Converse, just do it! Clean them.

I wanted to clean my Converse today and I mentioned it to a friend that seemed appalled by this. “You don’t wash a pair of Converse!They HAVE to be damaged and dirty, it’s part of the style.”
What style?! So I did a little research on Google to see what’s with this getting down and dirty with your shoes, I couldn’t find anything except that Converse brand is about 100 years old, it used to be associated with basketball, it was taken over by Nike at one point and they did a line of artsy Chuck Taylor sneakers (the classic ones that everybody owns, mostly in red or black) in honor of Andy Warhol. That’s just a couple of facts that drew my very short attention span, but nothing about dirty sneakers. So after the research, my guess is that the damaged and dirty Converse sneakers trend came from a bunch of artsy rebels, be them musicians, visual artists, festival goers, etc. who really didn’t care how they looked, I know, I’ve been there, or that it came from hobo chic style, but I don’t think (anymore) that sloppy is cool. Well, I don’t know.

But, my friends, I am washing my Converse, and my other pairs of shoes for that matter, and even though they are damaged indeed cause I wore them over and over, they will at least be clean, and let nobody tell me that having dirty shoes is cool, cause is not, it’s just dirty shoes, wash them! Do it!

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Bubble splash!

Mix it up ladies

It was only in my 30s and after being through many fashion stages- wearing my brothers clothes stage, 80s fashion stage, hip-hop stage, emo, hippie, rock star, sporty mountaineer type, that I realised that it would be nice to be comfortable to take the best from every world and mix it up without ever being afraid you don’t match, you don’t fit, it’s too much, etc. And once I realized this and actually started doing it, the sky was the limit. I’m telling you (as if all you fashionistas out there didn’t already know it) you can create your own little universe just through clothes.

So browsing through some of Phil Oh’s street photos, on Vogue.com, I saw some styles that represent my thoughts above so I wanted to share it with you and why not, encourage you to go a bit crazy with your wardrobe, try mixing new things.

Let’s take this lady in the picture below. She has managed to pull off a rock star look, combined with a classic suit, combined with a hairdo and earrings that bring a bit of hood in the frame.  I see her as a cool, open-minded person, a playful, with a sense of humor kinda of a girl. She’s just going for it all with a smile and a carefree air and I really like that.

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Photo by Phil Oh for Vogue

And what about this one here. A hoodie combined with a stylish jacket and that colorful belt to loosen it all up. She’s got it going on.

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Photo by Phil Oh for Vogue

And her? Well, she just belted up her sporty look with her favorite silk scarf, put on some pink sneakers and went out for a walk. A Frenchy look, delicate but a bit boyish at the same time.

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I guess what I’m saying is that it all goes ladies, mix the pieces that you love and have a great time wearing them!

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Photo by Phil Oh for Vogue

And if you think what you are wearing might be too crazy always remember fashion in Japan.  🙂

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FRUiTS MAGAZINE

Back to the roots

Well well everybody, last time I posted I was in beautiful Ireland, taking six sabbatical months to chill and try new things. And what a wonderful time I had in fairyland! I recommend to all a holiday to Ireland, if only just to take a walk around their wild parks and enjoy the wonderful light that pours from the forever changing skies.

For the moment, I am quite happy to be back in Romania and I’m going to show you some photos from my first trip to Iasi county, to be more specific, from a small village near Iasi, called Madarjesti, in the north-east of Romania. That was back in October but I think it’s never too late to tell a good story.

And this is the story of an ancient lady working in the middle of a heap of corn cobs, doing the same thing she learned to do since she was just a child, keeping her household with the constancy and rhythm of a mantra, irrespective of everything else happening around the world. The story of a time capsule where seasons pass, women do their cooking and cleaning and no force in the world is bigger than the sense of duty,  of routine, of the old ways dug deep into the lives of locals. It’s like a prayer that never ceases to lose its strength.

This story is also about pieces of pita bread cooked in the oven and the little birds made of dough by a grandma with an artistic sense. Why make simple dough when you can make a bird shape, and that proves to me one more time that love of beauty needs no education, no cultural background, it is just there in people’s hearts, a seed to be grown. This same grandma also asked me to search Facebook to look for photos of her and other local ladies that gather once in two weeks at a Daycare Centre for elders in Baltati, a village close by Madarjesti, to make handmade garments and chat and celebrate their birthdays. The vest I am wearing in the photo below is handmade by her!

What else is in this story from Madarjesti? A walk in the open field, at sunset, to gather mushrooms, everyone spread around hunting for the little white treasures that we brought home and cooked. And they tasted like the best Michelin stars food!

Also, I want to mention the beautiful colored houses, blue and green and most of them made from clay. They are small but cozy and beautifully adorned with carpets made by hand, embroidered towels, holy icons and family photos.

