Posts from May 2017


May 16, 2017

I was named after my maternal grandmother, and although I never knew her, I feel a kinship in our shared name. My great aunts, who knew her well, used to say that Athena and I looked very much alike. I’ve studied old photos, the black and white ones with scalloped edges, and I really don’t see it. She was tall and curvaceous and her features were far more dramatic than mine. But I’ve looked at enough faces to know that the similarities we see are not always literal. As a child, I wished to be called Lucy or Jane –– a simple English name that everyone could pronounce. It wasn’t until I entered my teens that I realized what a gift Athena was. I rarely think about my name anymore, but once in a while someone will stop and ask me, “she was a Greek goddess, right?” “Yes, of wisdom and war. And she was my grandmother.”



May 15, 2017

A room with honeycomb terracotta tiles and various shades of yellow is a lovely place to start. Bring vintage cutlery, large white candles, cream linen napkins, vino rosso and a huge ceramic bowl of spaghetti carbonara to the table, and the rest of the story just writes itself.


Advice from a mum

May 12, 2017

I’ve read a lot of essays on motherhood over the last eight years, but Caitlin Moran’s posthumous advice for her daughter and Tina Fey’s prayer for a daughter remain my favourites, and the ones I return to again and again. “And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.” Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful Mamas. “The main thing is just to try to be nice. You already are – so lovely I burst, darling – and so I want you to hang on to that and never let it go. Keep slowly turning it up, like a dimmer switch, whenever you can. Just resolve to shine, constantly and steadily, like a warm lamp in the corner, and people will want to move towards you in order to feel happy, and to read things more clearly.”


Second Coat

May 11, 2017

Next time you buy a coat, consider Nile blue or a barely there pink. Think about tobacco or teal. Any colour, except black. Of course, I understand the logic of  a dark coat, but there something wonderfully bright and impractical about an overcoat that’s as blue as the sky.




May 10, 2017

Forget the food, the feast is in the flowers and fabrics. With a table setting this magnificent, you could serve boiled eggs and your guests would be happy. I’m wild about the mismatched plates and table cloths, and all those flowers are simply divine. More is more –– don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.



brand on

May 9, 2017

It’s tough to justify spending lots of money on cotton pants and tops and caftans, but as that’s my wardrobe from May to October, I’m willing to splurge on brands I love. Ace & Jig is my absolute favourite in this category, with gorgeous fabrics and effortless styles that take me from the beach to a baptism. This girl has the right idea with batik pants and an ivory lace smoking jacket. It’s chic and carefree, which is what summer is all about.


a room with a view

May 9, 2017

What a lovely kitchen this is –– the Farrow & Ball teal, (at least it looks like F&B) the herringbone floor, brass hardware and the double door glass windows. I like a kitchen where the appliances are hidden, and I always think of my friend Buket when I spot a sink window. “Dishes feel like less of a chore with a lovely view.” How right she is.


Montessori Way

May 5, 2017

“When you do things for a child –– tie her laces, wipe her bottom –– you are giving her the message that she’s not capable of doing those things for herself,” Iole’s Montessori teacher used to often say. “So what if she wears her right shoe on her left foot, the key is that she attempted to put on her shoes. One day, she’ll figure it out. And these tiny feats will feel like huge triumphs. Let them struggle, let them muddle, and let them bask in the glory of sussing it all out, one shoe lace at a time. ”

Modern Nomads

May 4, 2017

We watched a beautiful film called Given last night, about a family of surfers, (Mum, Dad, six-year-old Given and his baby sister, True) who pack up their island home of Kauai to travel the world. With Given as our narrator, we travel through 15 countries  –– Iceland, Thailand and Peru, among them ––  and see the sea, the sand, the poppy fields and the snow capped mountains through his eyes. We watch Given’s father, Aamion teach him to craft a spear and start a fire, to build a shelter out of bamboo and palm leaves, all the while sharing life wisdoms with his son. It’s all very idyllic and bathed in golden light. But with a curious, wanderlusting 6-year-old at the helm, that is just what it should be.

flower power

May 3, 2017

Author and bloom magician, Lewis Miller is back to creating stunning floral pop ups all over NYC. From random little streets to major landmarks, Lewis and his team are adorning the city with daisies, orchids, gladioli, tulips, carnations and roses. The arrangements are theatrical and joyous, and are no doubt making a lot of New Yorkers very happy. And that’s his goal: to put a smile on people’s faces. In celebration of Rei Kawakubo and this year’s Met Ball, a mohawk of Liatris adorns the Botero sculpture outside the Crosby Street Hotel. “Rei is such an icon and an iconoclast, and Commes des Garçons is a groundbreaking label that represents metamorphosis through design. We thought it only fitting to turn the cat into an avant-garde skunk.”

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