Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Another installment from my little pie book. Apple and blueberry tarts with a crumble topping. I can totally justify these ones 'cause they have fruit in them. And oats.

....and sugar and butter and more butter and more sugar. 

But mostly fruit and oats. :)


I grew up sitting on a piano bench.

The funny thing about a piano is that, besides keeping it clean, there's not a lot of hands-on upkeep. The closest I ever got to tuning my beloved was peering over the backside of a professional as he fiddled and hummed. Pianos possess a temperament and character that a pianist is either compatible with or not. You have an intimate relationship with the instrument, but like many lovers, you cannot change who they are fundamentally.

And so I am delightfully surprised at the intimacy I get from restringing my wee mandolin for the first time. There is some white hot bond which begins to burn when you gut and reconstruct an instrument with your own two hands and ten fingers. There is nothing independent about the's not an individual entity, but one that becomes an extension of your very limbs. And the more you mold and weave, the more you polish and clean and restring and reform, the more it becomes a part of who you are... and you change. Fundamentally.


There is something oddly comforting in the inky black of a river cutting through a tired city, neon lights bouncing of its glassy hide. It's a quiet comfort, a companion of constancy and permanency. It belongs and will forever belong and will forever exist.

Monday, 27 February 2012


Ok, I think maybe I'm missing the point here. I've spent the last week desperately clicking my phone at anything stationary and slapping it up in bulk. Not good enough. Why do I have a beast of a camera sitting (albeit with a mediocre lens) gathering dust?

The point of this is meant to be more. More interest. More discovery. More exploration and imagination. More writing. Just...more.

So my dearest iPhone, you are wonderful, but I'm totally abandoning you for my bigger, snazzier snapping machine. First order of business is a better lens, then I mean business. Hopefully it'll get me off the couch and onto what this project is supposed to be about. More.


What's on parade today?

ONLY THE CUTEST BROWNIE CUPCAKES I EVER MADEEEE. They have chantilly cream blankets and bassinette hats! I want more pregnant people in my life to make them for.


What else to photograph, good god what else can I photograph...

Ah, here. New book I'm reading. The parade marches on.


Bah, the sister bought a massive camera today, no one is safe!


Ah yes, up next in my parade of random items about my house.

Roast garlic. If the word amazeballs applies anywhere, it would be here.



Welcome to the remnants of our coffee/dessert/gossip session. We were only slightly disappointed by the fact that Pygmalion has retired the best key lime pie ever made. And by slightly I mean completely. And by disappointed I mean heartbroken.


Ok, welcome to what is about to be a series of seemingly pointless posts of random items in my house. This has been a little while coming. As I review recent posts, I come to a mini-revalation: I do believe I've hit my first wall.

First up: the cutest coffee maker in existence (note: it's on my stovetop for no other reason than the fact that I haven't done my dishes yet today and they inhabit what little counter space I possess in my kitchen).

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Yes, yes you're right. Those are flourless chocolate cupcakes cooling in my fridge. And yes, right again, they will be topped with a gorgeous chantilly cream.

...yes, you did hear all that correctly. You may now mob said refrigerator and save me from myself.


One of the best things I brought back from Brazil was the discovery of fresh juices.

Now, I know myself how utterly lovely a fresh glass of juice from whatever trendy juice bar is around the corner... but to squeeze the carrot and apple and orange juice by myself and to pour it into my handy little glass bottle. Oh, I love it.

Brazil...the aul girl just keeps on givin'!


There is a day in Canada, one day in the winter, when you can smell the weather change. When you can smell the ground melting into dewy warmth, when you can smell the snow melting nearly before it transforms into gently running water.

There is no severity in the shift of seasons in Dublin. One melts into the next, bordering on each other, invading. But on days like this... the clarity is stunning.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Davi is home, and finally I have my breakfast mornings back, with coffee and too much food and Scientific American and sun streaming in our sitting room window. Heaven.


Since my tulips have been sitting smiling at me each morning from my kitchen table, I have been finding smiles all through my day... including the most stunning cappuccino made by el sistoro. Heart!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Monday, 20 February 2012

Sunday, 19 February 2012


Within the (occasional) mundanity of procuring daily photos of a life deep set in routine, I am sometimes knocked off guard by the smallest, simplest, most stunning things. The vibrancy of these tulips is one of those little tackles I received, knocking me sideways with the joy they bring to a room.

It's nothing, yet everything. Life. It's in what makes a smile tug at the corners of my tired mouth as I hobble over to the french press in the morning. They keep me company as I sift through the morning news and nudge me gently as I stand over the sink, hands wrist-deep in soapy bubbles.

Funny, they make me want to be better. They're just flowers. They won't even last that long. Soon enough the will weep and droop and find their way to the bin. But until then, they stir something in me that makes me want to do more, be more.

How do they do that...they're only tulips, for goodness sake.


A daily reminder...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Welcome to my life for the next three months. Write, type, write, type, write some more. The nail varnish is to keep my nails pretty...and my mind sane.


Missussippee Muhd Pahs. In chocolate all butter pastry with Chantilly cream. Out of focus. Delicious.

Now, it's the first time I've attempted all butter pastry... it's a finicky mistress, I tell ya. But put a few spoons of cocoa in it, and no matter what you do with it, it's pretty much delicious. My sister thought it was chocolate icing before I rolled it out.

This is the first installment from that wonderful wee pastry book from my aunt. Many many manymanymany more samples to follow. Say goodbye to my semblance of a waistline.


Sunday, 12 February 2012


I have an awesome aunt. Baby tart recipes, straight from Oz! Results of said tarts soon to follow.


Back to the hustle and bustle. The cold, rainy hustle and bustle. But it's not all bad, I do get to walk up and down these streets every day.


I have so much work to do my head might implode with the pressure.

But fuchsia nails help.


Seeing the Volkswagon ad for the superbowl only reminds me of Fuskas. And I still hate the new ones, though the (new) old school design is closer to my dream of an old turquoise four gear one from the seventies. Sigh.


We went. We walked. We romped, skipped, shuffled, danced, climbed and hurried. We slowed and meandered. We went to the best gig. We clambered through mountain towns. We rested on old dashboards with the road stretched before us. We tapped impatiently under tables and chairs as we couldn't wait to see more.

My new vans and I have the best stories. Ones of getting lost in time, discovering newness as the sun enveloped us. We got dirty, and we love the marks that dirt and memories leave.

This is the stuff great love stories are made of.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


I reckon I'll be beating these back.....


As I set down in Dublin, the sun peeks out at me behind zero degrees, and as I shiver onto the bus, these palm trees wander into my mind. As the breeze and the salt of the sea shift into my mind, I want to rush back to the beach, to the long days and longer nights.

Thursday, 9 February 2012


As if to tease me, Rio says goodbye with 34 degrees. And not a cloud in the sky.



My last night... I can't believe the disappearance of time. Brazil has been so perfect in its leisurely meandering, but the days dissolve and now it's time to look back towards Dublin. I can't stand the thought of leaving the warmth, both of the weather and the people.

As I stare at the dusky sky before me, waves pulsing below the setting sun, my heart beats in time with the ocean and I can't bear to turn my back.


Our last day before Rio city. Grey again.

After the film, I wish I'd held onto those little kids wandering into my frame... amazing how a distant interaction can compel a story. I'm dying to know how this film ends... damn.


In Arraial do Cabo, and it's raining... still. Beautiful, but inconvenient.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


If I could run daily along the wet sand.
If I could run daily with waves tickling my heels (and sometimes my kneecaps).
If I could run daily with the salty breeze coursing through my lungs and into my exhilarated muscles.
If I could run daily with the rolling clouds as companions.
If I could run daily with that expanse laid out beyond the reach of my eyes.
If I could run daily in that solitude.
If I could run daily with the mist rising from the waves to greet me with a delicate hello.

.... well, I'd run a lot more.

Arraial do Cabo, Rio. The most peaceful run of my life. I never wanted it to end.


I think hand gliding is the closest an individual can get to mimicking flying. And if I could learn in Brazilian dusk... it sounds like heaven. I am instantly jealous of whoever this stranger is.


Rio bound. 
Davi says Belo Horizonte is crying because I had to say goodbye today.


They say Ouro Preto is haunted. Even the most skeptical feel their arm-hair raise, whispers on their neck. I never felt any passing spirits of the night, but I can understand why others do. The thickness of night is intoxicating. As the dusky warmth enveloped my tickled skin, I could get lost in the depths of this darkness.


Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. Pretty much the most beautiful place I've seen with my own two young eyes. It means black gold in english, and it's nestled in the mountains, hidden from those who fly through life at an agonizing pace.
There is no even ground. Everything balances on hills, steep and unforgiving. Stonework etched out of the surrounding landscapes, stacked painstakingly to give me footing as I hike up and down the humid streets. I want to retire here, deep into the hills, hidden from life.