margaretapertl:

I am working very hard on a beautiful pink autumn Dahlia and need some encouragement please!

My amazing mother, painter of orchids and other provocative plants, has started a tumblr of process sketches that you should follow and be vocal on. She writes very good emails, so I’m curious and excited about what will happen now that she’s been unleashed on the internet.
She also has a new website »> margaretapertl.com

margaretapertl:

I am working very hard on a beautiful pink autumn Dahlia and need some encouragement please!

My amazing mother, painter of orchids and other provocative plants, has started a tumblr of process sketches that you should follow and be vocal on. She writes very good emails, so I’m curious and excited about what will happen now that she’s been unleashed on the internet.

She also has a new website »> margaretapertl.com

Five go to sea.

Five go to sea.

happy friday everybody

happy friday everybody

I cut my fringe too short by accident - Pierce was not pleased. The first snip defines the length. Our scissors must be blunt, or maybe I bunched too many hairs at once so it sloped upwards. The breeze has been blowing forgotten strands into my eyes all day and I’ve been snipping them in line with the rest.
I’ve cut the hair of many other people, including my sister, brother, distorte, kitey, nsomn and nongravity. I’m careful with theirs, but not with my own. It’s a thrill.

I cut my fringe too short by accident - Pierce was not pleased. The first snip defines the length. Our scissors must be blunt, or maybe I bunched too many hairs at once so it sloped upwards. The breeze has been blowing forgotten strands into my eyes all day and I’ve been snipping them in line with the rest.

I’ve cut the hair of many other people, including my sister, brother, distortekitey, nsomn and nongravity. I’m careful with theirs, but not with my own. It’s a thrill.

dying for the sea

dying for the sea

There is a basin of cold water under the table with my feet in it in an attempt to lower my body temperature and finish work for the day. I’m currently writing Irish language poetry and songs for seven year olds, living vicariously through the rain, thunder and snow-themes, humming as I hide on the shady side of the street - gaofar, fuar agus fliuch.

There is a basin of cold water under the table with my feet in it in an attempt to lower my body temperature and finish work for the day. I’m currently writing Irish language poetry and songs for seven year olds, living vicariously through the rain, thunder and snow-themes, humming as I hide on the shady side of the street - gaofar, fuar agus fliuch.

There are many lamp shops in Madrid. They sell finished lamps, but mostly lamp parts - unusual lightbulbs, rolls of coloured cord, plugs, switches and shades. We needed a light in our room, so we went to gather the parts to make something similar to this one. We went to the nearest ferreteria (hardware shop) to ask about copper pipes, and were sent across the road to the cobreria, which turned out to be a shop selling solely copper-related materials. If we had wanted wood we would have hit Calle Madera, so named for its wood shops. At the beginning I wondered about how the lamp shops survive - who keeps buying the parts? An apartment can only have so many lamps, and lightbulbs last for ages these days. The lamps shops are always busy. People seem to buy lamp parts like sandwiches. Maybe that’s what madrileños eat, explaining why they don’t sleep (they don’t sleep). I realise that by their presence alone the lamp shops change the city. Every coffee shop and every restaurant has their own take on light fixtures - a tangle of bare hanging filaments, organised rows of multi-coloured, oddly shaped bulbs. Pierce and I have just bought more copper parts, and have since replaced our mirrored lightbulb with a bare filament bulb for gentler light. We walk by at least two lamp shops daily, and have started thinking about lamps and lights more, have started eating lightbulbs. 

There are many lamp shops in Madrid. They sell finished lamps, but mostly lamp parts - unusual lightbulbs, rolls of coloured cord, plugs, switches and shades. We needed a light in our room, so we went to gather the parts to make something similar to this one. We went to the nearest ferreteria (hardware shop) to ask about copper pipes, and were sent across the road to the cobreria, which turned out to be a shop selling solely copper-related materials. If we had wanted wood we would have hit Calle Madera, so named for its wood shops. At the beginning I wondered about how the lamp shops survive - who keeps buying the parts? An apartment can only have so many lamps, and lightbulbs last for ages these days. The lamps shops are always busy. People seem to buy lamp parts like sandwiches. Maybe that’s what madrileños eat, explaining why they don’t sleep (they don’t sleep). I realise that by their presence alone the lamp shops change the city. Every coffee shop and every restaurant has their own take on light fixtures - a tangle of bare hanging filaments, organised rows of multi-coloured, oddly shaped bulbs. Pierce and I have just bought more copper parts, and have since replaced our mirrored lightbulb with a bare filament bulb for gentler light. We walk by at least two lamp shops daily, and have started thinking about lamps and lights more, have started eating lightbulbs. 

Pierce in Spain #2 and #3

Pierce in Spain #2 and #3

Two young Japanese ladies asked Pierce to take a photo of them in Palacio de Cristal and afterwards offered to return the favour. We felt obliged to accept and thus here is a rare photo of the two of us side by side, wearing birkenstocks in rocking chairs. 
They said that we looked “very formal”.

