Orange is the new you

February, 2018

Bonjour,

Winter, ô Winter…
Why are you so cold to me?

A Robin ~ Walter de la Mare 

Ghost-grey the fall of night,
Ice-bound the lane,
Lone in the dying light
Flits he again;
Lurking where shadows steal,
Perched in his coat of blood,
Man’s homestead at his heel,
Death-still the wood.
Stone But this one wizard’s—hark!
All wings are flown
Odd restless child; it’s dark; clap pedon stone!
Changeling and solitary,
Secret and sharp and small,
Flits he from tree to tree,
Calling on all.


 

The colour of joy

Painters such as Picasso and Matisse mastered in defining an avant-garde vision of the expressive language of colours. The use of vibrant colours and the association between them can often end up as an overwhelming visual catastrophe. However, if we combine them wisely, we find the right balance.

Life is about that sort of harmony and the cold season, that we like it or not, is strongly involved on the canvas. This is it, the picture is painted. It is then in our hands to grab a paintbrush and draw some warmth, some joy, some oranges. When life gives you oranges, make some good old J.
Apart from being a juicy seasonal fruit, the colour itself boosts your mood. Strong symbolic with a bonus of a ‘no bitter taste’ guaranteed: warmth, energy, cheer, excitement, flamboyance, good health, vibrancy…

Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Matisse, Paul Cézanne, among others, were hypnotised by warm colours. Orange gave more power to their art.

Henri Matisse, The Lute, 1943

 

‘The majority (of painters), because they aren’t colourists, do not see yellow, orange or sulfur in the South (of France) and they call a painter mad if he sees with eyes other than theirs’ – Van Gogh 

Van Gogh was a passionate one. However, no need to cut off one of our ears to be in touch with our feelings like the romantic painter did. We will see here how to stay tonic with grace (and with all our precious limbs).


 

Waking up with a nice fever 

Shake yourself with some good vibes straight out of bed. Letta Mbulu is a fantastic singer from Soweto, South Africa. She is a pillar of African music history and her songs will feed you with joy, excitement and an urge for grooving.

 


The art of slowing down  

How to use our hands other than on a keyboard: reconnect with yourself and the people you love.

 

Clay like Lucie

 

Austrian-born artist Lucie Rie was a preeminent British potter of the latter half of the twentieth century. Her modern approach to art alongside pottery made a radical gap between the traditional potter’s procedures. ‘Lucie Rie’s pots reveal an instinct for powerful concision, for the paring back of forms, textures, functions to the essential. Her life reveals someone who was able to get to the point.’ – Edmund de Waal, The Guardian. In short, sitting down and working with your hands truly bring satisfaction. If you would like to ‘get to the point’, this list of workshops should satisfy your arty hat.

 

Slow Food

 

‘My approach to food favours intuition over strict rules and is about using your hands, rushing a little less and savouring the details. It’s not food that needs to be placed on a pedestal or admired from afar; it is food that slowly weaves its way into the fabric of your daily life – food for living and sharing.’ – Julia Busutil Nishimura, Ostro.

Walk into her kitchen here and simply re-discover the joy of cooking. Personally, her Spiced Pumpkin cake with a Lemony Glaze’s recipe makes my mouth watering.

 

Happy face

 

Now that you have cooked something delightful, take some leftovers to work and be kind to the environment. No plastic bag needed as it is leakproof and it can sit vertically in your bag. This stylish lunch box from Fittbo should be your new accessory. My friend Marcus always makes faces with food in our plates. I think it is a great way to make you smile once you open your lunch box.

 

Sweat, baby, sweat

 

Haaaa exercising… What a drain it can be when it is cold and rainy and dark. And cold. And rainy. And dark. We have heard you. How to find the motivation then? Well, remember that you are doing it for your own good first. If you can’t be bothered going to the new hot spot Yoga studio in ‘trendy hood’, remember as well that Youtube is your bible and your house, your best playground. A lot of tutorials are out there, ‘billions and billions‘ as he says, you will only need a mat. From 10 minutes to a good hour training, you can literally experience Pilates, Booty Barre, Yoga Strength, … For free. Or you can also stare at this fire for a few hours, still for free.

 

Relax the Australian way

 

Australians know how to relax. It isn’t a myth. This word is constantly repeated over and over in conversations. Probably one of the tops favourites/used words among ‘mate’ and ‘pies’ (do you guys hate me?). Here is an exhaustive list of great retreat spots to relaaaaaaxxx.

 

A new you

 

If there is something that I have learned from the music in the 80′ is I do not want my Visage to Fade to Grey. AnOther is talking about this new revolutionary mask that will ‘change your life’ and will ‘reveal a brand new you’. If you believe in Magic Dr. Sebagh, well here is the link. Do not forget to match the precious mask with an orange towel for the total relaxing-but-tonic look.


Winter is just another wonderful season once we have realised it isn’t that bad. Yes, days are shorters and so darker. Yes, it is cold. Yes, there is no snow to play with. Yes, it isn’t pleasant to wear ten layers and to end up looking like Michelin man. Yes, you feel like your nose is turning into a stalactite that is dangerously threatening to fall down like Michael Jacksons’ nose. However, it is important to focus outside of our precious belly button – which is secretly collecting the fluff from wooly jumpers – and appreciate life as it is.

Meanwhile, it is helpful to recenter our attention on basic things such as playing with your hands, doing an unusual personality test, reading a bookenjoying a fireplace while drinking mulled wine, exploring towns near Melbourne such as Castlemaine, sharing oranges with your friends. Do whatever works for you, really. Reappropriate your own time to soften stress and anxiety. Working less will lead to more proactivity and so more happiness. Happy you!

Important note: If you are looking for more inspirations on how to live the good life, refer to Gwyneth Paltrow’s bible ‘Goop’, which has launched NASA stickers that are meant to make you fly like a goddess as soon as your energy is rebalanced.
Ho ho ho, come on. I am only joking here.


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Au revoir.