Q. First: many of us (🙋🏼♀️) are tempted to say “bibs and bobs,” but the expression – rooted in the UK – is bits and bobs. It’s a phrase that means this and that, a miscellany of small tasks, events, or things. Think about that teak apothecary chest at your
Q. What are your favourite cities in the world? When Condé Nast Traveler asked this question, more than half a million readers – 526,518 to be exact – responded. Which cities outside of the US did they pick for 2023? . A. How many of the winning cities are in
Q. Even those of us whose actorly aspirations ended in middle school can remember the stomach-seizing stress of the audition. Nightmares about forgetting you even had an audition, then being thrust on stage in a spotlit theatre stuffed with professional theatre critics. Finally, the real day comes, they call out
Q. We’ve been seeing a lot more pet clothes out and about the street this year – sweaters, coats, booties, bowties, tiaras. Halloween will surely up the ante. What can we expect dogs, cats, bunnies and our other fancy furry friends to be wearing October 31st? . A. The National
Q. Your fictional hosts are serving you pudding. Should you eat it? . A. Many a literary table has been bedecked with showstopper pudding. ‘Pudding,’ the Oxford Dictionary tells us, is ‘a cooked sweet dish served after the main course of a meal.’ Get ready for ‘a good helping of
Q. . Trick or Treat! Your smile is big; your Super Spy costume is on point. Now, bring on the candy. “George!” The third Weird Barbie to answer your knocking is now hollering over her right shoulder. “We’re out of candy! George!” George is bashing about the back room, banging
Q. What is it about the smell of coffee? . A. If you close your eyes, can you summon up the smell of coffee? The talented Haruki Murakami writes about that glorious coffee aroma in Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. ‘Haida was very particular about coffee, always
Q. Happy Thanksgiving from Canada! What are some examples of Thanksgiving-relevant art from renowned artists? . A. Here are some paintings that are either overtly focused on Thanksgiving or seem to evoke its spirit. March Avery. Thanksgiving. 1967 . Andries van Bochoven. Portrait of the artist and his family.
Q. Where did this strange but totally satisfying word come from? Ugh. . A. ‘Ugh’, in its current English spelling, is said to date back to the late 17th Century. It’s meant to be an onomatopoeic word that – presumably when said quickly and quietly – sounds like a cough.
Q. What have been some of the most controversial royal portraits over the years? A. This whole business of painting portraits – let alone royal portraits – is not for the faint-hearted. What if your all-powerful subject hates what you create? What if the royal trusts you, likes the portrait,