Posts from April 2015

Hands Up

April 30, 2015

I rarely wear gloves in the winter, or when I’m washing up. And then I wonder why my hands look the way they do. Lines on a woman’s face tell the story of her life. Does the same apply to the ones around her knuckles? This morning I bought a very expensive cream, in an attempt to have hands like Leandra’s. It’s already underneath my kitchen sink, with my stash of marigolds.


License to Drive

April 29, 2015

I have had two brief stints behind a wheel. The first was in the late 90s, when a tanned and tiny Mrs. da Silva tried to teach me to drive along the winding island roads of Bermuda. “Watch your speed,” she’d croak, as I’d accelerate above 25 mph. The car was a station wagon with wooden panels and I had to sit on three cushions just to see over the windscreen. My second round of lessons was a few years later in London with a guy called Carl who smelled of curry and turned green every time we neared a roundabout. I couldn’t get used to the clutch, the stop-start traffic, roundabouts or Carl’s scent. So I gave up on the idea of driving, moved to Toronto, and bought a bicycle instead. Once in a while, when I’m pushing two children with wet hair in the dead of winter uphill through Chinatown, I wish I had a car. But the rest of the time, I’m happy to walk. Or hail a Taxi. “Driving is a life skill,” I can hear my grandmother saying as she drove me to Mrs. da Silva all those years ago. But Yiayia –– I can swim and cycle and bake a cake from scratch –– surely, that counts for something? Of course, if this rolled into our rickety old garage, I’d be on the phone to Mrs. da Silva in a heartbeat.



At The Ocean

April 29, 2015

The ultimate luxury is choosing simplicity. That’s how I feel about the homes in Mirjam Bleeker and Frank Visser’s At the Ocean. There is a house with hot pink walls in a small fishing port in Costa Brava, a gorgeous, wooden holiday home on the coast south of Valparaiso in Chile and a hut on the beach off the coast of the Arabian Sea.



April 29, 2015

My favourite interiors are ones where colours clash and styles collide. While I appreciate symmetry and order, (hence my non-stop urge to plump cushions and tidy toys) I think that it’s touches of humour,  unpredictability and chaos that make a house a home.



Into The Blue

April 28, 2015

Londoners aren’t shrinking violets when it comes to the colour of their front doors. Inspired by our recent trip there, we’ve decided that it’s time for a fresh lick of paint on ours. It’s been a punchy coral pink for years, but the Greek island girl in me is now imagining Cycladic blue shutters, cobalt blue flower pots and a turquoise the colour of the sea.







April 27, 2015

Many moons ago, I was at school with a creative girl who wore beautiful clothes and little round specs. Her name was Margherita Pandolfini, and it’s no surprise to me that she grew up to be an artist. She makes gorgeous, handpainted textiles in an old greenhouse on Via san Gallo in Florence. Her studio is my idea of heaven, sunny and bright, with pops of high-wattage colour. Have a look here.




If The Shoe Fits

April 27, 2015

Like most little girls, my five-year-old daughter Iole loves to wear my heels. I’m quite amazed by the confidence with which she totters about in them. This morning she handed me a vertiginously high and shimmery Louboutin and asked me to try it on. I felt like one of Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters as I tried to pour my plump little feet into this size-less-than-perfect pump. They did once fit, but they don’t anymore, and weirdly, I’m not too disappointed. My feet are my locomotive, and they’ve walked the world. They’ve also carried the loving weight of three beautiful babies.  I won’t get rid of all the patent pumps and sparkly stilettos as they’re mementos of dancing days gone bye. But today, its trainers and ballerinas, (or anything I can chase a 4-year-old boy on a scooter in) that I wear. Flats suit my lifestyle –– plus I’m happier with my feet closer to the ground.


Go big or go home

April 26, 2015

My grandmother loved jewellery. She pinned emerald frogs to her visors when she golfed, strung piles of pearls around the neckline of chic, cashmere sweaters and bedazzled the cuffs of crisp white shirts with glitter and gold. She had one husband, but several wedding bands, and when she was diagnosed with lung cancer, she wore diamonds the size of the Plaza to chemo. Yiayia Terrifica, we miss you.


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