The world feels pretty topsy-turvy right now so to help us all feel a little more grounded, we'll be sharing a fortnightly wrap-up of thoughts, ideas, recipes, words & inspiration. If not for anything else than a little distraction. After all, scootch, is a feeling made scootchier when shared. If you've read, eaten, heard, done or seen something wonderful, let us know! Keep sending us your ideas in the comments below or to firstname.lastname@example.org, we love hearing what you've been up to!
Jessie & Catherine
WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING...
I came across this little piece and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. x Catherine
"Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fish hooks or clay pots or grinding stones.
But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food.
You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.
A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said." We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized." - Ira Byock.
Hope is the thing with feathers (254) - Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Franny & Zooey – J.D. Salinger
Salinger’s dialogue has a relentless, feverish, dizzying but also addictive quality to it that had me so simultaneously hooked and tired that the Glass family’s New York bathroom, living room and neuroses became as familiar to me as y own. I spent the better part of a week, passively chain smoking alongside Franny & Zooey as they argued and came to terms with various fragments of the human condition.
Though Franny’s woes are refreshingly intellectual rather than romantic, as Nicola Davis writes for the Guardian, it is “Zooey's exasperated, endearing, intolerant relationship with his mother that makes this book a true gem. Absurdly bath-bound, Zooey quarrelling with his world-weary mother through a shower curtain is an antidote to all the trite, saccharine and consciously obnoxious relationships that abound in more crowd-pleasing literature.”
At a mere 157 pages long, this book, its pace, its characterisation and its complexities are deceptively gargantuan but thrillingly alacritous. Hooley Dooley! Taking a well-earnt minute for a sandwich and a deep breath now!
The Weekend - Charlotte Wood
Somewhat easier to digest, I also enjoyed Charlotte Wood's "The Weekend". It is the story of the profound, lifelong friendship between four woman and the enormous hole that is left behind when one is lost and grief becomes an un-named player in the cast. As the three remaining women spend a weekend together, they struggle to comprehend themselves and each other in this newly formed triptych. What stayed with me long into the night, were the questions that hummed beneath the novel, of who we really are when we aren't answerable to other people and of how much we allow the role we play amongst our friends, to define and create meaning when we are alone. x J
WHAT WE'VE BEEN COOKING...
I made a major discovery this fortnight. A little late to the party but I stumbled across Alison Roman's Caramelised Shallot Pasta and I am completely addicted. I've made it three times. It is so simple and flavoursome when made according to the recipe as a pasta sauce but one of the things that drew me in, besides the anchovies (big anchovy fan here, huuuge anchovy fan), was that half the sauce is reserved at the time for a rainy day, making the most moreish, savoury addition to poached eggs, salads, pizza toppings, you name it. SO versatile and so delicious. And before you say anything, it does not taste strongly of anchovies so if you're even slightly on the fence, give it a go!
Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott for The New York Times. Prop Stylist: Kalen Kaminski
WHAT WE'VE SEEN...
There is just so much to love about this Netflix mini-series, the extraordinary story of a woman escaping her arranged marriage and ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York. The series is loosely based on Deborah Feldman's (2012) autobiography, "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots" and is the first Netflix production to be in Yiddish. We weren't familiar with any of the cast prior to watching but boy oh boy, we will not be forgetting them! For us, much of the power of this production came from the hypnotising performance given by the show's lead actor, Shira Haas. The production, costuming, location and the language is breathtaking in its ambition and execution. Don't forget to watch the 20 minute "behind the scenes" episode, it will only make you appreciate it more!
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel":
This show is pure joy. It's the late 1950s and Mrs Maisel seemingly has it all. A beautiful New York apartment, two children and an adoring husband. But when he suddenly leaves her (not a spoiler, it happens in the first episode), she finds herself re-energised by a new-found talent and passion that takes her from The Upper-West Side through the post-prohibition-era comedy clubs of Greenwich Village and beyond. Miriam Maisel's world is a revelation. Everything from the costuming (WOW!), to the New York setting, the crazy families and the friendships in between are so enthralling, not to mention the societal changes as the show hurtles forward from the 50s. Rachel Brosnahan is completely charming as Miriam "Midge" Maisel alongside a superb cast. The show's shenanigans are both heartwarming and hilarious.
If you read, cook or watch any of our suggestions from this fortnight's report, we'd love to know about it! Tag us in your pics @_loveafterlove_ on instagram, send us an email to email@example.com or comment below!
xx Jessie & Catherine.