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Campari & Sofa Posts

Holi colour Batman!

Posted in Style & Travel

Every now and then a photograph captures my eye and stays with me for days. This photograph (above), by Amsterdam-based photographer Katrin Korfmann is one of them.  If I had stumbled upon it in a gallery – I know I would have bought it on the spot. It is one in a series of aerial photos that Korfmann did of the Hindu Holi Festival. Celebrated on the 14th day of waxing half of Hindu month of Phalguna (February-March), Holi is also known as the Festival of Colors.

Genius in a spraycan.

Posted in Things We Love

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!
Lewis Carol

Sheffield-based street artist Phlegm created this jaw-dropping mural in Oslo as part of an art festival focusing on urban graffiti and street art. This Crocodile, apparently getting a little dental attention, was one of many images that appeared randomly throughout the Norway’s capital city. Organisers are planning to move the festival to a different city each year … so keep an eye on walls near you.

Pollo Tonnato, my first Negroni and Omar Sharif

Posted in Food & Entertaining

Omar Sharrif and Julie Christie in Doctor Zhivago
Omar Sharif and Julie Christie in Doctor Zhivago

I first tasted this dish at the Hotel Condotti Palace. It was one of the hotels preferred by our record company in Rome (always, always a fabulous bunch of people with excellent taste) and perfectly positioned at the top of the Spanish Steps for the occasional night off. Camparigirl and I paid it a quick visit when we were in Roma during July – and it is still as understatedly elegant as ever.

One of my favourite things about the Condotti was that they had a buffet table at lunchtime. Loosely themed along ‘cucina povera’ lines – the chef would basically walk to work via the market in the morning and pick up whatever was fresh and seasonal and put six or seven dishes together. Full and robust in the winter, light and fresh in the summer.

That day, Omar Sharif – the Egyptian actor and champion bridge player, was the only other (early) diner in the bar/ restaurant. We met at the buffet and I introduced myself – telling him that my mother (who is a pretty good bridge player herself) had always admired his style. He was delighted and invited me to join him for lunch – treating me to my first Negroni ever (as an aperitif, never with food!) – and introducing me to Vitello Tonnato. It was the most delicious of lunches in all ways. Charming company, lovely food, gorgeous old-fashioned hotel dining room.

Nine To Five No More

Posted in Life & Love

UnknownI am no stranger to radical changes. When I left the music biz to move to the San Diego ‘burbs and “take over” an existing family, in the form of a husband, two children and two dogs, I didn’t really miss the days spent on the phone, the intercontinental travelling, the constant concerts I had to attend or even the Grammies. I was too busy figuring out what a soccer mom was and what PTA stood for (two scary concepts to this day). The only perk I missed was the expense account which had afforded me nice extravagances I wouldn’t have been able to pay for myself.

In time, a second career blossomed, one which was food related. It lasted eight years and gifted me with wonderful memories, new friends and a different kind of stress. Because I tend to be driven and competitive, it was easy for me to both succeed but also to identify with what I did a tad too much. Eventually, it became apparent that what  I did was not in synch  with what I wanted anymore. Not that I necessarily knew what I wanted but what I did know was that it was time to stop, get off the treadmill and quiet the constant mind chatter that was not helping me unlock the next phase of my life.

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”

Posted in Aging, Health, and Women's issues

Tuba manThe first time I realised I snored was when I went on holiday with my friend K to Morocco and she woke me in the middle of the night. I had just left my job and was stressed, she was in the middle of a merger at hers and was more stressed. Why two New York City gals decided to do Morocco on a cheap and cheerful is beyond me. What we really needed was a long weekend at a Four Seasons somewhere. Alternating cocktails with spa treatments. But, as ever with me, I want to travel somewhere new and K needed a break.

By day two – K was really cross and I understood why. I once had a boyfriend who snored so loudly that I used to sleep in the lounge. Made me vile tempered the next day. And ultimately ended the relationship. My dad had also always snored – I remember my niece mimicking him when she was about 8 months old. They were taking an afternoon nap and in between Dad’s stentorian roars, we heard little baby snores: mixed with giggles.

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