Posts from June 2015

On The Water

June 17, 2015

I’ve always loved the idea of a home on the water –– be it lake, sea or ocean. My father’s house, on the far flung Greek island of Kastellorizo, is five or six small steps away from the sea. Imagine a giant, salt water swimming pool –– refreshingly cold and dazzlingly blue –– for all who live in the port. The only caveat to the location is zero privacy. A palazzo in venice sounds romantic too, until the acqua alta rises enough to flood your Ferragamos. My sister-in-law has a gorgeous cabin on its own tiny island on a lake near Parry Sound. It’s too isolated for me, but in terms of true Canadian experiences, this place is as cozy and authentic as a vintage Hudson Bay blanket. I’m still searching for my dream getaway, but in the meantime, you can find me perched on the steps of this whitewashed Indian gem.








My Fair Lady

June 17, 2015

It’s a little dream of mine to own a flower shop –– a jewel of a boîte where the neighbourhood can buy blooms wrapped in brown tissue, as well as bamobolini, fresh raspberries and honey in jars. Inside, there would be one wall of de Gournay flowers with the others painted a beautiful, light aqua. The floors would be covered in a mint green, white and mustard yellow Moroccan tile. Expect tangerine ranunculus, lemon peonies, white delphiniums and astrantia in delicate, muted tones. Oh, and in the heat of August, you’ll find my children out front pouring ice cold lemonade into pink Moroccan tea glasses for 25-cents a pop!


Different Strokes

June 15, 2015

It took Jason and I weeks to pick the right white for our walls. We settled on Cotton Balls by Benjamin Moore, partly because of the name, but mostly because we were seeing white stars. Eight-years later, and with so much high wattage colour collected, white still seems to be the right choice. It looks fresh, (minus the odd crayon scribble) bright and warm. That doesn’t stop me from imagining walls in sherbert colours, though. A candyfloss living room is unlikely. But thinking about it is fun.



June 12, 2015

“Home might be a house in the country. Or an apartment in the city. Or even a shoe,” writes Carson Ellis in her beautifully illustrated solo debut, Home. There are clean homes, messy homes, wigwams, palaces, boats and lairs.  When I ask the children which home in the book they would most like to live in, Antimo predictably leafs his way to the pirate ship. Iole points to an exotic palace, in Jordan, perhaps. Jason chooses a tiny stone hut perched on a cliff high above the mountains in a place that looks like Burma. Me, I chose the home of a Norse god –– a palace complete with quirky turrets, a giant poppy, Ash trees and a wild  goat (that stands on a turret).



Silver Linings

June 11, 2015

It takes guts to go grey. Well, for women it does. On a man, it’s distinguished –– on a woman, it’s drab. But silver stars like Carmen Dell’Orefice, Linda Rodin and Kiki Smith prove otherwise. And what about Joni Mitchell’s stick straight, silver angel-hair? Or that perfect crop of white on top of Judi Dench’s sharp, boyish face? Or the soft curls that sit like whispy clouds over Queen Elizabeth? Gutsy women, indeed. In a piece for the New York Times, journalist, Leah Rozen wrote about her reasons for going grey:  “IF MY GOING GRAY is in any way a political statement, it’s a passive but shimmeringly visible protest against the cult of youth. We can’t all be young forever and — news flash! — some of us don’t want to be. Hey, my silvery locks signal to one and all, I’m getting older and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Deal with it.”




