Khayelitsha township

Khayelitsha township

Yesterday I left the city centre to visit public libraries in outer Cape Town. We drove into the Khayelitsha township on the south-eastern outskirts of the city, one of the newest and largest townships in Cape Town. The area has both formal housing (concrete-block 2-bedroom homes) and informal settlements (shanty towns). Townships were created during [...]

Art Deco and Gothic masterpieces in Reims

Art Deco and Gothic masterpieces in Reims

I'm back from my Great Library Tour, jetlagged and awake since 2am. Time to get back into blogging. (Ten days into my three week trip, I reached Paris and gave up on blogging as I went. Too much to see and no time for sitting round in the hotel connected to wifi). Before Paris, we [...]

Art, music and retro concrete at Lyon Public Library

Art, music and retro concrete at Lyon Public Library

Having said I wouldn't blog about libraries... I visited the central branch of the Lyon Public Library (Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon) this week and found my visual antennae twitching. The facade is 'Municipal Moderne' with grey cladding and diagonal angles that would look at home in Melbourne. Near the entrance, a temporary exhibition showcases some [...]

Reflections on creativity, or Why I’m sick of having a split personality

Reflections on creativity, or Why I’m sick of having a split personality

I've been thinking about creativity. I'm a project manager. I plan stuff. I organise stuff. I anticipate risks, juggle resources, manage budgets, work to deadlines, document everything for the benefit of auditors and posterity. I'm good at my job. I'm also a creative person. At home, I plant gorgeous plants and delight in living surrounded [...]

Schools of fish and ships

Schools of fish and ships

I'm a little bit obsessed with patterns. I was a geeky and creative kid, interested in both maths and art. I still like logic puzzles, patchwork, granny square rugs, geometric shapes in nature (bubbles, shells, leaf whorls, snowflakes...), Islamic tiles, Indian henna designs and Japanese paper. These paintings by Adam Lester appealed to me (pictures from Jan [...]

Love and Devotion: Persian manuscripts

Love and Devotion: Persian manuscripts

In utter rapture over the exquisite Persian manuscripts at the State Library of Victoria's Love and Devotion exhibition. The detail is incredible. This is a little obscure, but I think my favourite elements are the surface detail of the buildings - the geometric patterns on walls, roofs, rugs and fabric. The lovechild of medieval European [...]

New year pickles and chutney

New year pickles and chutney

'Tis the season for a glut of tomatoes, and at my place that means pickles and chutney. I have to confess that I am a very poor vegetable gardener, because I hardly ever water. And then if anything survives, I forget to harvest it. Hopeless. But I am quite good at growing cherry tomatoes, because [...]

Lazy winter gardening

Lazy winter gardening

It's FREEZING today. Well, actually it's 10 degrees Celsius, which I know is really quite pathetic in the coldness stakes - I thought we must surely be in single digits. But hey, we did get a little sprinkling of teeny weeny hailstones earlier today, so it must be cold. Winter brings out the Martha Stewart [...]