Just a few weeks ago, after working hard for a month on my thesis, I caught a train from The Hague to Paris for a few days of just being. No things I had to do, no responsibilities, no alarm clocks. It was the first real holiday in a while. Paris feels a long way away now – back in Melbourne, battling jetlag, and three days into a detox which sees me expressing gratitude for a cup of herbal tea. But the time in Paris was magic. Long days folding into pink twilights; long lunches with cheese and wine; sitting in gardens with a good novel, painting my nails and practicing my French with locals: it was just a perfect time to be still, and recognise lots of little joys.

Not having any real plans other than relaxing led me to forsake touristy experiences, instead focusing on eating and walking my way across Paris. So here are some of the places I went, that I would recommend for your next Paris trip.


Colorova – This little café and patisserie is an absolutely lovely. While not flashy from the outside, it has a light, bright, and funky interior. Attention has clearly been paid to every aspect of the crockery and presentation. It feels very homely and I suspect that you might be welcome to while-away some time or work on your novel-in-progress for a few hours here.

Breakfast was by far the most generous and good-quality in my time in Paris. For 12 Euro, you are served pain perdu (French toast), a bread basket with accompanying jams and spreads (which included a salted caramel spread – delicious on the pain perdu), coffee, fresh juice, and a bowl of crème with some fruit compote. Everything was beautiful. I’d love to return for lunch or to try their perfect-looking patisseries, which are also very reasonably priced.


Unfortunately they have quite limited opening hours – 11am-6pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. This meant that the first time I tried to go, they were closed (but this allowed me to find the charming Mamie Galette – below, lunch – so all was not lost). A return trip will have to wait for my next time in Paris, but I’m sure this stunning little addition to the Paris scene will be worth the wait.

A Special Lunch

Yam’tcha – this little delight had been recommended to me twice, so I decided to make it a special treat mid-week. Yam’tcha is a tiny but perfectly turned-out restaurant, serving Chinese-French fusion degustation. It has earned itself one Michelin staff, and I felt it certainly had all the things such a restaurant should have: excellent, innovative food; personable staff; a lovely environment; good wines; patience, calm, and precision. It was, altogether, an excellent experience.


I had the longer degustation, with a wine and tea pairing (at lunch you can choose from longer or shorter menus, with the longer mandatory for dinner. You can choose either tea, wine and tea, or just wine pairings). The food was perfect. I won’t bore you with the details. You’ll just have to go, instead.

The staff were lovely and knowledgeable. On being served a pinot noir, I asked them a couple of questions about French pinots and they were delighted to hear I was from Tasmania – they have tried Tasmanian pinot noirs and raved about them (my island heart swelled with pride).


Although it felt a little like I was mortgaging a kidney to afford this (the lunch, with a champagne aperitif, was around 170 Euro), I felt it was worth the price. I popped in the day before and secured the lunch booking, so it is possible to get an opening at late notice. Make this one a part of your next Paris trip for something a bit special and different, and an experience you won’t quickly forget.



Le Relais Entrecôte – This is somewhat of a Parisian institution. All you need to do is tell the waitress how you would like your meat cooked, and after a serving of salad, they will then load up your plate with steak, fries, and a delicious secret green sauce. Twice. (Don’t be surprised – I was a bit worried when they filled up my plate again, but apparently it is the done thing). For about 38 euro (including a glass of wine), this was good value and you won’t be hungry when you leave.

Robert & Louise – we first went here on our first full day in Paris, for a quick snack. I had a plate of three cheeses, all of which were absolutely delicious; my companion had a mushroom omlette, proclaiming it to be the best they’d had. I went back a week later, this time for a proper lunch (the last of my time in Paris). This time I tried their entrecote, which was served with potatoes and some salad, and a glass of côte du rhone. Everything was perfect – the meat was delicious, and it’s clear the staff know their various cuts and types of meat well. During the week they have a 12 Euro Prix Fixe 2-course lunch which seems excellent value; as they don’t do this on weekends, for my steak and wine, followed by a chunk of blue cheese, I paid around 28Euro.


This trip I went to all the usual places a tourist should try: Pierre Hermé, for a beautiful take-away plaisirs sucre; Ladurée in Saint-Germain for an éclair and beautiful tea; and Angelina, for a pastisserie breakfast in lovely surrounds. All of these should be experienced; but this trip, I discovered some new (to me), and less touristy gems.



