Thursday, 30 September 2010

Heaven in King's Cross

I love this idea for temporarily using your hardback books as shelves- as seen at Drink, Shop & Do in King's Cross.

The whole shop/ cafe/ project is a vintage lovers dream palace. You can buy everything in the shop from the chairs you sit on to the teacups the candles are lit in. You can take classes in making pearl necklaces or go to the dot to dot disco or just relax with a cup of tea/ cocktail and play a board game. HEAVEN.

Monday, 20 September 2010


I have been desperate to see L'Illusionniste for weeks now and finally managed to catch it this weekend.

The Illusionist is the latest film by Sylvain Chomet who also created Belleville Rendez-Vous.

I don't wish to spoil the story so read on with caution if you prefer to see a film without any background.

The film is based on a 1956 Jacques Tati script about a magician from Paris who finds demand for his act is steadily decreasing as the world of entertainment changes. The illusionist, who is said to be Tati himself, is a charming but melancholy character, always well turned out and full of kindness but not quite succeeding in life.

The illusionists story could be a metaphor for hand drawn animation- which finds itself under constant threat from new methods and technology. This film is a potent reminder of just how powerful, touching and realistic hand drawn animation can be. There are actually very few moments of dialogue in the film but you don't need them because you can understand the story completely from the characters movement and expressions (and the lovely score). I am sure it is extremely expensive and time consuming to make a film this way but for me when it is this beautiful it is worth doing.

The film is set mainly in the Scottish highlands and Edinburgh but also features Paris, London and a train journey from England to Scotland. There is great humour and detail in the backgrounds and I get great pleasure from seeing a black taxi or Jenner's the department store in an animation although I can't really say why, everything just looks more magical in the hands of these animators.

There is website for the film where you can watch the trailer and see some of the stunning images. Please visit the Illusionist here if you would like to find out more. The film is on general release in cinemas but seems to be dissappearing fast.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Pictures for walls

I would like these prints from Little White Lies Magazine. I think they would brighten my day, every day.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The cold

The cold: the noun. The unpleasantness that isn't really an illness so much as an invasion of the disgusting but moderate into your body. Everyone seems to be suffering from the challenge of the cold this week.

The symptoms: the alternating of cold and warmth in your body that are somewhere between an itch and a shiver; the outpouring of infection; the tickle in the throat and the ache just above the eyebrows and all the way along to the ears; the slight loss of hearing; the acute loss of interest in virtually everything except the television and downy devices to drape over oneself; the mimicking of a bear (a grumpy one); the endless drinking and therefore endless toilet visits; the fact that colleagues think a disgusting drink will make you feel great again even though when they are ill a ward has to be set up to dispense comfort to them; the sucking so many sweets that your tongue has sores; the fact that none of the sweets or drinks taste any good but they are all you can taste and the nice food is bland; the chapping of the nose, lips, cheeks; feeling like a pariah at the theatre, cinema, concert because you are disturbing everyone but not wanting to miss.

Ultimately there is nothing much wrong with you and you have to carry on and that's fine and you should be grateful- grateful and disgusting. So I am grateful and disgusting. If you are too I do hope you don't feel too wretched.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Oh Comely Magazine

Finding Oh Comely Magazine was like finding the magazine I dreamt about but didn't think would ever exist. Seriously.

I found issue 2 at Waterloo station when I was buying supplies for a journey home. I saw an extremely pretty cover (above) and, somewhat perplexed that it didn't feature overlayed teeth and acres of orange skin, I immediately grabbed it. Was this a real magazine or something someone had left in the shop?

I opened it- an interview with Emmy the Great, features on Peggy Sue, this all seemed too good to be true; but it was real. As treated my copy like a precious new book, trying not to bend the spine because it was so pretty.

I have just received issue 1 which looks just as fine- with Owen Pallet, city gardening and Sally Potter- which Oh Comely HQ will kindly post out to you; their shop is here. They also sell annual subscriptions and toasters- so you can make tea and toast to read your new favourite publication.

Oh Comely Magazine are very friendly, they tweet, blog and like sharing photos.

There's a full lists of stockists here (My copy was from WH Smith at Waterloo- thank you!).

Thursday, 2 September 2010

My shoe story

I first saw these Marc Jacobs shoes in an October several years ago- and instantly fell in love with them. They were and are a beautiful, classic shape and the perfect red- which is normally enough for me. Red shoes give you a skip in your step and a bit of magic in your day.

These shoes are not only red though- they have stars- and an added air of Wonderwoman.

I finally bought my favourite shoes at Christmas ready to wear them to parties where they were adored. I have looked after them and still wear them often now. They never ever fail to make me feel better or give me extra kapow when I need it. They are my super shoes.

This is my shoe story. You can tell Selfridges all about your favourite shoes here- and there is a possibility of winning some Jimmy Choos! You can read more shoe tales here. I especially liked Holly Springett's story- and her stunning vintage finds too, of course.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Can you hear Autumn?

This morning it was time to turn the calenders over to September and something has changed in the air too; these are the last days of Summer. Autumn is whispering to us all, especially first thing in the morning and late at night, the light has changed and suddenly it is present- it’s there in the chill in the wind, the liquid on windows, a damper more golden scent passes you in the breeze when you least expect it.

This is the Autumn of my twenties too and the urge to fit an enormous amount into these days and to achieve goals is seeming more and more urgent. Is this some kind of ancient call to finish things before hibernation? I hope future years won’t seem like I am sleeping through life, I hope I will be as awake as ever.

I want to meet you again Autumn but can we have a few moments more with the sun on our backs and the grass between our toes?

What is it about Autumn that seems to be such a change? Spring passes to Summer without us really noticing- and the last days of harvest become the first days of Winter just as quickly. Perhaps it is the uniqueness of the Autumn; it’s palette, smells and foods are more particular than at any other time of the year.

Of course I want to cling on to my sandals and taste my last ice creams, I want an Indian Summer, but I am starting to want Autumn too- to shop for a new winter coat and think about cosy scarves and wearing new socks that are a little bit tight when you put them on- and about getting on with life too- being productive.

After Autumn comes Winter- I am a child of the darkest and most bitter days, of the snow and the sun barely reaching up in the sky- and while I appreciate that Winter can be a black time in every sense I look for the cosy fires and warmth within it.

So there is so much to come- but Summer, stay a while longer will you?