Category Archives: LOVES

Fishes and Cats

What a terrible thing.


Just some nice *stuff*

I got up this morning and realised I didn’t leave the house yesterday…

It was of those nice days, punctuated by pancake flipping for breakfast and barefoot baking, a Victoria Sandwich affair… ably assisted by a three-year old …

I’m *all about* the filling, so we baked one cake, sliced it in half horizontally, and filled it with vanilla cream, chopped strawberries and a thick spooning of this:

I don’t really use a recipe for cakes, I weigh the eggs, then match the egg weight with the same weight of self-raising four, golden caster sugar and butter. A teeny bit of vanilla essence. Bobs your uncle.

I am a great fan of my kite, though have only half-arsedly flown it once, on a fateful trip to Cornwall –  circa 2005. Kites, like bunting are things I would like to *get involved* with… Here’re some lovely kites I saw on my way to work this morning:

As seen in the window of East – High Street Kensington

…always a sucker for a foreign newspaper…

Outside London Livin’

Today we saw a very lovely 15th Century cottage in Eynsford (apparently pronounced ‘ayns-ford’, which is important, if I don’t want to be unilaterally and instantaneously hated by the locals) – it’s the middle one.

With a fully electricked and plumbed-up summer-house:

And a rather gawgus (and rather overlooked by the neighbours) jardin:

Maybe a bit dated, internally, but nothing a Ligne Roset suite wouldn’t fix:

And set in the tumbling Kent countryside, where the skies are huge and swans and signets, swan-about on the Ford, which you can either travel over, on the bridge, or through, in your rudimentary 4×4:

Serious gorgeousness. Though this is a not-entirely-reassuring photo of the village flooding…

The nearest supermarket is 5 miles away, the only shop is a butcher, there are three pubs, a church and a station. I tell myself none of this matters, because if I lived in Eynsford, I would mainly be doing the following:

  • Baking cakes for Bofo and his cricket-club buddies (I’m not sure he even wants to join said club, but who else will eat my scones?)
  • Making jam, and chutney (for village fete prize winning)
  • Arranging wild flora, and growing camelia’s, wisteria, violets, roses, peonies and love-in-the-mist
  • Setting tables with crisp, starched, linen, and multiple, purpose-specific jugs
  • Attending neighbourhood residents meetings
  • Tending to the festival of pets I would acquire
  • Painting pictures in the summer-house
  • Drinking Earl Grey on the patio
  • Paying nearly three grand in season tickets

S’all gone a bit Good Life round here…

The gothic and the sublime

Maybe as a result of being having been a moody teenager; I’ve always enjoyed a bit of gothica,  a bit of noir.

I adored the BFI 53rd London Film Festival, short-film special last autumn, The Gothic and the Grotesque. Here’s the blurb about it from their site:

Grotesque is disturbing. Gothic is magnificent. But both can be beautiful.

This selection of films draws on aspects of both, as filmmakers look to surreal scenarios and challenging subjects to give us thought-provoking gems. Whether it’s religious beliefs, the body politic, shocking images that challenge our perceptions, or quite simply what is perceived as bad taste, these films veer from the downright bizarre to those that play with and subvert more traditional horror genres.

I came across this site recently. Love-a-thon!

Loved To Death – takes taxidermy animals and animal parts, and builds them into beautiful, works of art and jewellery, in the essence of Memento Mori (which translated from Latin means: ‘remember you must die’):

(rights – Loved to Death)

Last night I watched High Street Dreams on the Beeb: aside from a new girl crush on Jo Malone (seriously cool lady, sensible, astute, supportive, successful, ace) – I was taken by the neo-gothica of Claire English (I was also taken by her natty little carrying cases, and thought she must love the Merci mini Liberty cases).

I’m not sure what they meant when various advisers and buyers referred to the collection as ‘very English’ but that’s because I’m missing the patriotism gene… here’s some of her *stuff*…

(Rights: Claire English)

I love the use of feathers and bones in metal – if anything it feels more voodoo than English to me. But I loves it.

Annina Vogel – she does up-cycling

I was stunned by the new Annina Vogel collection at Liberty recently.

She takes antique jewellery, up-cycles it, re-sets and re-launches it, setting brooches into necklaces, and pendants on to earrings… I could stare into that jewellery cabinet for hours. Of course being what it is, no two pieces are the same.

and then…

I see something like this, and remember why I LOVE design, and it’s all worthwhile:

Pep Talking in the Keep Calm Gallery

Career moves, out of industry, and out of comfort zone are pretty terrifying. I am quelling my terror with some kind words from the Keep Calm Gallery, this is the one that strikes me: