Sunday, 12 February 2017


City of perfume steeped on a hill.
A scent-filled town that's conjured up 
magical connotations in my head
& created a longing 
to see it for myself one day.
Last summer I got lucky. 

in the heart of the medieval town
merges the past & present
in the art of perfume-making.
The old town mansion
with its stunning rooms
& modern, light-filled glass extensions
filled with plants like vetiver, patchouli and jasmine
reveal the secrets behind all things olfactory
from raw materials and ancient methods of distilling flowers & plants 
to 80s headspace and bottle design. 

There were metal rods to pull out from a wall,
each lined with a different variation 
of Dior's favourite flower muguet, aka lily of the valley,
& capsules to fill the nose with everything 
from whiskey to rose, mimosa, vanilla, tuberose...

Next door, 
Fragonard with its smaller museum, 
elegant shop 
& glimpse into perfume-making du jour. 

Many months have passed since our trip to Grasse,
but the sillage on my skin still lingers... 


Monday, 6 February 2017


the last two weeks of the 52 week photography challenge rolled into one –

week 5, technical, "ten shots of the same subject
choosing one" (above),

my darling daughter
getting cosy with a cup of cocoa,

& week 6, artistic,
"candy without using candy",

dark chocolate, cups of coffee by day or rooibos at night
& a lovely new magazine
are my favourite kind of candy...

this week, two books landed on my desk
for translation,
one on fashion, the other one on interiors.
and i'm shooting a series of products
while a chef cooks up treats
in a beautiful old place in town. 
so glad about my freelance life,
about making the transition, 
& how the right types of gigs
and new but quickly solidifying contacts
have been literally just appearing
one after the next. 
i also have a new lovely workspace
in another part of town,
which i'm eager to show you very soon.
clouds looming, too,
shoulder trouble,
which has caused some concern
& put certain limits 
on how much i can do in one stretch.
it's made me increasingly conscious
of nurturing this temple
with kind food
& gentle movement. 
i think patience is another issue
i need to exercise... 
and the art of not fearing
in the shadows, 
because light always shines through. 

ah, dear reader,
it makes me so glad you stop by.
and i know this space
needs a little je ne sais quoi,
some more coherently written posts perhaps,
but right now my head seems to be mostly spinning
& i'm feeling a little dizzy :) 
i'm looking forward to reaching the clearing 
behind the trees 
and meeting up with you there,
and until then,
i'll keep the rambles coming :) 


Saturday, 4 February 2017


Stunning, timeless details in the home 
of Oslo-based Swedish artist

Rest of the article here. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017


"mirrors are just glass,
& you are more than that."

[ week 4 of the 52 week photography challenge ~
tell a story using a mirror. ]


Saturday, 21 January 2017


This weekend,
I carefully unwrapped
my Christmas present candle,
& the fragrance of Astier de Villatte's
Paradis Latin
now fills the room:

"Under the historic dome of the Paradis Latin, 
overlooking the room meticulously prepared for the dinner-show, 
the artists’ dressing rooms are abuzz. 
The slow metamorphosis of frivolous Marquises, 
of rustling cancan dancers, 
of bird-men, 
of rhinestone-winged archangels in a whirlwind of fragrances 
of naked skin, 
of powder, 
of lipstick, 
of glittering make-up. 
A delicious perfume invades the cabaret." 

Their descriptions are so delicious
that the imagination immediately
begins its role play 
~ I see white powder on shoulders,
blush tulle against bare skin,
feather ornaments reflected in mirrors,
sequins glittering & getting trampled under gold shoes
 against a creaky, worn herringbone floor,
clouds of perfume in the air...

And the lingering scent touches on memories 
~ milky white talcum powder 
against my baby son's velvet skin,
my grandmother getting out her powder puff 
& coral lipstick
from the sideboard drawer,
a sun beam trapped in the corner
of the bevelled mirror on the wall,
as she gets ready to go out.  


Tuesday, 17 January 2017


"I am rooted, but I flow."
~Virginia Woolf

(Third week of the 52 week photography challenge
Artistic: Land
"Your inspiration this week is land. 
This could be a landscape, 
or an image inspired by the land in some way.")

Sunday, 15 January 2017


It was a sizzling day in the South of France last June, 
when we arrived in Cagnes sur Mer 
to take in the old farmhouse & gardens of Auguste Renoir
~ his beloved “Les Collettes”, 
where he lived with his family 
for the final twelve years of his life. 
The estate is perched on top of a hill 
with incredible views to the Cap d’Antibes
and Haut-de-Cagnes.

As we ascend towards the main building, 
we pass under the shadow of olive trees, 
the kind Northern girl me has hardly seen 
~ centuries old that you can’t resist brushing with your hand 
to feel those enticing grooves, lifelines on the bark
~ etchings of the passing years, 
like lines on a dear elderly face 
with wisdom concealed in the depths.

It’s a surprisingly quiet afternoon, 
as we walk through the main entrance 
~ just one other couple & the two of us. 
We enter an unspoken pact to keep our distance, 
as if all here by ourselves, 
ready to hear the walls speak. 

And the walls  do tell their stories 
~ in unison with the peeling layers of paint, 
the far-flung ceilings, 
the sense of stillness, 

the simply and sparsely furnished rooms, 
that caressing gold-tinged milky light 
that floods through the vast windows 
& fills you to the core. 
I swear I can feel it now.

Renoir’s wheelchair & easel in his atelier 
are reminders of the pain & beauty that intermingled, 
that never ruled each other out. 
The creativity & persistence.

He painted until his death, 
even with his hands curled due to arthritis 
and being left in a wheelchair after a stroke. 

He looked for new ways of expression 
~ changed his technique,
an assistant would place the brush in his bandaged hand. 
He used a moving canvas to be able to make larger works. 
And he began to create sculptures with the help of a young artist. 

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains”
~ he is quoted as saying.

“The work of art must seize upon you, 
wrap you up in itself and carry you away. 
It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. 
It is the current which he puts forth 
which sweeps you along in his passion.”

– Pierre-Auguste Renoir


[All pictures shot last summer
at Les Collettes aka Musée Renoir,
visitor information here.]

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