's 'Gotta Have It' item (of which you need at least 5) is Mulberry's lux leather animal key chain at $99 a pop. It's obvious the entire issue is gone through with a fine toothcomb to make sure it's P.C and the content is suitable. But the tone, there's just something about it that strikes me as eVIL. Most evil of all is the photo of three pre teens at a party. They are dressed exactly as a hip 27 - 35 year old might dress, but they look about 10. (They are actually Lisa Love, U.S Vogue's West Coast editor's daughter and friends, so who can blame them for being on trend?) They stare out with 'talk to the hand' expressions EXACTLY like those three girls from that episode of SATC - you know the one, where Samantha has to organise a party for a rich little princess who dresses like Carrie and co, talks flippantly about blow jobs and sends over a bottle of Dom Perignon in a restaurant. I laughed so much at that episode because it seemed so ridiculously fantastical.

I really have no right to judge people for growing up too quickly, since at the age of 9 my friend Gracie and I insisted on strutting round wearing blue eyeshadow and pearlised pink lipstick, and took sartorial cues from Desperately Seeking Susan and SJP's other finest work Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

At a recent family party I found myself cornered by two relatives who proclaimed fashion 'absolute rubbish' and having to defend the fashion industry which they found so offensive. (Damn, that really was a fun party.) I was like, 'but how can you be offended by Nicolas Ghesquiere?!'
Now I realise that THIS is what they were talking about. The peer pressure, the advertising rammed down teenagers throats. I float around getting excited about clothes or designers because I love it. And I can do as I please because I'm a grown up and you'll treat me with respect young lady.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I know, I know, you're expecting me to go on about how it's so hot I can bake cakes inside my car, my washing dries in three seconds and Lola is wearing a sun hat.
Yes it is bloody hot and only one of those other statements is true but it's hot everywhere and damn, I'm not going to complain about it. My first summer on earth was the legendary heatwave of '76 man. I can handle it.

Everything has kinda sloooowed down though. Procrastination is my new middle name. It has worked in my favour so far: An angry letter I wrote on Friday didn't get posted because well, I didn't have a stamp and I couldn't be bothered to buy one because I was too busy shrieking and leaping around in a 2 metre jet of water at Somerset House like a drought starved tribeswoman whose prayers for rain have just been answered, wearing a bikini that came free with Elle. When I got home there was an answerphone message from the would be recipient of the letter, thus eliminating the need for quite such a strongly worded missive.

Also, I have been dithering over whether or not to do a textile/print course. I love print, but I'm not so good with structured learning environments, they make me want to be naughty and bunk off to drink cappuccinos. I also really don't like being told what to do or critiqued and um, I have a big problem with authority. And my prints might be crap! So I was umming and ahhing and finally called them up. The course has been cancelled!

I really feel that my procrastination is in tune with the universe.

What is a bit out of sync though is that all I can think about are winter clothes. Can I talk about winter clothes yet? Pleeeeasse! It seems peverse but it's really exactly the same as when you got all excited in the summer holidays because you knew you'd get to go to Eric Thomas school outfitters to pick out your new school uniform, and then to WH Smiths for a new pencil case. Only now I find myself thinking "I'd really like some long gloves, at least elbow length - maybe leather but not black, perhaps aubergine only they'd have to be super soft leather to avoid looking kinky." I think this as I fan myself with the winter A.P.C. catalogue which I have taken to flicking through when I can't sleep because my bedroom is like a fucking sauna at night.

This bag is rather lovely with the chain strap although I would like to see it in person.
I know! I'll just dither about it for weeks and then, when I decide to buy it, it will be sold out thus saving me some much needed dosh.

