Guest Post by Rosa Lyster: Celebrity Encounters

Celebrity encounters

Rosa Lyster writes these really great essays once a week and puts them up on her website I am a huge fan of her writing and asked her to guest post on the blog today. She very kindly said yes. Here is her essay on the encounters she has had (or thought she had) with celebs.

Rosa lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.


1. I thought I saw Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) out the corner of my eye. This kind of tallish handsome-ish lanky man wearing nice pants wandered into my peripheral vision, and the celebrity-registering part of my brain lit up. Fireworks. Explosions. Someone shooting a gun into the air. This happens to me a lot. People in Cape Town are generally very good at keeping their shit together around celebrities – they affect a cool disinterestedness, like oh check it out there’s Sean Penn, and I am going to pretend that I don’t care at all. I am going to act like I have never ever heard of Sean Penn, or, alternatively, that I HAVE heard of him and I hate him. I am going to make Sean Penn think that I am his enemy. I do not play this game very well. I lose my mind at even the prospect of seeing a celebrity. They know that they are famous, I know that they are famous, and why are we all pretending like this is normal. WHY. It’s a problem that some people have. A friend of mine once saw Emma Watson in a bar in Oxford, and stared at her so hard that she had to leave. It turned out that the guy with the cool pants wasn’t Yasiin Bey at all. He was just a totally regular man. Didn’t matter. The celebrity-registering part of my brain had been activated, and I was jittery for the rest of the evening.

2. I saw Sophie Ellis Bextor walking down the street in Hackney. This wasn’t like the Mos Def thing – it was definitely, definitely her. She had this nice yellow dress on, and sweet sunglasses, and she was walking down the street towards me. Fireworks. Explosions. Someone shooting a gun into the air.

3. My friend Rom and I saw Cillian Murphy at a Beach House concert in Hyde Park. I wrote about in on my old blog, which not one single person ever read, so really it was more like my diary. This is what I said: him and his wife (who was wearing a sort of Cheesecloth purple jumpsuit, actually, but despite this she managed to come across as very nice and someone you wouldn’t mind being stuck in a lift with) were sitting at the same set of tables and chairs that we were for most of the day. they borrowed our sunscreen. the wife made a nice joke about eating some of our ice cream. things i noticed about cillian murphy:

A) his head is much bigger from the side than from the front

B) he seems all right, really.

I recognised him straight away and I could feel my eyes go all bobbly and stupid. I don’t even like him! He does not at all feature in my life! I don’t think I have ever had a conversation about him with anyone except maybe Emma! but still I was so DUMB about it. still it was all I could do to stop myself from leaning over to him and going, “Look, you and I both know that you were in that movie called 28 Days Later, so can we stop pretending please.”they were sort of next to us when we watched beach house as well. they weren’t nearly as into beach house as they were into this sort of ska band that played earlier. obviously this minused them a million points, not just cos beach house was SO GREAT, but because ska is SO HORRIBLE.

4. Rufus Sewell, in a Starbucks in Oxford. This was a bad one. I got the same feeling I did when I saw Sophie Ellis Bextor. The feeling is called Fuck fuck fuck what if I wave, or smile in a weird way or fuuuuuuuuck what if I say something to them. This is what I wrote about in my old blog/diary: The thing I am bad at is famous people. I’m the most uncool about it ever in the world. But I can’t HELP it. It feels like a LIE. He knows that he is famous. I know that he is famous. It feels like some kind of riddle, to which the solution is, apparently, look at him out the corner of my eye so much that my head starts hurting, and then get up all in a rush cos he saw me STARING, and forget my wallet and the flowers at the table, and have to run back and get them and then drop the wallet and make an extremely, extremely loud rustling noise with the cellophane around the flowers as I walk out the door BACKWARDS. Like a CREEP. Like someone’s terrible servant in a PLAY.

5. My friend Caitie reminded me that once I thought I saw a famous man at university, but it turned out to be just my politics lecturer. I followed him around for a bit because I thought he had recently starred in a movie with Denzel Washington. I did my signature move of looking at the suspected celebrity very hard, and it was only after about five minutes of gazing intently at him that I realised who he was. It’s because I didn’t go to very many lectures.

