Wednesday 29 July 2009

corner view: best kept secret

the weather here has been a bit of a rollercoaster these past few weeks, some days we had rain and sunshine and temperatures ranging from between 18°C and 28°C all in one day. last weekend i was sick but had to work, and took that cloudscape photo on my way home. i'm feeling much better now, but somehow the clouds in my mind don't really want to blow away. and being in a bad mood is something that's not typical for me at all. heyho, it'll pass.

as to my best kept secret, well, i'm not sure i have many. but i do really like to cook. preferably for many people. and my favourite thing ever is using fresh ingredients from a farmer's market, as well as making sauces and dressings. so maybe i'll let you in on my raspberry vinaigrette secret. does that count? i like it with seasonal greens, ideally tender ones or a good mix of green leaves, herbs and edible flowers. in winter, it's delicious with lamb's lettuce and apple slices, caramelised in brown sugar. and of course some fresh bread.

raspberry vinaigrette
(enough for several servings)*
take a table spoon full (or two) of fresh or frozen raspberries and mash them up gently with a fork
add a tea spoon of dijon mustard and stir well
add a little water, some white balsamic vinegar and stir well
add in some fairly liquid honey, salt and freshly ground pepper and stir well
add a generous amount of good, but not too overpoweringly strong olive oil, stir well
taste and see if you need to top up any of the ingredients, you should be able to taste the raspberries and end up with a slightly sweet yet tart dressing

* stored in the fridge in a small screw-top jar, this dressing will easily keep for a week (if you can manage to make it last that long) 

for more corner view secrets and revelations visit jane at spain daily. corner view will take a summer break in august - back in september! regular blogging here will go on though, so feel free to drop in, i'd be delighted!

p.s.: since i don't have a picture of my raspberry vinaigrette i'm sneakily trying to get away with some tomatoes i saw at a market in france two weeks ago. generally, i can tell the difference between raspberries and tomatoes... 

Monday 27 July 2009

venice: faded postcards and singapore pavilion

i still can't get over the light in venice. so bright. the pictures i took on the vaporetto from the icelandic and singapore pavilion to the arsenale came out like faded postcards.

the singapore pavilion was in the same palazzo as the icelandic pavilion, just one flight of stairs up. isn't that chandelier amazing? the project featured there was a take on movie productions from the 1950s in singapore.

Friday 24 July 2009

venice: icelandic pavilion

for me, one of the highlights of this year's venice biennial was ragnar kjartansson's performance at the icelandic pavilion on the grand canal. he is basically spending six months, the entire duration of the biennial, painting his cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking, speedo-wearing male model in a rather swish setting, the ground floor of an old venetian palazzo. i asked him what they do in aqua alta, when the city is flooded: "well, it has already happened. we just take our shoes off." read more about his work here.

Wednesday 22 July 2009

corner view: 7:45

well, i better admit it straight away - i'm cheating this time. i was working in the bookshop last weekend alongside my regular translation work and forgot to take the pictures at the set time, despite my enthusiasm for jane's idea. but luckily i happen to have pictures of the things i did.

friday, 7:45 pm, sunday, 7:45 pm
friday - working at my favourite café, revising a text
sunday - at the same café, having a drink with a friend after working in the bookshop. catching-up time!

saturday, 7:45 pm
working late in the bookshop, a busy day  

to see more corner views, visit jane!

Monday 20 July 2009

venice: pears and washing

before i go to bed let me quickly post these two. couldn't resist that pear. sometimes, my still-life urge just takes over. as it did that morning in venice just after breakfast. so i had to take that green fruit back to the room and arrange it on that lovely, freshly pressed napkin on the unmade bed. the light was beautiful. later that day we passed that calle and the washing outside that window had me stop in my tracks and take a picture.

good night!

Saturday 18 July 2009


a little break from the holiday series. still a little tired. and wanting to share these shots - don't you think that beds are really attractive things? on peonies we all agree anyway, i guess. the flower shots were on one of the holiday rolls that i started before leaving for venice.  i'll pester you with more photos from my trip soon. after all, i haven't even started on the france pictures yet. let me know if you can't bear it.

this was a good week. 

lots of things waiting for me after the holiday, so there was quite a bit to do, but it was just fine. still feeling very mellow and relaxed. admittedly, the sunshine and summery weather helped. a lot. went shopping for red wine and rosé from provence at small local wine shops, and for southern-france-style food on the farmer's market to keep that holiday feeling for a little longer. cooked a holiday-memorial rataouille yesterday, which tasted full of sunshine.

