Posts from October 2017

I am my style

October 19, 2017

My son went to school today wearing black leggings with white socks pulled way up above his knees, and a t-shirt that says, “I will change the world.”  Oh, to be so bold. I can’t say that he’s entirely unselfconscious when it comes to getting dressed –– he shuns pink, for starters –– but he does have a weirdo style that is all his own. My older brother went through a knee high sock phase, too. Despite all the teasing, he refused to wear his socks any other way. He had skinny little legs like my son does –– they remind me a great deal of one another. I heard my husband this morning as Antimo came downstairs, “do you feel good, do you feel comfortable?” “Yes, Papa ––  I do.”

Raspberry beret

October 18, 2017

It’s that time of year, when it’s too soon for a woolly hat, and too chilly to step out with your noggin uncovered. Enter le beret. It’s the perfect fall topper; just enough felt to keep you warm, and just enough French to keep you cool. I have a red one somewhere, brought back from Dijon by my grandmother. Red is a good colour for a beret. But really, any hue will do.

knock on wood

October 17, 2017

I don’t think that there’s a magic way to mix wood tones in a room. Just think how beautifully cedars, cypresses, spruces and redwoods look in a forest. I think the more open you are to variety in texture and tone, the more playful and natural your space will feel. Architectural Digest gives some helpful tips, and here’s an example of a room where half a dozen different woods came together so well.

a book by its cover

October 13, 2017

Balfour Books is one of my favourite independent bookstores in this city. I remember buying children’s books (before I had children) at their old location further west on College. These days, I rarely make it inside, but I always stop to admire the window. Anna Sui, Fortuny, John Rawlings, Bjarne Melgaard and Kimsooja were all there this week. I came home and read a little bit about Kimsooja –– she’s a multidisciplinary artist based in New York, Paris and Seoul –– and looked up Bjarne Melgaard, too. Melgaard is a Norwegian artist based in New York City, and his work immediately reminds me of Basquiat’s. This all from a window display — imagine if I made more time to walk through the door.

Mind the gap

October 13, 2017

Looking back, my teens and twenties were spent with friends swimming in my same pool. We were all the same age, doing more or less the same thing. It wasn’t until my thirties that my community of friends broadened to the salmagundi that it is today. And in the last three years, it’s women in their mid to late 60s that I gravitate toward. They’re smart and funny and beautiful. They’re raised kids, survived cancer, had three careers, trekked the Andes, and here they are, swimming laps and throwing pots with me. I haven’t lived in the same city as my Mum since I was 19. I miss her. Sometimes, I think it’s that missing piece that draws me to these bright, brilliant, fiery women. Perhaps. Sometimes, I think it’s because they’re on the other side of where I am now. Anyway, I’m lucky to have found them. I think they might feel the same.

conversation piece

October 11, 2017

Can we all agree that these wicker chairs are dreamy. I’m not sure how much time you’d want to spend in one, (they don’t look too tusch friendly) but you’d sure look good flopped inside its petals. I like the mismatch of those rather 80s looking arm chairs in the background, because two quite different conversations can indeed take place in the same room.

tea ceremony

October 10, 2017

Afternoon tea is such a delight. In fact, tea at any time of day is lovely. My grandparents had one of those Teasmade gadgets that made them freshly brewed tea at 7.30 a.m. every morning. My grandfather added at least three cubes of sugar to his cup. It was so sweet and delicious. His was the first tea I tried. My Dad’s mum was a big tea drinker, too. She took hers in the afternoon with a pack of Karelia lights. When we were children, afternoon tea was a whole other meal at my Dad’s house. There were egg sandwiches with shortbread and coconut squares. Even in height-of-summer Greece we’d stop for afternoon tea, only afternoon was more like 6.30 p.m. There we’d have our tea with homemade sponge cake and Papadopoulou Supermarket’s finest packed biscuits. These days, a cup of tea is usually on the run. It’s rarely in fancy porcelain, and there are never petit fours. It’s s a shame, for many reasons, not least because my cupboards are crammed with beautiful cups. At my wedding shower, a splendid afternoon tea hosted by my mother-in-law at the King Eddie, every person invited brought me a teacup. So, there’s no excuse, really. It’s high time I brought back afternoon tea!

back to basics

October 9, 2017

I came across the Austin-based clothing line, Esby today –– and my wish list is long. It all looks so easy and wearable. I’ll take a cotton Ikat dress, a pair of high waisted cream denim pants, and this effortless tomato red romper. The bathing suit styles, all simple and athletic, are super. And the menswear looks pretty swipeable, too.


October 7, 2017

I have a fiery, red spot the size of mars on my cheek. I stuck an ice cube on it in the hopes I might freeze the bugger off. No luck. You’d think with all the fancy face potions on the market, a zit zapper would be easy to find. But most of them don’t work. My husband swears by Polysporin (it’s his Windex). Holler if you have a better idea.


October 5, 2017

I don’t remember recess as a kid, but I do remember it once I hit my teens. We were allowed to leave the school grounds and walk around the neighbourhood, which for us meant loitering in an alley two minutes away. We chain-smoked Silk Cuts, (which I’d stolen from my Mum) talked about boys we liked, and practiced our latin verb conjugations. By fifteen there was no latin –– just bitching and boy talk. Oh, and we’d graduated to Malboros. Reds. On rainy days, we sat in the basement of a Kentucky Fried Chicken smoking and eating chips. God knows what we smelt like when we came back to class. Thankfully, our school had no uniform, so people couldn’t call in complaints about our obnoxiously loud and lewd talk. I’ve got two girls now, who I hope will be swimming laps and reading at recess. But when they do end up loitering in back alleys, please make it be a short phase.

Here, Bernard Koffman captures children playing on a see-saw at recess. Illinois, 1946.

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