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Less is more in the City of Light

It’s been a busy week.  I’ve been to two trade shows, both extraordinary in their own ways, both in the City of Light, Paris.

Maison et Objet is a massive, buzzing bazaar of offerings with over 1,000 exhibitors displaying everything from carpets, cookware and houseplants to whole rooms you can assemble from flatpack. 

It was so enormous the organisers painted red lines on the carpet to help you navigate from room to room.  My companion and I felt like we were in The Wizard of Oz following the Yellow Brick Road.

And we still lost each other – twice!

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New Year New You

2019 I’ve got you. 

The second day of this year saw me carting nine – count ‘em, NINE! – bin bags of assorted cack out of my sons’ ‘play room’ into the car and down to the recycling centre. 

I’m looking at the floor right now and feeling unfeasibly pleased with the nice green carpet – I’d quite forgotten what it looked like. In a moment I will delight myself by walking, unimpeded, from the door to the window. Then maybe back the other way.  Looking at the space I can’t even imagine how nine bin bags of books, toys, dvds, old clothes, trainers, sports gear and unspeakable rubbish squirrelled itself into the room.

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To Christmas Tree or not to Christmas Tree…

It’s that time of year again when I hoist myself into the loft and scrabble around for the Christmas decorations. I don’t like the dust, the dead wasps or the cobwebs but it’s all worth it for the wonder of flipping open the old cardboard box and seeing again the motley collection of decorations. 

I love them all: the Fimo snowmen the boys made at junior school, all red and green and with their badly-glued glitter flaking into the tissue paper; the flimsy gold spheres I’ve hoarded since the 70s with their memories of mum and dad; the glorious luxury of my sister’s annual gift of Liberty baubles in glowing colours.

Each one evokes a precious memory and I wouldn’t swap them for the most fabulously fashionable display in Fortnums.   

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Strawberry Fields .... Forever

Before the Beatles put the catchy song into everyone’s head whenever the word ‘strawberry’ is mentioned, the fragrant fruit had many and varied meanings.  

The Romans dedicated them to Venus, goddess of love because of their heart shape and red colour (and some say, because they resemble a beautiful woman’s curvaceous behind…). 

In Medieval churches they were carved into the tops of pillars to symbolise perfection and righteousness. 

And in Bavaria, it was the custom to tie baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of cows as an offering to the elves, who are said to be passionately fond of the fruit.  All things to all people then.

Me I just love the taste.

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Today is all about trees.

They’ve been quietly green for months now and fading into the background. But overnight there’s a gold tinge to the leaves of the maple on my regular dog walk that refuses to be ignored. 

The oak over the road is peppered with browning acorns, the tops of the plum trees are vibrant orange and the acer in the pot is glowing almost yellow as it puts on its late summer plumage.

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Geometric patterns

Number 3 in our pattern series is geometrics: “characterized by or decorated with regular lines or shapes”.

You can see why geometrics might be pleasing: think of farmers’ fields, the branching leaves of a tree in summer, honeycombs, the spirals of a sunflower, the print on a leopard’s skin …

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