a highlight of this week was definitely meeting kristina, my swedish namesake, and her husband at the prater. they were on holiday in berlin and it was fabulous to sit in the sun, talk and have a good laugh. comparing cameras as well. and my, does she have a cool nikon digital SLR. and a really funky compact analog camera which helps you focussing by showing the people you want to photograph with either two or three eyes (kristina told me to go for two eyes, much better). we were so busy chatting that i forgot to take a photo of us, how silly. well, they said they were planning on coming back to berlin, so there should be my chance then! (some of you may know: i initially met kristina via julochka's and blog camp - i'm glad i did!)

now i'd better get ready. working at the bookshop again this weekend. but oh, what to wear?! see, the air-conditioning doesn't really work there, so it tends to be rather tropical in the shop. which i can dress for (don't get any ideas, i'm not going in my bikini). but: we had a big storm yesterday and temperatures dropped from 30°C to 19°C. and it's raining. i guess i'll have to opt for the layer thing then. bundling up for the bike ride and then flash my summer dress and silver tropéziennes when there. have a good weekend.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

corner view: the unveiling, true self

do you really want to open that can of worms? i'm a bundle of contradictions. always the big sister, still at a loss what to do. loving simple things and yet making things complicated. loving my friends and still managing to let them down (i really don' t mean to and wish it didn't happen). apart from that i'm a passionate photographer and writer, a dedicated reader, a mind-traveller, an observer, a cook, a carer, a ponderer and quite possibly the worst flirter ever.

i'm working on the tricky bits.

thanks to my friend jo, perfect and very patient travel companion, for taking the last two pictures here and the one featured in this post.

take a look at all the other corner views around the world via jane's spain daily!

p.s.: since cabrizette asked: i'm the one in the white dress with the red trim and the skeptical look... back in summer 1975 we were four kids, my two youngest brothers came along later.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

venice: the light

marking malo's words that one of the most special things about venice is the light, i took film with different speeds. still, i underestimated the intenseness of the light and so many of my pictures turned out to be slightly overexposed. i rather like it, though. it almost seems as if i'm looking at faded photos in a much loved and leafed-through album.

see the big church with the white dome? that's santa maria della salute and our hotel was right behind it. a vaporetto stop was virtually on our doorstep. from here we set off to the various venues of the venice biennale - the giardini, the arsenale, numerous palazzi across town - as well as to the pinault foundation at palazzo grassi. the second, only just opened venue of the pinault foundation at punta della dogana was right next to santa maria della salute. it's that building on the third photo with the gilded sculpture on top, at the very tip of the dorsoduro island and less a than five-minute walk from our hotel.

and yes, that guy with the red shopping trolley sitting by the vaporetto stop was indeed fishing.

some venice

on the very last day of june i hopped on a plane to venice. the first time i've ever been. friends who have been, told me that they found the huge crowds a bit of a turn-off and that next time round they'd prefer to go in spring or winter. so i went with mixed feelings - looking very much forward to it but wondering if the place would live up to my expectations. i shouldn't have worried. we went from wednesday through friday (avoiding the weekend) and had our hotel on dorsoduro, off san marco, where the biggest crowds tend to be. which meant that we had it nice and quiet, while being close to a vaporetto stop, so it was easy to get everywhere. the hotel, in fact, was a dream. a treat from a friend, a christmas and birthday present rolled in one, and what a beautiful one! a small boutique kind of place. just wonderful. i could rave on. 

when we arrived, it was incredibly hot and we had gotten up at an ungodly hour, so decided to sit on the terrace for a while and have a bit of a rest. when we finally set off for a walk around town, it was already very late afternoon and the light started having that soft evening glow. we crossed over to san marco via the accademia bridge. and there it was: the quintessential view. no wonder canaletto liked it here.

p.s.: had seven rolls of film processed. there are tons of pictures. if you care to see and read more about the venice-south-of-france-trip, stay tuned. and let me know when it starts getting boring . . .

Sunday 12 July 2009

back home

home safe and sound. had a wonderful, wonderful holiday with a fantastic friend. lots of art, not so much sight-seeing but lots of market shopping, cooking, wine drinking and relaxing. and sun. so needed. will take a bit of time to go through photos and have films processed. more soon!

Thursday 2 July 2009


writing from venice... just to let you know i'll be away until mid-july. take care and see you again soon!