Monday, November 30, 2009
They even travelled to Libya once (on business but that's another story).
But to me the most exciting place they ever travelled to was to Sardinia to stay at the Cala Di Volpe (translates as Vixen Cove).
My geography lessons had taught me all about the Mediterranean Sea and its islands, and this hotel, sitting squat on the glittering harbour with its adobe style structures and jewell colours evoked pure 1970s disco fun to me and my fertile imagination.
To this day I still want to visit, and stay here in this room:
And eat at this little restaurant:
In Melbourne there is a Sardinian restaurant in South Yarra called Da Noi. My exhaustive 30 second Google search tells me that there are no other Sardinian restaurants in Australia.
There are many things to love about this restaurant:
1. The owner\chef's name (Pietro Porcu)
2. The lack of a menu (well there is a menu but rarely used. You largely just eat what is brought to you)
3. The lack of a website (anyone who sensibly flies in the face of technology should be applauded).
4. This business card (a tawny misty morning shot of three fabulous Italian boar shooters)
On a recent visit we ate pork cheek terrine, eggplant and tomato salad, marinated octopus, oysters, a salty caper, saffron, olive and white fish risotto and lamp shank with smoked potato mash.
Dessert was a tasting plate of mandarin pannacotta, a tiny square of tiramisu, honey and yougurt cake, some kind of fennelly icecream and little pink square of watermelon.
And I especially loved the cannellini mush we had as part of our appetisers.
This is very easy, and healthy (beans are healthy aren't they?).
Drain and rinse a can of Italian cannellini beans.
PIck over and finely chop a sprig of rosemary
Finely chop a large clove of garlic.
Warm a good slosh of olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and once its scent rises add the beans and rosemary. Cook slowly for 10 - 20 minutes. Add more oil if needs be. Some of the beans will break down. They are ready when they become a bit creamy. Add lots of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Perfect on toasted sourdough or just in greedy spoonfuls.
PS a less overtly lazy search has now revealed at least two other Sardinian restaurants - Cose in Brisbane and Pilu in Sydney. There may be many more, indeed.
(Images (1)-(4) Caladivolpe.com)
Friday, November 27, 2009
I wonder how Thomas Walpole would have felt about the Jasper Conran 2008 renovation of his home which is located in Chiswick Mall and looks out over the Thames.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I realise that in posting this image I am breaking one of my own Top 10 Rules of Blogging (do not imagine your own children's art is interesting to anyone else) but I think it illustrates really well the way small children view the world and their parents - as something much bigger which overshadows but nevertheless still protects them.
I have framed this drawing and I hang it in a place I walk past frequently as it reminds me of something very important, which is this:
At those times when I am being impatient or busy or irritated or distracted (which I fear is probably way too often) I need to remember that this drawing reflects the way my daughter sees me, as someone with the strength to hold her up high. And that I should always try to lift her up rather than drag her down.
The greatest challenge of all is not to taint the relationships we have with our children with our own insecurities, preconceptions and dark bruises of the past.
These are my thoughts today, as I finish planning for a little girl's Disco Pop Diva party for this weekend, complete with disco ball (provided I can install a hook in a very high ceiling without breaking a leg).
By the way - any thoughts on a glittery microphone cake? My microphones always look like icecream cones, so I am thinking instead of something square, pink and straightforward.
Monday, November 23, 2009
To demonstrate the point here are some mirrors above fireplaces looking nothing short of divine:
Even Alice understood the importance of a mirror over a fireplace.
I also love the idea of a leaning against the wall mirror, like these:
This is what I have learned so far:
(1) the dirtier the mirror the less expensive (and I love that hard to see through look).
(2) new reproduction mirrors are often the same cost as a 200 year old antique.
(3) price is not necessarily an indicator of quality or age or even nice gildedness.
So - how big is too big? Does anyone agree that the fireplace must be be-mirrored? Or is this a fixed idea I should rid myself of?
Friday, November 20, 2009
If you accept the 'everything's connected' theory, and also the 'trickle down' theory then it seems to me that everything we now see in our interiors, which was once radical and almost impossible to imagine, is largely thanks to those sometimes revolutionary and very often brave artists of the last century.
And then consider a typical 2009 interior (just grabbing any old one):
How much has changed in 110 years?
for showing us the beauty of black and white and that calligraphy in the form of bold dashes of black can work in our bedrooms too:
And Henri Rousseau:
for showing how green and pink and orange and foliage can all work together, especially in Florida and Queensland:
And isn't it wonderful that something as utilitarian as a kitchen:
Is this art elitist or inaccessible? No. It is part of our lives, everywhere we look.
Have a happy weekend.
(Images (1) Point Click Home (3) AestheticInteriors.com (5) besttopdesign.com (7) busycowby.com (10) Point Click Home (13)(14) Celerie Kemble (15) Point Click Home (17) blog.daytonc.com. Others not sure please let me know if you know.)