6. Upon reflection, my old blog is just jam-packed with long updates on the time I thought I saw someone famous. Here is what I wrote about someone who I don’t even think has an IMDB page: I saw him and went oh oh there is a famous man where is he from where is he from where is he from. He was walking round the exhibition with someone he obviously didn’t know very well. For example: he didn’t know that she spoke Spanish, or that she had a brother, or that she had never been to Florence. I know this because I was SPYING. I wouldn’t definitely say they were on a date, but they probably were. An exhibition seems like an extraordinarily High Pressure environment to choose for like a first or second date. The worst is having to stand in front of paintings and say things. It’s even terrible when it’s with someone you know well. The potential for being either incredibly bored or incredibly boring is generally too high.


I stared and stared at him and wondered where he was from, and convinced myself that he was extremely famous, and went on about it for ages, and then on the train home I realised that he was the actor who played Brooke Shields’s husband on that show called Lipstick Jungle. I can’t BELIEVE I remembered that. I can’t BELIEVE I worked that out. I can’t BELIEVE that some probably very crucial information was turfed out of my brain in order to make room for that.

7. My amazing mum, the best person in the whole wide world, has the exact opposite approach to famous people. This is because she is very cool. She once saw Larry King in New York and said that she experienced a flash of fond recognition, like the feeling you get when you unexpectedly bump into one of your really good pals in the supermarket. This feeling was so strong that she raised her arm in greeting and said HI! It was only after he looked at her blankly that she realised he was not one of her best friends.

8. I have actually also done this. I was walking into a restaurant on Park Street, and some guy who I vaguely recognised was walking out. I said HI and then I realised that it was James Corden. Again, upon reflection, it was probably not James Corden at all. Has he ever even been to Cape Town? It almost definitely wasn’t him.

Hormazd Narielwalla

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Hormazd Narielwalla (I just want to cry his name is so magical) is a London-based artist who does these incredible collages using original sewing patterns as his canvas. These patterns are sourced from vintage magazine inserts from Le Petit Echo de la Mode (a 19th century fashion magazine), patterns of uniforms for the British Raj and those used in Savile Row amongst other places. Old meets new is always a good theme.

You can follow him on Instagram @narielwalla. I just found out he did an exhibition in London which ended on the 10th of June so we can all just fall apart now.


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Dinner ideas: 7-minute spicy shrimp with creamy polenta (gluten-free)

Shrimp and gritsI don’t know much about the cuisine of the Southern United States. I know that some meals include deep fried chicken, that the food is supposed to be very comforting and that all the dishes mentioned in the book “Fried Green tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” ( not only fried green tomatoes) are typical of the Deep South. I still need to look up what Okra is.

I’ve been looking for some new meal ideas to test out recently because we’ve gotten into a quiche routine (I believe very common in France). I decided to try this recipe for Shrimp and grits (Grits! We only have polenta which may actually be the same thing) which is a typical Southern dish and it came out great!

It’s spicy, comforting (must be doing it right) and comes together mighty fine. I will not say y’all because I don’t feel like I’m allowed.

Ingredients: (for two people)

14-16 shrimp, peeled and deveined (can we just? gross)

1 small chorizo or saucisson sliced into rounds

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon of paprika

large pinch of black pepper

large pinch of chilli flakes

large pinch of salt

100g polenta

400ml water


I bought fresh grey shrimpies but you may choose to buy them peeled already (wise). If you have bought them still grey, place a teaspoon of oil in a pan and fry little shrimpies on medium-heat for around 5 minutes, turning them over half way through so that they become pink all over.

Once cooked and pink (!), take them off the heat and peel the shrimp.

Toss peeled shrimp together with olive oil, paprika, chilli flakes, salt and pepper in a bowl and then fry in a pan alongside the chorizo rounds for a few minutes.

Serve the shrimp and chorizo over polenta (use the instructions on the back of the box to make the polenta. I use 1-minute polenta and my rule of thumb is 50g of polenta per person (mixed with 200ml of boiling water)

I now just want to watch the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.

