Hello welcome to my Blog

Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Thursday, 24 November 2011


The news from abroad is singularly depressing, the global economies are suffering. It is an unanswerable question for me why those in the know did not ring out the warning bells earlier or why they even allowed this to happen, but perhaps that is another discussion for another day.
So with the exception of our well known billionaire friends in India and abroad all us mortals have to be a little more careful with the pennies. It is so welcoming therefore to see initiatives like the one recently launched by my good friends Philippa Kaye who conceived and planned a new site called Hotels Under 100.
The 100 refers to £100. She has collected the choisiest and most appealling venues and has put them all under this banner. It is user friendly and attractive both financially for all but also tantalizing to our travelling tastebuds. Click on it everyone and plan away.


Sunday, 20 November 2011


The area where I live is awash with peacocks, peahens and peababies. I know so little about them I decided that this blog really needs to be about the National and sacred Bird of India which is so beautiful and so infuriating at the same time. Bit like India some may say ?
The story begins many years ago when  my husband bought me a shawl from a very beauitful shop in London called Liberty's and while the eyes were depicted as red and not blue, so representationally inaccurate, it has been much admired and worn.
It continues with the true history of Gustave de Revilliod de la Rive who bequeathed all the land on which the Palais des Nations was built in Geneva. He stipulated in his will that peacocks should always roam free on the grounds.I would often walk in the grounds and admire the birds who defied Swiss regulation.
Now here in India they are found everywhere but more so in the open areas in South Delhi where I live. They play hide and seek in the bushes at the back of my house, they strut along the pathways chicks in tow. They perch on the fences and cry ferociously and infuriatingly and they dazzle daily with their feathers.They are mainly blue and green here but white peacocks also exist. The colours result from the micro- structures of the feathers and way light falls on them. Male birds have the upper hand here as you know and perhaps like most things male it is a carefully constructed and thought out plan- the goal is clear- to get the woman.
The eyes do it and their dance which is called a "shiver" is exactly designed to lure the women in. Once breeding is over they shed their feathers which grow back longer and finer the following year with trains reaching 1.5 metres in length. They roost in trees which seems almost an impossible feat as they seem unlikely flyers and balancers yet they manage well and their populations are healthy. They are considered a sign of good luck and well being in all of Asia.
Forever looking for the associations between my origins and my life here I have found a story of how peacocks got their eyespots.
According to Greek mythology, peacocks got their spots thanks to a woman named Io. She was a priestess to Hera, the wife of Zeus. Zeus took a fancy to Io and turned her into a heifer in order to disguise her. Hera who was no fool,  tricked Zeus into giving her the heifer/Io as a present. Once she had the heifer in her possession, Hera appointed Argus, a man covered with eyes, to guard Io. Zeus then sent a minion to rescue the priestess, who killed Argus in the process. As a tribute to Argus and his many eyes, Hera bestowed the "eyespot" onto the peacock. 
I have no idea if their marriage survived but all is well in peacock land where males can have more than one wife.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A tree of many names

The weather in Delhi is perfect at the moment and being out and about in the day as well as the evening is a pleasure. Driving around the city recently I noticed a very strong scent and started asking around to find out what it was- no no not sewage, not frangipani, nor urine ....the usual suspects, this was distinctly different, almost overpowering a mixture of heavy spices, cloves, allspice, juniper, which hit your nostrils with an unmistakable and captivating aroma.
It took several leaf pickings and several pickings through my tree book because I could not readily identify it until my landlady said she knew it as being alstonia - so here it is Alstonia Scholaris also known as Saptaparni aka as the devil's tree, ditabark tree, white cheesewood, milkwood pine, blackboard tree-Saptaparni, satpatia, chatium, satwin, satni, shatan ka jhad !  I never knew a tree could have so many names. Courtesy of Pradip Krishen's book on Trees of Delhi.It is the small white flowers that are so heavily scented.