In particular, L’atelier d’éclair is a little patisserie just serving éclairs. There are savoury and sweet éclairs, and the range is quite beautiful. I tried a salted butter caramel éclair, and a 1001 nights tea, which was the perfect accompaniment to cut through the sweetness. The éclair was delicious, and I’m sure their other options (rose & raspberry, nutella, vanilla, chocolate…) would all be worth a try – perhaps it would be nice to order several of the mini-sized éclairs.


On recommendation from one of the chefs at La Cuisine cooking school (below), Pain du Sucre was another must-try patisserie. The establishment is divided into two shop-fronts: one sweet, one savoury. I didn’t linger in the savoury section, but headed straight to the sweet area – where there are icecreams, tarts, marshmallows, macaroons, and delicious little pastries. I tried a Capucine – raspberry puree on an almond base, topped with fromage blanc and rosewater. It was gorgeous – as were the assorted macaroons I picked up as a present for a friend (the most exciting being a choc-mint: a mint macaroon, with a chocolate piece in the middle ganache).


Afternoon tea time

Just a couple of the touristy, over-priced, but you-just-have-to places: Le Mariage Frères is an old-style tea salon, pop in for a pot of tea – it may be 10 Euro, but at least the staff are charming and they know their teas. There are hundreds on the menu. The shop in the Marais is light and spacious, and you can buy tea to take home with you.

Les Deux Magots has its fame from being the place where Satre and De Beauvoir used to drink and think. I usually have a hot chocolate here, but this time snuck in a glass of champagne on my last afternoon. It is a lovely place to watch the people on the Boulevard.


The not-quites

Les Cocottes – It honestly pains me to write a less-than-glowing review of anywhere, but I was very disappointed in my experience at Les Cocottes – a Christian Constant restaurant, where the “hook” is to serve dishes in a cocotte, or small fireproof dish that food is cooked and served in. Being a single diner, I was able to get a seat at the bar quickly, but unfortunately that wasn’t the only thing that happened speedily. The worst moment of the meal was having my main course served before I finished my entrée. The food itself was sadly not impressive either. My entrée of langoustine ravioli in an artichoke mousseline was too complex, and the mousseline made it impossible to see what you were eating, which I found disconcerting. The main, of lamb with vegetables, had meat that was both fatty and tough.  Other diners had the steak, which looked perfect, so I clearly ordered poorly – but at a place charging about 70 euro for three courses (with one glass of wine), that shouldn’t be a possibility. The bright spark was dessert – a truly beautiful (and in this case, somewhat redeeming) chocolate tart. Three courses and I was rushed in and out in about an hour. The lesson: take a friend, be prepared to queue, but then force them to let you linger as long as you want; order the steak, and the chocolate tart.

Things to do

La Cuisine Paris – This Paris cooking school offers classes in either English or French, from beginners to more advanced. I took two classes: Macaroon Pause (2 hours, 75 Euro), and Croissants and Traditional Breakfast Pastries (3 hours, 95 Euro). I always love taking cooking classes as part of a trip abroad, and this experience was a great part of my Paris time. The chefs (Guillemette and Eric) were both French, but with perfect English, and had been chefs in Paris for a long time before coming to La Cuisine Paris. They were able to give a great deal of information about the produce we were using, the science behind the baking, and substitutes and shortcuts for making life easier in the home kitchen. Both chefs seemed very genuine in their offer to answer email questions, and were keen to see photos and hear updates from when we try the recipes at home (this was even followed up in an email a week later). The entire team at La Cuisine were friendly and generous-spirited.

The two classes were quite different, and I’m glad I tried both. The Macaroon class was a great deal of fun, colour, and creativity, while also learning new skills. The Croissants class was more challenging, and the most important thing I learnt was to value the humble croissant for the work of art it actually is! (Also, I learnt how much butter is in a croissant. No wonder they taste so damn delicious!).


At the end of the class, you take home your creations. I snacked on macaroons for days. This was a real treat, and I would certainly recommend you building a class in to your time in Paris, and returning home with a bit more knowledge of French cuisine and some fresh skills.


Museums – This time I finally spent some time with the girl with the enigmatic smile, at the Louvre. Take your energy, patience, and a plan of what you’re most keen to see. Usually I devote myself to the train station of delights at the Musée D’Orsay. To fall totally in love with Monet’s Waterlillies, L’Orangerie is a must. And though I haven’t been there in over a decade, I remember that the Musée Rodin is worth a visit, for both the gardens and the sculpture.

