I love sea urchins, sometimes I feel like they (and many other ocean creatures) must be from outer-space, they are just so intriguing and odd looking. Even the bits that break off of them are cool; how interesting would a few of these be hanging off some silk string?
Have you seen these books? They are delicious.
I recently bought the London, NYC, Venice and Greece books and they make me grin from ear to ear, such a delight. Done some 40 odd years ago they now include an updated stats page right at the back full of great tidbits about a city (how many elevators? how many fire hydrants?) I'd like to collect the books from all the places I have visited, and of course go to the places I haven't! Here is a peek inside the lovely London book:
Thanks M. Sasek for giving the world such beautiful books.
Love you Londres!
I can't help it, it's usually the first section that I go to in bookstores. I use it to judge how sensitive and informed the book buyers are...I am enthralled by the attention to detail given to the stories, the covers, the illustrations. I want to collect more books for 'lil readers (or, I guess non-readers) and book buying is one of the only areas in my life where I don't really feel guilty about how much I spend, I don't try and rationalise it or make excuses. I need them like I need air. Quite often they are the only books that move me to tears for reasons I can't even define.
My mum said to me a while ago "Your children are going to be so lucky, having all these wonderful books to look at and read"...which surprised me because, to be honest, I had never once bought a book thinking of who was going to inherit it!
I suppose I wish I had a collection like this when I was little (though I was pretty chuffed with my impressive range of Little Golden Books and any and every Enid Blyton tale I could get my paws on). I still have my childhood books and the sudden jolt of memory when you look at an illustration, or a sentence that you have looked at dozens upon dozens of times as small child is exhilarating. Or, realising that the images or even certain passages and descriptions in the stories really have rooted themselves into your imagination, your dream landscape and your idealism many years later. It's powerful stuff!
I still bemoan not being able to find my teeny tiny Peter Rabbit books...big enough to fit in my little hand, bigger than a matchbox....just.
I remember chancing upon The Selfish Giant as a first year uni student and almost burst into tears when I realised it was the exact same edition I had read so many times when I was 7 or 8, then sighed at how beautiful the watercolour illustrations were, chuckled at how I completely bypassed the whole Jesus-parable....then gasped when I saw that the author was Oscar Wilde! Such a joy rediscovering these books when you are older.
I saw a link somewhere recently and I'm so glad I clicked through to it; have I ever told you how much I adore Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events? (more on that later), but here...Lemony's 'representative' Daniel Handler gives us some of his favourite childrens books.
Suffice to say I sort of want them all. Greedy guts that I am.
This photo is spectacular! Can you believe the guy that took this photo (and many brilliant others) of the Beatles' first US concert has been holding on to them for almost half a century?! And that he was only 18 when he took them in 1964? Cor blimey.
I have a soft spot for Ray LaMontagne. He looks like Jesus; if Jesus lived in the woods and sort of looked like a serial killer but with an ultra-smoky voice and soulful geetar tunes. Can't listen to too much Ray though, only in small doses...but boy does he look like he puts on a brilliant live show.
The lyrics to this song are so beautifully sad, sighs abound.
this song has been covered a zillion times, but his version is thoughtful:
and of course, the song any soppy gal wishes was written about her:
Above all things, I love Ondaatje and his poems. Here he is reading one of his quietly sensual and heady beauties, how great is his voice? I always feel it's a real treat to see/hear the poet reading the poem, makes it extra-special somehow.
If I were a cinnamon peeler I would ride your bed and leave the yellow bark dust on your pillow. Your breasts and shoulders would reek you could never walk through markets without the profession of my fingers floating over you. The blind would stumble certain of whom they approached though you might bathe under rain gutters, monsoon. Here on the upper thigh at this smooth pasture neighbour to you hair or the crease that cuts your back. This ankle. You will be known among strangers as the cinnamon peeler's wife. I could hardly glance at you before marriage never touch you --your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers. I buried my hands in saffron, disguised them over smoking tar, helped the honey gatherers... When we swam once I touched you in the water and our bodies remained free, you could hold me and be blind of smell. You climbed the bank and said this is how you touch other women the grass cutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter. And you searched your arms for the missing perfume and knew what good is it to be the lime burner's daughter left with no trace as if not spoken to in the act of love as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar. You touched your belly to my hands in the dry air and said I am the cinnamon peeler's wife. Smell me.
