Friday, 29 April 2011

Friday Favourite...

..A heart swelling Northern accent...

I make no secret of my love of a good Northen accent. I think it spawned from a childhood adoration of 'Coronation Street,' and an early introduction to Pulp.

Yorkshire accents are the best of them all - the sound of them makes my heart swell to about two sizes. I love listening to the softly spoken Jarvis Cocker best of all, he's wonderful.

I also love this mushy story spoken by Alex Turner, another Yorkshire boy I'm rather partial to. It's quite short and rather wonderful, so I suggest giving it a little listen.

(Photo linked and via tumblr - mmm, wonderful, wonderful Northern boys. ♥)

Thursday, 28 April 2011

I heard there's going to be a wedding...?

I am quite pleased that the Royal Wedding hoo-ha will be over soon. Tomorrow I might just be able to raise a glass to the occasion, but only just. I am happy for the couple, sure, but I don't idolise them!
So, tomorrow I will secretly be toasting the brilliant flaws of my own wonderful loves rather than the luck of a pair who have done little more than get born - (which is certainly his only claim to fame!)

For me, tomorrow is just a good excuse for a party, hence the sweet pictures below. I know, call me simple.. !

(Make sure you have a drink or a slither of cake on behalf of me tomorrow - for whatever reason you're celebrating!)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Zooey Deschanel

(Work Wear Wednesday)

I believe I'm about two years late on the uptake of this; nevertheless, I saw this cute, cute advert wist Zooey Deschanel in it for the first time yesterday. I fell in love with it! I am already in love with her and her singing, but when I saw this I also fell in love with the clothes - so, so pretty! This really makes me want to go out and buy some pretty cotton dresses and full skirts...

Yes, a bit sickly sweet. But, I wish my day to day life involved leaping from stages and playing guitars in guitar shops.. ah, lovely dreams...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dirty Matini..

Dorothy Parker once quipped in the New Yorker: 'I like to have a Martini, two at the very most. After three I'm under the table, after four I'm under the host.'

I blame all the recent and upcoming back holidays for this - but recently I have had a fascination with drinking martinis. ..

Perhaps one of the best things about Martinis is they only require three ingredients - gin (or vodka,) vermouth and ice. So, it's easy to make sure you are always prepared for cocktail hour in your house.

The rules are that the liquor must be cold from the fridge. The drink must include nothing frilly or fancy, no tiny umbrellas or anything sweet. It's an old fashioned, stiff drink for straight talkers and stand-up characters only. Whether your martini is shaken or stirred depends how strong you like your liquor. Shaking the drink means it will become more diluted and much colder. Stirring will provide you with a mighty stiff drink.

Not that I have ever tried one; but I am absolutely obsessed with the idea of a
Dirty Martini
4 parts gin (or vodka)
1 part vermouth
2 tbsp of Olive brine.
- Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and serve straight up with an olive.

Now, what could possibly be a more grown up drink?!

(photos are linked and via tumblr.)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Easter Catch Up..

I have been busy over the Easter bank holidays. My mum celebrated a birthday on Thursday and so we left for France and spent a little while picnicking on the coast of Normandy. We stocked up on red wine, Bonne Maman jam (insanely cheap in comparison to it's price in Britain) and very good french cheese.

Her birthday present from me and my sisters was a Diptyque candle, she loves it and so do I. I am officially a convert and know what my future house warming treats will be! I just hope I can make enough money to keep a good stock of Diptyque candles and buy them as presents for friends and family regularly (fingers crossed!)

(Normal posts to resume this week - along with normal life hopefully! The sunshine seems to act like a barricade against my computer.. I find it makes doing anything productive rather difficult, does anyone else feel that way?!)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Sunday Evening Poetry

Inscription for the Bedroom Ceiling

It's been a very busy and long week. After far too much to drink last night I am very much looking forward to a good nights sleep and for a new week to start tomorrow.
I love this poem because it's so inherently comforting; the universial solace found by getting into bed...

Inscription for the Bedroom Ceiling by Dorothy Parker

Daily dawns another day;
I must up, to make my way.
Though I dress and drink and eat,
Move my fingers and my feet,
Learn a little, here and there,
Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,
Hear a song, or watch a stage,
Leave some words upon a page,
Claim a foe, or hail a friend-
Bed awaits me at the end.

Though I go in pride and strength,
I'll come back to bed at length.
Though I walk in blinded woe,
Back to bed I'm bound to go.
High my heart, or bowed my head,
All my days but lead to bed.
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall-
I'm a fool to rise at all!

