Let’s be honest. This year Christmas is going to be different – so I think the only way is to go whole hog and make it more so. Partly due to the amount of box sets we’ve managed to inhale, but also just because I fancy it, it’s been decreed that in this hovel, Boxing Day will be a day of reading and minimal electricity (think candles and open fires. maybe the odd sheepskin. I read somewhere that a Scandi country (couldn’t tell you which one) gives books as presents on Christmas Eve, to be read on Christmas Day. This, for me, is a bit of an infringement on Christmas Day, a bit too holy on the national day of greed and gluttony. But the day after? Absolutely bloody perfect.
So each person has to buy one book for another person at the Christmas table. What joy!
Call it the call of lockdown fever, the curse of cabin fever, but after a few weeks of containment – and despite this lockdown being different – my eyes start longing for far horizons and a glimpse of the sea. I saw this house in Architectural Digest and physically felt the pull.
I spoke to my gut the other day and asked it what the theme for Christmas would be this year, it said cottagecore all the way: home made, simple, unfussy, thoughtful. I said thank you very much and felt our bond. The above is from a great little independent shop called Midgley Green – what could be more hands on and satisfying than artisan soap and a thrown soap dish? Maybe the price point – £5 for the soap, £15 for the dish. £20 all in? Bargain.
Midgley Green also have these beautiful tea towels – which are fab just as that – but….wouldn’t they make the most beautiful pair of cushions stitched onto an enveloped piece of linen? Guaranteed washable.
That time is fast approaching. The one where we all have to make big decisions about who to buy who what, knowing that both our personalities will be forever enshrined and defined by our choice. A veritable minefield. First best in show offering – the winter version of spring bulbs, in preferably a slightly rough, stood the test of time pot filled with lacey ferns, dark green moss and something sculptural. I can’t think of anything – apart from maybe candles (can always add) – I would like more at the centre of my dining room table as the nights draw in and food and conversation become a priority.
You can even make your own planters like these ones – go here for more details.
It’s the time of year where life seems to contract inwards, windows and doors closed, curtains drawn. Huddling and cosy. What better expression of that feeling than this chalet, tucked away in the mountains? What amazes me, is when I take the pictures in their whole, I love them. When I analyse individual bits, I question my choice – the pine wood – too orange? The side table and rug – Ikea? The pink cushions – too charity shop? Then I think, am I being honest? Or am I battling conditioned behaviour – maybe the wood has warmth, the rugs are original, and the cushions vintage. Is this actually a wind of change…?
Are clogs the new winter shoe? Possibly. The pandemic has had a strange effect with changes rippling out and now clogs make sense – perfect for sliding on for little trips to nowhere. And then flinging off on return; they are the ideal indoor shoe for the modern person. But if this is the purpose of clogs, the sheepskin versions seem much softer and more appealing – I’ve been wearing my ancient shearling Celts complete with worn toe holes since summer first started waning, but if I was going for an upgrade, it would be for these Birkenstocks. My only fear would be the temptation of the rest of the Birkenstock range…
I’ve mixed up the pics of mens and women gloves, mainly because I don’t like segregation of any form; I think it leads to the worst kind of fomo. And because it generally leads to the men getting the cleaner, stronger designs. Which is not to say these gloves by Mabel Shepherd aren’t fab and certainly deserve a place on both ‘presents to give’ and the lust list. Can you tell which one is which?
I took a train journey on Saturday – just a few stops down the line, but was amazed by the colours of the leaves on the trees either side of the track. Then the gales arrived, decimating the exhibition. In their passing honour, it seems right to celebrate the work of natural nature artist Richard Shilling and his unique way of exploring the themes of existence and transience.