MyNameisMarySutter

When I am travelling I love to read books that are linked to my trip somehow. Right now I am in nestled the heart of New York and I found myself picking up this novel set during the American Civil War. The epic tale begins in the drawing rooms of the affluent Sutter home in upstate New York. Eldest daughter Mary Sutter is a midwife – an occupation that has been passed down through the Sutter females for generations, but Mary dreams the impossible dream of being a surgeon…

When I read the blurb on the back of the book I couldn’t fathom where a novel about a mid-wife could go in terms of plot… and the simplistic name of the novel “My Name is Mary Sutter” didn’t really resonate with me either. Nonplussed I plucked the book off my shelf essentially because in was set in New York where I was headed – however a chapter in I was enthralled. Mary is a plain and headstrong young woman and her relationship with her mid-wife mother her unnervingly quiet twin-sister and the young good-looking neighbour who are all introduced to us at the dinner table on a stormy night, is absorbing and curious.

Plucked from their genteel family life, the Sutters and the characters around them are plunged into the bloody throes of the Civil War. Mary determined to fulfill her ambition as a surgeon when women were barely allowed to be nurses – takes us with her to several battlefields and through her eyes we witness the chaos, death, and trauma of under supplied hospitals and overwhelmed doctors and nurses… and the amazing stamina and courage of those who filled those roles is bought to life.

This is not just a story of one woman’s courage in the face of war, however, but it is also a love story and a story of familial ties. Mary’s rivalry with her twin sister Jenny provides an emotional backdrop to the larger story; and Mary also has a surprising impact on two men who grow to love her – William Stipp, a surgeon nearly three decades older than she, and James Blevens, a doctor who realizes that research is the key to uncovering the mysteries of medicine.

My Name Is Mary Sutter: Fig Tree

Hotel Amour

Hotel Amour

Trade fair season has officially kicked off with Maison et Objet in Paris – the place to pick up a good dose of new-year inspiration for the newest and most exquisitely designed interior and home products from the world’s most innovative brands.

I returned from Paris last night tired but happy after a wonderful stay at Hotel Amour – straight out of a chic Parisienne film – a bag full of goodies from Merci and a brain full of inspiration from Hay, Paola Navone, Society and Studio Potomak.

HAY

HAY

Paola Navone

Society

Potomak

Popham

We have sooo many little things to think about now that we are finally moving into our own home and will be soon decorating… the perfect taps, the perfect door handles and the perfect paint….ohhh the decisions and the pressure to get it right.

One things that i’m having a lot of trouble with is thinking about the bathroom – surely the most functional space in the home with little room for much creativity. The carefully choosing of neutral tiles upon neutral walls can drive any sane person mad!

So i’ve been thinking that the answer to taking the focus off the neutral decor is statement tiles! Walking barefoot into a bathroom on a dreary cold morning, I can’t think of anything nicer than being greeted by any of these smart and striking hand made tiles by Italian brand Made a Mano and Moroccan Popham Design.

Popham

Made A Mano Made A Mano

paperthieves

Kind of have my foot back in the world of the functioning this week… although my brain is whirring with an insane amount of trips I am making for work in the next few months, Paris, New York, Germany and India [again] whilst moving into and re-decorating our new home, organising my wedding and [helping] organise my BFF’s hen-do… all culminating mid-March!

It’s all busy but still very exciting, hopefully i’ll be able to share some stories from my trips with you in the next few months.

For now though, looking at beautiful organisational stationery is making me keep calm and carry on…

Crested Shield Calendar by The Paper Thieves and colourful Daily Planners by Julia Kostreva

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Sheena3

Happy New Year… I am still dreaming of magical days and balmy nights spent in Bombay over the holidays… one of my favourite Bombay based photographers Sheena’s emotive reportage perfectly captures the mood and charm of the thrumming city <3

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