(First image via tumblr, second via Lolita. Enjoy tonights sleep everyone, I promise for more posts this week - spring and sunshine themed ones.)

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Ethical Fashion

IOU project -

I have not been so excited by a clothing line in a very long time. IOU is doing things totally differently than all the retail giants. If, like me, you're sick of seeing about five other girls a day wearing your favourite mass produced Topshop dress, then I think that you will like this...
IOU's fabric is handmade by artisans in India, then the garments are hand sewn in Europe. Every item will not only be unique, but as it is handmade, people are employed rather than machines, therefore creating more jobs and using less energy.

Their products will only be sold online, which means that prices will be reasonable as the customer will not be paying for the cost of running a shop.
It's ethical with a capital E. A refreshing step away from our increasingly consumerist attitude towards fashion.

They're launching at the start of May, and I can't wait!

(All photos are linked and via the IOU Project. I hope everyone is continuing to enjoy the sun!)

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday Favourite

Creative advice.

Just a few thoughts to take to heart..
I have been away from my computer a lot over the past few days, which is never a bad thing! But, I do hope to post more once I catch up with time. I hope you all have a lovely, sunny bank holiday!

(I have linked this very cool image back to tumblr as that's where I found it - however if anyone knows who the designer behind this is, please do let me know, I'd love to see more of their work and credit them properly!)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Work Wear Wednesday, April Heat

Courtesy of Garance Dore..

What a brilliant look for summer time!
I'm not daring enough to bare my legs quite that much yet, but this girl carries off socks and sandals so very, very well! A great compromise, since, although it feels like the height of summer, it is still April. Call me old fashioned, and I love the sunshine, however I would not suggest dressing as if you are on a beach when you actually walking tarmacked streets. (Take note all you topless men; there's a time and a place!)

(Image linked and via Garance Dore)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cemetery Junction

I watched Cemetery Junction the other day and I loved it. I was pleasantly surprised by the heart warming and amusing script as I am normally wary of anything associated with Ricky Gervais. Though, this is in actual fact a really good coming of age film.

The set and soundtrack are great - they show the 1970s through rose-tinted specs. There are hazy, sunlit shots; cool clothes, good music and awesome dancing.

It's about a group of three guys, living in a no-hope town, desperately searching for who they are. They spend their days fighting, drinking and chasing girls. It's all good fun with some fairly deep sentiments that some will certainly cry at.
The tag line of the film; ' Be Young. Be Free. Be Somebody, ' - a sentiment everyone can relate to.

(Images via Cemetery Junction.)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sunday Poetry

(To mirror all the rather nostaglic posts of the week..) a rather British, tea themed poem.

If I ever left England, I am sure the ritual of tea-time would be one of the things to make me most homesick. I love that universal British idea that a cup of tea will make everything better. It's the thing that joins a nation and joins hearts.
I know - it all goes without saying... but if there's every anything wrong, or you need a chat, or you've just woken up; 'cup of tea?'

Alternative Anthem by John Agard

Put the kettle on
Put the kettle on
It is the British answer
to Armagedon.

Never mind taxes rise
Never mind trains are late
One thing you can be sure of
and that's the kettle mate.

It's not whether you lose
It's not whether you win
It's whether or not
you've plugged the kettle in.

May the kettle hiss
May the kettle steam
It is the engine
that drives our nation's dream.

Long live the kettle
that rules over us
May it be limescale free
and may it never rust.

Sing it on the beaches
Sing it from the housetops
The sun may set on empire
but the kettle never stops.

(My Sunday afternoon is sleepy and slow after yet another hectic week of work and late nights. Enjoy your evening. More tea poetry and thoughts in the future..
Images are linked.)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Friday Favourite - Downloadable Calendar

Check out this very cool illustrator, Mia Nolting.
Her work is a bit heart-felt and very sweet yet at the same time, extremely cool with a touch of cynicism.

This multiple choice diary is especially cool, you can download it for free here. I find it really sums up the fickleness of youth and it somehow makes those awful in between days seem a bit better. Enjoy!

(All images via Mia Nolting)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Royal Wedding & Cath Kidston

I thought I ought to post my first Royal wedding themed post now despite it being a few weeks off.

I realise it's a bit sad, but my excitement for the Royal wedding really blossomed when I saw the commemorative range from Cath Kidston. It might be totally embarrassing to admit this - but I really want the mug. Right now, I still draw the line at merchandise with their actual faces on it - though, that's all subject to change as the excitement of it all is bound to hit in a big way as the date looms closer!

