Dear friends and readers all,
Welcome to my modest and quiet celebration of four years of Personal Papers! Thanks for being here, take one of the plums, and enjoy today.
As our nights turn cooler, my mind naturally opens more to inner thoughts and the deeper aspects of life. Precious transitions are upon us, and, as a friend once told me, the world needs all our love. But let’s hover in a summer mode just a bit longer. This issue is light on writing, and mostly visual for a dash of panache and perhaps a bit of a smile. There will be plenty of time for more thoughtful articles in the months to come. Carpe Diem. Go outside!
Frankfurt Kitchen, here we come
We are taking the plunge and redoing our kitchen. Since it won’t be happening right away, you’ll have lots of opportunity to follow along as I add updates. We’re very much inspired by ideas from Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky’s groundbreaking transformational 1926 Frankfurt Kitchen, often set up and exhibited in galleries including V&A and MOMA. It was a very big deal in its day, and was the forerunner of all our modular kitchens! I’m talking to you, IKEA.
Having not been ultra-domestic all my life, I’m feeling simpatico with Lihotsky, who said, “I’d never run a household before designing the Frankfurt Kitchen, I’d never cooked, and had no idea about cooking.” She changed our kitchen lives forever. There’s lots online about this project - photos, articles and videos - even a song. Efficient Taylorism, the new study of home economics.
When I was looking, the algorithm offered me these play kitchens, too:
And once the kitchen is fully set up and ready to go, these Lady Cassandra Cookies will be perfect for the bake sale.
I’ll leave this issue’s kitchen rumination with a sweet trailer for Tati’s Mon Oncle, where we glimpse M. Hulot amid the mysteries of the extra-moderne kitchen.
I love to feel the air change as late August gets ready to become September. When I first started this newsletter, I rode on that major shift. End of August seemed a perfect time to get going. It is always associated with gathering, focusing, the harvest season. Grasshoppers beware - time to become like the ants, pronto!
Now that it’s been four years since I began this endeavour, I dived down to the bottom of the archive list to share with you my second-ever post.
Back then, there were storm clouds in the offing. Like all of us, I had no idea what monstrous forms they were taking. The pandemic had yet to engage; we imagined that our boiling summers with firesmoke were anomalies, not a regular occurence to prepare for. This newsletter came into my life right on time for me to rely on it through all the changes of the past four years.
Before expanding into whatever is next for this coming fall, I’m looking at a reflection in the rear view mirror, from before the turn of the century, back in the days when James and I went to Burning Man — it seemed we extended the summer. We returned from the hot playa to a Vancouver that had skipped ahead, already past Labour Day and involved in the beginning of autumn. But we didn’t miss a thing, because we were filled with transformational energies from that wild intentional gathering of letting go.
For your interest
In case you missed it, here’s a connection to a wonderful new Substack from Caitlin Matthews.
Thanks for stopping by :) Till next week!
I especially appreciate those of you who have kindly stuck with me from the beginning!
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