Monday, 30 May 2011
what's been happening recently:
gathered sticks by the wayside to support the peas, soy and tomatoes
harvested plenty of spinach, rocket, radishes and swiss chard
saw the mizuna peeking out of the ground
ate apple cake in the garden, before watering the plants
got lots of mosquito bites
planted some dahlias and other flowers
got some self-made pesto, which katja made from our very own rocket crop
traded it for some self-made strawberry jam (store-bought fruits, i'm afraid)
p.s.: if this looks as if i've got an impressive green thumb, i'm afraid i'll have to disillusion you. the deal with this garden project is that the farmer pre-plants the majority of the plants. when we first came, many of them already had a decent size, they were pre-grown in glasshouses and put out as seedlings, or bigger. also, the ground is amazingly fertile and we had a beautiful mix of sun and rain last month. so basically, i'm just standing by, watch proudly, carry the watering cans, tie up some plants and talk nicely to them. oh, and we planted some seeds, that's true. for anything else, i couldn't take any credit.
Sunday, 29 May 2011
i've been part of the publishing world for over fifteen years now, in one way or another, and it's fair to say that books touch me in a way very few other objects can. so when i heard olga bennett was going to make a book, when i finally ordered a copy and received it in the post, and then sat down at breakfast to leaf through the pages for the first time, i was very excited. the book is a small format, roughly the size of both my hands placed one above the other. it is printed on matte paper and carries olga's subtle and atmospheric photographs so well. often the depth of field is shallow, you can feel the ambient light of the room, often you can make out the colours and contours of objects in the background, which makes these images even more enigmatic.
olga portrayed the working spaces of various artists for her project, and i love reading the small texts, in which these creative people describe themselves, their work, their relationship to their environments.
my favourite quotes from the short introduction by sarah caldwell:
"perhaps the more that you look at these ordinary places, the more you can find the extraordinary about each person within them."
"their attitudes evoke the human capacity for change, reinvention and openness to new things."
sarah is closing with a most beautiful quote from sainte-beuve, volupté, 1834
"... let the image float inside you; pass lightly; the slightest idea of it will suffice for you."
find olga's blog here, her portfolio here, and if you are curious now, you can order a copy of environments here.
p.s.: pictures showing my living room and olga's book on my table.
Friday, 27 May 2011
we had so much fun at the party my friends threw for the eurovision song contest this year (some bad, bad music, lots of laughter!). we had a little barbecue on the terrace, sparkling wine and some pimm's. general jolliness and silliness. haven't had that much fun in a long time!
what kind of things do you like to organise with your friends? (in general, totally eurovision unrelated, that is...)
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
a while ago, marion sent me a roll of expired kodak TMAX 100 pro as a little surprise. i was excited and curious, as i had never before used expired film. what would happen? less contrast than with fresh film? defects in the emulsion, scratches? i knew i had to take it somewhere special, so the next time i went to hamburger bahnhof (museum of contemporary art), i took some pictures of the richard long exhibition, berlin circle. his work is full of stillness and beauty. the big circular mural is painted by hand with mud from the river avon. i could look at it for hours, so much texture.
thank you, marion!
p.s.: when i looked through the roll, i found that the close-ups are mostly pretty decent in focus, while the ones showing the bigger picture seem blurry. any idea why that might be? (or is it just my eyes going funny? this is all manual focus, after all.)
Monday, 23 May 2011
i'm very happy to report the garden is alive and very well. we have so much spinach, lettuce and rocket! i spent a lot of time there on saturday, loosening up the soil, planting and watering, i was limping around with sore muscles on sunday. oh, and i found a good way to cycle there, which takes me an hour each way.
also made some strawberry jam, and tried my hand at baking a simple white loaf from nigel slater's 'appetite'. it turned out huge, and quite pretty. have any of you tried his recipe for olive foccaccia?
what was your weekend like?
Saturday, 21 May 2011
well, the garden isn't really a garden, you know. it's the slither of a proper vegetable field that we're renting for one season. a friend had heard of that idea, and although i had my doubts at first, i jumped on the wagon. the field is huge. i don't even know how many other city romantics are trying their hand at gardening there (the locals must think we are slightly insane). but everybody is super friendly, and i've embraced this project, really enjoying it. the good thing about doing this with friends is that we can take it in turns to go and water the plants and take out the weeds, also we can share the crop. this will be really good once summer's here. last year we had weeks without rain and temperatures over 30°C. not a good idea then to not go and skip the watering because you're lazy (i'm talking about myself here, you see). so we'll see how that goes.
so far, we have pre-planted lettuce, rocket, spinach, red swiss chard, carrots, beets, potatoes etc. we also planted some more unusual plants like mizuna (a japanese plant similar to rocket), some pak choi and some broccoletto (tender broccoli stems that can be blanched or stir fried quickly). basically, it seems like we have too much of everything to eat it all, so will be giving some of the crop to friends and neighbours.
i'll be taking pictures throughout the season and post them here in a little garden series. hope you don't mind! otherwise, you know, just skip any posts titled 'garden'. easy, no?
p.s.: can't wait for the plants, and particularly the flowers, to grow higher. it all looks much too 'tidy' for my liking just now. so grow, little plants!