(All images via Cath Kidston)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Work - Wear Wednesday

Inspiration - Clemence Poesy

I have no idea where the sun has gone this week. London is looking stereotypically grey. I looked down at my hands this morning and noticed that had cracked and chapped in the cold. I promptly whipped out the suede gloves which I keep in my bag.

My favourite inspiration for days like today is Clemence Poesy. She radiates a glow even in sullen climes. I believe a sunny disposition and a cool aloof expression is probably the best thing for fending away the smog of dull days- that, and a good pair of gloves!

(Photos are linked. Enjoy your Wednesday everyone)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

British Nostalgia

More things I like from the V&A exhibition...
(I promise that all my posts this week won't be about Victorian art..)

I love these pretty little nostalgic scenes of domesticity. I just find them so sweet and lap up this kind of thing! I especially love the the Walter Crane engraving, with the little cat, the blazing fire and the slightly melancholic woman pouring her tea. It makes me feel all nostalgic, one of the biggest reasons why I love early 19th British illustration..

(Illustrations via the V&A, both linked. First image, 'Frontpiece to The House Beautiful' - engraving by Walter Crane and second image, 'Tea Party illustration for girls annual publication' by Kate Greenaway.)

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Cult of Beauty

I had some time today and so went to the new 'Cult of Beauty' exhibition at the V&A. It was a nice, relaxing exhibition, the sort that lifts your spirits and gives you a little glow. Perhaps the best part is that it's not too academically challenging. Far too often in galleries, you over hear the strained comments of certain pretentious posers which make everyone feel a little embarrassed.

Yes, a few thoughts can certainly be bounced here and there; but, this is the first exhibition I've been to which invites you to just enjoy beautiful, sumptuous works without having to wrack your brain trying to remember back to that Art History lecture where you learnt all about the social context and the meaning and blah, blah.

Just for once, it encourages us to tune out the nonsense and stop over analysing every little thing. It reminds us to take a moment and enjoy things just as they are. Ah. I would gladly go again.

(All images are linked and are via the V & A. First image The Day Dream - Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The second, The Hay Field - Thomas Armstrong)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sunday Evening Poetry

It's been a gloriously sunny weekend, and I shouldn't think that I'm the only one feeling a twinge of sad this evening. It's that bittersweet Sunday feeling that occurs after a very, very lovely past few days shared with your most favourite people.

Tonight, a poem by one of my favourites, Dorthy Parker. One day, I would love to poses her dry wit and wisdom. I could have chosen any number of her poems, but I am posting this one because I find it fitting, and believe it will speak to everyone...

For a Favourite Grandaughter by Dorothy Parker.

Never love a simple lad,
Guard against a wise,

Shun a timid youth and sad,
Hide from haunted eyes.

Never hold your heart in pain
For an evil-doer;
Never flip it down the lane
To a gifted wooer.

Never love a loving son,
Nor a sheep astray;
Gather up your skirts and run
From a tender way.

Never give away a tear,
Never toss a pine;
Should you heed my words, my dear,
You're no blood of mine!

(First image via tumblr, the second is my own blurry screen grab from the recent version of Dr Zhivago. Enjoy your Sunday evenings everyone, mine will be spent with a shower and a candle wishing for another wonderful, wonderful week.)

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Tweed Run

Tea and Bicycles.

I hear this charity bike ride is going on tomorrow. It looks like great fun! The photo gallery from previous years shows evidence of lots of moustaches, vintage dress and cups of tea.
Twee at it's very, very best!

(Images linked and via Tweed Run.)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Friday Favourite

(Art Historically / Sunshine themed) Manet's Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe c.1863

The heat and sunshine this week has been the cause of many irrationally good moods. It has also provided a good excuse for long lunches and early departures on normally busy days... Concentration was certainly not intended for weeks like this!

...These heady feelings are captured in this painting by Manet, (owned The Courtauld Gallery). It's all very strange; the naked lady juxtaposed by those two dapper men and that bathing nymph-like woman in the background. It really freaked out the squares when it was first displayed.
It's a satirical nod towards the representation of women, (a subject we might discuss for hours) Though, for today, I prefer to centre on the heady excitement the balmy weather does to a person and this very bizarre painting.... mmm.

Enjoy the weather everyone!
(Image via The Courtauld Gallery. Just to clarify, this is the smaller version of Le Dejeuner surl'herbe owned by The Courtauld Gallery - the full size one resides in in the Musee d'Orsay Paris.)

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Interview Series (3)

Getting inside the minds of creative people. Today: Rachel Cobb, aka Rae / aka: Autumn Hair...

