Category: London

Lap of the Gods x

 

I was drawn to these photos of John Caudwell’s £250m London Mansion because they raised so many conflicting thoughts, like when is a home a home and when is it a hotel? When is a home a sanctuary and when is it an art installation? When does the line get crossed between just because you can, should you? And what about, just because it’s expensive, does it have value? The amount of money on view here is obscene: tens of hundreds of millions of pounds, we’re talking the best of everything.  And yet…what went wrong?


 

(This was probably the room that blew my mind the most: All the space, all the choices…and it looks like a bad taste Las Vegas take out joint with no natural light, no ambiance, no thought about the vital need for people to get up, push their chairs back and move around. But hey, there’s a river running through it. With real fish)


Conference room or sitting room?


(All pics Pinterest)

Porn set or spa?

It makes you very grateful for what you have.

Laters, Kate x

Mind the gap x

A fan of the quirky and like a genuine re-cycle? For present inspiration, look no further than the London Transport Museum shop. and their vintage shop.

There’s a whole section dedicated to first edition posters at unframed, present friendly prices.

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As well as refurbished luggage racks, large and small.  And for the real aficionados…push plates…

And even a jubilee line telephone….

(All pics London Transport Museum)

 

 

Choices, Choices.

Laters, Kate x

Blue Soho x

 

Iridescent turquoise bricks and art-deco-style cornice are not descriptions you expect from an industrial building in the heart of London.  But the fact that the building is going to be the headquarters for Damien Hirst might explain it further…

Until you realise that Stiff and Trevillion, the architects, designed the building not knowing who would occupy it.  Maybe the address being 30 Beak Street in vibrant, creative Soho is the final piece of the puzzle.

At the base, the hand-dipped glazed bricks are a deep blue, transitioning to the lighter blue as the building reaches higher.

( All pics Pinterest)

 

It’s enough of a statement to be shortlisted for the 2019 RIBA London Awards.  And yet another reason to pay a visit to Soho.

 

Just wish this grim London weather would buck up…

Laters, Kate x

Inspiration x

 

This morning I have two fruity magpies in the garden which proves that the days are pushing towards spring and that there has been enough time to retrospect the New Year.  I’m not a great believer in resolutions, but I ‘ve found that organically something takes root each year, even if it’s unintentional.  This years adaption has emerged like a fresh breeze, a feeling of wonder, a walk in the park:  One day a week, usually a Wednesday, I take something that has intrigued or justified further exploration and follow it back to it’s roots, taking in the offshoots along the way.  This week didn’t start with a person or a thought, but a podcast.  There are so many out there, the only stipulation was it had to last ten minutes – the time it takes to tidy a kitchen. I found ‘The Psychology behind with Dr Linda Papadopoulas’ I listened, enjoyed and went back for more. That’s when I found her interview with Jordan Stephens from the Rizzle Kicks,(also to be found on Spotify) the cheeky scamps of British hiphop remembered with joy and mental connections of summer fun and lazy days. This was overlaid with the memory of a talk Jordan gave about toxic masculinity, a subject normally avoided by your average rapper. It paved the way for an inspirational interview that leaves you rewinding it in your head for a long time afterwards.

The next step back along the chain was the original Ted talk: Everyone loves an underdog, given by Jordan that inspired Linda to interview him. It’s the anti-hot house talk that many parents need to hear, how expectation can be a killer of growth. In it he mentions an ex-girlfriend, Cecilia Knapp who’s a writer, and you’re in the moment thinking what is this bed of creativity that bled, fed and made these attitudes? So you follow the story because Cecilia Knapp has made a Ted Talk too.

And I can only hope that by now you are as blown away as I was by her talent, performance skill and art, revelling in her silky words, caught in the rhythm of her mesmeric story telling.

The final step was to her website, to find she regularly gives performances – and that’s where this story will end – a trip to a poetry reading given by Cecilia Knapp, because I’ve never been to one before.  But I couldn’t be more excited: There are times when the internet becomes a weapon of war, anger and destruction, but like most things, it has a flip side, a slip side where, with the slightest of pushes, a wondrous world of imagination awaits.