Two young Japanese ladies asked Pierce to take a photo of them in Palacio de Cristal and afterwards offered to return the favour. We felt obliged to accept and thus here is a rare photo of the two of us side by side, wearing birkenstocks in rocking chairs. 

They said that we looked “very formal”.

Pierce in Spain #1

Pierce in Spain #1

The first time I had pan con tomate was at James and Elisabet’s old apartment in Dublin. I found it hard to understand how this was one of James’ favourite things from Spain (originating, along with Liz, from Catalonia), especially as it was presented alongside a feast of deliciously rich food. Amazing how quickly habits and tastes change in different climates. We’re progressing quickly towards high summer heat, and every day I feel more thawed out, starting to relax into the fact that the summer will remain hot, the sun will stay out. I feel at home in Madrid, was relieved to leave humid Valencia. It’s an unknowable thing whether a new place will feel like home and I’m grateful that Madrid does after such a short time. The tomatoes, riper and more flavourful than I’ve ever tasted, are from the vegetable shop on our nearest plaza, where the shopkeepers are familiar with our long list of patchy spanish pronunciations - they correct each word and make us repeat after them ‘cebolla, cebolla’, as a way of conversing, I think, and call us chicos. We get our olive oil from the shop nearby selling solely olive oil. And so forth with the other ingredients most days - the honey shop, the butcher, the cheesemonger. The supermarket is only for toilet paper and cheap wine. If you are in a hot country, enjoying a warm summer, this is for you. It’s cooling like an ice-pop. Traditionally the tomato is rubbed directly onto the bread, but I like the extra juices obtained by grating. It’s a simple thing, but each ingredient is important.
crusty baguette (ends cut off, cut into four pieces and then each piece sliced horizontally)two ripe tomatoesgood olive oilflaky saltpepper
Cut each tomato in half and slice out the stem. Grate the halves and discard the skin. Drizzle olive oil on the baguette, top with a few spoonfuls of tomato, sprinkle on some flaky salt and grind over some pepper.
Eat in your bare feet.

The first time I had pan con tomate was at James and Elisabet’s old apartment in Dublin. I found it hard to understand how this was one of James’ favourite things from Spain (originating, along with Liz, from Catalonia), especially as it was presented alongside a feast of deliciously rich food. Amazing how quickly habits and tastes change in different climates. We’re progressing quickly towards high summer heat, and every day I feel more thawed out, starting to relax into the fact that the summer will remain hot, the sun will stay out. I feel at home in Madrid, was relieved to leave humid Valencia. It’s an unknowable thing whether a new place will feel like home and I’m grateful that Madrid does after such a short time. The tomatoes, riper and more flavourful than I’ve ever tasted, are from the vegetable shop on our nearest plaza, where the shopkeepers are familiar with our long list of patchy spanish pronunciations - they correct each word and make us repeat after them ‘cebolla, cebolla’, as a way of conversing, I think, and call us chicos. We get our olive oil from the shop nearby selling solely olive oil. And so forth with the other ingredients most days - the honey shop, the butcher, the cheesemonger. The supermarket is only for toilet paper and cheap wine. If you are in a hot country, enjoying a warm summer, this is for you. It’s cooling like an ice-pop. Traditionally the tomato is rubbed directly onto the bread, but I like the extra juices obtained by grating. It’s a simple thing, but each ingredient is important.

crusty baguette (ends cut off, cut into four pieces and then each piece sliced horizontally)
two ripe tomatoes
good olive oil
flaky salt
pepper

Cut each tomato in half and slice out the stem. Grate the halves and discard the skin. Drizzle olive oil on the baguette, top with a few spoonfuls of tomato, sprinkle on some flaky salt and grind over some pepper.

Eat in your bare feet.

HELENIDES: I went to the botanic gardens in Valencia today and thought of you.
SOCRATES: It has been some time since we last met. Are you enjoying life in Spain?
HELENIDES: Ask me something specific about the fruit or the weather.
SOCRATES: What fruit did you eat this morning?
HELENIDES: A plum, a kiwi, an apricot, and a nectarine - all ripe. 
SOCRATES: I would erase my thoughts for the taste of one piece of fruit.
HELENIDES: Honestly, I feel homesick today.
SOCRATES: I am made of stone and cannot remember the last time I moved. 
HELENIDES: If I could just stand next to you for an hour I think that everything would be ok.
SOCRATES: I have no nose. Are you listening to me?
previously Jan 2012
previously Dec 2010

HELENIDES: I went to the botanic gardens in Valencia today and thought of you.

SOCRATES: It has been some time since we last met. Are you enjoying life in Spain?

HELENIDES: Ask me something specific about the fruit or the weather.

SOCRATES: What fruit did you eat this morning?

HELENIDES: A plum, a kiwi, an apricot, and a nectarine - all ripe. 

SOCRATES: I would erase my thoughts for the taste of one piece of fruit.

HELENIDES: Honestly, I feel homesick today.

SOCRATES: I am made of stone and cannot remember the last time I moved. 

HELENIDES: If I could just stand next to you for an hour I think that everything would be ok.

SOCRATES: I have no nose. Are you listening to me?

previously Jan 2012

previously Dec 2010