Posts from November 2019

English palazzo

November 15, 2019

If you have a moment today, walk through Rose Uniacke’s exquisite home. “In the work that I do, I try to create a heart in every room,” says the interior designer. Soaring ceilings, enormous windows and a beautiful domed ceiling give the space a majesty –– “Venetian palazzo meets monastery” is how she describes it. “It’s a very happy house.” The director’s choice of music is quite moving, and renders the whole experience dream like.

face the music

November 15, 2019

This beautiful painting by Alexandre Benois, titled “the king walked in any weather” was just the jolt I needed this morning as I dressed for the elements. I’ve become a bit too fair-weather in recent years, opting for taxis and transit over facing the cold on foot. So, I’m stocking up on Uniqlo thermals, and making this the winter I walk in any weather.

in between

November 15, 2019

There’s something surreal about the merging of seasons, when one comes too early, or another stays too late. When the pigment of linden leaves has stained the snow chartreuse, and the black eyed susans are holding on for dear life. Similarly, late September heat waves always feel strange amidst a swirl of falling leaves. It’s strange and beautiful and unsettling, and a reminder that anything is possible, and that sometimes, surrendering to the surreal is all we can do.

Choco chaud

November 14, 2019

With ice cream season behind us, (not according to my trio, who would eat soft serve and ice lollies in a snowstorm) it’s now all about chocolat chaud. This recipe from Bon Appetit is super simple. The French give their children hot chocolate as a repas, likely served with fresh madelines and dried fruits. Minus the Medjool dates, I think my kids would be in French heaven.

La boheme

November 14, 2019

This is such a bohemian scene; the mattress on the floor, terracotta tiles, the chinoiserie screen, paisley fabric. It’s rooms like these, a touch makeshift, but warm and romantic, that I adore.

seasons

November 12, 2019

A few days ago, the trees outside my window, the ones that make me feel like we’re living in a tree house, were chock full of golden leaves. Today, their empty branches are cradling mounds of snow. It’s a shock to the system when the season change is so swift, when we switch from woolly sweaters to giant puffas in a day. It’s discombobulating. But exciting, too. Who isn’t a little awestruck by the first fall of snow?

Uncle Alex

November 12, 2019

One of the many things I love about my brother is his love for my three children. He loves me and Jason so much, it was always a given that he would love any child we made. I thought that becoming a parent might make Alex a little less involved in his nieces and nephew. That would have been a natural progression. But since having a daughter of his own, he is just as present. Just as proud. He is exactly the parent I imagined he would be — not too dissimilar to the uncle he is. He plays. Really plays. And he pays attention to all the details. Children feel secure with Alex. He makes them feel like they are a privilege to be around. He came to visit us this weekend from London, and within minutes of arrival we were all playing blind man’s buff. He laughs at children’s silliness from the depths of his belly, and listens to their stories with the engagement of a journalist. He’s responsible, reliable and very funny, all traits that kids like in an adult. I wish we all lived closer, but we make the time count.

pink

November 8, 2019

My favourite colour is pink, Schiaperalli pink, to be precise. In my eyes, pink goes with every colour in the rainbow. Orange and pink is a winning combination, and more recently, I’ve been swooning over chartreuse and pink. Life is too short for tepid colour combinations like greiges and taupes. When I was about eight I had a pair of pink leather bowed slip-ons. Despite them being awfully uncomfortable, I wore them all the time. They were my most beautiful shoes. I loved them. Even then, I knew, this is my colour.

fire starter

November 6, 2019

One of the many things I love about our rental apartment is that it’s got a working fireplace. We sparked it up last week for the first time, and we’ve lit three fires since. It’s messy, and requires stoking and caring for, but the warmth, scent and atmosphere of a roaring fire is worth the effort. I really like the carvings in this marble one, and this cast iron, art nouveau one is beautiful, too. And look at the Kolkhose –– truly stunning.

self defense

November 5, 2019

The Bombardier beetle’s chemical spray can kill most insects and burn the human flesh. Roses have sharp thorns that dig into animals when they get too close. The boxer crab uses sea anemones as venomous boxing gloves. Nature is genius. Humans too, are equipped with sophisticated systems of self defense. But what about emotional security? Does a rainbow trout, like human beings, have to develop coping mechanisms to deal with the life’s great challenges? Charles Darwin once wrote in his book The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals that insects “express anger, terror, jealousy and love.” It’s hard to imagine a beetle falling in love, or a spider lamenting the loss of a loved one. And if they do, I would hazard that their version of grief or love sickness or social insecurity isn’t quite as complicated as ours. As bonkers as it sounds, in times of distress I sometimes think, “right, what would a bear do?” “How would a dragonfly navigate this?” Somehow, I feel a little lighter imagining myself as an insect, or a burly mammal. And in that moment, I feel more equipped with the emotional and physical intelligence I need.

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