Spurred on by Alain de Botton’s famous quote that… “Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.”… I have been busy… busy changing, amending, editing, and consolidating in a wonderfully productive, hugely enjoyable burst of activity. Focus, much to my relief, is finally returned from his skite… or perhaps it was just a holiday. At least he got to go somewhere. Since his miraculous return, I have redone, reduced and revised almost all of my designs, creating, I think, a much more cohesive collection. The biggest change, and perhaps the most challenging, is that I have decided to work within a restricted colour palette. I had a small concern that I might feel circumscribed by this decision, but in fact I feel quite the opposite. I feel liberated… and am delighted repeatedly by the alchemical properties of colour. An addition here, a subtraction there, accompanied by a change in position, and poof… a whole new feeling. Really, it’s quite magical, in a scientific way of course. If you find yourself experiencing an irresistible urge to see what’s new, you can satisfy your curiosity by clicking this handy link. Go on, you know you want to…


“All colours are friends of their neighbours and lovers of their opposites.” – Marc Chagall


For the season that’s in it… this is LEAF, inspired by Suzy Davis’s poem Step Out In Color from her anthology Celebrate the Seasons… “Leaves are love letters that fall from the sky, in the brightest of colors see how they fly!…”

Talking of colour, have a look at this fabulous book of Odd Apples by photographer William Mullan. I couldn’t resist it. If you are in Europe, you can find it here. The typography is fabulous and the apples intriguing. I’d never heard of almost all of them, despite being inordinately fond of an apple… pie, crumble, cake, tart, and even syllabub. Yes, I have actually made apple syllabub, with the requisite slug of Calvados, and very tasty it is too, especially when served with shortbread biscuits. Mmmm… sorry, got a bit distracted there. Our apple trees are sadly rather bare this year so I will have to do the unthinkable and actually buy apples, if indeed there are any to be had. Happily though, the brambles have had a great year so it’s blackberries all round.


One thing we are definitely not likely to run out of any time soon is pee. Sorry to lower the tone somewhat but I just couldn’t resist sharing this article on toilet-training cows. Whatever next… still, if it helps the planet and the cows don’t mind, why not? At least then the pee could be put to good use, as they are doing in France. Cue the obvious pee puns (moo-loo anyone?) but you know, often the best new ideas are old.


As architect Mariana de Delás shows with her very clever renewal of traditional stone shelters on Mallorca. I love that everything is portable, solar powered and run off a max of 12-volt batteries. Genius. Caroline Gray’s quirky vessels would be right a home but not Kate Waters’ gorgeous photo-realistic paintings. These definitely need space and perhaps a more urban setting.


I don’t know about you folks, but I read a lot, to find that only an occasional nugget of information sticks. So I was delighted to read this from the clever people at Farnam Street on how to remember what we read. Now, I just need to remember to put it into practise… if nothing else to ensure that my future self is embarrassed by my current self. And because I’ve read and bookmarked this fascinating article on the mystery of why we sleep to share with you all and, oh dear, now I can’t recall, well, pretty much any of it. Hopefully you’ll fare better. At least I can promise you that it’s interesting because I do remember very clearly thinking to myself “hmmm, that’s interesting,” when I’d finished it.


And now, I’m off to buy notebooks…


A bientôt


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