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This month I’m … August 2021

Our tiny house in Germany!

The place was built last summer and we were meant to be there for it, but Japan had closed its borders for non-Japanese visa holders. I just cannot wait to walk through the door and start decorating! 

That tiny house

Internet connection permitting, I will post videos and pictures on my Instagram and Facebook stories as I go along. Did I mention I’m mega excited? 😅

“Physical” (Apple TV+)

I’m a couple of episodes in and love it!

“Sheila Rubin is a quietly tormented housewife in ’80s San Diego. Behind closed doors, she battles extreme personal demons and a vicious inner voice. But things change when she discovers aerobics, sparking a journey toward empowerment and success.”

“What Could Be Saved” by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

“An enthralling, redemptive novel set in Bangkok in 1972 and Washington, DC, in 2019 about an expatriate child who goes missing, whose family is contacted decades later by a man claiming to be the vanished boy.”

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This month I’m … July 2021

“Peaky Blinders” (Netflix)

We got absolutely hooked on this Netflix series.
It’s a fictional story based on the real life Peaky Blinders, a notorious gang in Birmingham, England who were active in the city from the 1890s to the early 20th century.

Expect brilliant acting combined with a great soundtrack.

Old Filth by Jane Gardam

FILTH = Failed In London Try Hong Kong – is, in a nutshell, the life story of an English lawyer, born in Malaya during the British Empire’s heyday, his schooling in pre-war England, his professional success in Southeast Asia and his return to England toward the end of the millennium. I loved this book and I was sad when I turned the last page.
But hurray: It’s the first of a trilogy so I will keep on reading!

How to make my own clothes!

I’ve always loved fabrics and tend to collect them on my travels wherever I go. Melanie Uematsu offers sewing & pattern making classes in her atelier in Oyamadai – 5 classes later I’ve already made a skirt and I’m half way through sewing a top to go with the skirt.

Our trip to Germany

I haven’t seen my family in 2 years and after postponing our flight 5 times, we keeping our fingers crossed for our mid-August departure. Travelling used to be fun – I’m currently buried neck-deep in Covid-related rules & regulations…

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This month I’m … May 2021

My strength back after surgery

A nodule had to be taken out of my lower left lung a couple of weeks ago; I talked about it here: Video

The Mosquito Coast

An idealist uproots his family and moves them to Latin America.
Apple TV+ is currently releasing one episode each week and we are hooked! 

Sayonara to some dear friends & customers

The Sayonara season is upon us…

The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction and autobiographies lately and can’t wait to get started with this story:

“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”

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This month I’m … April 2021

Absolute VAX FOMO!

More and more friends around the world are getting vaccinated. When is it our turn???
(FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out)

Spending more time outdoors

We dusted off the garden furniture last weekend – I can’t wait to get the BBQ season started!  

by Matthew McConaughey

From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

Decor at the Tokyo American Club

Decor – the annual furniture and home decor sale at the Tokyo American Club is back and I’ll be there with some of my collection.

Members only: Sunday, 25 April, 6pm-8:30pm
Open to the public: Monday, 26 April, 10am-7:30pm

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Cookbook recommendations

Along the lines of my last blog post about my favourite local food-related small businesses, these are a couple of favourite cookbooks in our home:

Jerusalem: A Cookbook
by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi

I’m a big fan of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking and own quite a few of his books. This one’s my favourite – beautiful story telling interwoven with scrumptious recipes and stunning food photography. 

The Roasting Tin Around the World: Global One Dish Dinners
by Rukmini Iyer

This one is my husband’s favourite cookbook. Simple recipes packed full of flavour and cooked using only a roasting tin. He’s probably made 1/2 of the dishes and we have just ordered the next of the 4 Roasting Tin books the author has written. 

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This month I’m … March 2021

The Turquoise Port annual sale

Check your inbox on Friday, 12 March at 9am to get the early access link for email subscribers.

Not on the mailing list? Sign up here:


The 2nd season of Interior Design Masters on Netflix

Hop on over to Netflix if you haven’t watched the first season yet

The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

I’m about 1/4 into this heartbreaking yet beautifully told story and can highly recommend it.

The 2021 cherry blossom season

I’m already super excited just seeing those plum and early cherry trees bloom 🌸

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This month I’m … February 2021

Crash Landing on You

I had asked for TV show recommendations over on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago – thank you so much if you were one of the ones commenting! We’ve got a great list to watch our way through now 🤩

The Turquoise Port HQ

The Turquoise Port HQ (aka my office) is in dire need of a declutter – it has become a bit of the dumping ground for all sorts of things and it’s driving me mad!

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted
by Suleika Jaouad

“A searing, deeply moving memoir of illness and recovery that traces one young woman’s journey from diagnosis to remission and, ultimately, a road trip of healing and self-discovery.”

Ready for my annual sale

which will happen in early March – my lovely email subscribers will, of course, get early access to the goodies! Not on the list? Sign up here!

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This month I’m … January 2021

Schitt’s Creek

I know, I know – we are a bit late to the party. Schitt’s Creek has been out there for a loooong time. Hilariously funny and great escapism from the real world.

Comfort food

Is there anything better than yummy comfort food on a cold winter’s day? I’ll share some recipes later in the month.

A Burning” by Megha Majumdar 

This book has been on my list for a while now – can’t wait to get into it!

Cozy indoors

’cause lets face it: we are not going anywhere anytime soon…

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The best book I discovered this year

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
by V.E. Schwab

I’m not much into fantasy books, but this one sounded interesting when it was recommended to me.

Once is started listening to to audio version I just couldn’t stop – it is just so captivating!

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

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This month I’m … November 2020

The Queen’s Gambit

We are about half-way through this totally addictive series and LOVE it! 


with those beautiful cotton throws that arrived from Thailand a few days ago! 220 x 110 cm, ¥4,000
I’ll add them to the online store sometime next week – please get in touch to purchase before they go up online!

to the Holiday Pop-In with Bikudesigns & My Moniko!

Save the date! 26th November @ the Showroom. Further details to follow!

Pomegranate Soup

Beneath the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, in damp and lovely County Mayo, sits the small, sheltered village of Ballinacroagh. To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh, a land of “crazed sheep and dizzying roads,” they might finally find a home.