Procrastination: there's always an upside.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I am part of a weird sleep deprivation experiment that I'm sure I didn't give consent for. The heat in my bedroom at night is so, so stifling that sleep, HA SLEEP! is impossible. The picture above could be a diagram of the inner workings of my brain as it tries to stumble through the day. It is in fact a picture of some lovely fabric I got for peanuts in the Marimekko shop remnant bin. Oh, all the wonderful things I had planned for this fabric. At the moment it's draped over the table and I just SPILT COFFEE ALL OVER IT. I'll have to wait to put it in the washing machine because that contains my duvet cover which I spilled purple ink on from my morning pages pen.
I think I should not attempt to operate any machinery or perform any kind of fiddly neurosurgery today. I'll be back after a nap.
I wish I could borrow her hammock.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


And the living was easy. But now the intense, pulsating heat has abated slightly I miss it already. It's still hot, but not to the extent of the past week or so, where normality skipped out the window. For self employed types like myself, the only sensible option was to take an executive decision to drift languidly towards the shade of a big tree and sit under it, drinking chilled rosé. Note to self: do not use chilled rosé to slake thirst in place of water. Oouf.

We have mostly been wearing anything loose made from thin cotton. It's Liz Taylor: the caftan years, not Elizabeth Taylor: the violet eyed ingenue years. I didn't even mind the blokes with third trimester beer bellies on show. Anyway I was too busy marvelling at how the soles of my sandals were stuck to the melted tarmac on the street. A photo of someone retrieving a melted flip flop from a pool of tarmac made front page news yesterday.

It was hotter than Greece, hotter than Caracas which is apparently in Venezuela. I am not 100% certain of this but I am 93% certain that Bianca Jagger comes from there.

The intense, sultry heat was bearable only because of the sweet, sweet breeze that accompanied it - actually I'm saying all this in the past tense but it still may be incredibly hot and I've just got used to it. I haven't been outside yet today. Lola has been very confused. She doesn't understand the concept of weather (brain the size of a walnut) and she will insist on wearing that huge fur coat - in this heat! She stretches out on what must be a cool spot on the floor and looks up at me as if to say 'I am totally pooped. Please fan me.'

The roof terrace has been a no go area, literally too hot to set foot on until the sun leaves it at about 3pm. And then, the breeze - ahhhh. The terrace became a makeshift living room where sitting outside with friends stretched into the small hours of the morning, and dinner was served at 10.30pm.

I think I liked all this hot hot heat because it removed the need to make decisions and shook up everybody's routine. No need for 'what shall we do?' We'll sit somewhere in the shade and drink cold beverages. I discovered how lovely it is to walk in the woods, almost as refreshing as going for a swim. We were sheltered by the canopy of trees glowing green around us with sunlight filtering down in places. What to wear was based only on what will keep you cool. I even wore shorts. Not fashionable shorts, just shorts. It was like we were all on holiday in our own city. Ah, well. Back to reality. One thing is certain. No one can complain about this particular British summer. We're having a summer! And we fucking love it.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I just needed a new notebook. For years I'd heard people raving about Moleskines, but being a sucker for a cute cover (preferably including cats or Liberty prints) I wasn't readily seduced by the idea of a sensible plain black notebook. But after the millionth namecheck often from people whose work I admire, I thought I'd get one just to see what all the fuss was about.

I was tempted by the new City Guides but although they're supposed to be out here, nobody seems to have them and there are plenty of Moleskine addicts who are really very distressed about this.
If you type Moleskine into Google you get 3,580,000 search results. I sniggered slightly as I read all the 'history' about Moleskines being the notebook used by Picasso, Van Gogh Bruce Chatwin and Hemingway. As if using the same brand of notebook is going to make you write *nothing but sensitive, intensely felt, promising prose.*
To capture reality on the move, pin down details, impress upon paper unique aspects of experience: Moleskine is a reservoir of ideas and feelings, a battery that stores discoveries and perceptions, and whose energy can be tapped over time.
Are they 'avin' a laugh 'cos I know I am?

I found pages and pages waxing lyrical about the clever elastic band that holds the notebook closed and the incredibly useful pocket in the back. Are those features really that mind blowing?