This was planted in Delhi in the 1940s when colonies like Golf Links ( one of the foremost colonies in Delhi )were being planned out and I am little proud to say that the oldest, largest tree is on Archbishop Makarios Marg who was of course the first President of my country on Independence.Ah these links ...
Breathe them in.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Frida, females and fun

Since visiting Mexico some years ago with my family I am fascinated by the figure of Frida Kahlo. It seems I am not alone in the world and my good friend Kanchan Chander has dedicated a part of her recent new solo show to this fascinating woman. Kanchan in her own right is also quite a woman and she occasionally pops herself into her beautiful artwork so that we dont forget her lovely face.
The Cover of the Catalogue
Frida led a very adventurous life in the 30s in Mexico City but she was also quite a tragic and troubled figure.
She was married to the painter Diego Rivera but was known to have had various lovers in her life, even apparently a short affair with Trotsky who was in exile at the time in Mexico.
Courtesy of First City.
Kanchan has taken her face and recreated it in a million different ways all with the finest detail and materials and with sense of colour and vibrancy which is captivating.
She is fascinated by the female form and a lot of her smaller works concentrate on this with senses of its multifarious functions in the form of a lover or a mother but also a doer of jobs and it is one of Kanchan's delights to slip in the odd artefact that she may pick up at a flea market and which embellishes a face or a body at once like a piece of jewellery but also as a tool.
Go along to the exhibition and then and enjoy a coffee or tea on the first floor while browsing beautiful art books.
"Revisiting the Popular" is on at Art Positive from now until the 3rd December-
Address Lado Sarai F 213 B

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Autumn in Europe

Autumn is definitely one of my favourite seasons and I am happily visiting the UK to see my boys at a time when the weather is still mild and the leaves are clinging to the trees in a myriad colours of burnt oranges and reds, subtle yellows and screaming ones too.The view of this wonderful drainpipe is outside my window.
I wander around and delight in the beauty of the place, the quaint gardens, the stained glass windows and the impressive doorways. I dawdle in the parks and the coffee shops and I soak in the atmosphere all around me in a city which if you let it runs away with you.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


When my husband told me all those years ago that we are moving to Liverpool I really did not know what to expect but truth be told it was not a good first impression. This was a grand city that had thrived in the past but the latter part of the 20th century has been cruel, the city had become depopulated, jobs had been lost in their thousands, poverty had set in and it was evident all around the city. I saw urban dereliction like I had never seen before. In spite of all this we spent some very happy years there and lived not far from the beach in a beautiful old house complete with stained glass windows and a fabulous garden and met great people who will forever be friends and part of our family.

We have just been back for a fleeting visit and we could not believe how much the city has changed. As Cultural Capital of Europe in 2008 money came flooding in and transformed the city centre and the area around the Albert Dock. It is buzzing and bustling, futuristic and fabulous.
We particularly enjoyed a walk along our old beach to see Anthony Gormley's famous men - His art work of Cast iron statues modelled on himself dotted along Crosby beach. The statues are embedded deep in the sand and are covered or uncovered as the tide comes in or goes out. They are now slightly barnacled and mossy green but from being considered a complete aberration with people calling them eyesores and dangers they are now lovingly part of this  seascape. We took in the bracing sea breeze and the seagulls both missing features of our life in Delhi.
 Anthony Gormley's statues on Crosby Beach

The centre
The Liver Building in the distance
The Docks
The Liverpool Eye where we had some maginificent views of the city
The Super Lamb Banana was the original work of Japanese-based artist Taro Chiezo.At first Liverpudlians really did not know what to make of this strange art work. Now they are very proud of it and it has taken on a thousand other forms but keeping its original distinctive shape.
 A pink Lambana by the Mersey
Looking over the Mersey

This is a city which has so much to offer, from the wonderful Liver Bird buildings to the Museum of Liverpool life to the Liverpool Eye, the Cavern where the Beatles sung and the Albert Dock. A regeneration of truly impressive proportions. If you ever get the chance to visit do go.