spring blooms

April 6, 2019

My local flower shop has some beautiful hellebores in stock that would take your breath away. They’re the colour of claret, with intricate yellow centres, and they’d look fabulous paired with green hydrangeas. At this time of year, just seeing a beautiful bloom fills me with hope of warmer, lighter days.

letter press

April 5, 2019

I wrote a letter the other day, and honestly, it took eight drafts to make it legible. My penmanship is pretty to look at, but impossible to read. It made me wonder about the stacks of cards and letters I’ve sent over the years that have been a massive effort for people to read, an effort that may have detracted from the sentiment. This is why email is handy. Text messages, too. But when I look at this charming writing desk, I’m inspired to pick up the pen again. Write more letters, work at making them legible.

home

April 2, 2019

In all its lopsided glory, I have loved living in our house. Its been joyful, chaotic and intense. If the walls could speak they’d say, “we’ve done all we can to house these weird and wild people, it’s time to build new ones.” I am grateful to every wonky window sill and creaky floorboard, the cracks in the walls, and wobbly banister, all the flaws and foibles of this little house of ours. We moved in as two, without a stick of furniture, and now we’re five with more stuff than we know what to do with. Building something new in its place will be a challenge. Let’s hope houses have souls and this one stays put.

garden’s end

March 29, 2019

Here’s my idea of a garden shed. A little stone house at the end of the garden, surrounded by wild fauna and flora. There’s a double chaise longue to have a rest on, and a kettle to make cups of tea. It’s where the gardening tools are kept, plus a stash of books, magazines and cozy blankets. It’s cool in the summer, and the wood stove makes it cozy in the winter. Heaven.

shades of an island

March 28, 2019

I really like the combination of racing green and peach in this charming room. It reminds me of my grandparents home in Bermuda, a little salmon pink cottage surrounded by a jungle of palm trees and grasses. I like the linens with the frilly edges, and the chintzy paper trim. I smell flowers and sand when I see this room, and I feel a humid breeze blowing through the curtains.

arched

March 28, 2019

For months, I didn’t tweeze my eyebrows, in the hopes of cultivating a thicker brow. I was curious to see what would come of them, if left alone. And frankly, I was happy to have one less thing to do. The girl who does my threading called me eyebrows, “rustic” when she saw them. Ribollita is rustic. It was time to have them tended to. Nine hairs later, I felt human again. Pretty, even. I even bought a brow gel to fill in the sparse spots. I’ll never have this chica’s brows, but with a little help, mine will do.

with the band

March 26, 2019

Does anyone remember those velvet headbands, the ones we wore with taffeta puffballs and patent shoes? I’d rather like to revisit that phase, now that my eyebrows aren’t so bushy and my teeth aren’t so bucky. Jennifer Behr makes a beautiful braided version, in every colour you can imagine. Bubble skirt, optional.

Sweet child of mine

March 26, 2019

My dad has a framed photograph of my brother and I, aged eight and ten, standing hillside on the island of Serifos. We’re both wearing white shorts and reluctant smiles. We were on one of my father’s many religious expeditions, to see the mosaic dome of a church, catch the tail end of a sunset service, or light candles at the shrine to a local saint. There were outings to ruins, too. So many columns, so many caryatids. Most of the time, we just wanted to be swimming, or eating biscuits and watching Greek cartoons. And that pained my Dad. Today, I have the same struggle with my own children anytime I suggest an art exhibition or a cultural outing. Pasta trumps Pakoras, and Disney wins over anything with subtitles. And I understand that. And try not to take it personally. Or expect to much of them. But sometimes, I just need them to be game. Sometimes, I just need it to to be easy.  Last week in Mexico, the mere suggestion of a day trip to Isla Mujeres sent my son into a meltdown, followed by two hours droning on  about what a terrible idea this was, and how much better a day at our resort (complete with pools, slides and a water park) would be, and how we (Jason and I) always do what we want. I understood; he’s a seven-year-old boy, being pulled away from familiar fun to ferry off to who knows what. “But we have a beach here, why do we have to go to another one?” I tried not to take it personally, but by the time we got to the ferry where he was still drilling, I lost it. “We’re never coming here again,” I said, my eyeballs hot with fire. “I hate this place.” I was loud enough that heads turned and I really didn’t care. Every parent knows that strain of anger, that irrational rage that kicks in when a child has pushed you to your limits. It’s just beyond that limit that we start acting just like them, and thinking thoughts no mother wants to admit to. Thank goodness for the thirty minutes of fresh salty air, and a local singer’s on-board rendition of Sweet Child of Mine, because otherwise I may have hitchhiked to Cancun. By the time we reached Punta Sur, (in a rickety golf cart) Antimo was the first to run wild through the sculpture garden, chasing Iguanas, and climbing to the top of Ixchel’s temple. We found a lovely beach at the opposite end of the island, and it was Antimo who spent the entire afternoon wrestling with the waves. “You know, Jason was just like Antimo when he was young,” said my mother-in-law as we sat watching him on the beach. “He too was inflexible, and he didn’t want to go anywhere.” Today, there isn’t a place in the world that Jason would not travel to. And unlike the little grumpy girl in the picture, I am never not in awe of ruins and relics, especially when drenched in sunset light. I’m pretty sure our son will one day be the same.

walk like a Jagger

March 22, 2019

I love this shot of Bianca Jagger’s platform, backstage at a Rolling Stones Concert in 1975. Trust Bianca to clip her pass to the strap of her shoe. I’m guessing she was in one of her signature white pant suits, and something fabulous on her head. One cool chick.

takes the biscuit

March 21, 2019

This style of sofa always reminds me of Savoiardi, the spongy biscuits that Italians dunk in their morning latte. I’ve never sat on one, but I bet it’s heavenly comfortable. Funnily enough, my bank has one in its main lobby. Next time I’m in there for a banker’s draft, I’ll test out its sponginess.

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