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Campari & Sofa Posts

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(Nearly) 55 and all grown up

Posted in Style & Travel

To call sofagirl my friend, at this point in life, is a misnomer. After nearly thirty years in each other’s lives, Sue is my family. Her people are my people, and vice versa. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her or her people in times of need and I know she feels the same about my tribe. I also know she would do what was needed with enthusiasm and efficiency, no questions asked.

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(5) Things we love…#135

Posted in Things We Love

Yes! I am finally on vacation – the last appetizer was shoved into the oven, the last chocolate cake morsel precisely cut and now I can forget about food for a couple of weeks and let other people (and airlines) feed me. But more of that later. For the time being, I will be enjoying a long and lazy weekend: Memorial Day and the Summer it officially heralds.

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Repairing the world

Posted in Things We Love

They were let in in groups of five, a motley crew of men – and some women – from the toothless to the mentally ill, from the veteran to the almost clean and blond couple too young to be living on the street. All received a bag with turkey sandwiches, fruit, water, cookies and crackers. And a greeting with a smile. This being Los Angeles, vegetarian and vegan options were available.

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(5) Things love #..134

Posted in Things We Love

It was with a mixture of surprise and sadness that, on Thursday morning, I learnt Chris Cornell had taken his own life. More than Nirvana or Pearl Jam, Soundgarden was the band that represented grunge for me, and it was a privilege to work with them. I remember Chris as an intense, introverted and gentle man, with otherworldly and piercing green eyes. Beyond the stage persona and the guitar riffs were a seriousness not often associated with rock stars but, above all, exquisitely personal lyrics, un unsettling and beautiful four-octave voice and  a sense of searching. I guess the demons won. 

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Tips for (nearly) perfect sourdough bread

Posted in Baking, and Food & Entertaining

Let’s make one thing clear: I excel at baking and pastries but I am not a bread guru. In fact, the two techniques stand quite apart, requiring different skills and different mindsets. I make loaves, focaccia and quick breads on a semi-regular basis but I am not entirely sure you should follow my bread-making advice. There are much more qualified people.

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(5) Things we love…#130

Posted in Things We Love

I only have myself to blame for over scheduling my time. Partly, it’s the life of the freelance, taking work when it comes, as inconvenient as it might be. But partly, it’s me, saying yes to all manners of things that are interesting and then end up piling up on each other. It’s also Spring, and I have come back to life, after a hermit Winter. So, if I can get to the end of Friday, I am planning a weekend of nothing much: dogs, yoga, books, mindless videos and general laziness. Starting with this post.

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(5) Things we love…#126

Posted in Things We Love

Sometimes, you just need zebras. I promise none of the animals in this week’s edition are sappy stories about real animals. The John Oliver’s segment on zebras had me in stitches and, during the past week, zebras popped into my minds when I most needed them. Goes to show my mind might be seriously warped….happy Friday!

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Things I lost to the dogs and the lessons I learnt

Posted in Life & Love

PortiaLooking at Portia now, peacefully napping on her bed, the mischief that is perpetually swirling in her brain is not apparent. Yet, that scoundrel, aided and abetted by her brother, Ottie, have caused their share of havoc. Neither of them has ever chewed shoes or furniture, and long ago I learnt the trick of scattering a couple of cardboard boxes with a small treat inside before leaving the house, to be sure I will return to everything as I (mostly) left it.

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Hair and skincare fatigue

Posted in Beauty, and Health

Graffiti by Anastasia Brennab
Graffiti by Anastasia Brennab

A couple of years ago, once I got home after a fundraising lunch, I looked in the goodie bag that had been left under my chair, and found a pair of attractive bottles of shampoo and conditioner. I had read about these products online, in passing – clearly a well orchestrated media campaign, if even I took notice.

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Be not afraid – dealing with anxiety and fear.

Posted in Relationships, and Women's issues

10437609_10153038959378907_433491740597971405_nFear is padding around on little cat feet in the lives of too many people I love.

The first email I opened on Tuesday morning was from camparigirl. We’d had a conversation a few nights before about managing the disquiet we felt about a future that suddenly seemed so unpredictable and malevolent.

“Let’s embrace the possibility of possibility”, we’d agreed.  “Look outward with optimism. Can only help. We’re all going to die at some point anyway – may as well live until then.”

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Dos and don’ts around your friend with cancer

Posted in Health, and Women's issues

banksy-out-of-stock

How many people do you know? Seriously, think about it. Between your friends and family, close acquaintances and all those you keep in touch via phone and social media, how many are there you share tidbits of your life with? Hundreds?

On the same day I received my breast cancer diagnosis, I was struck by a variety of thoughts I never imagined would pop into my mind at such a time.

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