Summer closure/Birthday gift from Mom
Holiday and housekeeping:
It's time for the Passage's summer closure. The shutters roll up again on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
It's time for the Passage's annual summer break.
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You say it's your birthday?
Every July for the last twenty-odd years of her life, my mother sent, in lieu of earlier years' packages wrapped in recycled paper bags and tied with saved string, a cheque for my choice of a birthday gift. The task was easy; a large outdoor art show coincided with that date.
She still celebrates this day from beyond. This year, the art show is cancelled, so I will shop elsewhere, with independent or limited-distribution artisans. In the window today, a short list of possibilities. Though I prefer gifts that don't take houseroom, from plants to perfume, Mom's doesn't feel right unless she would understand as a proper present—though she did once give me a Japanese maple.
1. Gold earrings
Like many women in the Passage, a handful of my earrings sit unworn. All winter, I stared at those with the fish-skin pallor of base metal showing through gold plate. These are not worth restoring, and I'd rather have silver or bronze than thin gold plate.
But Mom would like solid gold. Below, three versatile options.
Left: Dorothée Rosen 18k gold "Dragonfly" earrings. Also made in silver, and in two sizes. Price, $CDN 450.
I also like her clean-lined "Chronos" earring (not shown); 12mm in diameter; price, $CDN 450. Made by Dorothée in her Nova Scotia studio.
Upper right: Single earring: Pilar Agueci's graceful 14k gold Palm Stud is just the thing to bring summer onto my ear—but I'd wear it all year, too. Price, $CDN 95. Made in Montréal's Little Italy.
Bottom right: Rusty Thoughts disc studs in 18k gold and silver, 27mm x 13mm. Especially appealing choice because of the two metal colours. Sale price at Tomfoolery, Lomdon, £324. Made by the designers in their Tokyo studio.
2. Sarah Young print
I am captivated by "Satyrs and Nymphs"'s movement and theme, but also, other prints shown on her site.
3. Itajame silk kaftan
Even if you got into the sweats thing for lounging, it's summer. This graceful, hand-washable garment is from House of Wandering Silk. Price, $US 195.
4. Cake server
I don't like the fussy server we have. I can't remember where it came from; one day it just appeared in the drawer. Besides, isn't this an excuse to eat more cake?
Cake! This is the one I'm hoping to put candles on, Marcella Hazan's Orange Cake Anacona Style. It is not frosted, you pour fresh orange juice into small holes poked in the baked cake. A gift of love; no cheque can buy this!
In case your affection is unbounded but your time is not, I recommend the luxurious-but-easy baking mixes designed and sold by Zoe Ford, chef Jo Notkin's company. Shipped across Canada. Not everyone enjoys obsessing ever a complicated recipe (looking at you, sourdough-bread baker child.)
Shown, Zoe Ford Jewelbox Brownies, "Love Ya" version.
Happy summer to all, and thank you for being here this past year! Your presence and comments have buoyed me through these times.