Shrimp and grits

Shrimp and grits


Interview with Salomé Laloum-Gaultier


I met Salomé when we did a Strala yoga training course together in Paris. She is currently studying on a gap year abroad in Australia and doing handstands on all the beaches (See proof below). I was excited to do this interview with her because she is full of spirit and light and I wanted to get some of her secrets! You can follow her on Instagram @happiness_ninja.

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When I wake up I… STRETCH and drink a large glass of water to get the system going.

Favourite breakfast?
Here’s for a yoga girl cliché… I have a quick and filling green smoothie in the morning! It’s made with 1 banana, a small handful of baby spinach, some pieces of frozen pineapple, coconut water, chia seeds and a tiny bit of spirulina. I promise it tastes like banana! Lately I’ve also been a huge fan of organic peanut butter and banana toast. And I always have a large cup of green tea with the juice of a lemon, no matter what food I’m having.

In my handbag, I always have… FOOD haha. Fruits, nuts, chocolate… I always have a little pick me up. I kind of plan my day around food.

Greatest extravagance
I impulsively died my hair blonde a while ago. It was not the best match for my jewish origins, and it definitely ruined my hair, but man, it made me feel so free! Impulsiveness is stupid but always makes the best stories!

I am currently struggling with… anxiety. I’ve accepted the fact that it’ll always be a part of my life so I’ve learned to live with it and tame it. It is not as bad as it used to be but it sometimes makes the simplest things a dreadful obstacle to overcome. I think anxious people are really brave because they have to do everything while fighting inner demons. It’s essential to surround yourself with people who understand and to be able to laugh about it.

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 What piece of advice would you give to a large group of people?

One of my favourite quotes and words I live by is :

“Don’t settle: Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.” – Chris Brogan
I see life as this great experience we’ve been given for some unknown reason, so we might as well make the most of it.

Quick healthy recipe?

Courgette Carpaccio. Peel a courgette with your peeler in order to get long and thin layers or use a spiralizer. I like to add some pink radish in there too. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, the juice of a lemon and (a lot of) parmesan. Super quick and delicious!

Beauty tip?

I’m not a big make-up girl but the one piece of advice my mom has given me is MOISTURISE so I use moisturiser every morning before I apply make-up. And my advice is get your beauty sleep! Sleeping is the best thing in the world and it makes your skin look great.


I like staying active and eating healthy because it works for me, it is what makes me feel the best. But I also love food, wine and feeling alive so I’m all about balance. I drink wine one night and a green smoothie the next morning or I have a pizza/netflix night and go for a run the next day. Exercise is a great anti-depressant, but chocolate is too. I really just do a bit of everything an avoid excess as much as I can.

My lifestyle inspiration is

@yogagirl. She is a yoga teacher based in Aruba who became an Instagram sensation. I’ve been following her for years and she keeps inspiring me on a daily basis. She is all about doing yoga and drinking wine too and is using her fame to make the world a better place which is a huge inspiration for me who intends to start a career in social entrepreneurship and sustainable management.

You can follow Salomé and her beautiful life on Instagram @happiness_ninja

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Habits for dreamers

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I am a major dreamer.

In high school, I was awarded the “head in the clouds” award in my final year. I didn’t even know we were doing funny awards which may be a case in point.

While I think it’s very important to dream, often times dreaming gets in the way of doing. And doing is important too.

A couple of months ago I read what I found to be a very helpful article on The Biggest Reasons You Haven’t Changed Your Habits by Leo Babauta (author of the blog Zen Habits).

What stuck out for me was his fourth point. The idea is that a major reason you are not changing a habit could be that you have some unrealistic idea in your head of what would happen if you were to make that change. When that doesn’t happen, you give up.

If you’re a dreamer like me, it can be hard to keep going with changing your habits when these changes don’t result in the ideal results that you dreamed up in your head. The thing is, it doesn’t matter how prepared you are, how healthy, how much sleep you get every night, how often you floss; you can still have bad days.

But life being life shouldn’t stop you making positive changes.

