Posts from November 2018

Polychromy

November 6, 2018

I read a brilliant piece in the New Yorker on the weekend titled The Myth of Whiteness in Classical Sculpture. The article explored the world of polychromy –– painting sculpture or architecture in colour –– and questioned Western ideals of beauty, ones rooted in an erroneous assumption that deities, leaders and war heroes were immortalized in pure white. It’s a fascinating read. To see colour reconstructions of ancient sculptures, ones I grew up studying, is exciting. Some find the colour lewd and gaudy, but to me, the pink and ocher and azurite brings the sculptures to life, and gives them a soul. As one scholar said, “nobody has a problem hailing Nefertiti as a spectacular piece of world art, and nobody says that it’s unfortunate that it’s painted. Because it’s not Western, it’s perfectly O.K. for it to be polychrome. But let’s not have it in our part of the world, because we’re different, aren’t we?”

ricette

November 5, 2018

Jason and I have cooked the same pastas for over twenty years. From our tiny galley kitchen in Florence, to the satsuma orange kitchen of our present day, pasta is on the table at least twice weekly. Our recipes are simple –– aglio e olio, penne con broccoli, penne con zucchini –– but good. We used to add a bouillon to most of our sauces, which we don’t do anymore, and we’ve traded durum wheat for kamut or spelt. But for the most part, our pastas are the same. The original recipes are all carefully recorded in a blue exercise book that Jason kept during his time in Florence. ‘Verdure Nicola’ refers to a recipe his landlord shared with him in the early part of his time there. Many of the recipes –– carbonara, spaghetti al forno, spaghetti alla puttanesca ––  are from Nicola, in fact. Some are also his Mum Frida’s, who sent her son to Europe adept with an iron and able to cook for himself. The recipe for La Bomba –– a multi layered puréed vegetable dish that his Nonna Stefania created –– is written on a loose scrap of paper, with her name in scratchy penmanship at the top. Aside from recipes, there are also pages of immaculately neat Italian grammar rules, as well as Jason’s notes on the Renaissance. There’s the odd phone number, address and calculation, (could he afford to buy that Vespa?) as well as pages where we tallied our card scores. We played a lot of Gin Rummy while we ate. I always won. He always made better pasta.

Pretty in pink

November 4, 2018

Just look at this dress from Cecilie Bahnsen’s SS ’19 collections. It’s ridiculously perfect. Pink like a marshmallow, puffy like a prom dress, demure and sexy at the same time. I love the styling –– a low ponytail and plain and black plimsoles. Dreamy dress, non?

train love

November 1, 2018

It was Murder on the Orient Express that made me fall in love with the idea of train travel. Besides the small matter of a murder, everything about it looked so glamorous and romantic. The Venice Simplon still calls my name. If I ever climb aboard, I definitely plan on packing a lace robe and a tiara in my valise.

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