Laters, Kate x

The three amigos x

This school year and certainly the start of 2018 has been tainted by the unavoidable: Our eldest facing the horror of Year 6 secondary school exams.  A hideous time and one of the horrible consequences of living in London where there are too many children chasing too few places.

As a parent you can make the decision whether to join the pressure party or take a more fatalistic approach – for many reasons, our choice is the later.  But even the choice of a relaxed attitude is not without it’s mental fuck ups: Guilt, doubt, even fear – We chose this school route for them – nobody put a gun to our heads – and when the kids are lining up to go into another exam it’s not easy to stand firm against a serious onslaught of questioning anxiety.

A shining light during this time has been our weekly cold water swims at the open air lido in Tooting.  Started at the beginning of September as a conscious way to replicate and appreciate what the kids were going to go through, it was meant as a challenge – could the three of us swim through the year without wetsuits? We’ve watched the saturated colours of summer turn to the stark realisation of winter, leaves turn and mists fall.

We kept going, even when it meant swimming in the sea in October.

Each week is the unspoken question – is this the week we fail?

And each week, as we emerge newly pink it’s like we’ve been fitted with a new coat of bespoke armour ready to face the world: Bulletproof mate, bulletproof.

It’s been a joy, a pleasure, life affirming and life saving.

I swear our blood is a different colour now.

Laters, Kate x

Rixo x-o-x-o

Christmas season maybe fast approaching but even the sighting of that behemoth shouldn’t turn all thoughts to party clothes.  Why? Because life needs to be lived and party clothes should be a reflection of every day.  Such is the philosophy of Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McClosky, the founders of fashion label Rixo.

Their vision was to create vintage-inspired pieces for the modern woman to wear with confident style and effortless grace.

For the quality of the material – silk,  the timeless nature of the clothes and the plus point of individuality,  the price point sits happy on the purse.

(All pics Rixo)

These pieces sing dressing up is for daytime, floor length can be casual and style always transcends season.

 

I, for one, am in.

Laters, Kate x

Labour And Wait x

God the eighties were fun…the smoking, the staying up partying all night then going into work then fishbowls of Chardonnay at 5. No gym, no clean food, just living life to the full and never worrying about the consequences. People behaved badly but oh how we  laugh, we laughed every single day. Until recently I thought rather than marking an era this was just a rite of youthful passage.  Now I’m not so sure.  There’s a modern contagion that’s spreading through all walks of life to constantly do as much as possible..and do it fast. Life is serious, focused and controlled, it’s either join the ranks or be left behind. Walk into an office and there’s no frantically ringing phones  or waft of cigarette smoke, it’s all green algae juices and mindfulness.  Which is maybe why the pull of any type of nostalgia is still strong for me and why shops such as Labour and Wait will always float my traditional wooden sailing boat.

Labour and Wait sell the sort of things you’ve always needed but didn’t know where to find, unless it was an Enid Blyton book or an Agatha Christie mystery.

I’m slowly replacing all my pound shop plastic for their built-to-last-wholesome-simplicity.

This is sourcing the best in life.  But learning not to take it too seriously.

Laters, Kate x

The Palace x

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Yesterday I went with the lovely Galliana to Buckingham Palace.  As you do.  The only downside was we were there only as ticket wielding plebs.  But we still had the chance to admire the ornate state rooms and look out over the beautiful 39 acre garden in the centre of London.

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But the highlight was the exhibition of the 90 years of style from the Queen’s wardrobe amounting to eighty outfits and 62 iconic hats.

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It was a lesson in the diplomacy of fashion: Made for a reason, for a specific person with a unique job using colours to be seen with subtle emblems and signs to flatter the right people in the right places – like the incorporation of the colours of a national flag for a tour abroad.  There was thought, care and attention to detail and whilst fashion was was there, it wasn’t fashion for fashions sake.

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It really was the best of British.  The collection is on till Oct 2 and is well worth a visit.

 (You can also have tea by the lawn afterwards…)

 

Laters, Kate x