watery depths

As the singer Gillian Welch wrote, “Some girls are bright as the morning / And some girls are blessed with a dark turn of mind.” I like the word “blessed.” I like to think that demons can sometimes be angels, that probing through the mire, we can recognize the glint of those small things that sustain us.

– Kim Addonizio in the NY Times

(This is my favourite-ever photo/self portrait.  I still have a dark turn of mind, but I’m open to spending time with the curtains open and the sunlight streaming in now.)

Find what you love

“The government is cutting music programmes in schools and slashing Arts grants as gleefully as a morbidly American kid in Baskin Robbins. So if only to stick it to the man, isn’t it worth fighting back in some small way? So write your damn book. Learn a Chopin prelude, get all Jackson Pollock with the kids, spend a few hours writing a Haiku. Do it because it counts even without the fanfare, the money, the fame and Heat photo-shoots that all our children now think they’re now entitled to because Harry Styles has done it.

Charles Bukowski, hero of angsty teenagers the world over, instructs us to “find what you love and let it kill you“. Suicide by creativity is something perhaps to aspire to in an age where more people know Katie Price better than the Emperor concerto.”

– James Rhodes,  ‘Find what you love and let it kill you

Storm warning

waiting at the bus stop

“Once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

— Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

(An old photo from Auckland, waiting at the bus stop in the rain. A weather system from oh, five years ago.)

Morning pages

“Write in recollection and amazement for yourself” – Jack Kerouac

I have never religiously written morning pages, but I always enjoyed coming home after a night out (technically morning), curling up in bed with a big glass of water and ‘spewing’ my thoughts on to the pages of my notebook. Charming, I know. In the morning I’d find paragraphs of unusable material, all hideously misspelled, but it let me sleep easy.

Things are changing though. Nowadays I find myself rising early on the regular, drinking verbena tea – quelle horreur – and jotting down a few lines. I am very lucky to do what I love for a living, but in ten years all I’ll have is a hard drive, if they still even exist, of PDFs, quaint status updates from 2012 and fuzzy images. It’ll be nice to have something solid, just for me, even if it is hardly fit for public consumption.

Bon appetit


“Even though I was on a budget, I could afford to go to the fresh food market and get baguette and cheese.
That kind of food is not really accessible to you in London. I really love that in Paris,
there is no division [in food] by social class.”

– Rachael Khoo, in an interview with the Guardian

A week-ish ago three glorious days in Paris. And certainly the theme of this trip was food, food, food. From watching Thom and his Dad tackle a plateau de fruits de mer, to another trip to Le Refuges des Fondus, and market trawling – we ate well and often. Every neighbourhood has its own little market, and there’s no stigma in buying just one or two pieces of fruit, or a bouchon de sancerre to snack on (it’s a tiny cheese named for a wine cork). Makes me hungry just thinking of it.

London Ghosts

You need to see London at night, particularly the theaters. But not just the night life. London itself looks best in the dark. It’s a pretty safe city, and you can walk in most places after sunset. It has a sedate and ghostly beauty. In the crepuscular kindness, you can see not just how she is, but how she once was, the layers of lives that have been lived here. Somebody with nothing better to do worked out that for every one of us living today, there are 15 ghosts. In most places you don’t notice them, but in London you do. The dead and the fictional ghosts of Sherlock Holmes and Falstaff, Oliver Twist, Wendy and the Lost Boys, all the kindly, garrulous ghosts that accompany you in the night. The river runs like dark silk through the heart of the city, and the bridges dance with light. There are corners of silence in the revelry of the West End and Soho, and in the inky shadows foxes and owls patrol Hyde Park, which is still illuminated by gaslight.

– from My London, and Welcome to It by A.A. Gill. Beautiful writing.

David Lynch on creativity

David Lynch

“Negativity is the enemy to creativity. So if you want more ideas flowing, happiness in the doing, happiness in the doing, happiness in the doing. I love, capital L-O-V-E, building a thing that ultimately has to feel correct before it’s finished, and that feeling correct is like a drug. It’s like a thing that kicks you and makes you feel so good, You almost pass out. You fall off your feet.”

– David Lynch, to Melena Ryzik of the New York Times

Career advice

Work You Do While You Procrastinate

Thoughtful career advice from designer Jessica Hische, illustrated smartly by Chris Piascik. Isn’t it lovely?

My procrastination techniques include – making coffee, organising my room, planning exotic holidays, writing fiction, watching Come Dine With Me while writing up notes… It’s all an endlessly inspiring loop though. Writing is my passion, and whether that manifests as writing perfume reviews (check!), crafting websites at a digital agency (check!), or noodling away at a cookbook (one day!) – it’s all good. Knowing what I really love to do is a real blessing. How do you guys while the hours away?

{via Fancy! NZ Design Blog}