Anyway despite my mockery, for some reason I felt strangely compelled to go and get one of these babies the very next day. What was I missing out on? Shouldn't I have been using them for 'ages' but moved onto something else by now? I decided that the large plain notebook was 'my' Moleskine. Would it become as much a part of me as 'my' Muji pens or 'my' eggshell blue colour?
Thanks to the number of Moleskine obsessives on the internet I was able to locate the three cheapest outlets in London. I went to the first. They only had the squared ones, or small sizes. I went to Bureau. They only had memo pockets. I asked the man if they had any more. He immediately said,

'You want the large size plain notebook don't you?'
'Er, yes.'
'Oh, they're always sold out everywhere.'

I experienced the same feeling as the one when you love a pair of shoes but they don't have your size. There are people walking around wearing 'YOUR' shoes.

I had succumbed. I really desperately needed to own the large plain sized notebook. It would make me write nothing but sensitive, intensely felt, promising prose.

I went to Waterstone's. The manager (who had a well worn Moleskine stuffed with notes on the desk in front of him) said he always tried to keep the whole range in stock.
And in stock it was. I paid £11.99 for my notebook. I unwrapped it. I sniffed it. It smelt quite nice. The pages were off white and thin. The pocket in the back was just a cardboard pocket but handy nonetheless. I went 'hmm.'

I have still not broken into my Moleskine. So much pressure! I have the fear. The fear of beginning. Keri Smith writes about this exact thing -'first page fear' on her drawing faq. I finished my last notebook a couple of days ago but keep cramming notes onto any available space. 'Catflap' 'broccoli' and 'e mail Steve' are not the first things I want to sully its pristine pages.

*I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's many more times than was healthy as a teenager.
It's a bit scary how often phrases from it still pop in to my head as I go about my daily life. 'Nothing but sensitive, intensely felt, promising prose is what Paul Varjak/Fred (George Peppard) claims his typewriter produces every day. Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) catches him out (and his writers' block) by pointing out there isn't any ribbon in it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


You gotta love husky voiced actress and Chanel muse Anna Mouglalis.
ES magazine does a 'beauty buyography' feature each week where they ask an actress or model about their beauty habits.
'In my make up bag you'll find...'
'My daily beauty routine is...' etc.
The 'I can't live without...' bit is inevitably followed by something accessible to the rest of us like:
'I can't live without Creme de la Mer',
'I can't live without my personal trainer Rodney', or
'I can't live without a triple oxygen facial twice a week at Bliss spa.'

And Anna?
'I can't live without cigarettes and a glass of red wine.'


Thursday, July 13, 2006


Well, today I just popped round the corner to buy a magazine and decided to take a peek in the crusty looking second hand 'dress agency' next to the fish and chip shop. I'd never been in there but I was in the mood for some kind of cheap, cheerful novelty item. I'd already spent a fair bit of time browsing in the local hardware store - hmm, sink plug chains, could be fashioned into interesting jewellery? That kind of mood.

The dress agency looks from the outside like a kind of house clearance place for clothes. Where relatives take granny's old drip dry polyester housecoats. Hanging from the metal grilles on the windows are shapeless unidentifiable garments, the same ones that are always there flapping in the breeze.

I went inside. I immediately understood WHY there are security grilles on the windows. I could not have been more surprised if I'd gone into the chippie next door to find Rick Stein behind the counter stirring a fish stew in a Le Creuset casserole dish. Hello vintage Chanel, hello vintage Valentino, Jean Muir, Gucci, even newer pieces by Prada, Alexander McQueen and Marni. But really hello how much vintage Chanel can there be here? The owner explained that the shop has been there for ninety years. Some of the shoes were (still in shock) perfect condition 50's Salvatore Ferragamo, my god and those big Gucci vanity cases. And just like Didier Ludot in Paris, a whole shelf of crocodile bags - no Kelly's though.

