Posts from February 2020

Big, little moments

February 28, 2020

There are well over 150,000 words in the English dictionary. But sometimes, words won’t do. Some moments call for flowers, or a lasagna. Some moments call for a long silence. It’s not enough to assume that the other person knows that you are thinking about them. We have to act on those thoughts. And very often, it’s the tiniest of gestures that hold the greatest love. Jason remembering to buy the bread I like, is another way of saying, “I love you. I am paying attention.” It’s in the details. Let me do your laundry. Let me pick up your kids from school. Here, I saw these socks and I thought of you. When I miss my Mum, or I think she may be missing me, I send her flowers. I like to think of myself as a burst of colour on John’s old desk. Once in a while, my brother will text me the name of the song he’s listening to, usually a romantic power ballad. I do the same back. It’s a Beautiful Life, Billy Raffoul. It really is a beautiful life, so much of it, too beautiful for words.

fancy dress

February 27, 2020

I love the idea of putting on a ballgown to go to the supermarket, and some women I know, do just that. Maryam! Moira! But in actuality, I’d feel like a prawn in a patch of parsnips. Or a lemon, in room full of aubergines. You know what I mean. I’d stand out. And not in a good way. Not in the way that you want to stand out when you’re in floor length organza. But I do love to get all dressed up, and I have very few opportunities to do so. If not to the cinema, or out for a curry, when will I ever get to wear my frocks? We’ve been invited to a family wedding in California this year. Even if the dress code is beach casual, I’m wearing taffeta. Tulle. Or moiré silk.


February 26, 2020

I love the proportions of this little vignette, the small chair and the enormous vase stuffed full of grand hydrangeas. There’s a decadent sense of humour at play here. The lion faces, intricate mirror, textured wallpaper and patterned tile –– it’s all so over the top, and utterly divine.

beach days

February 26, 2020

I’m a big fan of Kara Rosenlund’s work. I discovered her through Instagram, and her photographs inspire me daily. I’ve looked at this photo of Namibian Herero women dozens of times. Their dresses! Hats! Their smiles! One day, I’ll buy one of Rosenlund’s beautiful beach scenes, maybe a shot from Byron Bay. This one caught my eye. A typical Tuesday at the beach.

very berry

February 25, 2020

Fruit salad was a staple growing up, only I hated fruit, so I’d pick out the strawberries and call it a day. I’m still not keen on fruit salad –– mushy mango, soggy apricots –– but I love the idea of a berry salad. This one has a honey, balsamic dressing, and served with crème fraîche, I can’t think of a nicer way to top off a meal, or start the day, for that matter.

runneth over

February 24, 2020

We had a flood yesterday. The loo overflowed, and unbeknownst to any of us, filled the bathroom with enough water to paddle in. Thank goodness for Iole’s old camp towels, our trusty mop, and a jumbo supply of paper towel. A sense of humour helps in these situations. Mid-mop, I told my kids about how I used to flood our house regularly in my teen years. “I’d run a bath, get on my Garfield phone, forget about the running water, and twenty minutes later, hear yells from below.” My mum’s wardrobe was directly below the tub, but it was always Costas’ clothes that got drenched. Costas and my Mum met in the mid-80s a few years after we moved to London and he lived with us for about a decade. He is kind and steady and has impeccable taste. His wardrobe was filled with beautiful Zegna shirts and butter-soft Italian leather shoes. Never did Costas get upset with me during a flood. And never did he challenge me on stealing his hairbrush, or his stapler or his fancy felt tip pens. Not once. I pretty much ignored him through my teen years, and he was never anything but kind and patient with me. A year or two after he and my Mum separated I gave him a brand new Kent hairbrush, stapler, tape and pens all wrapped up in a Tiffany box. He didn’t say much, but about 15-years later, when I gave birth to Iole, he returned the tattered Tiffany box, this time with a silver baby hair brush and rattle inside. Full circles. Costas was just what we needed at that time. I’m quite sure we were just what he needed, too. It’s funny the stories that surface in a flood.

roll on

February 21, 2020

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d use a rolling pin as often as I do. As much I love to eat pie, I have little interest in making one. I have a favourite rolling pin at the clay studio, but I do rather like the idea of investing in an embossed one. Just imagine all the lovely pie plates I could make.

to build a home

February 20, 2020

I like walking into a space, where I can’t see everything there is to see. I like surprises. When a space is blown wide open, like so many modern spaces are, there’s no room for curiosity or intrigue. What I love about the way our home has been re-imagined, is that the feeling of curiosity –– so intrinsic to Victorian homes –– is alive and well in its modern incarnation. The house still feels like our home. With a lot more possibility. Huge windows. And a third floor so high up, that we’ll be nesting with the birds. It’s an adventure. All of it. To love a home. To demolish a home. To build another in its place.


February 18, 2020

I love walking a beach in the dead of winter, when the water is frozen over and the sand is covered in snow. It’s such a surreal experience to feel your heavy winter boots sinking into sand. This weekend we climbed the dunes in Prince Edward County, and watched children skate across the lake in their shoes, and folks ice fish from their cherry red tents. It’s a lovely way to spend a day. Thrill-seekers may want to bring a sled.

On the line

February 17, 2020

Sheets drying on a washing line is such a romantic, nostalgic image. A Cycladic breeze helps. So does a Tuscan one. But even the sight of my neighbour’s sheets, socks and undies bellowing in a Toronto breeze warms my heart. He’s one of very few people I know with a washing line in the garden. A rarity, especially in the city. And thus all the lovelier.

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