I am surprised that anyone who comes near me at the moment isn’t keeling over at the smell of bleach which emanates from my person, and everything that I touch: I’ve spent the last forty-eight hours on my hands and knees, scouring everything in the kitchen, after the sighting of a mouse scurrying away behind the drinks cupboard.


Whilst you won’t find me standing on a stool, screaming 1950s housewife style, I’m not best pleased at the idea of having mice in residence, as I’m fearful that I’ll pull out a little-opened drawer or box to find some treasured piece of vintage chewed up for luxury mouse bedding.

I don’t know why I have mice for, as documented previously, all my edible dried goods are sealed away in dozens of Kilner jars so, apart from my clothes, there is nothing for the furry f*ckers to eat here.

Then again, the ambition of mice will never astonish me since I awoke in the East Village one night to the sight of a mouse dragging an empty Twix wrapper, extracted from my (very high) wastepaper basket, across the wooden bedroom floor.

Anyway, it turns out that my upstairs neighbours are similarly plagued, so I think it is time for Rentokil to pay a visit.

In other ground-breaking news, I have found my new favourite thing to eat for breakfast: the York & Albany’s wild mushrooms on toast, with poached eggs (at top). It is, essentially, heaven in matutinal form, from the buttery toast, and the slightly crisped around the edge mushrooms, to the perfect poached eggs. They also make rocket fuel Americanos. Two of them this morning, and I was practically incoherent.


Yesterday was high on efficiency (and bleach), and low on organisational skills, but I did manage to take P Bad to Regent’s Park for a constitutional. (I’m not sure that the wearing of running tights and trainers to walk the dog really counts as a gym equivalent, but I am nothing if not delusional where my exercise regimen is concerned.)

I then spent several pleasant hours in the gorgeous Connaught Bar, where Helene Darroze was hosting the annual Galette des Rois party for her fellow London chefs and food obsessives. I took Brig as my guest, and we had a wonderful time, talking food, sealing wax and cabbages and kings with lovely Ravinder and Kerstin, and lots of other very interesting people. (Amongst whom I was thrilled to finally meet Simon Rogan, who opens his new restaurant in Claridge’s in April, all being well..)

galette-des -ois

Although I sacrificially broke my January no-sugar regime, in the interests of culinary research, to eat a piece of delectable galette, I didn’t find a bean. Ravinder, however, found a little china angel (above) in her slice, and won a weekend at The Connaught. (I decided that wrestling her to the ground for angel possession was undignified in the circumstances.)

And afterwards it was all about the anti-glamour, as I hied myself to IKEA in Wembley (in party dress and heels) to buy some storage stuff, and coloured china for my current project. I am such an IKEA pro: I was out of The Connaught, in and around the store, and back home to Camden in under an hour and a half. Although I always bitterly regret living on my own when I return home and have to heft everything up the stairs. I should have put on my trainers and called it exercise.

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There is nothing worse than mice in the house. Maybe two years ago I found mice in my kitchen and had an attack of the vapors. Never mind that my 30 kg dog slept inside the house, those mice led the high life.

I think the only equivalent nasty is an attack of the pantry moths. Despite storing food in glass containers and jars, those moths somehow got in and laid eggs meaning that I threw away jars and jars of almond meal, attar flour, ordinary flour, chick peas, nuts etc. I now use pantry moth traps all the year round.



Great update! But oh gosh the mouse situation! I hope you sort them soon 🙂



I think mice are an unfortunate reality of city life — don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t dealt with them at some point. None spotted so far in my current place (NYC), but was terrorized in the last. My giant dog would love the hunting opportunity, so maybe that’s what keeps them away. Keep fighting the good fight.

@Sue, I read somewhere that keeping grains and flour in the freezer helps out with the pantry bugs, so that’s what I’ve been doing. So far, so good.


Oh dear, mice. I definitely think a call to Rentokil is due. A few years back I had a rat that was going between me & my next door neighbour. I’m afraid I did scream when I came face to face with it in the kitchen one Saturday morning. The blighter had already bitten chunks out of my soap dish in the bathroom & taken a whole new bar of expensive soap (think it was the linseed that it liked). It used climb the pipes to get upstairs & the minute the lights were out at night I used to hear it in the bathroom – makes me shudder even now. Anyway poison put down by my neighbour did the trick very quickly, as I hope it will for you. Sweet dreams.


Horrible mice. Worst thing ever, they were dining on peanuts in the shell, taking them from a bag in the pantry and sadly leaving the opened shells in shoes on the other side of the house!!! Only thing that finally worked was placing large (mice can escape the smaller ones) sticky traps with a peanut or a bit of PB on it near the culprit’s path. When you think there’s only one the reality is there are usually many more. Good luck, hope this helps. *squeak*

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