Archive for the 'books' Category

40′s vintage glamour.

my favourite pieces in my wardrobe are my vintage dresses – especially the ones from the 1940′s – there is just something special and individual about their finish and choice of fabrics and when i wear these pieces, they are the ones that get the most comments.   its also much nicer to wear clothes that you dont see lots of other people wearing;  i love cos and gap for everyday clothes, but how many times do you end up going out and your friend is wearing the same dress!

naomi thompson, the young but knowledgeable author is part of a group of wonderful vintage girls who not only dress in the style, but write, blog, model and live their life around their passions.  naomi wrote the book style me vintage that i photographed a few years ago. for more vintage insight, you must take a look at fleur’s blog – you will find lots of interesting things and links. personally for me 1940′s is my favourite era – i just love everything about it – half of me wishes that we all had to do our hair daily and dress so perfectly – no more flip flops, trainers…….. i am sure its a habit that we have all grown out of. i remember my mother having her weekly shampoo and set, wearing stockings and court shoes. now i only do this for a special occasion, for these vintage girls its no effort and they go about their daily lives looking so perfectly attired.

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secret lives of bees

do you ever read a book that you are dying to finish to find out the end, but then don’t want to finish because you are enjoying it so much?  the secret lives of bees is such a beautiful story,  its about a young girl’s coming of age, her memories and hopes for a mother that she lost when she was little, her relationship with other women and more importantly her recognition that colour does not matter.  set in south carolina in the 60′s, its poetical, spiritual, magical and uplifting.

gabriel garcia marquez

i was really saddened to hear that Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died and so there wont be any more great novels by him .  i recently re read Love in the time of Cholera during my visit to Cartagena, which has to be one of my all time favourite love stories.  fortunately he has written so many timeless novels, you can always go back and read them again.

If you are looking for a short read, try the Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novella  ‘Memories of My Melancholy Whores’ – its a great weekend size book.  Its an intriguing novella of a very old man rediscovering life and love and was his last written piece.

For a fascinating insight to the lives of young women refugees in Palestine, you must read ‘Red Tent, by Anita Diamant,  the dynamic of suffering and renewed hope through friendship is the book’s main story.  ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini, is another moving book, narrating the story through the characters of 2 women Mariam and Laila.  There are chapters in this novel through which you will hold your breath, but the love, friendship, and spirit that grows between the characters makes this a remarkable read.

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instant light

lovely mary bought me this inspirational book, instant light, polaroids by Tarkovsky.   i havent used polaroids for a long time, but my two girls love them – unfortunately its so expensive now to buy.  you can only get replacement film for the classic poloroid camera by impossible.


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discovered this lovely magazine kinfolk – inspiring design, beautiful photography – covers food and things to make and do – you can buy it at the rizzoli bookshop in somerset house.

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love, nina

i am reading this book, love nina, which is funny , fresh and very clever;  its one of those books that even when you are very busy you can pick up and read at any time.   its made up of letters that nina wrote to her sister during her time as a nanny for a family in Primrose hill in the 1980′s.    its hard to believe that they weren’t edited, but amazingly her sister kept them all and now they are published together  to provide an entertaining read.  i love books that are made up of letters – my other favourite book being 84 charring cross road.  

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derek jarman

one of my all time favourite books for gifts is Derek Jarman’s Garden book, photographed by Howard Sooley.  published in 1995, it remains a classic and timeless study of a beautiful and original garden that he created – it will make you think about finding pieces of driftwood and turning your garden into something more inspirational.

happy new year

as usual i have lots of new intentions which i know by the beginning of the year will soon fade away.   life is flying by, its another year – i remember thinking that 2000 was a milestone and we are now many years on;  but what i do  realise and am thankful for –   is  health, family and happiness.  no resolutions as such, but here are a few things that i will be bearing in mind….

generosity of thought

kindness of heart

patience of mind

selflessness in spirit

loyalty and friendship

my friend amanda bought me a lovely inspiring book, daily rituals – examining the daily routines of more than a hundred writers and artists – it shows that it takes effort, hard work and determination to create a successful piece of work – of course there are some who it comes naturally to, but for most its about dedication.  i think this means that if you really want something and put your mind to achieving it, you are almost there……..

wishing you all a joyous and healthy 2014 and may it bring everything you wish for!

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independent bookshops

i love book shops – especially small independent ones.  i have noticed recently that there are more and more individual bookshops opening, especially specialising in photography and art and special editioned books.  some books are becoming like art – collectors pieces.   dashwood books in new york has a beautiful and unique books, you could spend hours in there.

broadway market with its wonderful food stalls and interesting shops has 3 great book shops too, artwords books , broadway bookshop and donion books – both have an eclectic choice of books and a good selection of art based magazines.

queens park books is also a good local bookshop and has a good range of books for children.  its so tempting to go into a bookshop and see a book, then go home and buy it cheaper on amazon, but next time, tell yourself that if you hadnt seen the book in the bookshop then you would never have know about the book – where would we all be without bookshops?  they are a source of inspiration and develop the mind and creativity.  lets try and keep them all alive.

i havent been there yet, but fosters bookshop looks a fascinating bookshop, and not forgetting bookshops that become restaurants in the evening, such as boulevard bookshop in hastings, which serves thai food in the evening.  and the wonderful books for cooks in notting hill.

I am also sadly missing popping into  harbour books, in whitstable – i keep meaning to pop down for the day, but time just seems to fly by!

i am just finishing the boleyn inheritance by Philippa Gregory – its an intriguing insight into the life of the courts of Henry VIII, but told through the voices of three very different women – thank goodness to be born a woman today.

the language of flowers

thank you to st john for my gorgeous little book – the language of flowers - mine is a 1970′s copy, but its a copy of a handwritten and illustrated book written in 1913 and dedicated to mother from father.  the book simply tells you the meaning of all the flowers – all handwritten like somebody’s notebook.

“There is a language, ‘little known’, Lovers claim it as their own. Its symbols smile upon the land, Wrought by Natures wonderous hand; And in their silent beauty speak, Of life and joy, to those who seek For Love Divine and sunny hours In the language of the flowers”.


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