candles

candles are the iconic house object of the 21st Century –  I myself had only witnessed the white Price’s candles whilst growing up; even the simple nightlight was a new thing for me…..  candles were the essential household object that every one had during the power cuts in the 70’s, when the lights fused and you couldn’t fix them and had to wait for the electricity man to repair them or they were the candles you lit in churches.  now every restaurant, gift shop and home have candles burning;  candles are big gift items, and some are so beautiful that you don’t like to use them, saving them for special occasions.  I have kicked myself for forgetting to blow out my candle on an evening and then awoke to find it all used up…..  I photographed the beautiful candles le feu de l’eau   – they are unusual as the container is made of candle too, but this remains as a useable receptacle once you have burned your inner candle.  not only unusual, colourful, but have the most divine aromas.

love this candle that maude made me for mother’s day a  few years ago.  somebody had bought her a candle making kit for xmas and as she had no money left  – she went to the local charity shop, bought the teacup and saucer for a £1 and then made the candle – she did use some of my precious rose oil which makes it smell beautiful ( i had no idea that they were so costly and my jaw dropped when i went to pay for the bottle at neales yeard).  what a clever and innovative present though.

i didnt help her at all, but i would say, be careful of the candle wax on your pans, it did take a bit of scraping off after!

bluebells symbolise humility and gratitude

the first bluebells of the year are popping up in my garden.   did you know that bluebells are the symbol of humility and gratitude?  i loved these fields of bluebells in rock, cornwall a few years ago.

march is a month of blooming colour- with the hyacinths and tulips pushing through – despite this strange weather we are having at the moment –  there are lots of little blue flowers too; alongside the bluebells are these scilla flowers ; the delicate flowers with their vibrant blue colour are bewitching….

 

floral glimpses

I have produced a follow up to Stolen Glimpses. This time I have settled on flowers and femininity.

floral glimpses is a small, gift sized and gift priced, but still exquisitely produced book. A sumptuous essay on the beauty of nature at its most alluring, this craft produced, machine sewn 40 page book, printed on reclaimed paper is a tiny delight.

A5 size, translucent loose cover, hand drawn bookmark, signed and editioned,  only a 100 copies.   £16.00 plus postage.  available from myself,  please email christina.wilson@mac.com , Darsham Nurseries Suffolk,Tidy Street Store Brighton and the Photographers Gallery London. Perfect for Mothers Day.

dunwich

I love going  to dunwich out of season – a small sleepy village famous for its birdwatching. its hard to believe that it was once the unofficial capital of east anglia and the main port for trading of wool timber and fish.  there is apparently a 3 mile coastal walk to walberswick which is worth doing.  the ship at dunwich looks like a popular place to have sunday lunch, but you must reserve.  stop off at dunwich forest and take a picnic and enjoy the natural beauty.

we always end up at Homebase in Lowestoft – so pop to Kessingland beach for walk to take in the fresh sea air.  it always reminds me of Dungeness with its pebble beach, wild flora and incredible light.

we have had the cottage nearly 3 years now,  but we have explored the coastline on each of our short visits,  and each time we are pleasantly surprised at how naturally beautiful it is.  can’t wait for spring and hopefully warmer seas when maybe i shall attempt a swim in the sea too.

 

 

international women’s day

today is officially named international women’s day to celebrate equality for women, from simply being more appreciated, respected and loved to acknowledging economic, social and political achievements – i think that every day should be like this whether you are female or not!

i admire that quite a few of my girlfriends have changed their careers and now are amazing therapists – nutritionist, osteopathy, pilates, hygienist, psychotherapist and now acupuncture – plus i get to learn more about natural therapy and am treated to more alternatives to standard medicine!

i love that women are not challenged by anything – dont ever think that you are too old to start something new!  i was inspired by the fact that Julia Margaret Cameron started her photography career at 48.

Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou

The incredibly prolific and inspiring American poet, author of seven autobiographies, actress, civil-rights activist, producer and director passed away in 2014, leaving behind a huge volume of work celebrating black beauty, the strength of women, and the human spirit. In 2017 her life was celebrated in the documentary Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, which featured interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton, Quincy Jones and Maya Angelou herself.

‘You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.’

i  started to volunteer at the bay tree centre in brixton 4 years ago – a centre for women and their daughters of all nationalities to go and learn english, further their studies in the essentials of education – reading, science and other skills, but also fun activities like cooking, dancing and art.  there is a strong emphasis on social inclusion, encouraging equality in development and supporting them to think out of their box and achieve whatever their dreams may desire.  after school, the centre serves for the local ethnic children whose parents don’t speak much English and need help with their homework and studies, but in the day, the centre helps refugee children – these are usually older girls in their teen years- who are awaiting school places.

it reminds me of my own life, from a single ethnic mother whose father departed when I was five leaving my mother to work long hours as a waitress to feed three young children;  I had to look after my 2 younger brothers, get them to school – she was never able to go to parents evening, nobody to help with my homework, she could barely speak English but then I never wanted for anything, there was always food on the table and clothes when I needed them.  through sheer hard work, a lot of luck and determination, I have enjoyed a happy and family life in london.  i would have loved a centre like Baytree, but I dont think that these type of places existed then.  its harder to get jobs now and to get onto the housing ladder – and this is definitely so in london, but out of london I think its still possible, you have to want it and work towards it and wish a bit of luck.

I have now volunteered an extra hour teaching maths and English to these girls – all at different levels and stages, so there is always a need for extra volunteers  – you only need to offer an hour a week, every little helps.  you don’t have to be a qualified teacher – I have no training – you just have to be enthusiastic and patient – but its very rewarding.

me and my girlfriends

 

 

 

 

2 temple place

worth going to have a look at just for the extravagant interior – two temple place was originally built by William Waldorf Astor in the late 1800’s as his office – as Astor was incredibly rich there was no expense in building the architectural gem.   its only open when they have exhibitions and at the moment there is an exhibition by John Ruskin,  both artist and art critic ,this exhibition marks the bicentenary of his birth.  there are some beautiful drawings to inspire you.

its free entry and there is a little cafe there selling cakes and sandwiches. london is just full of little gems like this…..

2 temple place
2 temple place

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vintage ….

next sunday is the vintage fashion fair at chelsea town hall .   lots of lovely vintage finds all under one roof.  i just discovered that there is a branch of rokit in camden, right where i live – its been there for years, but because there are so many stalls there i just missed it.  i popped in and i have to say, its one of the cheaper places to find vintage clothes and accesories.  you have to rummage a bit harder, but the prices are good and at least half the price of the vintage shops around spitalfields. another place the kids like is absolute vintage..   portobello market on  a Friday is still a good place to visit.

one of my photographic muses Pip wears one of my favourite vintage finds .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

another vintage shop, palette  has a lovely selection of vintage clothes, a bit more pricier than the ones in the east end, but the choice is definitely more selected.  you can find vintage ossie clark, azzedine, jean muir. one of my favourite pastimes is finding new vintage shops and discovering new things.  here are a few of my finds.  Deborah Woolf Vintage has a wonderful collection of handbags, dresses, jewelery  and accesories, quite 1940’s and in very good condition.  She is at 28 Church Street, London NW8.   In the same area, there is Alfie’s Antique market, which is full of stalls, but you need a few hours for that.    blackout vintage is also good for designer vintage, but more affordable. Beyond Retro on Cheshire street is another good shop, and Cheshire Street E2 itself  is a good area to explore.  sadly a few of my favourite shops have gone now, but I guess there will always be new ones…..

found this lovely pleated dress at kempton market, but you have to get there early to get the best things….