I don’t know about you, but I love a surprise.

I like bumping into friends I haven’t seen in years. I like appearing at my parents’ house when they aren’t expecting me. I like coming home to find a melon on the kitchen counter with a note stuck on it saying ‘We didn’t have a vase, so I bought you this instead of flowers’.

But more than that, I like going into something with absolutely no expectations and coming out utterly blown away. That’s the best kind of surprise, and that’s exactly what happened to me last night.

As I may have mentioned before, To Kill a Mockingbird is my favourite book of all time. So when a play of the book was on at my local theatre, I wrangled together a bunch of my family to come and see it with me. We knew nothing about the adaptation or the theatre company, we just went along to see what they were up to.


(Photo courtesy of

There’s a lot of content in Mockingbird. A lot of complicated characters who you only come to understand little by little as you progress through the book. The plot is packed with events and issues and poignant moments and all-in-all, there’s a lot to take from those 300-odd pages and whittle down into a stage show. I had some reservations about how it would translate and I really didn’t know what to expect.

It was such a beautiful surprise.

The cast members were incredible, switching between narrator-roles and characters with ease, picking up and dropping the Deep South drawl immaculately and those children. Oh my goodness. They have a bright future.


(Photo courtesy of

A lot of thought and care has clearly been given to this play, and it’s obvious that Christopher Sergel, who adapted it for the stage, has real reverence for the book and Harper Lee’s use of language. The speech was lifted directly from the original text, and huge chunks of the narration were read aloud. It was so, so faithful. There were a few school groups in the audience and I think this production will have really helped them. This play brings to life the aspects of Mockingbird that are easily lost when you concentrate too hard; the humour, the sensitivity and the humanity.

I came out of the theatre last night feeling so many things in a really intense way. It was the same feeling I have whenever I finish reading the book; elated by the experience of it and bereft that it’s over.

The play is on in MK until Saturday, and then moves on to Richmond, so if you get the chance, see it.

You can thank me later.

Food time: Mediterranean wraps

Happy Monday, beautiful people!

Today, I have something a little bit different, and a big bit exciting to share.

Today, I have a recipe for you. Well, I call it a recipe to make it sound swanky, it’s more of a lunch idea.


(Action wrap shot. Photo by me.)

How does a Mediterranean wrap sound to you? Yummy, right? It features healthy veg and halloumi cheese and it’s super easy. It’s quite cheap too, which is always nice.

There are a couple of things to watch out for: halloumi is addictive. There will be some snaffly bits. You must do your best not to snaffle them, because if you manage not to, one batch of cooking can last you almost a week of lunches. And that little bit of genius is worth the restraint. (I think. I didn’t manage it, myself. I had to have crumpets for lunch, instead, for a couple of days. Quel domage…)


(Halloumi, YUM. Photo by me.)

So here you go…

Mediterranean wraps (makes 4 servings)

You will need:

  • 1 aubergine (or egg plant for any American readers)
  • 2 courgettes (or zucchini for any American readers)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Dried thyme
  • Crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 block of halloumi
  • 4 wraps
  • Sweet chilli sauce

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (ish, none of this needs to be precise).

Slice your aubergine and courgette thinly and scatter on baking trays.

Sprinkle olive oil, lemon, thyme and chilli flakes over the vegetables. I wasn’t specific with quantities, you don’t need to be either, just go wild.

Bake the veggies for 15-20 minutes, or until they are looking a bit juicy/gnarly/crispy (mine were all of the above).

Meanwhile, drain your halloumi and pat it dry. Slice it into 5mm thick slices and fry in a dry pan on the hob. If more liquid comes out during cooking, soak it up with some kitchen roll and chuck that goo away. We want our cheese toasty.

When the underside is mottled orangey brown, flip each piece of halloumi. Remove from the heat when both sides are equally toasty and scrummy.

Whack your wrap on a plate. Layer up the courgette and aubergine (I did courgette, aubergine, courgette but it’s not exactly a science) and then put a few slices of cheese on top. I like having an extra slice at the bottom so the last mouthful is super cheesy. Drizzle with sweet chille sauce, wrap and EAT.


(Neat stacking. About the only thing I do neatly. Photo by me.)

The veg makes it fresh and zingy, the cheese adds some salt and protein and the sauce gives it some kick. Perfect lunch? I think so.

Top tip: if you put all of the fillings in the middle at the top you can do the nappy fold and keep all of your fillings safely inside the wrap. Yes I just said ‘nappy’ while talking about food. It’s ok, you will survive.

Until next time, amigos!

Lulamae Barnes

I was going to share a post with you yesterday, but something got in the way. It was one of those days. Truman Capote put it best in Breakfast at Tiffany’s:

“You know those days when you’ve got the mean reds? …the mean reds are horrible. You’re afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is.”

Yesterday was a mean reds kind of day. Unlike Holly Golightly, I don’t have any particular place that I go to make me feel better. So, I just rode it out.

