Thursday, April 30, 2009

lazy girls and weddings

"Man has finally made the request, and you view a permanent smug grin You think that such a measure of love and fresh water, there is no reason for anxiety for the number of d sofa a buffet which you do not even earn? Very nice, except it was dark knee, the buffet was trying somehow to play with three princely feast peanuts and the atmosphere is never rise after the speech of his gravelly ex ".

To not get there, this guide tells you everything to be full and radiant the day, and say "ouuuuiii" by paying as tears of joy, not those of a nervous breakdown hysterical organize your event dreams within your budget and profile of adverse family - oops sorry, the beautiful family calmly address each stage of preparation with lots of tips from the paperwork until makeup and be a reference to your guests on "zénitude" and successful marriage.

So the fairies at work, a magical day, it is preparing to stick."

Following a suggestion mentioned in a comment by Ann C of Jolis Mariages referring to a French book about weddings on a post by Meg of A Practical Wedding (isn't the blog chain fun?) about how crap wedding books are (oh yes they are. Seriously. Crap. Which isn't to say that I didn't spend hours, weeks, months sitting in the book shop reading said books and snorting derisively, but actually pay for one? God no) I came to this book on Amazon.

Now, my understanding of the French is limited and so it appears, is my understanding of google translations. In fact this translation makes as much sense to me as most wedding books written in English but it's a damn site funnier. All guesses as to what the writer is getting at in the comments box please.

. photo by Elena Baca and found via East Side Bride
. description of Lazy Girl's Wedding by google and from Amazon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Big Baldy Bikers with Kittens...

Big baldy bikers with kittens, and puppies, who spend their own money rescuing kittens and puppies from bad peoples? Where can I get myself one of these big baldy bikers because I really really want one. Or maybe we could move to New York (I really wouldn't mind that at all) and I could rescue kittens with them and make them tea and polish their tattoos? Yes, I think that's a plan.

. photos from the NYTimes and Barry Bland

Monday, April 27, 2009

leaves and lime...

The Boy and I have discovered Sri Lankan food and with it I have rediscovered my love of cooking. I got bored with cooking about two years ago, but that was before I discovered the curry leaf and Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. Oh the curry leaf, what a magical food stuff, what a delicious flavouring, what a delightful ingredient. Food has never tasted so good.

We have now replaced the tomato sauce and brown rice that we have been eating pretty much every day for two years with tomato sambal and Sri Lankan yellow rice, a similar but far more interesting and delicious meal. For now. Perhaps when we've been eating it for two years straight we'll be bored of it too, but for now I could (and quite often do) eat it every day...

Tomato Sambal

Slice 450g of ripe, red tomatoes very thinnly, lay on a plate and sprinkle with two teaspoons of salt and one and half teaspoons of finest chilli powder. Alternatively use two cans of peeled plum tomatoes, drained and sliced thinnly. This will make a thicker, richer and equally delicious sauce.
In a large frying pan, over a medium high heat warm six tablespoons of olive oil. When hot add four slightly crushed, unpeeled garlic cloves, stirring them and frying them until they turn golden brown. Add 15 curry leaves (or more if you're finding yourself hopelessly addicted to them) and a three inch stick of cinnamon (or quarter of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, should you have run out of the sticks). Stir once or twice then add two medium sized onions, cut into very fine slices.

Add the sliced tomatoes and four finely sliced garlic cloves, stir and simmer for two minutes. Turn down the heat and continue to cook for twenty minutes to half an hour, stirring occassionally.

Squeeze in two tablespoons of fresh lime juice, picking out any pips that fall in and add one teaspoon of caster sugar, stirring well to mix. Remove the slightly crushed, unpeeled garlic cloves and the cinnamon stick if you used one before serving.

Serve with any rice or bean dish, perhaps with fresh bread to wipe clean the plate and a cool glass of old fashioned lemonade or a light, golden Scottish ale.

With rings on her fingers...

Punam Bean's photographs of this couple's Jewish Yemenite Henna Ceremony are like something straight out of National Geographic, photos of a time long gone and outfits consigned to attics, museums and those who make their living from posing for tourist photos.

But they're not gone, not buried.