Unfortunately, as with the Rick Stein scenario where a portion of his fish stew would set you back about twenty two quid, even if it was served on a polystyrene plate in the chippie, I got the feeling I wasn't in for a bargain. There were no prices on anything. Shit. I thought I could get away with feigning ignorance as I was inadvertently sporting a 'disguise' - namely tracky bottoms and flip flops. I was just popping round the corner, ok?! But it must have been my manner of rifling, the hungry gleam in my eye and the amount of times I exclaimed 'but I've lived here for four years, I never knew it was here!' because a bag I picked up was suddenly priced at two hundred pounds. It was a beautiful, very old crocodile leather bag in perfect condition by an unknown label. (Obviously I would never buy new croc leather or fur.)

Even the shoes were pretty expensive for vintage. Yeah, I kind of just wanted a cheap fix. There cannot possibly be any passing trade here, they more than likely sell to other vintage dealers, and they know exactly what they're selling. You probably need to go in and say 'show me all your 1955 Chanel bags' (maybe I'm dreaming just a bit here) quite authoritatively and they'll scurry away into the back. I got a tantalising glimpse of 'the back' and I'm sure that's where all the best stuff is. My evil yet cunning plan is to befriend the owner, always wearing scuzzy clothes and giving nothing away as I rummage. Then one day the Chanel will be mine.

And I'm very sorry but I'm afraid if I told you where it is I'd have to kill you all.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


This is one of my favourite cafes, but it's kind of out of the way. Hither Green is a 20 minute or so train ride south from Charing Cross, and You Don't Bring Me Flowers is just on the left as you exit the station. It's the kind of cafe you'd expect to find in Brooklyn, not the wilds of Sarf East London. I'm a bit obsessed with Brooklyn, since the only time I went there was about 9 years ago, having heard there was Stuff Going On. But we found not much had happened YET, or rather not much that a couple of foreigners driving round in a yellow cab could discern. Now thanks to the number of Brooklyn based blogs and New York Magazine I have built it up to be a kind of Valhalla for creative types, but less annoying than the east end of London. So, anyway there's really no other reason to visit this area on the outskirts of London except for this place. It's a residential area and the beginning of the dreaded suburbs.(Sorry Hither Green residents!) That's part of this cafe/florist's charm actually, how the owners have created a focus for the community where before there was nothing except a launderette, a newsagents' and a few greasy takeaways. Much like Brooklyn in the old days? Don't ask me. But buy a house in H.G, quick, just in case. The area has some nice, big Victorian villas, probably good schools and a park that's ok, but until You Don't Bring Me Flowers opened I would never have willingly set foot in Hither Green.

This is the kind of cafe I wish was around the corner from my house and I really think it's worth the trip. The owners have a great eye for flowers and furniture. It's hard to describe without using those much overused words vintage and retro, but the quirky, humourous bits and pieces sit together so well. I find it's the perfect place to get a bit of peace and quiet and a coffee in lovely surroundings. Everything is beautifully mismatched, from the teacups to the chairs and tables. A big 1950s American refrigerator hums away in the corner with a real proper record player on top, often playing Barbara Streisand records(hence the name). (Maybe it's a CD player - in my mind it's a huge old fashioned gramophone).

The flowers take up half the cafe, beautifully unusual ones that I never know the names of, and never see anywhere else. The food is simple and comfortingly English - toast and marmite, sausage rolls, lovely home made sandwiches and cakes. But they do make a good cappuccino. And half the fun is guessing what combination of cup and saucer you're going to get. I don't know, small things please small minds.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


N.B This photograph has not been rotated for comedic effect.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Oops, I didn't mention anything about Couture week.

Well it's not as if Kaiser Karl flew over to my place on his private jet and personally delivered an invitation to Chanel with a flourish of his begloved, beringed hand is it? If I ever actually got to attend the Chanel couture show I think I would just call that the pinnacle of my achievments and spend the rest of my life lolling around eating marshmallows.

And I'm sure you're just as capable as I am of logging on to So belatedly, all I have to say is that I'm only really interested in Anne-Valerie Hash, but I can't understand who actually buys her clothes because they're obviously made only for me. Yes, just me. And other people like me who couldn't possibly afford them. I find what she's doing really interesting but there's no Anne-Valerie Hash perfume to promote as far as I know, or Hollywood starlets to dress. So who are the clothes for?

