Archives for category: 100 days of holiday

there’s a beautiful expression that costa ricans use that’s as common as hello: pura vida. it literally means ‘pure life’. i experienced its meaning when i traveled there (guanacaste) back in july. thousands of miles from city lights and sales and wireless access, i remembered what it was to be moved by nature. trees. air. water. space.

so now, during this period of exuberant festive commerce – when i’m consumed by thoughts of what i need to buy buy buy – wordsworth’s worthy words creep into my mind.

The World Is Too Much with us
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

and i think about pure life in costa rica…


freaky toys at brooklyn flea market

daisy, daisy, give me your answer do…

a magically alluring twig terrarium…look closer…

sunshine and lemonade at cafe habana outpost

…and don’t even think about leaving without trying the ‘famous corn’.

one of the many pieces in the pratt institute’s famed contemporary sculpture garden in clinton hill

a random scene along the walk to williamsburg

result: a well-deserved vanilla milkshake from relish in williamsburg

taken on my iphone in soho and battery park, new york

home is where i want to be

pick me up and turn me round

i feel numb – born with a weak heart
i guess i must be having fun
the less we say about it the better
make it up as we go along
feet on the ground
head in the sky
it’s ok i know nothing’s wrong . . nothing

hi yo i got plenty of time
hi yo you got light in your eyes
and you’re standing here beside me
i love the passing of time
never for money
always for love
cover up and say goodnight . . . say goodnight

home – is where i want to be
but i guess i’m already there
i come home – she lifted up her wings
guess that this must be the place
i can’t tell one from another
did i find you, or you find me?
there was a time before we were born
if someone asks, this is where i’ll be . . . where i’ll be

hi yo we drift in and out
hi yo sing into my mouth
out of all those kinds of people
you got a face with a view
i’m just an animal looking for a home
share the same space for a minute or two
and you love me till my heart stops
love me till i’m dead
eyes that light up, eyes look through you
cover up the blank spots
hit me on the head ah oo

on christmas day 2009, i arrived at my parents’ house in tulsa jetlagged and relatively catatonic after an intense year filled with as many highs as there were lows.

but after a week of eight-hour sleeps in a bosomy cloud of pillows and posturepedic bliss, a daily martini hour at 5pm sharp (expertly created by the world’s leading cardio-mixologist) and three square meals so nourishing and delicious they could revive a donkey after a tsunami, i was back in action. colour in my cheeks. a spring in my step. and a big, fat smile on my big fat face.

here are some of the culinary highlights…

the christmas feast: turkey with cranberry-orange compote, honey-glazed ham, stuffing balls, brussels sprouts, roasted parsnips and carrots and chipolatas

boxing day delight: a majid tradition after any lengthy journey – shrimp shumai and turkey shumai on a bed of wilted pak choi

new year’s eve hors d’oeuvres: smoked oysters on cucumber medallions, cheese balls with a basil pesto centre rolled in pine nuts…accompanied by martinis, of course

new year’s eve starters: traditional shrimp cocktail

new year’s eve main: fondu requires no explanation

new year’s eve dessert: a little cracker treat found the sherry trifle shooters irresistible – he had a very happy new year indeed

and this is what my mum can do with indian takeaway leftovers – pan fried cod on a bed of saag paneer with pilau rice and asparagus 

sunday night roast just as it should be – tender roast lamb, yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, cauliflower cheese, roast sweet potatoes with rosemary and peas

and this is just a little something she threw together: madras shepherd’s pie with peas

thanks to my cardio-mixologist (aka dad) and gastronomic therapist (aka mum), i am now fully rehabilitated and ready for the world again.

BRING ON 2010!

“light is the first of painters. there is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.” – ralph waldo emerson

taken on my iphone crossing a bridge in copenhagen

clearly, i was inspired by my recent visit to wonderful, wonderful copenhagen. the city is full of what you’d call narrative environments. places and spaces that tell a story. makes sense given once upon a time it was home to one of the world’s greatest storytellers, hans christian andersen. or HC as the locals call him.

in this particular scene, a real dog is attempting to conquer a plastic bottle, oblivious to the world around him. and to the fact that he’s in a surreal live painting of sorts…in the front window of a small building. the strangest part was this was not a pet shop window, nor that of an art gallery. it was just there seemingly for the sake of it. likely meant to puzzle passers by like me.