I always thought it strange when people say weddings are stressful – how can they be?  its a wonderful occasion to celebrate and share and invite all those friends and family, its a time to plan the party of the lifetime,  what to wear, the food, the details……

now that alice’s wedding is over, I truly understand why they are stressful.   alice being alice wanted it her way, which we all agreed to, but young people do tend to forget about social etiquette and guidelines with relatives and friends;  and of course if there is a budget, there is a limit and this is always the problem.  alice always wanted a simple no fussy wedding and it grew and grew….    but I have to say, she planned it impeccably and it was a beautiful few days of events with lovely friends and family.   she did the legal signing on a day earlier in the week with just the 2 witnesses, which got that part out of the way in a simple summer dress, jellies and a bunch of M & S roses.   the family celebration part was in regents park where she frequented her childhood  with happy memories  – with a brother holding the ceremony followed by refreshments at our family home ; and the final part was the biggest disco party with all her friends in a studio space – bring your own, which was a new concept for me!   all a beautiful memory to cherish, but very different to the typical wedding.  here are a few photos that were taken by everyone;  again she didn’t want the typical wedding photographer, saying that they are all so staged and un natural, but they paint the happy occasion perfectly.




Cold War

robert and I went to see this film together – a recommendation from our son – and it is a beautifully shot love story.  I found it a bit confusing, as I am not aware about the facts of the Coldwar,  but also found  the storyline a bit weak at times. the cinematography was so stylish and beautiful, and the scenes of paris jazz clubs totally delighted my partner.  I thought both actors great and the film worth seeing.  the contrast of bleak cold east is really apparent and the warmth and creative liveliness of swinging Paris really comes through.  films are so personal – one of my friends really didn’t like it and found it too stylish – and normally we like similar things.

fashion week starts in london, and yesterday I popped to see the beautiful fashion illustrations in Gray MCA – a lovely selection of vintage and modern fashion drawings, including works by Antonio Lopez, Galliano and some striking contemporary abstract illustrations  definitely worth seeing.

bread – my favourite food

I have to admit that my favourite food is freshly baked crusty bread – sourdough being the one I choose most;  wherever I visit,  I seek out the best bakers and have discovered the following – the hill bakery in camberwell,  the two magpies bakery in Southwold,  the spence bakery in fortress road,  and the pump street bakery Orford.   there is a bakery close to me, the Camden bakery and they are very reasonably priced for a loaf – I wish I had the time to make my own bread.

recently I visited the E5 bakehouse and had their lovely sourdough bread with just fresh made jam and butter – what a treat.  a great gift idea from E5 bakehouse – a cookery class in how to make sourdough bread or pizza – its also a fun day out with a few friends.   Its pricey, but it does include lunch and cake break as well as a full day’s tuition.    you can have breakfast, bruch or lunch there too!

just by chance this weekend I ate lunch in mare street market – includes a couple of restaurants, one doing vegan food and great salads, the other doing sourdough pizzas, and the lovely flower shop rebel rebel.   worth a visit and just round the corner from E5 Bakery.



shape of light at the Tate

there is a lovely exhibition on of photographs at Tate Modern – I think that it is overshadowed by the Picasso, but it shows early experimental photographs and sun prints and collages of the 20 C and shows them alongside abstract art of the time . Quite inspiring and makes you want to try it out yourself.   if you get off at London Bridge on a Thursday or weekend, its lovely to walk through Borough Market, grab a snack and the stroll along the riverside to the Tate.






always love going to broadway market on a saturday and especially to donlon books – there are always so many books that i want to buy from there – the owner has an exceptional eye and has a great selection – its a good place to go if you are stuck for gifts.  on my list is the beeautiful photography book Frida by Ishiuchi Miyako, which documents the dresses and personal belongings of Frida Kahlo – its an intuitive way of telling the life of Frida through her possessions.  the photos are simply beautiful.  it also reminds me of our visit to mexico with the kids 6 years ago – a wonderful cultural experience that still remains with me.

other interesting books are ‘The Biba Years 1963-1975′ and Edmund de Waal, a retrospective publication devoted to his ceramics – a very interesting ceramicist artist who I have loved watching his development from household objects to objects of art..

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cushions and textiles

love the beautiful silks and indian embroidered fabrics  in warris vianni on golborne road – especially the deep cerise pinks.


i love fabrics and have lots of remnants that i collect hidden in the cupboard, thinking one day when i have the time, i will make myself a dress, or even a cushion for the bedroom….  so its good to see that there are some companies reproducing some of the lovely old classic designs.

sheila cook for inspirational vintage fabrics – its not easy finding interesting fabrics –  but sheila cook has a good collection including beautiful vintage lace and collars, but more for the serious collector .   donna flower has a more affordable collection, ranging from the 1920’s onwards.   liberty is still a good source for both modern and vintage style patterns – especially with its famous floral print. john lewis has a big selection of interesting fabrics, some quite retro in style – their leaf and graphic designs are quite 1950’s in style. . designers guild probably has the prettiest and brightest colours – some are delicately pretty and some bold and vibrant.

talented stylist and artist mary mathieson made this colourful throw – she can turn anything simple into something beautiful.

love the handwoven cushions from Kalinko – apparently made on wooden looms in remote Burmese villages.  sometimes mixing ethnic hand embroidery in a modern environment takes the harshness and blandness away.