Sunday, 9 August 2009


My early morning internet cruise this morning landed me on the lap of Charlie Rose (If only!!). I discovered an interview he did with Nora Ephron, who, next to both of my sisters,is one of the funniest women I know. Here she is in 2006 talking about men and women (her favourite theme), as well as Barack, Blogging, and Aging, delivered with her usual candor and simplicity of style. At one point she talks about Obama's writing and his ability to write a clean, decent sentence.

I thought afterwards about how the wisdom of "clean and decent" applies to so many aspects of ourselves and our lives. The day-to-day may drift, giving a pretence of simplicity, when indeed it is often convoluted, confused, distorted, and in an inevitable process of decay."The time is out of joint..." Reading and Listening to Nora sends me back to the power of humour to relax the jaw muscles, conserve the estrogen, and seek out the lushness of now.

Here is the interview:

Saturday, 8 August 2009


I was just talking to my sister, Norma, and she told me that she was in the midst of having a “perfect day”.

“Tell me what that looks like,” I asked.

And so she proceeded to explain that she had just been to see the movie,“Julia and Julie”, based on the blog written by Julie Powell, about her year of cooking all the recipes in Julia Child’s famous cookbook, “The Art of French Cooking”. She mentioned that one of the lines of the movie struck a chord. “What do you enjoy?” and the corollary to that, of course, is once you have answered that question, try to do more of it. For Norma, the answer was simple, cooking, crafts, and looking after her “nest” (aka, home and family).

To that end, Norma had just finished the initial stages of the beef bourguignon recipe from Julia's book and placed it in the oven for the requisite 2 hour harmony bake. In the interim she planned to begin a new knitting pattern, having just purchase silk and cotton threads from a local yarn shop. All this while her handyman, Ted, was doing, God knows what, creative maneuverings in the backyard of her "nest". Such productivity on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Well, I had to ponder that query a bit further for myself. And not that I was trying to one-up my darling sister, but I quickly realized that my list is quite long. In fairness, I am sure there are a dozen other items Norma could add to her list. But she was, at least for today, focusing on her top three. Well, thought I, how about if I focus on my top three as well. So I easily came up with the following:

talking to family
drinking wine

With that, I called Norma back to share the good news that I had found a lovely Vouvray in the wine cellar; was in the process of drinking my third sip; and pondering the challenging question from our earlier phone call. Given, that Julie Powell has a bestselling book and soon to be blockbuster movie from a simple blog that she had created over the course of a year of living gastronomically consumed, I figured it was time to get back to my own self-indulgent writing.

So here I sit, savouring the Vouvray, in awe of the power or words to drawn us out of our self-imposed lethargy, and pull us back into the activities that truly give our lives energy and meaning. As I post it, I imagine my friends and family reading my words, as if we were in real time conversing. An almost perfect day for me.

Another of my passions is actually, no kidding, cooking and eating. So with that I will away and promise to return very soon with more, much more, if only for my own sake. The pot is starting to come to a boil again. Oh, by the way, “What do you enjoy?”