Today is better. And you know what else? Today is World Book Day.

I didn’t actually realise today was the day until I saw a post by blueeggsandtea on Instagram. You might find that odd for a book lover, but it’s just because, for me, every day is book day.

Anyway, I thought I’d have a bit of waffle about books, in honour of their Great Day, and fittingly enough, I’d like to specifically talk about Breakfast at Tiffany’s.


Have you read this classic? If not, do it now. You will thank me for it later.

I’ve said before what a babe Truman Capote is. His way with words is delicious and his characters are so captivating. Throughout this novella I was simultaneously falling in love with/infuriated by/utterly obsessed with Holly Golightly. She’s the kind of character you hate to love, who gets on your nerves and yet makes your soul sing. And one of the amazing things is that we all know people like that in real life, too. Capote puts a magnifying glass on the truth of life and makes you feel it so intensely that you can’t help but sit up and think “Oh yeah, that’s like so-and-so”. Genius.


(Photo by Irving Penn, 1979)

“You can’t give your heart to a wild thing.”

And yet that’s exactly what Capote makes you do.

Have you seen the film adaptation? Yeah I thought you might have. It’s good, but it’s nowhere near as good as the book. Audrey Hepburn is her usual gorgeous, wonderful self, but she makes Holly so whimsical, so innocent, in a way that’s just not apparent in the book. Capote’s Holly knows exactly what she’s doing to the people around her; she embodies the wild thing while Audrey only plays at it. And Mickey Rooney as Mr Yunioshi? Good lord, so racist…

If I could have my way on this World Book Day I would be curled up on the sofa with an endless stream of tea, a huge box of chocolates and this glorious piece of literature. I wouldn’t get up until I’d read the whole thing in one sitting, and my life would be enriched for the experience.

Needless to say, I can’t have my way (damn work!) but if any of you could do it for me, I would be so grateful.

Until next time you beauts.

“If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”


Isn’t it funny how it takes ages to get settled into a new home? I say ‘funny’ but I actually mean ‘infuriating’. While I’m not the tidiest of people, I do like everything to have its proper place, so that on the odd occasions when I do put everything away, there is somewhere for each of my possessions to go. Looking back, it took almost two years for that to happen in Bath, so I shouldn’t be bothered that it hasn’t happened in the month we’ve been back in MK (yeah, it’s been a month! How??)

But I am. I am bothered.

We’ve done well, I will admit, and most rooms are pretty much there, but I have learned that no matter what your intentions, a second bedroom will always be a dumping ground if there isn’t a person to occupy it. There isn’t an extra person in our home (and there won’t be one anytime soon) so for now, it is the place I shut the door on to forget about mess.

I have, however, managed to make the living room feel lived in. By which I mean, I have completely taken over parts of it. Hey, a girl needs her girly space, amiright?

First came the picture window.


(It’s surprisingly hard to take a photo of a window…photo by me.)

This window is ever so slightly higher than the others in the flat and it’s quite a lot smaller. I don’t know if it’s technically called a picture window, but it makes the view out of it look like a framed picture, so that’s what I call it.


(I love the different colours in glass. Photo by me.)

These bottles were saved from the wedding, almost two years ago now! Remember how we used them for centrepieces, with handmade flowers peeking out? Well, the flowers all found good homes with the wedding guests, but the bottles sat forlornly overlooked in my parents house. Until now! I filled them with sweetheart roses (£3.50 for a dozen – bargain!) and they look very lovely indeed.


(See? Gorge. Photo by me.)

I also had to have a little nod to my obsession with all things French. When I was working in Bristol, I found this amazing French shop called Bonjour People in St James Arcade. It’s filled with authentic French food and drink, lovingly handmade accessories and crazy bits for the home like this:


It is a cabane mouchette – a house for a little fly! The whole thing is made by hand and I just think it’s so whimsical and delightful. Alongside the wall sticker that reads “mon coin de ciel” (this is my part of the sky) the whole scene is complete.

But it’s not the only part of the room that’s been Lizzie-fied.


(Work in progress. Photo by me.)

This is my gallery wall. It’s a collection of postcards and awesome things I’ve found on Pinterest. It’s all just stuck up with blu-tak, so I can move things around, change up the graphics and generally tweak it until I’m happy. It’s amazing how many free printables there are out there. Check out these, these and this!

All of that is lovely, right?

Thanks, so glad you think so.

But it’s not the best bit. My pride and joy is my bureau…


(Ignore the mess around it, just look at the pretty! Photo by me.)

Over 200 hundred years old, this gorgeous antique was a gift from Steven two Christmases ago and I have finally been reunited with it. There was nowhere for it to go in the Bath flat, so my parents were looking after it. Let me just tell you, it works perfectly in the new flat and it means I get to work here:


(Yes, I tidied it before the photo, what do you take me for? Photo by me.)

So it might be slow going, but we are nesting, bedding down in this lovely new home. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a second bedroom to conquer!