The bag I usually carry around is amazing - black and tan, boxy and deceptively cavernous - it seems to fit anything I want inside! However, with Spring on the horizon I've been looking for one that's prettier, but still big enough to fit a bottle of water, sunglasses, a scarf and umbrella in (the weather is so unpredictable!).
I've had a look at all my favourite shops (Topshop, H&M, Forever21 etc), but ASOS has really stolen the show here - here are my top three:
Have you seen this lovely blog? Called Part Noveau, it shows fashion from the past, juxtaposed with later, or contemporary photography inspired by or even mimicking the original. I think it's so interesting to see what designers or photographers choose to do with images and ideas from the past...
I have this print on my wall, in a black wooden frame - I love it! I read it every so often, when I'm brushing my teeth - and consequently (accidentally) know bits of it by heart! It's so clever, isn't it? It's from the shop at Shakespeare's Globe.
P.S. Today I booked tickets to see The Tempest at Shakespeare's Globe next month - I'm a poor student so got the 'groundling' tickets, i.e. standing where the peasants used to... but at £5 a head I am not complaining... Everyone should buy tickets - there's no excuse not to!
Winter always destroys my hands (I'm one of those people who always forgets gloves aka an idiot) so a good hand cream is a lifesaver for me.
My mama always takes great care of her hands, so, over the years, I have seen all kinds of lotions come and go, and tried most of them.. but I can say, without a doubt, that my ABSOLUTE favourite is Crabtree and Evelyn's La Source.
Hand creams can smell floral, herbal, botanical, medicinal, sweet, coconutty, fruity, whatever. This smells like none of those things: I can barely describe it. It smells clean, and is reminiscent of the sea - it has a bracing freshness that is at once subtle and luxurious. In short, it smells utterly divine, and, what's more, transforms my battered and rough scullery-maid's paws to smooth and glowing objects of delight.
It's not the cheapest but won't break the bank either. A little goes a long way. Let me know what you think!
P.S. The picture is from Amazon, where you can buy a smaller tube if you just want to try it!
Do you keep a diary/journal? I don't - well, not exactly - I used to write diaries when I was younger and always want to die with embarrassment whenever I reread them now - I can't bear it!
What I have now is a bit more casual - it's called One Line A Day - and it bills itself as "A Five-Year Memory Book". I know five-year diaries are fairly well-established, but this one is different in that it really is pretty small (see its size in comparison to my iPod)- there's only room for about 25 words for each day. That makes it easy to keep up to date, and also minimises any possibility of cringe-worthy confessions...
My entries aren't ground breaking - I always try and write what I wouldn't mind anyone reading.. So it's not exactly "something sensational to read on the train" (in the immortal words of Oscar Wilde) - but it's fun to look back at the previous year and see what was happening a year ago...
I can't wait to be 4 years in, and able to look back and see how far (or not!) I've come!
P.S. They make great presents! Amazon sells them but I got mine at the V&A shop
P.P.S. There are quite a few novelty diaries out there, actually, if you want to write a journal but find it too time-consuming- I like mine best (of course!) but here are some others:
The Q&A 5 Year Journal - It asks a question (can people change? what was the last restaurant you went to? are you a leader or a follower? what's the oldest thing you're wearing today?) at the top of each page and you can see how your answers differ from year to year.
The Q&A a Day for Kids - This looks seriously cute. Same publishers as above, but a 3 year journal, with questions to spark conversation with children. How sweet would it be to do this every night before bed and see the answers change over the years? Questions such as "when were you last brave?" and "what is your favourite toy?" Also, judging by the amazon reviews, children LOVE it..
Listography: Your Life in Lists - List-writers rejoice! Filled with headings such as "list your favourite restaurant" and "list bad things you did as a kid", this is a gradual process you can add to as and when you think of things. Gradually, a sort of autobiography will emerge from the pages...
You've probably gathered by now that I am a bit obsessed with boats, and this post will do nothing to vanquish that notion...
This boat bowl is incredible - it's so striking and simple. The only bad thing about it is it's not quite big enough for my liking - 33cm long. But it is beautiful. You can get it from Blank for £119 - imagine it piled high with strawberries!
This amazing trunk from Anorak has been on my (very long) wish-list for some time now. I just love it. It looks so stylish and useful! However, it's a more than I can afford these days, so I guess I'll have to wait for it! Do you like it? I would obviously store things in it, but I'd also put it next to a sofa as a low side table.
