Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Miscellaneous Update

The fennel bulb is to mark the beginning of my annual winter soup project. This is aimed at tastyness and health. The soups must be vegetarian and low fat. This week fennel and carrot with chestnuts (recipe from Bon Appetit magazine). Last week sweet potato and orange (from The Covent Garden Soup Book).

My next biography is Tamara de Lempicka, Russian artist and another one of that 1920s Paris crowd.

Click here to find out more about this fascinating woman.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Wardrobe Reboot

About every six months or so I like to do a wardrobe reboot. This responds mainly to the move into Spring or Autumn when seasonal items are brought to the fore.

This time I am being especially ruthless. Due to the end of running with my gammy knee I am not as thin as I was. Cue a purge of painfully tight dresses and muffin top creating jeans.

Conversely, the space created reveals rarely worn but much loved garments from many years. Step forward purple velvet jacket and glitter tweed skirt.

I have also discovered my style evolving again. I never thought I would say that a blouse can actually look great. Or that shell tops are more flattering than tshirts if you are built large round the torso. Or that tight jeans flatter no stomach region. Or that too many lurid colours make you look like someone from 80s breakfast TV. Bring on subtler colours and interesting fabrics.

But the biggest development was the gift of a fantastic new sewing machine, which has triggered a rash of  making, not buying. I've just done an a line tweed skirt (librarian chic) am onto a grey floral 30s style blouse and then a dark green twill skirt awaits. I may even attempt the home dressmaking kryptonite...a jacket.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Paris in the Autumntime

Back from our fantastic Paris trip! Thoroughly refreshed and rebooted.

Things we did: Musee Zadkine (1920s sculpture) Chateau de Vincennes (medieval castle), Paris Motor Show, Musee Quai Branly (Mayans exhibition) Palais Galliera (see picture of Dior Bar Suit from New Look exhibition, fashion heaven), Musee de la Chasse et Nature ( taxidermy, guns, weird art installations,) Cathedral de Notre Dame.

We ate in lots of lovely places and discovered a great new restaurant/organic wine bar by the hotel. I bought lots of French cookery books in Shakespeare and Co to keep me projecting on through the winter. A bit sad to be home now it was so amazing.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Women's Biography Project

I must admit, I'm really enjoying this project, which I thought might be a bit worthy. I think 2014 might be travel books, or history or science?

Latest read was a book about Mina Loy, obscure artist, futurist and feminist poet. I enjoyed her freeform dadaist poetry more than I expected, which was a bonus. Like many of  the people I've read about she is an infuriating but inspiring character. Rebellious, creative, charismatic, beautiful and fun. On the minus side, selfish, self obsessed, moody and rootless. I think I would have liked Eleanor Marx but many of the other biography women were very difficult people. I get very involved and annoyed as the women lurch from disastrous relationship to disastrous relationship, ingratiate themselves with horrible, egomaniacal 'friends' struggle with creative block and suffer family breakdown. Just like normal people which is quite reassuring in a way.

I have been particularly enjoying biographies of  artistic, creative and free thinking women. Three of the subjects, Mina Loy, Lee Miller and Kiki de Montparnasse knew each other in 1920s Paris (none of them got along, unsurprisingly!)

More on my Paris holiday where I checked out some of their haunts in Montparnasse in the next post.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Seen from the Car

Seen from the car on the road by Stonehaven. This is a Beltie or Belted Galloway, a rare breed cattle from near where Alistair comes from.

They look lovely in the fields, like big furry mint humbugs.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Eating Out in Aberdeen

We have been trying to eat out somewhere once a week in Aberdeen. For anyone who might enjoy this a list of my favourite places:

I love Japanese food.
Yatai, fantastic authentic little restaurant.
Yorokubi by CJ, great food, horrible decor.
Yo sushi, conveyorbelt fun
Wagamama, tasty cafeteria style

I like Italian too.
Jamie's Italian, trendy and fun
Carluccios, relaxing decor, nice deli also

Mezze are a big thing for me:
The Nargile, delicious, atmospheric, huge portions.

American: Maggie's Grill, heavenly comfort food with friendly service.

French: Cafe Montmartre, delicious authentic bistro food.