Posts from July 2021

a stroke of genius

July 28, 2021

Very few people can do the butterfly. And even those who attempt it (ahem, the arrogant man at my local pool who creates more splash than a Humpback whale) do it poorly. Unless they’re Olympic athletes, in which case it’s said to be easier than racing crawl. “Of great interest to swimmers at the moment is a new stroke, reported to be becoming popular in the United States and picturesquely described as the Butterfly stroke,” the Guardian reported in 1935. Although some say the stroke dates back as early as 1911. Either way, it’s a stroke that to this day asks us all to step back in wonder and awe when we see it masterfully swum. I held my breath yesterday, as I watched the 100 metre women’s butterfly in Tokyo. The metamorphosis from woman to fish is kind of extraordinary to watch. The speed, the fluidity, the exquisite grace.

around and around

July 27, 2021

Mid-century glass art by Per Olof Strom.

A london flat filled with salvaged finds.

One of my all time favourite potters, Paula Greif.

Købn towels, a bathing ritual.

A scalloped, pleated skirt from the fabulous Rosie Assoulin.

The ultimate Mezze platter.

Low tide at the North Sea, Germany, Herbert List, 1930.

hold on

July 26, 2021

It’s Elin Frodig‘s handles that I love. The Danish ceramic artist plays with polka dots and stripes, but it’s the handles that really made me smile. Some look like elephant ears, others look like Danish sugar pretzels. They’re deliberately wonky, with proportions that don’t make sense. And that’s why I’m drawn to them. Think functional pottery with a brilliant sense of humour.

home remedy

July 23, 2021

The squirrels are driving me mad. Every time I look, they’ve yanked up an Impatiens or left a trail of mud on the porch. I’ve heard that scattering small clumps of hair in your planters scares off the squirrels. Chilli peppers and mint are also used to keep squirrels away. Marigold petals, too. I rather like the idea of the Marigolds; far more pleasing to the eye than a hairball.

chime on

July 22, 2021

Mudpuppy is a small ceramic studio based out of Denver that makes one-of-a-kind mobiles, planters and sculptural objects for the home. Michael McDowell’s aesthetic is warm and whimsical. His moon chimes would look lovely in a nursery and his ceramic flowers could be planted just about anywhere. It’s not easy being a small batch ceramicist. When we see something we love, let’s share it.

camp list

July 21, 2021

Anyone prepping kids for overnight camp knows it’s a weeks long project. Our basement is a sea of bug jackets, life jackets, tennis rackets and camping gear. There’s the practical side to packing; follow the list, and Marie Kondo your way to two tightly packed duffels. And then there’s the emotional side. Always much harder. Will someone comment on her Grandmother’s old comforter? Will she want to shave her armpit fuzz when she sees other girls doing it? What if she gets her period? Does she have enough stamps? And what about him; will he change his underpants? Will he be warm enough with that old blanket? Is a pink sleeping bag an invitation for bullies? Sending a child to camp is an exercise in surrendering control. In that heap of fleece and Gortex and triple layered masks sits every parent’s inner most worries for their child. No wonder parents fret so much about packing; it’s the only thing we can control. Fourteen pairs of underwear, check. One pair of wellies, check. The most important things –– confidence, resilience, courage, kindness, flexibility –– we all know, aren’t packable. And no amount of bandaids or sunscreen will stave of homesickness. So we make a list, check it 42 times, and hope for the best.

around and around

July 20, 2021

Lynette Yiadon-Boakye’s imaginary portraits.

Bosco Soldi‘s highly textured –– he paints with a mix of  sawdust, pigment, water and glue –– monochromatic canvases.

Cottage life.

Nigel Slater’s orecchiette and broad beans.

Martin Bogren’s glorious ocean scenes.

colour blocking

July 19, 2021

It would never occur to me to mix these two colours, but I love them together. It was a trip to Morocco that inspired the home’s palette. The pink is Dulux Morocco, and the green is Dulux Purslane. The pink appears throughout the house, as does the green and pops of creamy mustard. It’s bold and daring. I can only imagine how warm and decadent it feels to be surrounded by such rich colours. White walls have always been my personal preference. There is quiet in white, there is possibility in white. That said, I do love this house. Marakkech meets the English countryside. An alter ego one might say.

all rhodes

July 16, 2021

“I heard from a swimming coach that how soon children learn to swim depends on how much they trust themselves and the surrounding world,” wrote the Hungarian polyglot, Kató Lomb. In this beautiful film by filmmaker, Luca Werner we meet three teenage boys, two of whom share an innate love of water and swimming. “I remember I used to beg my family to take me to the beach.. It was when I was learning to swim and I wanted to go as far as I could. And my father would shout at me because he was scared. But I never listened to him and kept swimming.” The film, set in Rhodes, is an exquisite homage to the sea, and to the idyllic carefreeness of youth. The third boy, the reluctant diver, says he fears what he can’t see. Anything could be lurking underneath the surface. “It’s hard to find sharks in Greece,” quips his pal.


July 16, 2021

As a little girl, I had one those dressing tables with a fabric skirt. My Mum had one, too. We both had a hairbrush and mirror set; hers was in antique silver and mine was in French Ivory. I never used it, but it did make for a fancy display. I also had this perfumed powder that came with a pale pink puff that I used to smother all over my face. That felt fancy, too. I used to love those scenes in old movies of women primping in the mirror. These days, it’s a flick of mascara, hair in a knot, and we’re out. No one spends an hour getting ready anymore. But back then it was an art form. The cocktails, the Crepe de Chine robe, the 1950s jazz tunes in the background; it all seemed so glamorous. I think I was around 11 or 12 when my Mum replaced my dressing table with a desk. The desk was a lot more practical. I did my homework at that desk and listened to Chris Tarrant on the radio. I still have the hairbrush and mirror set though. It even has my name engraved into it.

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