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.
Published July 13, 2013
books , flowers
Tags: 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”.
going on holiday and looking forward to reading a book again. i dont seem to find the time to read books these days, so many other things to catch up on and when i finally get into bed, i am so tired that i can only manage a page or two. For a really good read, try Patti Smith’s fascinating story of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe – it’s a beautifully simple and easy retelling of a special bond that she shared with him. It starts with them both, penniless in New York, struggling to find money to eat, but both passionate with their art and poetry. Their belief in their own sights and in each other, is what is amazing and proves that if you have goals in life and the will and determination to succeed, you can get there. Set in New York, in the late sixties and seventies , it is a portrait of two young artists’ ascent, a prelude to fame. Patti’s beautiful writing and her poetry is so enchanting, expressing so much it makes you want to read more of her poetry. You will no doubt cry at the end of the story – it was one of the most engaging and inspiring books that i have read for a long while. Just Kids, by Patti Smith is published by Bloomsbury.
any ideas for a good holiday read would be appreciated – i have bought a philippa gregory novel, inspired by the white queen series on tv, but sadly the production has put me off reading the book – its so wishy washy – i was so looking forward to it – at least the costumes are interesting to look at.
It was this time last year that I toook alfie and his friend to new york – sadly no trip planned this year, but whenever i think about book shops, i always think about dashwood books in new york. as you know, 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 – perfect for special gifts, you could spend hours in there.
Published March 8, 2013
Tags: john sandoe books, maggs bros
i always notice lovely independent bookshops – just perfect to browse in – they always remind me of the book 84 charring cross road – which you must read if you havent already – it actually made me cry. john sandoe books is one that i was taken too recently and i loved its higgledy piggledy fashion; maggs bros is the opposite, housed in a georgian townhouse its collection of antiquarian books is vast and more orderly. whilst we were in venice, we stumbled upon many antique book shops – with beautiful shop window displays – its one of the pleasures of venice, walking the streets window shopping at dusk. damocle books had a beautiful collection of classic authors and poetry books.
i am just reading the biography of Lizzie Siddal model to the pre raphaelites – its fine, but not as compelling as the pre raphaelites by franny moyle . if you want a good read, then 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. I just watched the film version, but i find that with all the films, they skip through the storyline and are disappointing - you must read the book first. Continue reading ‘books, books and more books….’
Published February 24, 2013
Tags: Lorca, sketches of spain
another year gone in a blink, today is 2 years since eilleen passed away and we miss her even more. she came to spain with us and loved the street life, the fact that old and young sat in the streets all night long. i recently discovered federico garcia lorca’s sketches of spain and am taken by his evocative words, his poetic prose magically expresses the spirit of the landscape – romantic gardens, splendid plains – its a beautiful book, that you can pick up and read sections at any time.
A romantic garden.
” Spanish gardens are disappearing. Tidy, symmetrical English parks are replacing them….Only very infrequently, walking along a deserted path leading to humble places, do we come across a shadowy deserted garden.
The romantic gallant soul of the eighteenth century beats along its avenue. The garden loves pallid ladies and gentleman poets. Twilight gardens from an age of sentimental dramas. Misty gardens that made Juan Ramon Jimenez, the great poet of mists, suffer so ……
The garden was alone. Pink and white hollyhocks flourish their flowering staffs among green waves of myrtles that run riot. The green dome of a pergola overgrown by a tea rose rises in the centre of the garden. Inside dry leaves cover a black stone table. The benches have sunk into the wet ground and a cascade of ivy does its best to hide them……”
18 years – some days it feels like more and sometimes it feels just like a year!! today is our wedding anniversary – strangely a lot of my friends have got married in January – not a popular month for weddings. i looked at the recommended list of what to buy to celebrate a number of years, and 18 is furniture! sorry robert but a book will have to do…… i found an early version of agatha christie…… thank you for making my life so special.
I will give my love an apple without e’er a core,
I will give my love a house without e’er a door,
I will give my love a palace wherin she may be,
And she may unlock it without any key.