And this was the first time I had been to Sainte-Chapelle. Beautiful.



Ateliers – This trip, I spent a lot of time looking for perfect segments of lace, and vintage buttons, in the many haberdashery ateliers. In particular, La Drougerie and Ultramod were both incredible. Both stores are Aladdin’s caves of buttons, bits, and bobs. The colours are magic, and the creative possibilities are endless. Get inspired. Oui.


Books – Of course, I popped my head in to Shakespeare & Co, as I always do in Paris. I love the rabbit-warren-like nature of this little shop, but it can be a bit claustrophobic when packed with tourists. This time, I happened upon a little bookstore called I Love My Blender. It had a mixture of French and English books, and I have to say that it had the perfect assortment of titles, and lovely editions. If I owned a bookstore with limited space, the titles and editions on offer here would be the ones I would want to stock. The… “unorthodox” style of shelving the books did freak me out a little (those who know me, know I am particular about the presentation of books…) but the rest of the shop was charming and calming. Lovely.

A shop that also has a fancy for an ampersand – and has many lovely unusual fashions at very reasonable prices – was & Other Stories. And you must visit Merci, even if it is just to look at the pretty, pretty things.

And assorted others

Grom – Grom is my favourite Italian gelato shop (yes, it’s a chain, whatever. It’s also artisanal and full of the good stuff, both in terms of produce and philosophy). I’ve many happy memories of sitting in different Italian towns on hot days, cooling down with something from here. I’ve dragged people across cities for Grom. Imagine my happiness on finding one in Paris! Luckily a few hot days made it possible to enjoy my favourite thing: Lemon granita, topped with hand-whipped cream. Yes.

La Régalade St-Honoré – this is a classy, well-priced Bistro that is certainly worth a stop. I was a walk-in off the street for dinner, and after some consideration about whether they had room, they fitted me in nicely. A three-course Prix Fixe dinner is 35 Euro – a bargin for Paris. After taking your order, they bring you a complimentary terrine – served in a whole ceramic dish, and complete with a basket of baguette and a jar of pickles. Delicious. I tried a crab entrée and a duck main – both good, neither exceptional, but for the price, very worthwhile. For dessert, I tried the special, of a fresh cherry clafoutis served with amaretto icecream. Perfectly light and well-flavoured; this was the highlight of the meal. A good glass of Rosé and an espresso, and I tumbled out onto the Rue very full and happy.


Mamie Galette – This little bakery is a quaint and homely place to sit over a bowl of coffee and a quiche or tart. Again, the interior was very cute (vintage kitchen feel), but I opted to sit outside in the bright sunshine. I just had a simple vegetable quiche and side salad, which was delicious. I’d have quite liked to try a little tart, but I held myself back. Definitely worth a visit, either to sit outside and watch the St. Germain world go by, or to huddle inside if the weather is inclement.

I hopped back on the train, very happy and peaceful after this time eating, walking, learning, and being. I returned with new skills in making macaroons and croissants, new silk frocks, new pieces of lace to inspire the new creative project, and new books to devour. And more, I came home with a deeply content heart. Paris, you’re wonderful.



On the Grace Between Words

Since I’ve been Home, there have not been enough words. I’ve felt strangely and entirely inarticulate. Perhaps it is because the journey I’ve been on can’t be captured in alphabet and typeface, and the thought of trying to articulate it leaves me awestruck, and so I do not try. But I suspect that – in reality – the awestruck feeling has come from there being too many words around me now. After three years of skating by on just enough Dutch/ Italian/ Albanian/ French/ Serbian/ Arabic; and three years of minimising my own language to the most minimal, easy-to-understand, please-don’t-let-me-be-misunderstood English, returning back home has proved a cacophony of words. I’ve had three years of rarely understanding the chatter in the street, never understanding the radio, being in a cocoon world where the dramas of a stranger on the bus shouting into their mobile phone do not register, being insulated from the overwhelming reality that words provide. Sinking back into a country where I understand everything has been like a roar in my ears.