Hope the photos below speak a bit more about this ancient story that is life in the Romanian village.

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A marriage proposal…

No, not for me, though I would totally fall for such a proposal, as many of the ladies reading this might.

The following letter, discovered while visiting Tullynally castle (find more about this in my previous post), is written in 1864 by William Pakenham , 4th Earl of Longford, who was in serious want of a wife. Read it and let’s draw some conclusions at the end:

“I seek in a wife, a gentle woman to be by my side throughout the affairs of life- every thought of my heart I will open to her, no secret from her,- one who will be glad with my joys and know my sorrows,- one who will remind me of my duty to God and help me in my duty towards my neighbours.

Of myself, I am not rich. A good estate is overlaid with heavy charges which require prudent management; but I am prudent, and I think a have a sufficiency. I am conscious of a somewhat morose and moody temper (occasioned by the want of a good wife). My interests and inclination are to live a good deal in Ireland and improve my estate, rather than to flourish in London. My habits are very punctual and regular and I do not gamble, drink or smoke…”

How nice is this?

I mean this man wants a wife who makes him a better man (“remind me of my duty to God”), who makes him a good citizen ( help me in my duty towards neighbours”). He promises not to hide anything from her and always be true. He is not rich but he is prudent and reliable. He does not gamble, drink or smoke and he is honest about his temper and even shows some humour ( “I am conscious of a somewhat morose and moody temper (occasioned by the want of a good wife”)”.

Well, William Pakenham got his lovely wife, 20 years younger than him, who bared 5 of his children.

 

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I made pizza

So what, you might ask? Everybody cooks nowadays and they post it on the Internet too. But in my case it’s different, because I don’t necessarily want to show you my amazing looking pizza (cause it actually didn’t look that amazing) or give you the recipe (which I will, nevertheless) but I want to tell you for starters, that it was my first pizza dough and that I did it for me. I was in a bit of a bad mood so I started doing it maybe because there is something soothing in kneading dough, or maybe it warmed my heart to think of Italy and an Italian mama cooking a homemade meal, or maybe just because I’ve been thinking of ordering pizza for the last couple of days and I was hungry.

It doesn’t actually matter why, but I did it caring deeply for myself, not being selfish but just wanting to do smth nice for me, to be ok, you know?

Oh, and it really turned out great, no more pizza orders for me. From now on, I’m making my own irregular shaped pizza and I will go crazy and creative with all sorts of toppings, and yeah, life seems better.

So here it is, the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 150ml/5 fl oz lukewarm water
  • ½ tbsp dried yeast
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g/9oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt

METHOD

In a bowl, mix the warm water with the yeast, sugar, and oil. Leave for 8‑10 minutes or so to froth up.Meanwhile, place the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix with your hands or a spoon until you have a sticky dough. Keep adding handfuls of flour or drops of water until you have a workable consistency.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for five minutes until stretchy and glossy. Return to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise somewhere warm for one hour.

Turn out again and knead for a few more minutes before rolling out on a floured surface, then transfer to a pizza stone or a hot tray to cook.

PS: And don’t be shy, put anything that you have in the fridge on it and let it bake for about 10 -15 minutes, it bakes fast, but you’ ll figure out when to take it out, from the lovely smell!

Be good to yourself and Bon Appetit!

Middle age crisis?

I don’t know how else to call my recent obsession for the color red. First, it was a pair of high-heeled boots that I saw in a magazine:

Jeffrey Campbell
Jeffrey Campbell

Just picture those Americana style boots, with blue tight jeans and a t-shirt. God damn!

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And then came a certain desire to own a red truck, like this Ford F 150:

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Or this Chevy baby:

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And now as I am writing all this, I realize it’s all red but as well it’s all American stuff that I crave for … God help me not take my middle age crisis to McDonald’s!

Anyhow, I strongly think that people that find themselves in a middle age crisis should keep a journal of their little eccentricities. We are entitled, just like pregnant women (only that we carry the burden of time instead of babies) to have obsessions and desires and cravings.  And anyhow, I’m tired of all that millennials talk and what millennials want, what about the rest of us, the middle-aged, the older, the bolder, the average people with average problems like wanting to own an American red truck, or at least some red boots?

Oh Lord, won’ t you buy me a Mercedes Benz! Love to Janice.

 

PS: I actually think the journal idea isn’t that bad. I’ ll get back to you after asking some people what middle age crisis quilty pleasures they have.  😉

PSS: So far I got this: a 35 old guy, married with children says :” I want to retire, get a house in Greece and own a very small boat”- and another married with children 35er is growing a beard and long hair.  Apparently, the Lamborghinis and adultery are either out of fashion or appear later in the 40s.  Women refuse to answer my query as they can’t admit they are over 30.

What has this post turned into?! :-O