I have a little obsession with derelict old buildings, and if they have a certain history behind them, even better. These photos are magnificent, but also make me shiver at the thought of walking through these abandoned mental asylums and the things that went on in there.
Put this on along with some gold bangles, tousle your wavy hair and dance around on stage as the floaty fabric moves with you. At 2:40 into the clip, I defy you *not* to grin widely that Lindsey Buckingham would sidle up with his arm around you to sing some catchy harmonies. Yes.
(I'm sure that if I tried wearing that brown velvet beret, I would come off looking more like a portrait of old Rembrandt, but somehow she just makes it work!)
but before that, maybe you should grab some maracas, put on a comfy Mickey Mouse jumper and sit in the studio watching the song come together.
PS: I think she'd like these shoes to match her outfit, by Jeffrey Campbell:
PPS: Can you tell Tusk is my high-rotation album of the moment?
I have spent the most of my Hellenic time in Athens. I can understand how people could hate it as a city but for me it fills my veins with blood and makes my heart beat so loud. I don't know what it is, I felt like the best version of myself each time I have been there.
I'm never afraid there but I'm sure I should be sometimes; I went to my first ever protest in Athens, and tasted the burn of tear gas for the first (and hopefully only) time. I rode on the back of a scooter through the balmy night and patted the enormous and friendly street dogs whenever I could. I had one of them rest his head on my foot and fall asleep as I sat on a step and smoked. Lord, I have never smoked, walked, eaten and thought so much in my life as when I was in Athens. I have seen it gleaming, I have seen it dry and dusty, lit only by the August moon, destroyed by riots, bustling and also boarded up, burnt out shells of cars and celebration on the streets. I had the best new years eve of my life in Athens, the most epiphanies in Athens, the best memories of a friendship in Athens and the first experience of travelling on my own not knowing a single soul and absolutely loving it...all in Athens. I owe that city a lot, it helped me confirm who I really was, and it gave me the confidence to live with who I am.
This is in response to the images of protests, destruction and dissent in that ancient city.
The most emotional time I ever had when visiting Hellas (and perhaps in my entire life thus far) was in my mother's hometown. It is absolutely stunning, soaked in history with mountains soaring up to the heavens, an old city within fortress walls and a lake that covers almost everything in a smooth satin that I used to sit by and stare at for hours and hours.
I cried almost every night. I hadn't seen my mama in two years, she has never been back to her home and family in Hellas since she left over 30 years ago. I walked around her little island and imagined her playing hide and seek as a skinny girl with short short hair and big shiny brown eyes. I saw how hard life still was for so many people there. I quietly observed in a shoe-box sized church on the highest point of the island and breathed in the incense and the Byzantine chanting. I stood in the same places I remember seeing in the few childhood photos my mother has. I do not know if I can go back there again, I don't know if she should go back there again.
There are a lot of ghosts in that very beautiful place.
the view from the house mama was born in
kind friends of my grandmother's, who have lived on the island their whole life
the hypnotising Lake Pamvotis
mama grew up on this little island in the middle of a very big lake
It sure feels like it; utterly depressing watching, reading, hearing people whispering, or exclaiming loudly what a hot mess the mother country is. Makes me feel hopeless and anxious and angry and emotional all at once. I'm gonna think about some good things though...because Hellas, you make me feel extreme joy and extreme melancholy often at the same time. Hold on.
Korinos beach, near my dad's village
standing at the foot of Olympus, in the village of Litichoro