So I have not been reading, and I have not been writing. I have barely picked up a book: in four months, I have struggled through a light fiction, and devoured only one book of ferociously beautiful essays. I am reading poetry; short, sharp lines where there can be little confusion. I am luxuriating in wads of weekend newspapers, which sometimes take me a week to finish. This website has been left to languish; and I have written only a few lines in my journal, a handful of letters, and hardly any emails.

the 'to-read' pile just keeps getting bigger

And instead of reading, or writing, I have been: walking, sun-soaking, strawberry-picking, wine-drinking. I have been going for long drives in the country and marvelling at the fact that I can see the horizon, and undulating hills, and spring lambs, and swathes of forest in the distance. I have been sitting in my best friend’s kitchen, at her table, drinking pots of tea and laughing. I have been training my new puppy, and having months of my sleep interrupted as I listen out for his steady breathing like I imagine a parent does with a new-born. I have been eating cheese, and berries, and big brunches. I have been doing yoga most days. I have completed hundreds of sun salutes, and the moments I have spent in downward facing dog pose have gradually accumulated into hours. I have been sorting photos into albums, and papers into boxes, and all those things that have been in storage for three years. I have time-whiled in cafes and wine bars. I have been on boats surrounded by dolphins and seals and shearwaters. With nearly six months of not working, I had expected to greedily read books and write tomes. Instead, I have busied myself in the space between words. And this space – this grace – has been a gift. I have felt guilty, and a little stupid, but ultimately the languid way of being without the pressure of striking books off a to-read list, or creating pieces of prose, has suited me well. I start a PhD in six weeks’ time. The grace between words is nearly over.

And yet, so often I find myself grateful for words. This week one friend sent me both a posted letter, and this, via email: I imagine myself in a long-distant land of being a mother to teenage sons, and stuffing copies of this into their wallets/ lunch boxes/ car glove-boxes, in an attempt to convince them to bring home girls who know how to shelve bookcases. Another friend sent me – from the Netherlands – a book which made me giddy with knowing how much she cares about me, and how deeply she knows me. A third friend sent an email that dripped love. This festive season, I have received some of the loveliest Christmas cards I can imagine. Reading my mother’s journals and letters from many years before I was born has been humbling, hilarious, and the most precious gift. These words, these words – I can’t now imagine my life without these words.

So sometimes, perhaps, the breaths between the sentences – the full-stops that punctuate our lives and give us the rest we need – are as necessary as the words themselves. Sometimes the absence of something makes its presence even more special. Sometimes the grace between words allows us to be grateful for the good words we do meet. In the narratives of our lives, I’m glad for the words, and I am glad for the punctuation of space.


street art, my home town.

Home, adverb: to the place where one lives; noun: the place where one lives permanently; adjective: of or relating to the place where one lives; verb: returning by instinct to its territory after leaving it.

I’ve returned to my town after nearly three years away. My town is a small place at the bottom of the world. The sky is big here. It is as far from the Netherlands as one can get.

Coming back has taken more stamina and courage than I have had to exercise in a long time. It has been infinitely harder than the original move away. This town has nurtured me but also been a place of heartache. Coming home, I have had to negotiate this anew and find my own space in the middle of loss and hope.

For these reasons, and others, it has taken me awhile to sink into life here. Small things are freshly unknown: my body is confused that it is spring again; my palate is taking a long time to adjust to spring food when I am expecting autumnal food; I walk on the wrong side of the road; I don’t know how much a bus fare is, or where streets are that I should know as well as the lines of my heart. Being displaced in your home town is disorienting and exhausting. But it is miraculous to see your home town with new eyes and an open heart. Small things feel like huge gifts.

In the midst of big changes, I am newly grateful for the little joys that this place offers me. Bright stars, clean air, big sky, space, time. You can see the water from almost every spot in this town. The food is fresh and I know the farms it comes from, and the farmers that have brought it to me. The weekend newspapers are in a language I understand. I feel my capabilities in the English language returning, after years of being dulled by living and working in other languages. I never realised I would be so grateful for the ability to have a conversation with every person I meet.

big sky. water. a weekend ferry ride.

Two nights ago, I had friends over for supper for the first time in my new home. I wanted the food to be truly spring-like; fresh and new and full of promise. I pan-fried fat spring lamb in some mint and lemon and oil; sautéed zucchini and cauliflower in garlic, butter, and shaved over some parmesan; roasted potatoes; and lined the plates with baby butter lettuce. I made a huge lemon tart for dessert. We had real conversation, good sauvignon blanc, and my new snoring puppy at our feet. And I wouldn’t have been anywhere else in the world. I was home.

“And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful.”

A darling friend gave me a farewell present this weekend: a set of two coffee cups and saucers, from the Gien France “The Little Prince” collection. They are beautiful – delicate, bone china, and featuring illustrations from “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. They show the Prince, the sheep, the planets, the fox, the flowers, and the stars.

