I love photos that are colour but look almost black and white. This was in the early evening outside Manarola.



Vernazza is a village in the Cinque Terre. I didn’t make it there last time I was in the Cinque Terre, but now it is my favourite village there.




Saturday is washing day.


Venice is all muted colours, faded grandeur, mist and mystery.



By contrast, the island of Burano is bright and cheery.


Burano is a tiny island where traditionally lace was made. In the lace shops you can still see old ladies hunched over their lacework. It takes seven women two months to make a doily with a variety of different lace techniques. It makes knitting seem very fast in comparison.

Holiday mode

I am not going to do a whole “wot I did on my summer holiday” essay. But I thought that as I sort through my photos I will share some of my favourites with you. Firstly, here are my lovely parents on Day 1 – already looking relaxed even after a 30+ hour flight from New Zealand.


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Post-holiday salad

I have so many photos to share with you all. But first things first. After two weeks of restaurant food I couldn’t wait to get back in the kitchen, but I was also craving fresh, healthy food (especially after a week in Switzerland – so much cheese!).

While I am known for having a bit of salad prejudice this is mainly confined to when I go to a restaurant and am offered a starter salad as their only vegetarian option. In such cases I am often heard to exclaim “salad is not a meal!”

Five salads, however? That can be a meal:


These salads are all very simple, as you can see. They are intended to enhance the flavour of the main ingredient. I was inspired by salads I used to buy at a cafe in Christchurch. The chickpea salad is a recipe from Orangette I had heard about from another blog. It was delicious. The beetroot salad is dressed with yoghurt, garlic, mint and a little vinegar. The tuna salad is again very simple – lots of tuna as I wanted to up the protein content of the meal, some celery, parsley and baby salad leaves from my balcony. The broad beans are skinned and dressed with olive oil, grated lemon rind and salt.

The carrot salad was the most successful. I get a lot of carrots in my veg box and these were left over from the last one. I’m not a huge carrot fan but organic carrots are much nicer than non-organic, which taste slightly metallic to me. The carrots are peeled, then grated, then mixed with a small amount of grated ginger, a splash of rice vinegar and a tiny amount of sesame oil. It’s super-simple but seems to bring out the juicy sweetness of the carrot while giving it a slightly more sophisticated edge. Like I said, I’m not that hot on carrots but I could eat buckets of this stuff. Do tell me if you give it a go – or invite me to a picnic and I’ll bring some along.