The happiness of the pursuit

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“We should concern ourselves not so much with the pursuit of happiness, but with the happiness of the pursuit.” Once upon a time, before there were podcasts, I was going to create a podcast. It was to be an exploration of “how we celebrate.” I was going to travel the world, for one year, and…

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7 indoor plants that are tricky to kill

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Recently I read one of those “5 surprising habits of happy people” type articles, and one of the five “happy habits” was keeping plants in your home. No real surprises there, of course. Plants are good for your physical and psychological health: they filter and purify the air inside your home, they give you something…

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Wednesday link bonanza

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Happy hump-day, dear friend! Here is a big bonanza of links to get you through to the end of the week, hopefully with a smile and a bit of inspiration. * I’ve signed up for a tea swap. Do you want to join me? * Get in my bed! You, and you * This “balloons…

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A face that only a mother could love

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Lately I’ve been thinking about faces that only a mother could love. Or, more precisely, about the origins of that cruel and silly saying, and about how much YOUR mother most likely loves YOUR face*, no matter what your face happens to look like. Your wrinkles? She is SO PROUD of the decades of life and…

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The booktown

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Fjærland is a tiny, ridiculously picturesque village in Norway. Resting in the shadow of a glacier, at the end of the Fjærlandsfjord, it is home to only 300 souls. That’s like a third of the population of my high school. Fjærland is also a “booktown.” Almost every shop in the town sells books and, if…

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Dog years

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I spent Thursday night sipping red wine and browsing through nine years of old photos and crying just a little bit. Boy did we have some big adventures, Oliver, always you and me. Rest peacefully little mate. There never was a better dog.

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Make this, naturally: blue & botanical Easter Eggs

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Here’s a lovely, last-minute tutorial for dying Easter eggs a stunning blue, and creating pretty, stencilled patterns out of leaves and flowers. Do you want to give it a go? There’s still time! The idea for this project came from my friend Pascale, who does it every year with her children. When they were little,…

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My people

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On the weekend as I walked home with Mr B, pushing the double pram with two tired but happy children whose bellies were full of yum cha and ice cream, we got chatting about “tribes.” That morning I’d spent two hours at the Melbourne Museum in the company of a lovely bunch of women, some of…

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30 letters in 30 days

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I’ve just signed up to join Write_On, a fun challenge to write 30 letters in 30 days, during the month of April. Already I’m making a list in my head of the people I want to write to. There’s you guys, of course. My parents. My best friend from high school. My children – I…

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The poppies

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Last week at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show I stopped by a stunning garden of trees set around a lake like an oasis, with drifts of brilliant, crimson, crocheted poppies in clusters around it. Looking through the foliage and across the lake, the poppies continued all the way down, into some sort of…

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Melbourne dispatch – Flower & Garden Show

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Yesterday was all about gardens and grandparents at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. We peered through the windows of cubby houses bigger than most apartments I’ve lived in, and up at bird houses not much smaller. We explored water gardens, cottage gardens, Australian gardens, edible gardens, gardens for birds, gardens for bees, gardens…

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Beautiful

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Every day I tell Scout she is beautiful. I tell Ralph he is beautiful, too. I don’t mean beautiful on the outside, although through my mother-eyes, I happen to think they are exceptionally good looking kids. I mean they are beautiful souls. “Beautiful” in our house is an all-encompassing word that means kind, buoyant, loving,…

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