Although I’ve lived in a house with a courtyard and back garden for most of my life, the idea of an outdoor rug is new to me and feels like a glamorous indulgence. There is something mischievous and careless about taking an object out of the context you’ve always associated it with, into one that seems almost unsuitable and unpractical.
It makes me think of my childhood and playing at my grandmother’s house using anything and everything covetable in her house, small treasures I found in her closets and cupboards. I can’t remember ever taking out a rug, although I feel like I must have, and I am pretty sure she thought me crazy for doing it, as she did for much of everything else I did, playing with her silk and lace negligees, her lipsticks and strings of pearls, her scarves and purses. Of course, I’m not thinking here of anything close to the chic and lush options available today, certainly not her Persian rugs which now seem to be making a comeback in all sorts of interior design settings, from minimalistic and even industrial to the cosy and opulent ones.
A quick glimpse on le web returns countless inspiring results and I just know I’ll keep my eyes open for rugs from now on during my regular car boots visits.
MoMA Online Art Classes
Much like a lot of other people, I suspect, at the beginning of lockdown, when a lot of resources were being shared to help us make the most of the extra time spent at home, I felt motivated to start an online class which proved to be brilliant! More about that one in a future letter, as I still have to submit my final assignment for it, but I must confess I have already started looking for the next one, I am hooked.
I’ve always wanted to learn more and in a more formal and structured manner about art, and while I feel I still haven’t found a good beginners’ or introduction class yet, I thought these ones about Modern Art and what is Contemporary Art, from MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art in New York), must be really insightful, on top of being offered for free through Coursera.
Art is one of those purely self-improving topics I don’t think one is ever too young or too old to learn more about, so do enjoy!
The Age of Leisure
We should be living the dream! It was predicted decades ago that through the rise of industrialisation and technology, people will have less to do at work and will only need to clock in for 3-4 hours a day, leaving them with too much leisure. Can you imagine? Something, somewhere went very wrong because, on the contrary, we seem to be working more and more, as this article in the New Yorker explains, and have less time for personal freedom and pursuing one’s own interests.
I must confess, I do believe that half of a working day would be ideal for me (at double the pay, please!) I couldn’t fully adopt a lifestyle of complete leisure and idleness. On one hand, I don’t have a big inheritance or yearly allowance to spend (so unlucky, I know!) and on the other hand, I feel like it wouldn’t be as exciting and rewarding as it is now to make time for myself if I had all the time in the world.
Still, there are so many wonderful things I want to read about, learn more about and experience, that I don’t think having more free time would ever be a problem. Test me, I just know I’d be darling at it!
More scarves, please!
Dr. Deborah Birx, the Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, seems to be the ambassador for an extensive PR campaign to promote the timeless scarf and she is doing a terrific job of it! There is a website and an associated Instagram account dedicated to documenting her scarves, identifying some of the ones she’s worn over the past few months and sometimes even linking to a tutorial on how to tie your own in the same fashion.
This reminded me of the many tutorials I’ve watched and saved over the years (here, here and here are just some of them) and about all the scarves I bought and rarely used. So here is a great sartorial resolution – wear more scarves!
Dream Job: Museum Gift Shop Curator
I mentioned my love for museums in my previous letter, but it’s not always the museum itself. Sometimes, the topic is outside my interests or even my understanding, but I always find something to love – the building, a certain display, the typical museum atmosphere, the silence, the smell and very often indeed – the shop!
Museum gift shops are for me perfect places to discover new treasures when it comes to functional yet decorative objects, useful things I never thought I needed, books, designers, artists and artisans etc. One of my dream jobs is museum gift shop curator. Is there even such a thing?
Here is a list of top Museum Gift Shops around the world, but I recommend visiting any, wherever you are, no matter how big or small the Museum, the shops are veritable sources for authentic and distinctive gifts or special touches for one’s home, wardrobe and more, stepping away from the classic touristy (often kitschy) items everyone buys!
How Cheese goes Extinct
Who thought cheese is something that can ever go extinct? I know I didn’t! I love cheese, but I am in no way a connaisseuse. Despite or maybe precisely due to this, I found this article to be an exquisite find for the vivid glimpses into the fascinating world of cheesemakers and aficionados, the passion that goes into making good quality cheese and the possibility that a beloved type of cheese can simply disappear. The level of detail that people go into to try to bring back to life a forgotten classic is amazing.
It felt like living in a parallel world for not knowing anything about this until now, although I am lucky to explore the unseen universe of microorganisms every day through my work.
Barcelona’s Liceu Opera In Bloom
This exquisite find of the week first presented itself as the amazing image you see above, which I fell in love with before even knowing the truly lovely idea behind. A magnificent theatre hall filled with… luxurious exotic plants. Oh, the luscious green against the red velvet and the gold embellishments!
The story is even worthier of admiration. The 2,292 seats of the Gran Teatre del Liceu were occupied by ‘an exuberant audience of potted plants’ donated from local nurseries, attending a special concert, the work of conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia, featuring the UceLi Quartet playing Puccini’s Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums), and were after delivered to healthcare professionals working on the frontline of the Covid pandemic at Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic.
I just love how they still played all the etiquette messages at the beginning of the performance about switching off phones, not taking pictures and avoiding any other noises!
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