I love “The Little Prince”. I have at least four copies (an old, French, hardback from my childhood; a French paperback from my adulthood, purchased on the banks of the Seine; an English paperback with a beautiful inscription from a friend – this is the first edition I actually read; and a collectors edition in a slipcase and blue covering, purchased by my mother for her future grandchildren). All are presently in storage boxes on two sides of the world. When I first read “The Little Prince” at the age of 24, I felt like I hadn’t lived a coherent life before. With language like “All the stars are a riot of flowers”, I felt protected, and wrapped up, and like I had arrived home – a form of security that only a truly wonderful book can provide. And now I have these beautiful cups!

For reasons only my friend and I really understand, this present was particularly thoughtful. These cups made me look towards the future with a great deal more peace, hope, and faith.

They will make the perfect start to every day, for the rest of my future. A bucket-load of thanks to my beautiful friend for these truly special little joys. I am very lucky.

July in books.

Books Read: The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obrecht; The Lover’s Dictionary by David Leviathan; The Illumination of Merton Browne by JM Shaw.

Books Purchased: The Illumination of Merton Browne by JM Shaw. (Expect no such minimalism in future: this is only a great show of self-restraint, knowing that it is not long before I have to carry all these items back across the world…).

Both The Tiger’s Wife and The Lover’s Dictionary are underpinned by a sense that it is words, narratives, stories, that stop us from disappearing. Lives are to be memorialised as well as lived. Commemoration and remembering give us strength; tether us to our past; and make grief more sensical – whether it is the grief of the imperfections and impossibilities of a relationship, as in The Lover’s Dictionary; or the grief of death, war, and a nation torn apart, as in The Tiger’s Wife. We tell stories to make sense of these things, and to deal with them as best we can.

(image credit)

In The Lover’s Dictionary, a narrator tells of their relationship, through a series of dictionary entries. The entries – starting with aberrant (‘”I don’t normally do this kind of thing, you said’) and ending with zenith – interweave and interlink, and do not follow a linear progression. Some entries will repeat parts of other entries; or pick up where others have left off. Some are synergetic: the entries of ephemeral and ethereal, for example, are to be read together; if one did not exist, it feels like the other would cease to be, also. Many other entires, of course, stand alone.

Each short entry reveals a little more of the puzzle of this relationship. It is complex (as these things often are) and there is a great deal of sadness in the story. It becomes clear that there has been infidelity, alcohol problems, and the burden of a sad childhood – but also, unquestionably, a great well of love between the protagonist and his partner. How could this relationship continue? But how could it end?

This is a brave book, and perfectly executed. It takes a great deal of courage to weave backwards and forwards through a story that is usually told from start to finish; and to only tell snippets of a story we usually hear in infinite detail. One of the highly impressive things about this novel was how it could do so much with so little. There are no spare words; the entries are tightly wrought and everything has its place. This is a short, easy read: some entries are only a sentence or two, and none are longer than a couple of pages. The 209-page book, then, might only take a few hours to devour. But I was often slowed by the magnitude of the words and ideas the author was conveying. I read this book with a pen in hand, underlining words, notions, sentences, and stopping to ponder them and catch my breath.

(image credit)

Tea Obrecht’s The Tiger’s Wife was one of the most eagerly awaited debut novels of recent years. Even before its publication, Obrecht had been named one of The New Yorker’s Top 20 Under 40 writers. On publication, The Tiger’s Wife  has gone on to win the 2011 Orange Prize, making Obrecht – at the age of 24 – the youngest person to ever win the prize.

At the center of the story is a grandfather and granddaughter. Within the first few pages of the novel, the grandfather dies in mysterious circumstances. The granddaughter, Natalia, is away from home; she must manage her first stages of grief and shock whilst – in her profession as a doctor – tending to an orphanage of children located in a country no longer part of her own. In order to find the answers of her grandfather’s death, Natalia starts a journey through the stories he had told her: the story of his childhood, when a large tiger came to the village; and the story of ‘the deathless man’. These narratives link in together tightly, in a blend of magic realism, fable, myth, and reality. They are beautifully rendered, and together they tell of generations of conflict, love stories, large animals, foreign cities and small villages. I loved how surreal stories of a man who could not die, and a woman who loved a tiger, were told with grace and love so that they felt utterly real.

