Colour has a huge impact on our emotions, our physical and spiritual well being. Our colour choice in clothes, as well as in our home, define who we are, offering a playful form of self expression. Bold and vivacious, or understated and demure, colour and texture can create an evocative atmosphere that has the power to soothe our mood or uplift our spirits.
Red, Yellow, Orange, Hot Pink and Mauve, are often frightening colours to use. They are associated with sun-drenched hues, fire, exotic spices … They evoke energy.
Red is the colour of blood and fire. It represents passion, lust, and desire.
It is associated with:
The red carpet
“ In the Red “
“ Seeing Red
“ Painting the town Red “
“ Red herring “
” Red flag “
Cayenne, Turmeric, Saffron, Cinnamon, Ginger, Paprika …
If you are nervous about these colours, try using small accents first, such as a cushion, a throw or a rug. A splash of strong colour will warm up a room, exude rich opulence and create drama.
YELLOW, the colour of sunshine, symbolises hope, energy and happiness
“ Yellow ribbons “
“ Mellow Yellow “
“ Les Gilets Jaunes “ have been front page news in France in recent
months (not so happy)
Lemon, Grapefruit, Bananas, Sun Flowers, Daffodils, Mimosa, Lichen, Mustard …
“The grass is Greener“
“Green with Envy”
dinner parties – the gifts
Unless it’s 3 dozen roses, a small bunch of flowers bought at the petrol station or a bottle of plonk won’t do.
The Bloomsbury etiquette suggests:
Handmade gift from a french market,
Failing that a Cezanne,
A dazzling wit,
Your latest manuscript,
A thick skin (for criticism of your work)
Gossips, plenty of it.
Well, we live in different time. I say, it’s not about how much you spend – an inexpensive present beautifully wrapped shows that you care and made an effort.
“Think inside the box”
Here are some of my suggestions, for gifts I like to give… or to receive.
1. Bring back memories of holidays in the sun 2. One can never have too much good Olive Oil 3. Homemade jam is obvious – Lemon Preserve is zingy 4. Designer bottles by Basso & Brookes (www.turningleafwines.co.uk) 5. Cocktails, cocktails… cocktails set (www.tigerstores.co.uk) 6. Your very own Champagne, print your own label and stick it on the bottle 7. A very special key 8. Save the host the hassle of having to look for a vase 10. Chocolates are yummy, but Marrons Glaces are much more indulgent (www.fortnumandmason.com) 11. Let them eat cake 12. Apples from your orchard, or plums, or cherries…Metal basket (www.johnlewis.com)
1. No need to buy expensive paper, newspaper will do, if you wrap it again in cellophane paper, to give it a touch of class.
My tip – pick a page of the newspaper relating to the recipient’s interest- art, sport, fashion…
2. Brown packing paper can be given a makeover with colourful ribbons in velvet or satin. Foliage, a few sprigs of greenery, anything nice from the garden, will enhance the must ordinary brown parcel. Tie it with garden twine for a rural look.
Photocopy some old photographs or old postcards and make a collage.
Buy old stamps in bulk on eBay and stick them on the paper.
3. A single cellophane ribbon can look sad, so pile on multicolour strands for a fiesta look.
4. Fabric can also be used. A piece of hessian or denim will give your parcel a natural look, while a print can say “look at me.”
1. For the stamp collector 2. Cellophane paper (www.amazon.co.uk) 3. To the tea addict 7. For the sewing enthusiast 9. Large selection of wrapping papers (www.paperchase.co.uk) 10. Lace rolls (www.tigerstores.co.uk) 11. To the dog lover 12. Inside out – the gift becomes the wrapping
- 1 large pack frozen peas
- 2 onions roughly chopped
- 2 knorr chicken cubes
- 1 small teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- Ground pepper and 1 small teaspoon sugar
- 2 pints of water
- Put all ingredients together in large pan and bring to boil
- Simmer for 10 minutes
- In a food processor, blend till soft
- Return to pan and add 2 pints of water
- Bring to boil and simmer for another 10 minutes
- Season to taste
- Serve piping hot with dollop of creme fraiche and slightly soft
- Blend and taste
- Leftover turkey
- 70 ml olive oil
- 200g Basmati rice
- 50g wild rice
- 50g brown rice
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 6 spring onions finely chopped
- 4 mild red chillies seeded and cut into strips
- 1 handful of coriander, chopped
- 1 handful of mint, chopped
- 1 handful of rocket
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
- The juice of one lemon
- 30ml fish sauce
- 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
- Plunge Basmati rice into a saucepan with 400ml of boiling water.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes.
- Uncover and let it cool.
- Place wild and brown rice in a saucepan and cover with 3 times its volume of water.
- Simmer for 45 minutes. If the water runs low, top it up with boiling water.
- Drain through a sieve and run under cold water.
- In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together, including the turkey pieces and the dressing.
- Mix well.
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and cut into 2.5cm squares
- 1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and cut into 2.5cm squares
- 1 aubergine diced
- 2 courgettes diced
- 2 large tomatoes, skinned and cut into 4 pieces
- 2 medium size onions, peeled and sliced
- 50g pitted black olives
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped in half
- 1 bunch of basil torn (but keeping a few leaves for decoration)
- 1 bunch of rosemary (rinse in cold water and keep it wet)
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
- Preheat Oven to 220C/Fan 200/425F/Gas 7
- Arrange all the vegetables, olives and basil in a roasting tin. Sprinkle the garlic on top. Drizzle the olive oil and toss, making sure they all have a good coating. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bunch of wet rosemary on top.
- Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and toss the vegetables. Sprinkle a little extra oil on top, if necessary.
- Reduce the heat to 200C/400F/Fan180/Gas 6) and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
- Serve straight away with boiled rice or couscous to soak up the lovely juices.
- My tip- do not wash the pepper, as it washes away their oil and the flavour. Just wipe them with a dry cloth.