Posts from April 2020


April 30, 2020

For physically affectionate people, six-feet of distance can feel like a mile. I liken the experience to communicating in a second language. When I speak Greek –– my vocabulary is that of a nine-year-old-child –– I’m a paler version of myself. Humour and sentiment are much harder to express. Take hugs, kisses and all other physical gestures away and I feel equally limited. A gentle squeeze, a soft hand to the shoulder is what we do to convey support, love and gratitude in a way that words often can’t. It’s a super power that we’re without right now. So we hug the ones we can, often and with gusto, and send notes and plants and cake to the ones we can’t. A smile goes a really long way, and I’ve taken to waving at people with ridiculous vigor. Sometimes, I even clap my hands like an enthused toddler. Anything to make a connection, to express affection.

fabric land

April 30, 2020

I like the variety of fabrics I see here, I count ten, all in a similar palette of pinks and grey and greens. I’m not keen on decor that feels overly “done” but this has a lightness, subtlety and spontaneity to it that is appealing. Plus, I love the friendly hand-stitched elephant.

say cheese

April 30, 2020

On days when all you want for dinner is cheese and a glass of wine, consider something decadent, like a Vacherin Mont-d’Or. This delicious soft cheese from the Vaud town of Jura needs a few minutes in the oven to be fully enjoyed. I’d be quite happy spooning it out of its spruce box, but artisanal crackers or a chunk of warm bread are a lovely addition. What more do we need out of dinner?


April 28, 2020

Everyone’s buying jigsaw puzzles. I read the other day that Ellen DeGeneres’ table isn’t big enough for the 4,000 piece jigsaw she’s working on. My friend, Bianca completed the solar system last week. It makes sense that online sales of this rainy day activity have sky rocketed in the last few weeks. It may not be raining, but we’re all indoors. I’ve always found puzzles to be a noble pastime. To think of the time and patience it takes to complete a puzzle, only to take it apart days, hours even after it’s done. I liken them to building sandcastles. We spend hours on something that we know come end of day will be washed away by the tide. And yet, we keep doing it, day after day, year after year. To me, sandcastles represent optimism and hope. There’s a photograph of a sandcastle by artist Wolfgang Tillmans that captures the essence of this sentiment. And this image of the Queen working on a puzzle does the same.

seeing green

April 27, 2020

I walked along Harbord Street today, and was surprised to see the cherry blossoms at Robarts Library blooming. I’ve enjoyed the bareness of winter more than any other year, seeing beauty in the sand coloured grasses, spiky seed heads and graceful branches, but I am ready for Spring to paint the city a fervent green. More than ever, we need to see life on our trees.

summer soles

April 24, 2020

Just look at this house in Puglia, covered in tomatoes drying in the sun. It was taken by Italo Zannier in the late 70s. Its not just the scarlet fringe against that bright blue sky that struck me, it’s the boy, specifically his barefootedness, that whisked me back to my own childhood. I too used to run around streets just like this, in a bathing suit and no shoes, and I loved the feeling of the cement, sand, stone and dirt against my feet. It’s a weird thing, but I love to see my feet dirty and tanned. It reminds me of childhood.

chaise moi

April 23, 2020

If I were a chaise longue –– play the game with me –– I’d be this one. Crooked legs, mismatched, too; soft, and a little lumpy; smaller than your average chaise. I’d be pink, because, well I’m a chaise, and what other colour could I be? And I’d position myself near a window, weird objects, and chandeliers that sparkle.


April 23, 2020

I’m always inspired by people who make something out of discards, remnants and broken pieces; a cook who turns stray crusts into breadcrumbs, a carpenter who turns weathered floorboards into shelves, a seamstress who fashions dresses out of old curtains. Artist, Elisa Sheehan takes hand painted egg shells adorned in gold leaf and mounts them to create artworks that as Sheehan says, “embrace our breaks and flaws.” Her work is inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese art of filling cracks in pottery with gold leaf. There’s a commitment, resourcefulness, and optimism in all of these acts that I find humbling and inspiring.

point and shoot

April 22, 2020

My first camera was a red Kodak pocket Instamatic. I remember holding it between my hands like a ham sandwich. I took a lot of over-exposed pictures of people with no foreheads, or feet. When I was in my late teens I started taking photographs again, only this time around everyone got to keep their heads. My camera –– a vintage Minolta –– was a gift from my best friend, Nicholas. It belonged to his grandfather, and remains one of the loveliest gifts I’ve ever received. I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures with that camera –– gargoyles of Prague, the banks of the River Thames, bakeries of Old Montreal –– many of which I still have. A lot of my pictures are in albums, but most live in boxes, a project for another day. Some of the the best photos I’ve taken have been on my iPhone, but I do sometimes feel nostalgic for the weight and substance of my beautiful Minolta. Or the digital Nikon that came next. I miss handing in ten rolls of film on the heels of a holiday, and waiting three days, a week even, to get my prints back. There were always dozens of blurry or over-exposed duds, but those three or four gems, were well worth the wait. Regardless of what we shoot on though, I still think it’s important to print the odd picture from time to time. Photographs illuminate a moment in time, they capture a gesture, a feeling, a light. We all carry memories within us, but there’s something about seeing them in a wallet, on a fridge or in a 5 x 7 frame that can be quite comforting.

watching grace

April 21, 2020

There’s something so beautiful and voyeuristic about this photograph of Princess Grace sitting for a portrait. It makes you wonder what’s running through the Princess’ mind, what’s running through the painter’s mind. What’s running through René Vital’s (the photographer) mind. There’s something in the white light around the painting, the lapis blue of her shawl, her expressionless expression that is kind of captivating.

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