My head is the apple without e’er a core,
My mind is the house without e’er a door,
My heart is the palace wherein she may be,
And she may unlock it without any key.
taken form the penguin’s poems for love, selected by Laura Barber.
dress from ilovegorgeous, lace chair beautifully laced by mary mathieson firstname.lastname@example.org
after all the hype I went to see les miserables the film with maude and her friend and her 10 year old brother Blake and his friend. it was definitely very long, and lots and lots of singing, but I really enjoyed it and yes, I cried several times! Blake loved the film too and apparently cried 6 times!
i never did history at school – something i deeply regret now – but i catch up on world history with all these amazing films. history is much more interesting when intertwined with a love intrigue story! a friend Liz Freemantle has just published an intriguing love story based around katherine parr, the queen’s gambit - looks like my sort of book, so this will be on my list to read this year.
the film is definitely worth watching; we went to the everyman cinema at baker street – comfy seats, fresh mint tea and popcorn - shame that going to the cinema now becomes such an expensive family treat. i did notice that you can get gift cards and memberships, which would make a great present for any age. next week robert and i have booked tickets to see chinatown at the bfi – there is a roman polanski season on there – he bought me a bfi membership for my birthday! he wont see musicals…… only the guys and dolls brando ones…..
what i noticed about venice was the beautiful individual shops that make up most of the shopping on the islands – take away the numerous mask and souvenir tat, but you will find very few high street names there – sadly we did see a macdonalds, but the number of artisans selling paperware was a pleasure to see. you cant leave venice without buying some handmade paper or stamp, even simply initialed.
of course, you do have smythson here – the ultimate in luxury notebooks and paper, but they dont have that hand made feel, more polished and gentleman. i have bought robert a notebook with his personal initials engraved on the leather – i remember that they offer this service in selfridges during the xmas period. in columbia road– choosing keeping - selling just stationery items, from the classic table pencil sharpener, to boxes of japanese pencils and fountain pens, and of course, lots of lovely note books.
Continue reading ‘stationary’
teenage boys are so hard to buy for – so it was a relief to find something that they appreciate and would keep for years to come – alfie has his propped up on his bedroom shelf – so a visit to the vintage magazine shop vinmag.com is a must for xmas or birthday. there is something for everyone, at any price, it depends how rare you want to go, but you will definitely find something to please that boy, whether it be a vintage football mag, a music, fashion or superhero – just set your budget and see whats on offer.
i was given a vogue from the year that i was born – this is another great gift idea . i also struggle to find my husband presents – i always have to think weeks in advance, and its typical xmas is followed by our wedding anniversary and then valentines, so i am always on the hunt for a little something. he has a penchant for collecting old books, so fortunately, i came across this website, with this amazingly helpful gentleman who does exactly this job for you – searching for first edition titles, checking them for their condition and guaranteeing that if its not right, you can return it for a refund! Glyn Watson is based in Shropshire, but he can locate anything for you. www.glynsbooks.com .
Continue reading ‘vintage magazines’
whitstable is famed for its oysters and sea food restaurants – but also for its independent gift and craft shops; walking down harbour street from the fish market end, you pass an array of interesting independent shops, from Frank with its beautiful crafts and artists works – you can never leave without buying a little something – today i bought some lovely sellotape with animals on it to put in maude’s stocking , to the cheesebox with its selection of british cheeses, wine, cupcakes from whats up cupcake, sweets from a really traditional sweet shop, brilliant selection of books from harbour books, flowers in a tin can from jane at graham greener, great deli food from david brown to traditional haberdashery at the fabric shop – all within a short 10 minute walk of each other. its one of the few towns with a shopping street that not only still has all the amenities that you need everyday, a butchers, fishmongers, fruit and veg shops, but also unusual gift shops, framers and art galleries – all without having to get into your car!
another place to pick up retro style gifts is taking the plunge. there are lots of crafts pieces as well as vintage postcards and cute little gifts.
and if you get fed up of seafood, you can always try the thai restaurant shangri la, it really is pretty decent.
sunday morning at the fish market is not to be missed – get a mackerel in a bun for breakfast; i love that the harbour is a working fishing place – the ropes and net cast by the side are just beautiful.