Inspiration

island life

July 3, 2018

It’s a lovely experience to relive childhood memories with and through your children. We’ve been in Greece for the last few weeks, and seeing them immersed in a world not so dissimilar to the one I grew up in, is a wonderful thing. On the islands, at least the ones we choose to spend time on, time stands still. The land is rugged and raw, the beaches windswept, rocky and untouched, linens flap in the wind, cockerels sing in chorus, church bells chime and the tavli games go on. Luma runs fast across the blisteringly hot sand to cool her feet in the sea. I remember the sensation, the intense heat, and the respite of that ice cold water. There are street cats looking for scraps, and that unnerves the children. It used to bother me too, their skinny, purry tales brushing against my legs underneath the taverna table. The ice creams from the periptero are so good, they want two a day. They eat patates tiganites with everything. Everyone does. They stay up late, and kick a ball around in the platia with local kids. They don’t speak the language, but that never gets in the way of a good game. At a mountain top taverna, the children plough through bread (the only child friendly thing on the rustic menu) while we drink local wine, and the owner charges us for neither. Generosity is rich in these parts. Back in chora, they pool their money, and buy plastic water pistols and gum like my brother and I used to do with our drachmas. End of day, their little brown bodies are covered in salt, sweat and sand. In the last days of August, I too was a salty, sandy, scratched up, Kalamata olive. And I didn’t shower, so I could bring it all home with me.

Pink city

July 2, 2018

Marrakech is one of my favourite cities, so it’s little wonder I’m drawn to the work of Rosie Harbottle. The London based illustrator has spent much time in Marrakech, and the city has an exciting influence on her work. A dusty rose (the shade of most Marrakech buildings) is her central colour, and references to Moroccan culture (tiles, fabrics, ceramics and textiles) are in abundance. There is a mystical, folksy feel to her subject matter. Her style is feminine, whimsical and utterly charming. Have a look at Harbottle’s website — she produces stationary, prints and she even paints leather jackets.

haircut

June 30, 2018

I am terrible at cutting hair. Once, I took my friend Kate’s long blonde tresses and turned them into a jaggedy bob. She did score a modelling gig at the salon who salvaged the hair style, so it wasn’t totally disastrous. I cut my own hair a few times, and I’ve given my son the wonkiest bangs on earth, but generally I steer away from salon scissors. I love this image of Carl M. Dunrud giving his friend Amelia Earhart a haircut. It was taken at in Wyoming in 1934. He looks like he knows what he’s doing.

everyday people

June 30, 2018

Leslie Williamson photographs homes, many of which appear in her book, Interior Portraits. She also photographs people. It’s these pictures that I really love, people caught in a moment, talking, laughing, reading, eating, thinking. Williamson’s photo of Irving Harper at his home in Rye, New York has such a warm and natural feel to it, as does her shot of sculptor, Maria Moyer in her studio. Take a look, they’re all quite lovely.

poolside

June 30, 2018

Hello to al fresco Queen sized beds. And an en suite bathroom to boot. Green walls are de rigueur. Who needs a house with a set up like this?

bottoms up

June 30, 2018

If there’s a central island in the kitchen, chances are, everyone will end up around it. I love these vintage bar stools, brassy and chic, and you can never go wrong with a classic bentwood. A little chartreuse for your tush is a good idea, and so are these ultra simple nordic numbers. But stools that disappear after the guests are gone, those are the best kind.

neighbours

June 30, 2018

One of the things I love about my neighbourhood, is how quickly and spontaneously a Wednesday evening turns into a party. And by party, I mean two women, 6 children, some fajitas and a bottle of Rosé. I am so grateful for such evenings. They remind me of the impromptu gatherings I grew up with, playing dress up way past sundown at the batty French house up the street, or quiet Sunday lunches at home, that turned into a feast for fifteen. As of late April when the snow finally thaws, you can always count on finding a neighbour to shoot the breeze with at the end of the day. And isn’t that great.

Bleu comme le ciel

June 30, 2018

White walls are my preference, but I do love the idea of a ceiling in a bold colour. And why not Tiffany blue? I love this little room, and the idea that you’re dining under a bright, turquoise sky.

let’s polka

June 18, 2018

Who can say no to polka dots, especially polka dots sur plage? This is one cool cozzy. I don’t do too much lying around the beach, but I think it’s as good for sun bathing as it is for chasing sprogs into the sea.

school’s out

June 16, 2018

I always get a little sentimental on the last day of school. It’s pride in my children, how much they’ve grown –– bigger hearts, bigger minds, bigger teeth –– but it’s also a whiplash back to my own feelings at the end of the school year. There was excitement for the fun ahead, but also melancholy in the clearing of desks and the farewells to friends and teachers (for what seemed like an eternity). Endings, beginnings, endings, beginnings. It was all bitter sweet. But how fast children move on. Within a few days I was barefoot, eating chunks of watermelon a million miles away from my little wooden school desk.  And so mine will be, too.

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