..I continue with a nice interview getting to know the creative life of a certain performance artist / dear friend of mine. She is currently writing her dissertation and splits her time between Leeds and London. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did..

1.How do you start your day?
Almost every morning, my cat, Rufus, wakes me. He will knock on my door until I let him in, or, purr loudly in my face and try to lick my neck. I proceed to the kitchen and feed him, then race into the shower to get out of the cold. I shower every morning otherwise I can’t function for the day. I have a black tea and peanut butter on toast most days whilst I decide what to wear. I rarely wear make up so can be ready to leave the house within an hour of waking up.

2. What/ Who inspires you?
I thought long and hard about this answer, and I feel in light of all the terrible things that have happened in Japan it made me thin of the disastrous earthquake that happened in Haiti. Since I was 15, my dad and me have both been helping with charities that help Haitian refuges in the Dominican Republic. My last visit really inspired me. Their incredible attitude towards life is just admirable and meeting them was so humbling.

3. Your guilty pleasure?
I think it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that soaps, especially Eastenders, are my absolute weakness. This one is a bit more embarrassing, but I honestly love historic novels, Philippa Gregory is my favourite author of this kind. It’s a shame they ruined her book with The Other Boleyn Girl by making it into a film. I also love all things Tudor, actually anything to do with the Royal family. Ha.
4. How do you unwind?
Not wanting to sound cliché but cooking and having a nice meal with my boyfriend is one of my favourite things to do, especially with a glass of red wine. If I had more time I would definitely read more books.5. Plans for 2011?
I’m going to be graduating this July so for now my plan is to get through all my work and finish my final project. I want to go away with my friends and have some time to reflect on the last three years really. I’m looking to work abroad in New York for a while and then eventually move to London by the end of the year.

6. Your best piece of advice?
It might sound like obvious advice but I think something I feel I’ve learnt with hindsight is to truly seize every moment. Never let life pass you by and say yes to everything.

(All images via Autumn Hair.)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Work Wear Wednesday


Ah, a good pair of jeans can look very smart when paired with a lovely shirt and fitted jacket. I tend to only wear jeans to work occasionally, on a Friday.

However, this is all subject to change hoping that I can get my mitts on a pair of MIH (made in heaven) jeans this evening, at their sample sale. It's rumoured that the price will be about £40 for a pair which normally retail at £190.
I have heard that with this brand, it's best to buy a size down from your regular size as they do tend to shrink. But apart from that, these jeans are alleged to be close to perfect. I am very much hoping that word hasn't spread too quickly and that I will be able to nab a pair of perfect skinny blue jeans which will last a very long time.

(Details about the MIH sale can be found here, Photos via The Satorialist)

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Cup of Cocoa

during those 'awful wonderful early days..' (A few thoughts for fellow graduates / interns.)

I read this article by Al Kennedy, called 'The Best Gift for a Writer is a Good Reader and a cup of cocoa;' I found it very comforting, not that I am trying to build my career as a writer - but I am trying to build my career. So I have picked out the universal sentiments from the article which everyone might appreciate...

I particularly wish to highlight his mention of the tender solace of a cup of cocoa. For just one moment, in between the restless feelings and the erosion of your soul; the ritual of making a cup of cocoa, or indeed making it for someone else, is a reassuring little lighthouse, beaming hope.

Above all else; it's nice to know you're not the first to battle through those frightful hours when you wake up, wide eyed, at 5.30am and ask 'what in the name of sanity am I doing!?' - And, you certainly won't be the last.

'I was more often disappointed than not, but I was also learning that I cared about this. I cared so much that I would start again after every sad envelope flopped in, write something else, forget that it hurt to be knocked back.'

'You're flinging out the best love letters you can, you're breaking your heart and no one's answering, but on you go regardless –'

And of course, a wonderful sentiment for when you are feeling sick with anxiety:
'...he read my material while I felt nauseous. Then he showed me how to make cocoa. Thinking back on it, making cocoa is probably all he could think of to do with someone who was clearly a ball of pure tension and liable to cry, if not faint, at any moment.'

(The image is linked, read the full article here, at The Guardian online.)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Sunday Poetry

Piano - D. H Lawrence

Here's a nice poem. It's a little melancholic, though that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes suffering in the depths of sadness can be very enjoyable, and it often comes at the end of a weekend filled with too much booze and not enough sleep. It's absolutely fine once in a while - so long as the affliction is fleeting!

Piano by DH Lawrence.

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.

(Images are from tumblr.)