Daily Rituals with Greta van der Star
Nothing is tenderer than the first days at home with a new baby — peaceful, cozy and without any mark of time. We were lucky enough to visit photographer Greta van der Star at home with her beautiful new son Fen.
What are your daily rituals?
The most consistent ritual for me would be stretching before bed. Releasing the crinkles in my muscles and realigning after a day of camera work or carrying the baby is so essential to my physical and mental state.
Can you share a moment you have with tea each day?
I normally go for something with a bit of spice like a chai, or a ginger tea feels very warming and calming. At the moment I’m drinking a lot of tea with fennel and aniseed to help my babies digestive system, and camomile at night. I’m making bigs pots and drinking it cool throughout the day.
What are your favourite spots at home?
My favourite spot at the moment is bed! In the morning while I feed Fen, Tim will ferry in cups of tea and brekkie. Often Fen will fall back asleep so we’ll just cuddle for an hour. Sometimes we both drift back off and I’ll wake up to a cuppa on the side table and sun peaking in through the curtains.
As a new mumma, breastfeeding can take up much of your day. How do you like to pass the time when Fen is feeding?
It’s a mixture of reading (light paperbacks!), catching up on emails and messages, or just staring at him and massaging his feet to keep him from dozing.
You have a beautiful collection of vintage furniture and pieces collected from travel. Do any pieces have a good story around them we can share?
My mum told me to buy one special thing for the house whenever I travel, so as a result my home is full of memories. Just after she told me this she passed away and I bought possibly the most special thing that reminded me of her in terms of colours and being hand made. It’s a 1970’s Navajo rug in browns and muted mustard. I just love to think about the love and skill that went into hand dying and knotting this piece, and wondering what story it holds for the weaver.
My other favourite is a salmon pink, mid century coffee pot bought in Palm Springs when I eloped with my husband last year.
You love to cook. What are some recipes and/or recipe books that you always return to?
I love cooking new things! At the moment I’m obsessed with the podcast “Home cooking” and pantry style meals like beans and sardines or pickled beets and lentils with garden greens. They became favourites in our household over lockdown.
A go-to entertaining recipe would be “Midnight Chicken” from a recipe book by Ella Risbridger. It’s a whole roasted chicken with lots of rosemary, chilli, garlic and lemon zest piled on top. It comes out a bit crispy from lots of olive oil and fragrant from so much rosemary. It’s such a special book, full of personal stories and moments of self care. This particular recipe includes instructions for a cup of fresh ginger tea for the chef!
I just bought Always Home by Fanny Singer which will be my summer read and no doubt my next cooking obsession.
How are you looking forward to spending your summer months?
Many days at the beach, naps in the shade, natural wine and garden lunches.
What is currently inspiring you?
My community. Particularly all the wonderful women in my life.