Thursday, 28 March 2013

In which I dressed inappropriately

I've been feeling a bit wotsit for the past week or so. My face has been a pale shade of odd, my hair peaky and I just haven't been able to stir myself.

But, once again, Vix has inspired me. In this bleak wintery weather, she flung off her coat and floated into her garden, a vision in baby blue chiffon. She invited the rest of us to join suit by donning something floaty and inappropriate.

Well, why not?
I did want to curl myself around the rose arch but I'm not brave enough. Whatever would the neighbours think?
So instead, I'm working it in my unfinished boudoir, especially for you. I stuck on some eyeliner and this 1970s nylon nighty, floaty and inappropriate. Ooh, naughty.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

In praise of homely pursuits

I was due to go down south this weekend, but snow and flooding made it all too tricky. So I had a suddenly free weekend, at home, to do with what I would.

I thought I might read a book or watch a dvd.

But I didn't. On a whim, I started making some jewellery.
He played guitar and made some tasty treats. Beetroot and walnut houmous, courtesy of Hugh. It really is delicious.

He asked me what colour I would call it. I said framboise. I know, who do I think I am? Karl Lagerfeld?

If you want the recipe, here it is.

I'm a sucker for these apps. I know you can't really see clearly and they are probably really passé but I love the effects. The one I have been using a lot recently is like a polaroid, whereas this one is like old slide film.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cyprus, part 3. Street life in Limassol and Nicosia

Standing in the mountains surrounded by peace  *  The church at Ormodos  *  Speaking to the locals
  *  Sitting in bed reading, with a sea view at the end of each chapter  *  Falling asleep to the sound of waves lapping outside  *  Eating lunch in a pavement cafe  *  Having the hotel pool all to myself  *

Those were my highlights.
But these pictures only tell half the story, the half which pleases my eyes. They don't tell you about the overwhelming amount of building that is going on everywhere, they don't show the signs in Russian, Chinese and Arabic which tell you who is buying up all the land and hoping to profit from the Cyprus of the future.
The people were lovely, gently friendly with a nice sense of humour, always willing to help, but I felt I was missing something all the time. I didn't feel I quite found the real Cyprus, whatever that is. It eluded me. I wonder if it is getting lost in all this 'progress'. 
In ten year's time, I feel it will all be swanky new holiday homes and hotels owned by foreigners. There doesn't seem to be any concern for conserving the old. I worry that the locals will wake up one day and find themselves dispossessed, their culture and heritage vanished.

It seems I have to put a link in a post to join Bloglovin, not sure what is happening, so I'm following the crowd. They seem know what they are doing.

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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Cyprus part 2, the Troodos mountains

Thank you for all your well wishes...

Sunlight, warmth and a light breeze. Perfect weather for mooching.
A mountainside graveyard; a place to truly rest in peace. Ranunculus. Tight petals unfurling, the colour of sunshine.
I kept expecting Montalbano to walk round the corner.
Flaking turquouise paint. Standing at the top of a mountain. Absolute quietude. 
Take a container, paint it white, add some flowers. Simple and beautiful. Aphrodite's rock. The birthplace of a legend.
Everywhere you look, interesting doors.

The pictures that got away: herds of goats just roaming. A tiny hillside white church and the exquisite dimly-lit interior of the church at Omodos. A line of antique chandeliers, carved wood and giltwork. But alas, no photos allowed. A small woman dressed all in black watched me like a hawk, waiting to swoop. 

Here's me, caught in the act. Click, click, click goes my camera. I look a bit guilty, don't I? That's because I've just been caught peeking into a courtyard.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Cyprus, part 1. Roving reporter, reporting in.

I do a lot of travelling. Mainly in my armchair, often to Blogland. But, for one week only, I did the real thing. To where it's all happening right now! Cyprus. We heard the news first hand from a man in a cafe. 
I'm just waiting for the Beeb to call me and commission a report. I'm sure it will come soon.

At the airport. This honeycomb cannelloni done three ways was delicious: aubergine and tomato, spinach and ricotta, butternut squash. It sustained me for hours, through snow-based delays and thousands of miles.
I rather liked the decor. Reclaimed floorboards on the walls with massive chandeliers gave this restaurant a modern chalet feel. 
Day one involved a ritual recce. So what did we discover? A coastal walk lined with rocks and trees.
Bushes of my favourite childhood flower, hibiscus. Sea water that was just a bit too cold to swim in.

A kitsch bar based on one of my favourite childhood programmes. Do you remember John, Buck, Manolito and the fiery but beautiful Victoria? I loved her look. All piled-high dark hair and eyes, tight bodices and full skirts.
TV, another rich source of travel dreams. 
Now I need to come by and visit your worlds.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Serena's house part 2

When you get to the front door, you pull a little string to activate this really charming little bell. I love the vintage lace curtains and potted hebes on the front windows.Serena is a wonderfully talented painter. Here is her painting of Karikari bay in New Zealand, a place which is very special to her. It was the beach used for the filming of The Piano.

I love the use of textiles to add texture and colour.

She also made this gorgeous bird lamp with her own fair hands. Everywhere you look there is evidence of her creativity and love of making things. I find S and her home very inspiring.
A wood burning stove in the sitting room creates a really cosy ambience. Soft stripes in blue and white give a French country feel. Thanks for letting me visit Serena. xx

If you want to see some other house visits, have a peek here, here or here.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Serena's house part 1

Last week I was lucky enough to go and visit my friend Serena in her adorable little house in Nottingham. She lives on the cutest street, not far from all the buzz of the city but tucked away and has created a real feeling of peace and calm. Serena by name, serener by nature.
Her little pussy cat loves water. Coincidentally he is called Otter. So sweet.
Talk about domestic goddess, she knocked up this batch of cakes while I was talking her head off. Lemon and poppyseed friands. They were as light as air and still warm, she served them with natural yoghurt and fresh raspberries. Watch out Nigella, there's a new kid on the block.
At any time of the year you will see flowers in vases dotted round the house. I love her creative use of wooden fruit crates. This eau de nil colour is a favourite of hers, which she has used to paint various pieces of rescued furniture.
Another gorgeous pussy cat, painted furniture and a lovely bevelled mirror.

There's more tomorrow!