Would it surprise you to learn that introverts have fared worse in the multiple lockdowns of the past year or so? Perhaps I am a contrarian at heart, for almost as soon as they said we have to stay home, I yearned, really yearned, to go out. I am a bit nonplussed by this turn of events as, you know, being an introvert, I didn’t think I was all that bothered about going out and about, and will quite happily spend hours alone engrossed in a book or in designing a pattern.


When I first started working from home, I put in place a routine that I followed pretty rigorously, starting with a morning meditation and scheduled breaks throughout the day that meant that I actually had to get up from my desk and move. Each day also involved going out so at least I would interact with someone other than the Cat. Now, several lockdowns and one temporary house move later, the schedule is gone to hell; focus is off on another skite; and motivation, well, I seem to have misplaced her yet again and no matter where I look, I cannot find her. This will not do. Something has got to be done…


So I have started a mindfulness course. I have found meditation to be useful in persuading my mind that really it’s not the best idea to be skittering off hither and yon all the time. How can I be expected to get sh*t done if she keeps wandering off? Our instructor has tasked us with choosing one everyday activity and making a deliberate effort to bring moment-to-moment awareness to that activity each time we do it. I chose making coffee, which would, I thought, have inherently Zen-like qualities seeing as there is rather more to it than sticking a teabag in a mug, qualities that would only be enhanced if I were lucky enough to own Hugh Miller’s Coffee Table No 2. And there is the added benefit of the coffee needing time to brew. The Boyfriend has stipulated 8 minutes. He is nothing if not exact when it comes to coffee. And yes, we do time it. The coffee is always perfect… which makes this article on caffeine addiction an interesting if rather challenging read.


And a river runs through it… Architectura Rivera, a new cushion design I’ve been working on.

Making coffee mindfully has got me thinking about my fridge. It’s a Liebherr and not even an expensive one. It’s got the most fabulous handles and the smoothest opening mechanism I’ve ever encountered on a fridge. You can open it with one finger. There’s none of that wrestling other fridges seem to think necessary. It closes with a satisfying thunk. It’s clear that someone spent time thinking about the experience of using this fridge and that it should be a pleasurable one. We remark on it regularly, which is in itself remarkable considering we’ve had it for almost a year. To Mr Morris’s advice that one should “have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful,” I would add… or find to be pleasurable.


What most definitely is not pleasurable is the dratted dreaded mosquito, a useless creature of surpassing viciousness that has the temerity to find me irresistible. I am thankful that I do not to live in an area where malaria is endemic and was delighted to read how architecture is being used to outsmart this pestilence while at the same time enabling folks to get a better night’s sleep. How marvellous is that?


A good night’s sleep would most definitely be had in this my favourite restoration of the moment, a beautifully considered apartment in Milan by Puntofilipino. And here at the Palazzo Daniele in Puglia. Just look at that ceiling. And the floor…


I leave you with this, the trailer for the show JIVA! about a hip hop dancer in South Africa we’ve just started watching. While the dancing is fantastic, as certified by the Boyfriend, quite the mean hip hop dancer himself, I’ve fallen headlong for the clothes. Such pattern and colour. What glorious combinations and contrasts. Ooh, my mind is in a whirl…


A bientôt


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The featured photograph is by my good friend Tadej Turk. Not content with an honourable mention in the Monochrome Photography Awards, he has also scooped five more awards for his photography, two of which are gold medals. Congratulations Tadej! You can see more of his wonderful work here.