Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Understatement: I love collecting

Example: stones ~ preferably rounded and smooth
My sister Jenni watching me find yet another special stone to bring home! photo by Alice

Inspiration: Kettle's yard, Cambridge

photo by Ingrid

"On Castle Street in Cambridge, is a beautiful and unique house containing a distinctive collection of modern art. Kettle's Yard was founded by H.S. 'Jim' Ede as a place where visitors would 'find a home and a welcome, a refuge of peace and order, of the visual arts and of music.' " 
If you are near Cambridge this summer I hope you can visit this unique home and art gallery too.

Inspiration: 'My Bombay Kitchen' by Niloufer Ichaporia King

My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking
In this treasure of a cookbook the author describes how her mother would choose a stone that fitted her hand and use that as the simplest of garlic crushers.

It was on the beach at Dunwich in Suffolk, Uk 
that I found my garlic crusher and now use it here in Beijing.

Wish for you today: to find a round stone on a beach or river bed near you.
(No beach? Find images that bring the idea closer to you)

Footnote: Flying back to Uk tomorrow -
so hope to collecting stones by Sunday as I walk on the Suffolk coast 
and breathe deeply the clean air.

Friday, 11 June 2010

The way we live with the things we love

Do you love books too?

 I love finding the unexpected when I open the pages and trusting 
that I will randomly come to a page 
that has something relevant for me to read today.

Some books I turn to more often than others and so today I plan 
to put my feet up for half an hour 
and randomly turn to some pages of delight in these books.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. 
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read" Groucho Marx

Would love to hear what books you will be turning to this weekend....
(thanks Rufus for feigning interest)

Thursday, 10 June 2010


Statement: Dining tables need to be multifunctional

Fact: The dining room is probably one of the most underused rooms in the house

Here's mine in use this morning
~ breakfast
 ~ journalling
~ notes on this blog
~ making it my space 
~ listening to music 

Note to self: Use it more

coffee brewing - Gevalia
thermo mug - gift from Jo (Menu)
music playing - 1 Giant Leap

Footnote: I decided to make my writing space my own wherever I am 
by creating a simple quilted mat which uses some of my favourite colours and fabrics.
That way I am connecting with all that I have written before 
and helping me with the process.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A Fable about a Table

A little of what you fancy.......

does you good.

I hope you will find this blog has a little of what you fancy.
Maybe you'll even eat a fondant fancy while reading it!

Hi and welcome to the story as it unfolds.

A fable that was started in China by a piece of calligraphy art
and is developing into a book and a business......
The Fable of the Table

Let me start by explaining the story of how this beautiful piece of calligraphy came to be hanging on our entrance wall in Beijing.

In April 2002 I went to see an exhibition of the Art of Calligraphy in Modern China at the British Museum in London. 
(I was living in Copenhagen at the time and moving to China in the summer of 2002)

The exhibition just captivated me 
and I wrote down the names of some of my favourite artists.
Probably 6 months after I moved to Beijing I had reason to go to Liulichang, the artists street in Beijing, and was able to meet Sa Benjie, one of the calligraphers who had exhibited in the UK.
 From this initial meeting we were invited to Sa Benjie's studio, 
fell in love with his work and the stories behind them, 
culminating in the purchase of the piece entitled 'A Fable about a Table.'

In 1994, Sa Benjie had become fascinated by the idea 
that individual items of furniture 
could develop a personality of their own, 
'and that this could be used as a metaphor 
for the thoughts and actions of human beings.'

Our painting tells the story of how a beautiful Ming scroll table 
was rescued in the 1950's by Wang Shixiang, 
a great authority and collector of Chinese furniture. 
During this era, the communist idealists sort to destroy all vestiges of the wealthy classes.
The calligraphy tells this story and how the table came to be donated to the Shanghai Museum in the 1990's.

 detail from 'A Fable about a Table'

Makes me take a second look at some of the furniture in our home... 

If you would like to read more about modern calligraphy 
I recommend "The Art of Calligraphy in Modern China" by Gordon Barrass

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