author: kate morton…


I’ve never been that much of a fiction reader, nor have I ever really been a follower of an author, but now, I am both. I’ve just finished reading both of Kate Morton’s books – The Forgotten Garden and The Shifting Fog (a.k.a The House at Riverton) and thoroughly enjoyed them. I am eagerly awaiting the release of her third book.

Kate’s a great story teller. Her writing style is so visual and descriptive without going overboard (nothing worse than an over-described inanimate object like a hairbrush or blade of grass, in my opinion). My favourite of the two is The Forgotten Garden. I was also pleasantly surprised to read that Kate is Australian, and this particular book is partly set in southeast Queensland.

If like me you love period settings and antiquated interiors then you will probably immerse yourself in these books as much as I did – perfect holiday or “down time” reading.


don’t sleep, there are snakes…


I’m currently reading don’t sleep, there are snakes written by daniel everett.¬† I’m not going to tell you anything about it (there are a tonne of reviews on amazon if you want to know more) because I didn’t know a thing about it before I read it – just took it off the shelf at Waterstone’s, read the back cover and a beginning paragraph or two, and hoped for a good read. It’s a great read. A little theoretical toward the end which – considering it is his life’s work it is to be expected – would only be of interest if you are a linguist yourself or heavily interested in linguistic theories but beside that, really, it is wonderful. I feel like Daniel has revealed answers to long asked questions in my mind about life (thanks to the Pirahas), and he also confirms many theories and ideas that I’ve spoken about over the years.

So, if you are interested in other cultures, ancient cultures, the development of language; or wonder what it’s like to live in the Amazon with native Amazonians; or if you question devout methodology¬† then there is something in this book for you. I have bookmarked lots of pages, circled lots of paragraphs and will be recommending it to family and friends.

on my bedside table: penguin popular classics


It’s been so long since I came in here to the (blog)house library to let you know what I’m reading. And the reason is that I am in the midst of writing my second book. I can’t read and write at the same time.

But! I love to read. So how to get around this? Well, I found a way. I have found that I can read French comics or childhood classics – I’ve noticed that if the books are written in old English or in another language altogether, then I can manage to get my reading fix without it interfering with my work. So lately I’ve been carrying around these penguin classics which I’ve been buying at WhSmith in Paris. I’ve just finished The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett which I hadn’t read for 20 years or more. What a fabulous, fabulous book. If you have not read this book then please, please do. It is incredibly inspiring. I forgot how great it is.

And now I am reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I have never read this one, and so far, I’m loving it.

This little series of classics is great – perfect for traveling or carrying around in your handbag, cheap (only 3.40euro), and made from 100% recycled paper. I’m inspired by the books themselves, and I’m thinking I might make something from their pages once I’m finished. When I do, Ill be sure to show + tell my creation(s) here in the (blog)house.

on the coffee table now…


…is this book.

island life…

Many years ago as I was perusing the impressively crammed shelf dedicated to interior decorating at my favourite local bookstore (which is Bookoccino’s in Avalon, Sydney, Australia), I came across India Hicks Island Life. And i felt ‘the buzz’. You know the feeling, as you open a book for the first time at a random page and are immediately struck by the structure and style and composition of an interior setting. Then you slowly lift to the next page, and the next and the next and your belly flips and you simply must have this book. Back then the book had just arrived on bookshelves around the world, so it was at top dollar. But I could not walk out without it…

images courtesy of india hicks, island living

Sure it’s fantastical, after all it is a book about a home (or rather a series of houses) dotted along the shoreline of a Caribbean island, nestled amongst coconut palms and pineapple trees, with ocean views from every window (dream on!!). BUT India’s style is so relaxed and natural that her settings can be translated into the simplest and most ordinary of abodes. So how does she do this? Well, let me tell you! It’s because her focus is on the found, collected, and loved (as opposed to new, flashy, and trendy). None of her spaces reflect the ostentatious inclination that you’d expect, and I have no doubt this is why her book has become so popular over the years.

One of my favourite pieces among her incredible collection of homewares is this desk which sits inconspicuously at the top of a staircase between doorways…

photography by David Loftus

Glorious, non? Writing away the hours at this desk would be rather marvelous. Certainly after having taken a wander along the shoreline, sand between the toes and lungs full of fresh sea air.

I’ve always been inspired by nature as you know, so it’s only natural that my interior impulses lean toward island living. As a result I thought I’d moodboard my interior inspiration, island style, in the next post. But first, here is a song that will surely get you in the mood… mojito, anyone?