Since reading the article, I’ve been working on developing good habits without getting carried away with fantasies of the perfect life that should immediately materialise with eating more fruit and doing yoga three times a week.

Babauta also suggests adopting a perspective of curiosity with regard to the changes that a habit can bring about in order to replace all that idealising.



Antoinette Poisson

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Antoinette Poisson is a Paris-based company which designs and manufactures hand-made domino paper. They sell beautiful wallpapers and boxes featuring their domino designs but I particularly love their posters which, placed in a simple frame, can really liven up a room.

Also wonderful are their notebooks if you, like my friend Emma, are sick to death of journals that have hateful covers featuring detestable scenes from twentieth century paintings that nobody likes.

They have a beautiful store that you can visit in the 11th district (12, rue Saint-Sabin) and will soon be launching an e-shop! Swoon.

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Dinner ideas: Hawaiian teriyaki burgers

Hawaiian teriyaki burgers

Suns out, hamburger buns out!

I make burgers all the time, at least once a week. I consider them to be a very balanced meal if properly totemmed.

Most of the time I just make cheeseburgers but I found this ridiculously amazing recipe for Hawaiian Teriyaki burgers online. My housemate thought they were just about the greatest thing and I can confirm that the sauce is really very good.

These burgers are allowed to be called Hawaiian because they are topped with a ring of grilled pineapple. If only gaining nationalities was as easy for humans.

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Hawaiian Teriyaki Burgers (for four burgers)

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste

4 hamburger patties (worst word, am I right?)

4 hamburger buns (second worst word) – I buy those awful ones from the Harry’s brand which last a worrying amount of time because there are few other hamburger bun options in Paris. I have recently discovered, however, that Marks&Spencer make hamburger buns that would not survive a nuclear war. (In this context, a good thing)

4 pineapple rings (I took mine straight out of a can, but of course it is better to use fresh pineapple)

lamb’s lettuce

grated carrot (again, I just buy mine because who has got the time?)

Teriyaki sauce 

  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water and set aside.

Mix together the pineapple juice with the soy sauce, brown sugar, grated ginger and garlic in a small saucepan over a medium heat.

Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for around 15 minutes until the sauce reduces.

Add the cornstarch water mixture to the mixture and simmer until the sauce thickens. This took about 3 minutes in my case.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool.


Once your teriyaki sauce has been made and is cooling…

Heat up a pan, add a teaspoon of oil and fry the pineapple rings, two minutes each side. They should have a nice golden brown look about them. Set those aside.

Next, using the same pan, cook the hamburger patties. I usually cook them around 2 minutes a side too but that is because I am part French and like meat that is not cooked all the way through. You may do as you please.

Slice open the hamburger buns. (I usually toast them a bit in the oven)

Place some lamb’s lettuce and grated carrot on the bottom of each burger bun. Top with a hamburger patty, a tablespoon of teriyaki sauce and a grilled pineapple ring and serve like a champ.

(I stuck knives in ours because I saw it in a restaurant once and it looked so cool.)




Interview with Jean-Tristan Sauron

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My friendship with Jean-Tristan began on our first day at university in Paris. We both showed up to a lecture that had been cancelled and he asked me if I wanted to share a taxi home. Being a poor student, I said no.

While we were waiting for the others who would never arrive, Jean Tristan clutching his Louis Vuitton book bag in anticipation, he told me about his summer spent in St Tropez and how he had seen Paris Hilton in the street, wearing a brown wig. At the time I didn’t know who Paris Hilton was, or Louis Vuitton for that matter, and I think he may have decided then that he would need to protect me.

That was our beginning.

Jean-Tristan currently lives a beautiful life in London with his husband, Alejandro, and his sapphire. I’m really quite sad about him not  living here because he’s always such fun to be with and is, perhaps surprisingly, one of the most genuine people I know.

Below is my interview with him:

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When I wake up I…

Feel thankful I can set the alarm for 8.45am ! Work is only 10 minutess away from my place so I don’t have to experience the indignity of early morning waking. I then leverage my husband – oh the joys of married life –to ensure a smooth transition to real life. He not only gently kisses me but also opens the windows and blinds, prepares my breakfast and motivates me to do my workout.

