Our gin is born…

Not much of my life is Richard Curtis film worthy but my birthing experience for my third child most certainly was. I cried to the midwife “I can’t possibly give birth here! Here being far from my birthing plan of subdued lighting, CD of French music and joss sticks…here being a very full prenatal ward…

Naked gin

One of the most frightening paintings I remember as a child is of a woman in chapel, austere yet proud in her Welsh costume. You are supposed to be able to see the Devil in the folds of her shawl. I was convinced that it was a painting of my formidable great aunt, who wore…

Happy to be Ginstitutionalised

Six O’Clock was a magical time when growing up – it was the time when the telephone became accessible as calls were considerably cheaper. The phone opened up my life and allowed me to communicate with the outside world. Lots of inane conversations with friends with never ending goodbyes: “I’m going now”, “No, I’m going…

On a mission to drink gin and moisturise

Long before my quest for the perfect G & T, I was on a mission to moisturise. I have spent a fortune along the way and my dressing table is a graveyard of moisturising ambition. I have tried homemade recipes for face creams, top brands in their exquisite packaging and their cheaper counterparts but to…

Gin & Tap dancing on the dark side

It had been a throwaway comment on a works do, based on truth, as the best anecdotes always are, but not exactly accurate. It’s a given that such anecdotes, told in a haze of alcohol, may come back to haunt you but not to this extent…It was a whole school assembly with over a thousand…

Gin & fireside tales

Even though we left Africa when I was three years old, Africa dominated my growing up. There were so many pictures, meals and words inspired by Africa. It was the stories I loved the best – from the snake in the toilet to toads in the shower which swirled in my mind with photographs of…

Raspu-gin

For a man of few words, my grandfather was a skilled storyteller. Taciturn in everyday life, he turned into a performer when there was a crowd of people and would spin many a yarn around us all. He had the same talent with the piano – rarely practised but could perform to a crowd with…

Garden Ginspiration

As a child my father used to spend every summer with his uncle in London. His uncle was a cobbler on Drury Lane, repairing shoes for the Vaudeville stars of the time. In the evenings, my father was allowed to sit at the back of theatres and watched his heroes but by day, he was…

X marks the gin (spot)

My daughter unwrapped the parcels that had been delivered to find this week’s gin, X-Gin. ‘What’s an aphrodisiac?’, she asked. I grabbed the bottle – I had ordered a chocolate gin, there must have been some mistake. I suppose I should have realised by the X-rated name. Alas no, there was no mistake – my…

Gin & elephants

It’s the ivory keys I remember the most about my weekly nightmarish piano lessons as a child. The keys were as cold and sharp as my piano teacher. She seemed to loathe me and hit my hands with her ice-cold fingers every few seconds, remonstrating loudly at my clumsy playing. She made me play Welsh…

Gin & Sweet Memories

I couldn’t quite place the fragrant note on this week’s gin and then it came to me – Parma Violets- and I was immediately back in my parents’ sweet shop, circa 1976. I have never had a particularly sweet tooth, but my parents’sweet shop was a world of colours, tastes and magic for a young…

Gin – worth the protest

When you are talkin’ ’bout a revolution, it may sound like a whisper these days but there was a time when people really shouted out. Growing up in Wales, however, it was shocking that we never studied anything about Wales itself. Even though I learnt about the French Revolution, wore purple and green to honour…