Monday, June 30, 2014

on the sea shore

I collected the shells for these pots over the summer. I love limpet shells - ordinary but beautiful - and they look like little shields, don't you think?

I had long discussions with the lovely staff at my local hardware store about how to stick the shells on. I used Selleys All Fix, as they recommended, but maybe Mod Podge would work too.

Reading: Inside a pearl: my years in Paris by Edmund White. This is a memoir. In 1983 Edmund White left New York for a year in Paris and ended up living there for fifteen years.

Watching: The stranger - 1946, Orson Welles film. Thrilling.

Any good movies/books in your life lately?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

mt hobson

I've lived most of my life in Auckland but I walked up Mt Hobson on Sunday for the first time. Mt Hobson is one of Auckland's many volcanic cones. It has great views and a field of daffodils (a memorial to world war two fallen soldiers). It's so good to explore your own city and discover new things.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

the elements of style

I'm a big fan of Maira Kalman and these are some of her illustrations from The elements of style by William Strunk and E. B. White (of Charlotte's web). It was first written by Strunk in 1918 and later revised by White in 1959. Apparently it is the go-to guidebook on writing good, plain English. (Although a quick internet search will show that it is loved and loathed equally.)
I borrowed it from the library after hearing a TED talk - Maira Kalman: the illustrated woman - where she tells how she came to illustrate this book.
I love the dancing guy. He looks so serene and unselfconscious. His socks match his belt. Do you think he's also wearing a polka dot cravat?

Reading: The graphic novel Blankets by Craig Thompson. I hope it's not all true but I think it might be.
Days with my father by Phillip Toledano - a beautiful photo essay recording an aging man's final years. You can see it here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


A little bit of something to brighten up a winter's day - biscuits made from this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe published online in The Guardian. I made the recipe as given but substituted limes for the orange and lemon (as I didn't have any) and I used spelt instead of regular flour. You press your thumb into the uncooked biscuit to make a little hollow that you fill with a spoonful of warmed jam when the biscuits come out of the oven. They were delicious. Such a lovely treat.

And here's a little tribute to Rik Mayall - clever English comedian and writer and star of the hilariously funny television series The young ones - who died last week.

Reading: Far from the tree by Andrew Solomon - insightful book about raising children who are different and their parents whose lives were changed forever. I'd like to give this book to everyone I know.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

winter picnic

We took our little van down to the Clevedon Farmers' Market a couple of weekends ago and stocked up on fresh salad greens and tomatoes, spicy sausage, local cheeses and bread. Then we found this spot on the road to Maraetai to tuck in to our simple picnic feast. That's Waiheke Island across the water. It felt like an adventure - that we'd discovered a hidden treasure - and not that far from the big city.

Reading: Fashionable Selby by Todd Selby. This is a great book. The best quote is "Cats are like living ornaments that don't need dusting" said by designer Natalie Gibson who has twelves cats - Cool Dude, Blondie, Pansy Puffball, Precious, Scaredycat, Orlando, Florence, Sweet Lorraine, Tiger Lily, Archie, Smokey Robinson and Monroe (who was originally called Marilyn until it was revealed she was a tom cat). Meet Natalie here.

Watching: Fargo (TV series) and Borgen