My mother edited a food section of a national magazine for a while — this was a story about kids in the kitchen. We were ordered (!?) to have a flour fight. Dazed with joy, I’m in stripes, probably age eight,
By Caitlin Kelly
One of my weekend reads is HTSI, the glossy oversized magazine that arrives with the Financial Times.
Every issue starts with a series of questions, asked of someone interesting and creative.
For fun, I’ll do one here using their standard questions.
My personal style signifier is scarves. I have a huge collection, from two beloved Hermes carres to linen, cotton and four crinkled silk mufflers bought probably 20 years ago from Banana Republic: dark brown, rose pink, fuchsia and cream.
The last thing I bought and loved a rutilated quartz ring at a crafts fair, a gift from my husband.
The places that mean a lot to me are Paris (have had three birthdays there and spent my 25th year there on an EU journalism fellowship)l Ireland (have been five times, home to my paternal great-grandfather, a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Donegal), Thailand, New Zealand and Corsica, so overwhelmingly beautiful I wept then the plane took off. My hometown of Toronto is sprawling and ugly, but filled with memories.
I have a collection of brown and white transferware china; silver lusterware china, antique textiles. I use all of them.
The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a huge black and white Sempe drawing/poster of Paris in the early morning. I never tire of it.
I’ve recently discovered how much endless patience it takes to sell a book proposal!
The best gift I’ve received was a pair of diamond huggie earrings, which Jose gave me on our wedding day in 2011. I wore them daily — until they disappeared entirely a few months ago. Heartbroken.
In my fridge you’ll aways find coffee, cottage cheese, pesto, fresh ginger, lemons, limes and unsalted butter.
The last item I added to my wardrobe is a pair of burgundy leather loafers. New shoes!
The very small bear
An object I would never part with is a very small stuffed bear I’ve had since early childhood.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Egon Schiele. Like Klimt, he died far too young, both killed by the Spanish flu.
The beauty staples I’m never without are fragrance, mascara, Weleda Skin Food.
An indulgence I would never forgo is travel, As often as possible, as far away as we can afford. Also, fragrance!
My style icon is Ingrid Berman in Casablanca as Ilsa Lund. Gorgeous gowns. Great jewelry. Fleeing Nazis in style!
My favorite building is Sir John Soane’s Museum in London and the Neue Galerie Beaux Arts mansion in Manhattan.
The works of art that changed everything for me might be the Mexican muralists — Orozco, Siquieros and Diego Rivera. Powerful, filled with images of rage and social injustice.
When I need to be inspired I reach for a reference book on design or visit a museum.
The best bit of advice I ever received was from my late mother, who faced multiple forms of cancer and survived them all — of managing anxiety…”What should I do? Jump out of my skin.” Deal with it.
I have no interest in NFTs, crypto, bitcoin, tedious gossip.
And a few of my own:
My greatest challenge is being patient. Also, our very dysfunctional family of origin.
Big Sur, CA
The best place I’ve visited is hard to choose! Thailand, Corsica, the Arctic, Big Sur and Kenya.
My deepest regret was marrying the wrong person the first time. Caused me a lot of heartbreak and self-doubt.
My greatest weakness might be persistent idealism.
My greatest strength is persistence and determination.
Five things that always make me happy are spending time with my husband, being in a beautiful landscape, heading off on vacation, long conversations with a friend, a deep, nourishing sleep.
What makes me angry is entitlement, the assumption others are there to serve you without question or challenge.
Five essential musicians/composers are Bach, Vivaldi, Joni Mitchell, Richard Thompson, Nick Drake.
Five essential authors: Mark vanHoenacker, Carmen Maria Machado, Balzac, Zora Neale Hurston, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc.
Five favorite museums: the Neue Galerie, NYC;’ The Tenement Museum, NYC; The Gulbenkian, Lisbon; the MFA, Boston.
Five lesser-known spots worth a visit: Andalusia, Charleston SC, Savannah GA, The Eastern Townships of Quebec, Big Sur, CA.
What’s something about you you might want to share?