Links and thoughts from April

Cherry blossom in the park

April has been a waking-up month. This winter has seemed so long and cold that when the sun finally came out, and the ground started to warm and flowers started to appear, it was like emerging from hibernation. Suddenly outdoors was something to linger in, instead of something to be battled through as fast as possible.

I was nudged by someone to buy bulbs from Bloms Bulbs in the autumn, and now I am really glad I did. The tulips in particular have been spectacular. I’m always surprised by how many come up from previous years as well. I have a habit of planting them in tubs and forgetting about them as soon as they have gone over. So the ugly pot of weeds I’ve been hosting on my front step for the last six months or so is suddenly filled with creamy tulips.

Purple prince a week on

I said this on twitter but Gluten Free Girl has absolutely floored me with some of her writing this month. She writes honestly and from the heart anyway, but when her car was stolen, and when she marked an anniversary with her husband, it generated some truly absorbing prose.

60 year old Magnolia

I found this article about J Crew really interesting, especially the interaction between Jenna Lyons, the creative director, and the Chief Exec. If you’re in the UK, you may have come across J Crew in references to to Michelle Obama – she and her daughters often wear the brand. They are essentially a preppy, clean-cut clothing company, a little like Gap, but have moved towards a more cutting-edge look in recent years, as the article describes. I still have a couple of items from there that I really like that I bought when I was living in Palo Alto in 2004/5.

Although it’s just the two of us that sit down to dinner in our house (and sometimes not even that), I really enjoy Jenny Rosenstrach’s ’Dinner: A love story’ blog and [her book of the same name](“Dinner A Love Story –”). I really loved her 100 Rules of Dinner post – not just rules for dinner, but rules for cooking, good food and life. My favourite is probably #71:

Performance enhancing drugs are to sports as butter is to cooking. Which is not
to say that butter is evil. But it is cheating.

although I am a completely on board with #29 and #54, and a total evangelist for #15:

Resist the urge to apologize when you’re cooking for people. Most of the time your
dinner guests won’t notice anything is wrong until you bring it up.


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