Whilst it is clear that the war in question is that of the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, Obrecht cleverly ensures that no real places are easily identified. The descriptions of the places are strong, but generic, and the only place names mentioned are fabrications. This is a novel, not a piece of non-fiction. Obrecht can tell the personal stories of the war, without analysing the war itself (or its causes, its ramifications, who is to blame). Two ways in which the war is dealt with particularly struck me. First, the descriptions of Natalia trying to live a “normal” teenage life in the middle of a war’s abnormality are particularly touching. Secondly, towards the end of the novel an account is given of the grandfather and the deathless man having a “Last Supper” near what would, the next day, become a frontline of conflict. The twenty or so pages that outline the meal on the eve of the ‘Siege of Sarobar’ are haunting and beautiful.

Ultimately, the central theme of the book is how people deal with grief and death, in order to make sense of them (whether this is intimate death, like that of your grandfather; or the more large-scale death of people and nation caused by war). We deal with death through stories and ritual. We make sense of the nonsensical through myth, and through narrative. We tell ourselves stories to ease the pain, and in order to know what on earth to do next.

“Knit me a sweater out of your best stories”, reads the entry of yarn in The Lover’s Dictionary. If a sweater could be knitted out of these two books, it would be intricately patterned, strong, soft, and provocative.

The perfect weekend.

It was a weekend of little joys. Nothing big: no travels; no life changes; just lots of small, familiar, quietly contented things. 

On Friday night, I de-frosted some tomato & lentil soup, poured a glass of champagne, bundled myself into my pyjamas, and switched on An Affair to Remember. Oh, My. What a perfect Friday night.

I haven’t seen this movie in years. It was a childhood favourite, but watching it as an adult was a completely novel experience. When I was young, I liked what I saw as Pretty Gowns and Big Love and Melodrama. I still appreciate the gowns, but I now can see the love and melodrama through a whole new kaleidoscope: I can relate, in a way that I never could when I was younger, to the sacrifices, and grief, and sense of protection, and deep-seated care, between the characters. This is true both of the central love affair, but also of the relationships with the supporting characters: the grandmother, the former partners; every relationship in the film seems to be one of great nuance.

For the first time, I also appreciated that whilst Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr were both stunningly beautiful, neither they, nor their characters of Nickie Ferrante and Terry McCall were exactly young. In fact, Grant was in his 50s when An Affair to Remember was released. The gravitas of the relationship struck me. Ferrante and McCall were coming to their new love with old experiences, regrets, and lessons learned. They were doing their best to negotiate a new course, realising fully the magnitude of it.

I loved the witty language, the understated physicality (the first kiss between Ferrante and McCall is so stunning in its privacy), and the beauty of the scenery and props. It made me long for people to make movies like this again.

And then it was Saturday. Some yoga, cups of tea, finishing my book, and then a wander into town. A note: in just a few weeks, I must pack my European life into boxes and move it back across seas. I’m not, therefore, meant to be purchasing much.

So, small things. I bought some thimbles. I plan to put them on display in a printing drawer, along with other small curious from my last few years living in Europe. And I bought some handmade lace doilies, for a planned project (a quilt which features lace from across Europe):









So far, so good; only teensy purchases. Then it got tricky, with 50% off at my favourite clothing store, and a couple of little pretty purchases, like this one.

And then it got ridiculous, when I thought that this required a loving home:

But I couldn’t leave it in the shop. It is too beautiful, and it is handpainted in Italy. It must be wrapped in bubble-wrap and sent back home with me.

And then it was time for some Saturday afternoon baking: cupcakes for the girls, who came over later that evening.

There is nothing like a cupcake to make a Saturday more joyous.

And on Sunday? a brunch of quesadillas with home-made guacomole (after being inspired by this post in Ill Seen, Ill Said)

and leftover cupcakes; a facial/ massage; a new book being started; several cups of fresh mint tea; and going to see the incredible Pina at the cinema.

Perfect. Restorative. Joyful.

Doors to New Worlds

Doors are symbolic of both travelling away, and coming home. They are suggestive of transitions; of returns; of possible new worlds, and of dependable old loves waiting for you. And sometimes, they are also particularly beautiful. I seem to be forever taking photos of doors.


I love this set of images because all the doors are completely different and firmly entrenched in their own culture, and yet somehow are complimentary. Notice the salt-water-shaken Procida wooden door; the Nepali Buddhist/ Hindu symbols of trees and life on the Kathmandu door; the image of the President over the Syrian door. But these images all go together. And this makes me happy.