Less Is More

June 10, 2015

“For the price of one indie-rock dress, I can buy ten sweatshop-rock dresses, but part of maturing is realizing I don’t want to be a glutton for rayon,” muses Sarah Lazarovic in her charmingly illustrated new book. “‘Quality not quantity,’ ‘MileEnd not Made in Bangladesh,’ yada, yada –– stab me with a high minded sewing needle.” A Bunch Of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy is a memoir told though Lazarovic’s shopping history, from the coveted scrunchie socks of her childhood in Boca Raton to the year she decides to boycott buying clothes all together. Instead, she paints the clothes she covets. In 2012, she repeats the exercise. In the spirit of Micheal Pollan, Lazarovic goes on to coin the phrase, “Buy clothes. Not too many. Mostly quality.” It’s a sweet, funny, thought-provoking book that brought to mind two people: My grandmother, who in her air hostess years, spent her earnings cultivating a tiny, but highly curated wardrobe of Chanel and Givenchy instead of wasting her money on tonnes of tat, and my friend Stephanie, who in our teens saved up her allowance to buy silk ruffled blouses from Joseph while we all snapped up Topshop by the shed load. These days, I don’t often shop, but when I do, it’s the pieces that are unusual, magic, whimsical –– and yes, the ones that are made to last –– that excite me most.


In her Genes

June 9, 2015

In all the years of knowing Mama Jaan, it’s funny to me that I don’t know her real name. The matriarch of dear family friends, Mama Jaan (“Jaan” is an endearment that Iranians add to names of loved ones) is the only name I have ever known for her. Every year at Christmas time, she would leave her home in Basel and make the journey to Rougemont where both our families had a home. It was there that I first came across her creams, made by hand in her kitchen and given to each of us as a Christmas gift. With a recipe passed down to her by her mother, Mama Jaan –– full of grace and elegance ––  has used this cream all her life. Now, her daughter, Delara and grandaughter, Natalia are making and selling day and night creams under the name, Nadebala. Small-batch beauty is de rigeur, so the timing could not be more perfect. Plus, a product that is sustainable, contains only unprocessed ingredients that has been passed down over generations and was made with thought and effort in a kitchen rather a factory, makes us more inclined to use it. And if you’re still not sure, please look at Mama Jaan’s beautiful, glowing octogenarian face.


Suits Me Fine

June 8, 2015

When it pours with rain, the only sensible thing to do, in my view, is to go for a swim. If I’m going to get wet, I may as well get drenched. But I realized today, as I bobbed around the shallow end with the old birds at the JCC singing along to The Crystals, “Then he kissed me,” that I’m in dia need of a new cozzie. My suit, (worn through pregnancy) as pretty as it is, bags around the middle and hardly holds up the tatas (or what’s left of them). Of course, the replacement I have in mind is more chic beach sojourn than downtown community centre, but I’m sure the girls will get a kick out of it. Now, to find a cap that compliments the cozzie. Did someone say lime green frill?





June 5, 2015

Mrs. B was more than a Greek teacher –– she was a loyal, loving, biriba playing safe harbour to whom my brother and I clung to when times were tough. She taught us to read, write and speak Greek. Plus, anything we know about them gods on Olympus, we learned from her. Her role evolved from once-weekly Greek teacher to live-in nanny, and she worked and travelled with our family on-and-off for more than ten-years. My best memories of Mrs. B take place at Voula’s open air cinemas where we ate roasted pumpkin seeds and watched films under the stars. She also took us to Luna Parks for candy floss and wild rides that children probably shouldn’t be on. We’d pile into her little Renault –– my brother and I, and two or three of our cousins –– and she’d take us on outings to the movies, to the beach or for lunch and a swim at the Astir Palace. She loved us and chided us like we were own, and had no qualms about yanking me out of a room by my earlobe when I was being naughty. She covered our scrapes in Mercurochrome and kisses, pinched our bottoms and sang old Greek folk songs to us. There was a lot of silliness and laughter. She is well into her 80s now, and lives in a small apartment in Pefki. On her mantle she has a few icons and crocheted doilies, and a picture of Alex and I.






Prints Charming

June 4, 2015

Antimo is wearing a shirt today made from hand blocked Indian cotton given to him by his school friend, Aryaman. India produces some of the most exquisite textiles in the world, a tradition which goes back more than 3,000 years. What an adventure it would be to travel the country collecting fabrics from each of its 28-states. I would make cushions, curtains and culottes out of the material (well, not me personally –– I’m no Maria) and snap up kanthas a plenty. In the meantime, I’ll have to ask Aryaman to sneak a few into his backpack when he visits this summer.






All rights reserved © La Parachute · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie