i can’t help but try and support small producers, so whenever i see them pitch up at events, i always give them a try. i think since i have been doing all these pop up shopping events myself, i have totally appreciated the time and effort put into them. recently at the greenwich festival, i spotted a few of these quality companies.
kindred + wild, who make small batch apothecary oils and balms; i love the rosemary and thyme, perfect for your handbag and for smoothing your hair once you arrive somewhere and its gone all wild and frizzy.
maya njie has a lovely range of perfumes, light and fresh, they are made with natural oils and are a change to the mass produced perfumes on the market. i dont like commercial perfumes, and stick to rosewater, but these are delicate and not overpowering. i bought nordic cedar, which apparently was her first creation. now this is my scent of everyday.
suneeta creams are all handmade and natural – i saw them pitched outside the beigel shop on brick lane and bought a turmeric cream for dry patches – its incredibly soothing and moisturising and gave my daughter alice some as she suffers from excema now and again, and she really liked it. its very good value and the few things that i have tried (cleansing cream and eye gel) are impressive.
Mauli is the perfect gift for anyone, the oil is just divine and i am already addicted to the aroma – smooth it over your skin and hair – its become my daily ritual. the sandalwood makes a good weekly scrub, gently exfoliates the skin and keeps it fresh. the bottles and packaging are just divine too.
some of my favourite products are from santa maria novella – the rosewater is delicate and not too overpowering, plus the packaging is beautiful and the Picadilly shop makes shopping such a pleasure; and from aesop – the camelia nut moisturiser is very nourishing for this time of year, especially after a dehydrating summer and the approaching wind and central heating that we now face for the winter. their hand cream is a perfect xmas present – the prices may seem higher, but the products go a long way.
if you get a chance go and see the Rachel Whiteread exhibition at Tate Britain; its a retrospective of the artist works and includes a film showing the execution of the life size house that she cast and helped her win the Turner prize. the sculptures range from large monumental rooms and library shelves to the simple everyday object but all define the space within. made from a variety of materials, including wax, concrete, plaster – they all share a muted palette of calmness – a beautiful serenity and extremely tactile, but of course you can’t touch these pieces. also intriguing are the paintings of Jaspar Johns – we are all familiar of his flag paintings, but to see them up close shows a texture and depth that you never perceive from flat photographs or postcards. I particularly liked his monochrome works, his dark graphite works and etchings. there are so many important artists on show at the moment – we are so lucky in london to have them all on our doorstep.
with zoe – osteopath and dancer
islington has changed so much, more upmarket shops and places to eat and that includes art galleries too; you can visit the Estorick Collection with its Italian art collection in the handsome Canonbury square, or take a short walk to the wonderful lofty spaces housing the victoria miro and parasol galleries. they are kind of connected, and share a courtyard garden with a particularly lovely water installation and work by Robert Montgomery. I really liked the work by Idris Khan – very architectural. close by Suzy Harper has reopened with other makers at 99 Essex Road – lovely knitwear, and individual clothes. I have worn suzy’s cotton tops for many years and they never date and work with everything. we popped in for a coffee at the Bellanger – another French brasserie by Corbin & King; what with the Ivy opening up everywhere, they are all seeing to be too commercial now – and less of a special place to visit- more of a typical Parisian brasserie.
nature produces the most beautiful of shades – colours that can never be imitated.
Following the trench warfare which took place in the poppy fields of Flanders, during the 1st World War, red poppies have become a symbol of remembrance of soldiers who have died during wartime.
Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children’s novel The wonderful wizard of oz, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists to sleep forever. Oddly, the poppy field affected the film’s characters in the same order the cast members actually died.
doesnt this poppy remind you of the folds of a velvet dress?
Yellow is the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. It’s the color that captures our attention more than any other color.
It’s the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring.
Lurking in the background is the dark side of yellow: cowardice, betrayal, egoism, and madness.
In almost every culture yellow represents sunshine, happiness, and warmth.