Yesterday was an exciting day in the old El Terreno Country Club! The venerable photographer Stuart Pearce came to take photos for - wait for it - my old employer South China Morning Post! 

Stuart1 Gaff Breaks Through Barriers of Nationality, Race - PenAndWok.com

Yes, apparently rumours about my lovely new gaff have swirled through the ether and reached Hong Kong and the lifestyle editor of Sunday Post Magazine. I was so excited - the fact that I had to style the house, which is really just a fancy word for tidy the hell up, only put a mild damper on things. No really, you think you have a tidy shack but when you start looking and thinking about rooms in photographic terms (lifestyle!) you realise it comes up woefully short. 

You can't have half-eaten apples on the table, for example. Also, a few days ago I bought a brand-new doggie brush so I would only need to hoover once every day instead of three times, but no. I've been taking about a pillowcase worth of hairs off the two hounds every day, but still the floors look like the back of a ginger gorilla in a Turkish bathhouse, billowing with brown hairs. 

Stuart2 Gaff Breaks Through Barriers of Nationality, Race - PenAndWok.com

As it happens, I was cooking Sichuan food for a birthday party that night, so I only had to tidy up once. Win-win! 

The editor wanted me to style the garden as well, so naturally I chose my favourite sit-wear, handmade by the incredible talented Lina Benjumea, to brighten up the mosquito-riddled morass. 

Garden Gaff Breaks Through Barriers of Nationality, Race - PenAndWok.com