P.S. Anorak do so many other cool homewares, from washbags to placemats to sleeping bags, all sporting their awesome animal silhouettes... Aren't they great?
I have never especially wanted a pug, their little squashed faces and breathing problems (and the fact they are prone overweightness) have never appealed to me! I'd much prefer a spaniel of some sort. But I am pretty sure that everyone has some friend or other who LOVES pugs (I certainly do), and this post is for them.
I especially like the pug with the monocle.
This is part of Fenella Smith's ceramics range, all beautifully illustrated with sweet little animals (I love the dachschund one). Which do you like best? Or are you more of a cat person?
I know I'm always harping on about prints and pictures, but I am rather shopping around for some to actually buy. My flat is part of an old factory, so have very high ceilings and consequently, a lot of wall space! This one caught my eye; isn't it brooding?
I guess the composition is fairly standard, but I like it because it is a photo of Top Withens, the now-derelict shell of a building perched on a Yorkshire hillside, said to have inspired Wuthering Heights.
My mother and I actually went there a few summers ago, and had to walk for a good hour across the moors to reach it - I half expected to find Heathcliff at the end! No such luck... It was very atmospheric though, and the Yorkshire moors are staggeringly beautiful.
The photo was taken in 1977 by Fay Godwin, and is available as a print from the British Library website, here. As ever, have a look around, there are dozens of wonderful photos, I am quite spoilt for choice!
Have you read Wuthering Heights? Such a unrestrained, passionate and interesting novel, written absolutely magnificently. I adore it.
I chose this birthday card for a friend of mine who's got a terribly busy-and-important job - it all seems so grown up to me (he has to wear a suit!), and I thought this was perfect for him. Do you approve? Would you give it to a young City worker?
I am always, without fail, fiendishly on time. No matter how fashionably late I try to be, I just can't do it - I am, in fact, usually early.
It goes without saying that I love watches. I wear one every day, and if ever I forget, I absently look at my bare wrist dozens of times, and feel a bit lost without it!
The watch I wear is quite one of my favourite things - it's absolutely beautiful - a 21st birthday present - but I do feel that it is sometimes too smart to wear quite everywhere, so I am saving up for a more cheerful, rough-and-tumble sort of watch. A Daniel Wellington watch, to be precise.
Yes, expensive, but so stylish and preppy - I am solemnly trying to save £10 a week, and will hopefully be able to afford one by early summer:
Just looking at it, I can just imagine being at Henley, drinking Pimm's...
I am torn between the above watch, and this one, which I think would 'go' with more things... but it's just not as frivolous, is it?
Have a look at the Daniel Wellington website - aren't they lovely? I like that you can buy the straps separately - perhaps I'll buy the red, white and blue watch, and ask for the blue and white strap for my birthday?
Who doesn't adore post? Whenever I get a postcard though, it becomes dog-eared and crumpled, as it inevitably ends up being used as a bookmark (or a coaster..), and then it makes its way to a box where it never sees the light of day...
So, I got excited when I stumbled upon this extremely cool site Timbergram which makes decidedly more durable postcards - out of wood! They can engrave a message for you and send it to the person you want, or you can order them blank to write your own message!
I love a decent retro design, and wouldn't it be fun to get one of these one morning?
Here are my favourites:
Isn't this a great engagement congratulations card?
Which one would you want to send? Which one would you want to receive?
My mama adores the history of Scott of the Antarctic - it just fascinates her. So, last year, we popped along to the Queen's Gallery to see the 'Heart of the Great Alone' exhibition that featured incredible photography from the Scott and Shackleton expeditions.
There were classic photos of penguins and staggeringly vast icy landscapes, and those brave men bundled up in layers, but my absolute favourite photo was this one by Herbert Ponting: the Terra Nova in a Gale.
Have you guys heard of Ludovico Einaudi? He's a contemporary Italian composer, and he's got a bunch of albums, and my family have been obsessed with him for years, and each been to see him several times - I think I've seen him perform live 5 times, and my sister even more than that (she's the musician of the family)!
All his pieces are the most calming, exquisite music.
Here is a wonderful video of him playing his latest album live from his home - I love that he's got a huge poster of his name on the wall - in reality, he's so softly spoken and modest, it seems incongruous!
If you were to buy any of his albums, I would recommend I Giorni to begin with. It is beautiful.