March 31, 2009

Springtime (sigh)

It's truly a stunning spring day here, with birds singing happily.  Its at times like this, there does feel like hope is in the air.  

In Early Spring
Road catkins, russet and tan let the
wind sweep over them as dusk
seeps in along the lake,
and I pass road puddles
swelling to ponds, mirroring
the sky's own silveriness.
At the railroad tracks seven geese
veer off and set down in a field
so that only their necks
speak for them, telling us all
to go on while they rest
by the barn.  Today a man
asked me if I were depressed,
and I looked up and smiled.
No more than these geese or catkins
as light falls around them, no
more than those pine boughs
lifting in the wind - just so,
life goes on.

By Larry Smith
from Writers Almanac.

March 30, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

This is my attempt at making Hot Cross Buns.  I've been searching for Hot Cross Buns for Easter but they're just not available in the US the way I like them.  I contacted a few different shops here, that specialize in foods other than American; no-one stocks them.  I mentioned to one shop owner that I was going to have a go and bake my own.  He said, "if they turned out well, I will order from you".  Hmmmmm....I think not.

Its all a bit of a fiddle really and takes about 2 hours to make.  They have to "rest" for an hour and 1/2 before being baked.  Mine don't have that mushy almost fluffy consistency that I grew up with.  The actual "cross" turned out well as I made it the authentic way, with flour and water, not icing (counterfeits).

I think I'll leave it to the mass produced experts who make millions of them at a time.  These won't go to waste though - I will serve these to my unsuspecting friends, toasted with pounds of butter.  And a creme egg chaser.

March 27, 2009

Under A Shell

Apologies to all: I've been a little bit of a turtle this week, recovering from the insanity of living the night-life at SXSW.  I'm a morning person, but alas the music industry is not.  How will I survive Coachella (but if that's the least of my worries really...........)
I will be back next week minus the shell.  Have yourself a stunning weekend.

March 23, 2009

Back in LaLa Land

I'm absolutely exhausted.  I'm going for a long walk up in the Canyons to come down off the ride. It will be beautiful today as the wind and rain will have given the city a spring clean.  Back later - toodle-loo........

March 14, 2009

SXSW In A Shoebox

I'm off to SXSW in Austin, Texas for the week.  Was going to go on a tour bus but realized that I would need a little more space than a shoe box to bring what's needed to prepare myself for a week of insanity. 

I am really looking forward to the Festival though.  Its always lots of fun and the line-up this year is truly amazing.  I have been fortunate to hitch a ride on a private plane so the luggage situation shouldn' t be a problem.

I feel I will certainly need a vacation afterwards or even just a quiet spot in a corner!

March 6, 2009

Escapism in a Louis Vuitton trunk

In these dismal times, one of my little obsessions is to escape to all the amazing fashion blogs. I am not talking about the mainstream fashion blogs like, or The Cut.  The bloggers I am referring to vary from high school girls in California, Texas and Oregon to corporate types in Paris looking for an outlet. What I love is the creativity with inexpensive clothing from thrift stores, Urban Outfitters, H&M.....

I thought I wanted a career in the fashion industry so started as a barely paid assistant at a prestigious PR company in London, that represented Ferragamo, Louis Feraud, Louis Vuitton, Principles, Wolford, Cerruti to name a few.  It was a harrowing experience as the owner had daily temper tantrums, throwing various objects around the office and yelling at anyone in eyesight. The rung I was on there was so low I didn't even have an office to retreat to or a sturdy desk to hide under.    

I was in charge of looking after all the samples from the designers that we kept at the offices.  I would hand deliver pieces to photo shoots when needed, and/or retrieve them.  A product nanny, in a sense.  It was a brutal job, but I was very young and wanting to learn everything I could.  The one saving grace of the day was GEORGE MICHAEL.  This was at the height of WHAM fame.  All the girls in the office would watch him walk past, our jaws on the floor - sometimes we got a bargain and Andrew Ridgeley would be with him.  Their offices were in the same building as ours.

At the end of every season, all the samples had to be removed as the new season's line was coming in.  That was my other job - to lug pounds of designer clothing and accessories to the local Op Shop (Thrift shop). Most were rejected as I was always told that my wares wouldn't be great sellers, "weird looking clothes and shoes" that to me were brilliant.  A substantial amount of those rejectees found a home with me.

I have some fond memories of my days at the PR company.  My most favorable memories are not set at the office though but chaperoning huge Louis Vuitton trunks to photo shoots in fabulous places in and around London, driver and all.