Thursday, 19 May 2011
i've been asked to tell you seven things about myself a couple of times before, and it always makes me think and take stock a little. most recently i was tagged by elizabeth (of primoeza), and had written a post, all ready to go, when blogger had that glitch the other day. some of it was saved as a draft, but only a small part. now, even more has disappeared, so i might as well start over.
here's the latest edition of seven things then (thanks to elizabeth, and my other friends who recently tagged me to do this, i wish i had gotten round to it earlier.)
i've been through some difficult times recently, and i'm so glad to have friends who were most patient in listening when i had the umpteenth meltdown. (i'm much better now!)
i wouldn't have thought that a new hair cut can be such a catalyst. oh dear, i'm such a cliché.
i love gardening even more than i thought. this weekend, i'm going to plant some more flowers (cosmos, delphinium, dahlias) and support the peas and beans with found sticks. (a little garden series is coming up!)
i had forgotten how much i love going to the theatre and concerts. (thanks a million to sylee who heard about last-minute tickets for the sufjan stevens show, wohoo!)
i hate testiness and sulking in people, and yet put up with it so often, wanting to please everybody. not anymore.
i love making plans. and making them happen.
i feel at a crossroads with my photography, at a point where i feel i'm caught in set ways. more and more often, i'm ever so bored with my own pictures. i don't know, what's next. but i'm curious.
feel free to play along if you like, and let us know in the comments if you do!
p.s.: these are two photos from my archives, taken with my praktica in 2009, in venice and at home.
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
so far, may has been a good month. sunshine aplenty, but also rain (good for the garden!), time with friends, lots of laughter. also lots of work, which is why i am not posting as often as i would like. sometimes it's like that. how has your may been thus far?
p.s.: blogger still seems to have technical difficulties in restoring lost comments and old drafts. i have found the lost comments on the sandwich post though, which i have now added in the comments section under my name (couldn't work out another way). bon appétit, and thanks for all your super ideas! keep them coming, if you feel like it! also, i made some houmous the other day, so will try making a sandwich variation with it next time.
p.p.s.: my pinterest. say hello when you're around, and let me know if you would like an invite.
Thursday, 12 May 2011
had a post all ready to go when blogger crashed on me this morning. don't know if i can piece it back together, some of it was saved, it seems. harumph.
anyway, in the meantime, perhaps you could help me out with your favourite sandwich ideas / recipes? i'd love to hear them!
p.s.: this weekend, a very dear friend will be in town and we'll have a big eurovision song contest extravaganza at a&m's house. there's nothing like a good dose of trash, enjoyed with friends! bring on the weird costumes and fire throwers on stage!
++ please note that previous comments are not showing due to a technical glitch. according to blogger they should be restored this weekend. ++
Sunday, 8 May 2011
overheard in the museum:
-- (woman walking past on heels) "you've seen those shoes there? they are really expensive. when they've got red soles, they are really expensive." -- "oh, like 100 euros?"
-- "excuse me, sir? which is the way to the cats?" -- "just past the stones and up the stairs." -- "thank you."
(which really means: where is the cory arcangel video of the piano playing cats? past beuys' the end of the 20th century.)
have a random and happy week!
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
when pascale came to berlin, she brought summer with her. it was late april and felt like june. we talked a lot, and many things we said still have me thinking. we had lunch at a place that officially had no bathroom, but really, what it did have, was a being-john-malkovich-closet, up some rickety-make-shift steps behind the fridge. surreal. guess whose mind i travelled into? whose would you have chosen?
just found out about the sufjan stevens concert in berlin this weekend. guess what: too late! all tickets gone. argh!
tonight, there is a documentary about susan sontag on arte. they usually stream the videos seven days after airing time here fo free (german or french). so check it out from tomorrow.
the garden (or should i say field) was officially opened last night. this morning it rained, which made me happy. see, it's already changing my perception.
in retrospect, i hope i didn't put off my vegetarian readers with my last post.
+++ CORRECTION: very sorry about a mix-up - the susan sontag documentary will be screened monday, 9 may at 22.05h! oops. +++
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
i'm very sorry if you're reading this while being very hungry. that's cruel. go and make yourself a sandwich, ok?
(if you really want to know what i did last friday, look here. all after the royal wedding, of course.)