There are people who still own such a thing, wear such a thing.

And I'm jealous.

. images by Punam Bean

Friday, April 24, 2009

dresses, pretty dresses

In burnt orange, dove grey, storm blue or antique ivory any of the dresses from Catherine Deane's 2009 collection would make a gorgeous wedding dress. Or awards ceremony dress, charity ball dress, banquet dress....

It makes me sad that I live a life lacking in balls, banquets and awards ceremonies. I see extravagant dresses and I think 'Oooh, wedding dress. Crap, I'm already married.'

. images courtesy of Catherine Deane

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Poise and Elegance

I didn't love orchids until recently, until I started photographing them. Once upon a time I thought that they were showy, aggressive, a little vulgar (like lillies) if pretty nonetheless. Now I see them as sculptural, confident, purposeful and a little grown up. I find comfort in their poise and elegance and the orchid house at our city's botanical gardens is becoming my new ikea.

I have just uploaded these prints and a few others to peonies and polaroids: the shop. Peonies and polaroids: the shop has been a little neglected this month, truth be told I forgot it existed for a while there (bad photographer, bad) but hopefully it will forgive me and start sending me lovely little emails again telling me people want to send me money. I like those emails.

. photos by me

happy squiggles....

I don't think I'd wear them myself but they make me smile...

Squiggly brooches from Radici

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Creative women....

Increasingly I am falling in love with textiles. I've always loved antique table cloths, lace collars, embroidered linen and let's not forget the occasional chintzy floral print, but lately I've been seeing the beauty in more simple, more humble linens. Soft natural cotton tea towels with red stripes or blue checks, vintage Irish linen bed sheets completely unadorned but so substantial and crisp despite 50 years of use, even dish cloths, the most basic of textiles but so much more wholesome than those yellow plastic sponges with the scourer on top (which I hate and the Boy is inexplicably attached to, every time he goes shopping by himself he comes back with a new packet.)

So I let out a little sigh of yumminess when I saw these gorgeous traditional African textiles over as Saipua. They're hand woven by women in Ethiopia and Swaziland then sold by Creative Women, a business based in Vermont who are intent on introducing traditional African textiles to a western market while promoting fair trade practises and supporting employment for women in countries where most women are unemployed or working in appalling conditions.

"Creative Women began in Ethiopia. It grew out of my experiences and travels. I saw sex workers training to be hairdressers, only to find there were no jobs available; I visited rehab centers where women were sewing and embroidering beautiful table cloths, but the only market for their products was a small bazaar for the ex-pats living in Addis Ababa. I realized that by finding markets in the US, an opportunity existed to improve women’s lives and to maintain a centuries-old art form by introducing the West to the beauty of Ethiopian textiles"

Creative Women.

If you're lucky enough to live near Saipua (oh how I dream of living near Saipua) then please go and buy some immediately (and pop them in the post to Scotland? No? Well it was worth asking) and if not then check here for a list of stockists all over the US and Canada and a couple of solitary stores in Bermuda and Japan.

Beautiful textiles, ethically produced and supporting women in Africa. What's not to love?

All images courtesy of Creative Women and discovered via Saipua.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


And just in case we forget that I'm a contrary sort of a girl, these ruffles make me ever so happy. I want to roll around in them and ruffle them up and perhaps pretend to be five years old and hide my head among the layers.

. pictures from Instyle, dresses by Vera Wang.

White Dresses and Small Regrets...

I don't really hold with regrets (I could pretend it's a philosophical approach to life but really I'm just too lazy and my attention span isn't long enough) but every time I see a short white dress I feel most uncomfortable that I succumbed to long, lacy, over-priced wedding dress. I like this one from French Connection. It makes me want to do the wedding again. (better)

I did like my dress, I loved it in fact. And our wedding was pretty good too. But I can't help but think that if we were planning it now it would be a very different and much more relaxed affair.

Is that bollocks though? Is it only looking back from the safe distance of eight months that makes wedding planning seem really not. that. difficult? That it really doesn't need to be that stressful, that organised, that efficient. That it could be pulled off in a matter of weeks with a matter of pennies and it would still be wonderful, better even?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cows and linen...