Which leads me to Chanel. Very pleasing, although everything looked like it was designed with Lindsay Lohan in mind. But really - so youthful. The shoulder gap thingies (not advisable for the average couture customer - underarm skin folds) and the three quarter length sleeves with the long denim gloves. The whole dress over long denim boots thing. The entire collection is so wearable (and desirable) if you're young, thin and rich. Is Karl banishing age now? Is his next transformation going to be somehow reversing his own age by adhering to a diet of human placenta and beluga caviar? Will he achieve the skin of a child and thick black luscious hair? Isn't it enough to just be thin and rich?
Didn't Kylie look the epitome of loveliness though?

image source

Friday, July 07, 2006


Researching an article I'm writing about Paris (more of which later - very exciting) I was trying to find the full address of the inexplicably hip Cafe La Perle, which I've mentioned (ranted about) before. I had decided that the only reason everyone goes there is simply, because everyone goes there. So you might as well go there once because that's where everyone is. And by everyone, I of course mean fashionista hipster types, not ordinary civilian types.
Then I stumbled accross this article on Apparently John Galliano is of the same opinion as me that La Perle is all hype and no substance.
And the reason it's so popular? The rumour is they put a shot of absinthe in the beer. Now it all makes sense. See you there.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


New (to me) blogs:
Nothing but bonfires. This blog is so well written, clever and funny, it makes me want to go back to school and learn to write from scratch all over again.
I can't believe I'd never seen it before.
Thanks ChanelBaby!

Also, Jean Touitou (designer and founder of A.P.C) has a blog!
It's very cute, with good photos and short snippets of writing in French translated to English and Japanese. It's part of Honeyee's blog section.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I've been trying to write this bleedin' post about my mum's carrot cake for ages. How to get across the importance of it to me without sounding overly sentimental or corny? I have no idea. The story goes like this:

My mum used to make this carrot cake. It was amazing. Everyone who sampled it thought so. She even made it for friends of mine she had never met on their birthdays and they remembered it years later. In the three years since my mother died I get asked quite often for the amazing carrot cake recipe. Well, I thought we were resolved, my mum and I. We'd had enough close calls to make sure we'd said everything people usually never actually tell each other. But for this one little thing. Not such bad going communication wise if that's the only thing that was left unsaid. And hardly a major priority in the scheme of things, but still I wished I had asked for it.

Then, last week a small miracle occured. At the home of my - oh let's just call her my cousin (she's my mum's sister's stepdaughter) I was flicking through the book on allotments she recently published. It's a gorgeous book, full of brilliant photographs of people's little plots of land along with practical advice and recipes to make with the food you've grown in your allotment. *Edit: and No 1 bestseller on Amazon no less!

Yes recipes. And there it was in glorious technicolour. My mum's carrot cake recipe.
Which of course was also passed on to her sister and then on to my cousin. I just didn't think of that before when I was tearing my father's house and my mother's recipe book collection apart, looking for a little scrap of paper with the recipe in her handwriting.

So here it is. Finally.


6oz (175g) carrots
2 free range eggs
4oz (100g) raw brown sugar
3fl oz (75ml) oil
4oz (100g) 100% wholemeal self raising flour
1tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) ground nutmeg
2oz (50g) dessicated coconut
2oz (50g) raisins


1.5oz (40g) butter or margarine
3oz (75g) raw brown sugar
grated rind of 1/2 an orange
1oz (25g) chopped shelled walnuts

Grease and line the base of a 7" (18cm) cake tin.
Finely grate the carrots.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy.
Whisk in the oil slowly.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix together to combine evenly.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
Level the surface and bake in the oven at 190 c (375F/gas mark 5) for 20 -25 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown. Cool on a wire tray.
Spread with icing when cold.
Icing: Beat the butter until soft. Beat in the sugar and orange rind. Spread over the cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.