Monday, 30 September 2013

Step-by-step page in my Moleskine

I started with a patchwork collage of nice papers. As these were thick sheets to make cards, I minutely peeled them to thin them out. I realised that it would have been nicer to tear the pieces of paper instead of cutting them straight.
I enhanced patterns or add new ones with Posca pens. I think using nice patterned papers is not worth it as you have less to doodle at this step.
I placed my composition, tracing a pattern. As I recently used round-shaped structures, I tried concentric squares. 
I painted it with a mix of burnt sienna & shiny copper.
I added stones cushions at the edges and did more doodling to hide my pattern-constructions marks.
 I choose a big piece of furniture and pasted it on a translucent paper so that one can still perceive the shapes underneath. 
Et voilà!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Wandsworth Power Station

As I gave up the hope of visiting the famous Battersea Power Station when I discovered the 40,000 people queuing, I comforted myself going to the Wandsworth one, where I was alone. This coal-fired power station has a similar brick design as Battersea, however it is 30 years older. Interestingly, it was initially built to provide power (electricity) to the underground (Metropolitan District Railway then) which was using steam locomotive at that time. Amazingly, it remained in function and supplied the underground until 2002!

No crowd but still an amazing cathedral-like design
(and traces of successive improvement / refurbishment
as it was adapted for fuel then oil fired-powered)

Street facade - in perfect condition 

River side, where coal was unloaded from ships

My favorite, patchwork-like facade

If you are lucky enough to enter, here is what you could see:

Monday, 23 September 2013

Battersea Power Station

Last weekend was open house in London and I was delighted by this opportunity to visit the inside of Battersea Power Station. This is a decommissioned coal-fired power station which became an iconic building in London. It is actually made of two identical power station (in brick and with two chimneys each). It could cover one fifth London needs in electricity (so over 500MW or half a nuclear power plant). Coal was delivered via boats, unloaded by cranes and brought to the boiler rooms. Water is heated to create steam, which turn the steam turbines. Hot water was then reused, providing hot water and central heating to people in the area. 
Numerous failed redevelopment plans have succeeded, including a theme park which led to the removal of the roof. 

What the inside the main building looks like
(roof was removed for a theme park redevelopment project)

Its nice doric chimneys dominate the place
(around 100 meters high)

Cranes to unload the coal from ships

Monday, 16 September 2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Sticky Toffe Pudding with Ludovica

Today we decided to bake a sticky toffee pudding from Nigella. One of the key ingredient is the muscovado sugar, which is an unrefined brown sugar with a strong molasses flavor. 
Combine 90g muscovado sugar with 175g self raising flour. Make sure the muscovado has no lumps anymore. In a jar mix together 125g milk, 1 egg and 50g melted butter. Pour these liquid ingredients with the sugar & flour and combine well.
Chop 200g of dates (weighted without stones) and add to the preparation.
Transfer the whole thing in a tall oven dish (we used 20 cm diameter). It does not look very full but it will gets bigger.
Sprinkle over 175g muscovado sugar and 25g of butter in dots.
For us, it looks like half the content consists of the preparation and another half is occupied by the sugar. I have to say it looks a lot of sugar however it is not overpowering at all at the end. 
The intriguing part is then to add 500mL of literally boiling water on top of that.
We now have one third of the preparation and two thirds of sugar + water. I was (a bit) skeptical at that point.
Put it straight in he oven at 190°C for 45 minutes.
The whole thing got bigger; the top should be springy and spongy; the water, sugar & butter have turned in a beautiful sticky sauce.
Leave to rest 10-15 minutes; it will retract a bit.
Serve warmish with cream, yogurt, or something similar.
It is truthfully awesome. A must try.