Being a curmegeonly type the sight of invitations etc printed on anything other than paper tends to make me roll my eyes. Once you start announcing social events on personalised wine bottles/cutlery/seashells I feel you may as well hire a male stripper with the time and date tattooed on his chest for any suggestion of dignity in the act of inviting is long gone and your friends and family may as well have fun with the invitation, if they can't pin it to their notice board.

However I make an exception for linen. I love linen, I especially love farmhouse style linen. With cows on. Or any livestock really.

. save the dates by Chewing the Cud
. top photograph by Anna Kuperberg and via Jennier Dery
. second photograph from

Friday, April 17, 2009

This week...

Six children, two children in law, three grandchildren, one grandchild in law, one ex child in law, one dog and countless friends, neighbours and colleagues gathered round one wife, mother and grandmother like iron filings to a magnet to say goodbye to a much loved and respected husband, father, grandfather, friend.

Tears were cried, baked goods were brought, the ring of the doorbell and the telephone were as regular as the ticking of the clock and the air as flat as a day old glass of water. Cards fell through the door, one after another, offering comfort, advice, condolences and memories of a businessman, musician, gentleman and friend.

A girl was overwhelmed by the kindnesses of strangers who left comments, forwarded poems that had comforted them in their times of loss and sent their wishes of comfort from places near and far.

And then it was over. She was back in her own house, in her own room with a hundred things to do. And so life went on although the loss was a constant ache in her heart and the silence weighed heavy on her soul and in the silence she tried to hear his music and in her confusion she tried to hear his advice for although his physical support was no longer there the wise words that had guided his family formed an invisible safety net all around them. Although he was gone he left a million tunes playing softly in the air.

Photo by me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Death is nothing at all...

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me
In the easy way that you always used.

Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
That it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect,
Without the trace of shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.

All is well.

My Grandad died this week. I am trying so very hard to remember that all is well but my heart hurts.

words by Henry Scott Holland & image by frederic.desmots

Friday, April 10, 2009

Safe in harbour...

"We rest here while we can, but we hear the ocean calling in our dreams,

And we know by the morning, the wind will fill our sails to test the seams,

The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore,

For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."

Tom Kimmel & Michael Lille

(photo source unknown.)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dancers and heffalumps...

Do these pictures make anyone else feel like a big old clumsy old heffalump?

How do they do that?? I know that they're dancers, but still.

The other day we were in the park and I overheard the following conversation happening between a man and his two small children who were sitting on a bench outside the museum;

Small boy (aged about 3 waving his arm around as if a trunk): Phroarhhhh, I'm a heffalump! I'm a heffalump! You're a heffalump

Grumpy Father: We're not heffalumps.

Small girl (aged about 5 and terribly terribly serious); But daddy, mummy really is a heavy lump because she's sooooo big.

I laughed. And then pretended I was coughing as Grumpy Father glared at me. People without a sense of humour should not be allowed to have children.

Photos of Naomi from Rockstar Diaries and her equally elegant dancer friend taken by Candice Stringham.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Breakfastboy + breakfast

“Life is like a grapefruit. Well, it's sort of orangey-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It's got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have a half a one for breakfast.”

Photos by me
words by Douglas Adam ( So Long and Thanks for All the Fish)

Monday, April 06, 2009


This pink version of almost my wedding shoes from Dune. I tried them on, I grinned, I strutted, I posed, I elbowed women in lesser, more sensible shoes out of the way to reach the mirror. And then I cried a little as I put them back.

Image from Dune.

polar bars*....

I love polar bars. Almost as much as I love rabbits. When I moved in with the boy he had a Russian hamster called Mischa, she became my friend. She was oh so pale (like me) and from behind she looked like a little white bear with her soft white bottom. She was a darling. Then I read Northern Lights and I ached with longing for an armoured bar of my own. I ached I tell you.

I still want a bar, a pet one. People say that they're meaner than they look and that they'd eat me but I think that's phooey. My bar would cuddle me and protect me and help me defeat evil. And he would be so very very cute....

Felt bars by Little Love Blue.

*I know that this is not how you spell bear. But try as I might I see bars, not bears. Grizzly bars, teddy bars, brown bars, polar bars...