Favourite breakfast ?

Liquid one on weekdays. I have this weird diet where I only eat solid food once a day from Monday to Friday, breakfast usually being just a cup of hot water and lemon juice that I drink whilst lying in bed. It’s perfect to get my body started and my mind sharp for work. On weekend, I indulge myself with some husband-made eggs benedict and croissants, #PureBliss

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What do you take everywhere with you ?

My necklace – a clear blue sapphire mounted on white gold chain. I got it when I was 18 and don’t think I ever took it off for more than a facial or a massage. I saw Serge Gainsbourg wear one and not only did I find it super chic, but it also gave me this fantasy idea of having something that I would carry everywhere with me and that would experience with me. A sort of JT bis !

Greatest extravagance ?

I have quite a few but my higher education is a bit off the charts to many. I love learning new things and my parents were nice enough to support me in this. I studied in top tier universities across 6 countries, for a total of 9 years ! Having 4 degrees may seem superfluous but I feel so lucky I had the luxury to do so.

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Something you are struggling with?

People who make the world a harder place to live in. I meet them almost on a daily basis and my tolerance towards them has dramatically diminished over the years. I went from being very patient to pushing them out almost immediately of my social circles. Life is too short to surround yourself with negativity.

What piece of advice would you like to give a large group of people ?

To never stop dreaming and create the conditions when you can do so freely. I think it’s really easy in life to limit your realm of possibilities because you are pressured to act in a certain way by society or people. I always have ideas and plans, and so many times I came across friends, relatives or even boyfriends who told me I was being silly and that I should stop dreaming. Needless to say they didn’t stay around for long !

Quick healthy (or not) recipe:

I grew up in France and I don’t think we really have this concept of “healthy” food as our entire diet is healthy so I would struggle in giving you this kind of recipe. My favourite one though is quiche ! It’s super easy to do and the massive benefit is that you can put whatever you have in your fridge and it will still make a wonderful dish. No waste, little preparation and a great result, it’s the holy trinity to me.

Lifestyle inspiration

I absolutely worship Lapo Elkann. He lives his life to the fullest, is a master of taste, brings disruption to everything he touches and has a thousand passions. A true inspiration to me on how to be successful in this world without sacrificing your integrity. I must admit that being the Fiat heir must be helping but still, he has some amazing achievements.

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Trust the process

Barbie doll with broken legWhen I was around seven years old, I had a fear that there would come a time when my mom would no longer be around to put my barbie doll back together on the occasions where I unceremoniously pulled her leg out of its plastic socket.

I voiced this concern to my mother who assured me that one day, I too would be able to rejoinder a barbie doll’s leg to the rest of her body. It seemed quite impossible to me at the time, my hands being so clumsy and weak, and so despite her consolation, I continued to be gripped by this fear whenever I pulled off a plastic limb and had to run to her for help.

I still have fears like this sometimes, in which I cannot possibly envisage a future in which I will be able to accomplish something that I cannot accomplish right now. While my goals have changed, and I no longer really care very much about the bodily integrity of plastic dolls (although I very much care about it for real women), it is still important for this storie’s sake that you know I can now put a leg back onto a Barbie. At least I’m pretty sure I could if I wanted to.

Last year, my friend Lauren, who had embarked on a year of studying Interior design after studying years of other things, told me that her advice was to “Trust the process”. So that is what I try and do now and I find it very helpful.

You may not be able to put dolls together right now but you will be able to one day if you want to. Because things do change and they do improve if you work on them. Just keep going and most importantly, believe (unlike my seven-year old self) that the process will lead you onwards and upwards. Because it will, it just takes time.

Have a great weekend!



Eugenia Loli

Eugenia Loli rocks
Eugenia Loli rocks

I find Eugenia Loli’s surreal collages super exciting to look at. There is something about  swapping out someone’s head for a galaxy for a disco ball that definitely puts things in perspective. The next time I am kissing someone, I will be sure to think of them as being filled with Space and stars.

Eugenia Loli


Eugenia Loli teacup Eugenia Loli disco ball Bubble Bath