Five things to be cheerful about this Monday

I have not yet suffered the loss of a close family member, a partner, or a child. The closest that death has come to me so far is a dear friend, a colleague, the partner of a work friend, the son of some one in my inner circle, a beloved furry family member.

And yet… every single close-to-someone-who-has-experienced-horrible-loss has made me appreciate what I have. This carefully curated and designed life, my love, my family of three (yes, Milo is our family) and my wider family of siblings, in-laws, friends and colleagues.

I have much to be thankful for. And so much to be cheerful about. Having a body that carries me everywhere I want to go. The wind in the trees. Being able to hear music. Rain. My home. Safety. A job that challenges me. People to love. A world full of possibility. Hot water in our taps. A comfortable bed. Clean linens. Coffee. Enough to eat and drink. Sand between my toes. And so SO much more. New music discoveries… like this track – Berlin by RY X.

May I never forget the exquisiteness of simply being alive to breathe in another day.
I pray this for you too.

Hoping you have a beautiful week everyone. Please be sure to hug someone you love.



1 // Pīwakawaka/Fantail

We have an abundance of birdlife at our place. They live here with us because the parts of our property that aren’t covered in buildings are covered with trees. We get Kereru (native wood pigeons), Grey Warbler, Kingfisher, Tui, Blackbirds, Finches, Rosella, Morepork (our only native owl), Pheasant, Chickens, Ducks, Kaka (a native parrot) and others. But the fantails are our favourite (shhhh…. don’t tell the others). We had three of them darting around in the trees yesterday, close enough to touch. They move so quickly that it’s often very difficult to make any decent photographs of them. But yesterday, they hung around long enough for me to grab the camera and get in close. I adore these little inquisitive chatterboxes.

2 // Beetroot and Rose Truffle Cake

Because beetroot is such a versatile ingredient. And who doesn’t love cake?!? On my list to try, even though I probably never will…

3 // Cookery books

One of my friends is a restaurateur and he always has the best cookery books at his place. On a recent trip to stay with him in Wellington, there were three vegetarian cookery books that caught my eye:

In My Kitchen by Deborah Madison. I have thoroughly enjoyed every recipe I’ve made so far. Nothing is ridiculously fiddly, the photography makes my mouth water and I’ve not had any trouble sourcing any of the ingredients. The roasted fingerling potatoes and tomatoes with thyme, olives, and capers has already become a firm favourite around here.

Plenty by Ottolenghi. I have Plenty More and really enjoy the recipes in it. And when I picked up Plenty and saw the recipe for courgette and cobnut salad, I immediately wrote it down and have made it at least once a week ever since. We can’t get cobnuts here, so I sub with hazelnuts and it works just fine. I’ve also made it for friends and they all love it too. It’s also on Ottolenghi’s website, so I’ve linked to it in case you want to give it a try yourself. I promise you it’s ridiculously easy and utterly delicious. Perfect for a weeknight supper.

On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen by Jeremy Fox and Noah Galuten. This one has some really interesting recipes in it like borage & ricotta dumplings in mushroom broth and butternut squash & ricotta mousse, as well as diy black garlic and onion top ash. I have this one on order and can’t wait to try making some of these.

4 // Accidental haiku

A very clever project by Lenka Clayton.

5 // Coffee + flowers

Not necessarily in that order.



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