The original posting of this was meant to be last Friday but sadly fell victim to Corona calendar blur, a well known side effect of the lockdown blues where every day feels like a parody of Groundhog Day without the ability to play the piano and I literally forgot what day it was.
Hoping this Monday will be a better start; Mondays are always a good place to start.
And where better to start than with the ever elegant Jenna Lyons? For me, it’s her high low mix, her ability to happily break conventions, but always nailing proportion.
The idea of little shops for mice was first started by Anonymouse – a Swedish Artists collective whose first piece of mouse street art was a restaurant in Malmo. The idea has since been taken up by others across the world. Built with dedication, skill, time and humour they exist for the pure wonder and escapism their existence produces; a little bit of imagination made real.
I think we all have a secret something we wish would or could happen. Mine would be a shack by the sea. But I’ve found myself recently dreaming of mountains, snow and vistas of unending wilderness. In my mind I’m seeing this as a conscious unconscious dream, a mixing of lockdown, the same four walls on repeat combined with winter, an acceptance of hibernation and the colder season of winter.
If pictures are not enough, there are two Youtube channels I’ve discovered (I’m sure there are plenty more) that open the door to another world, if only for a little while…
This is Hannah Lee Dugan, living in her cabin. If she’s not in her cabin, she lives in her converted van.
This is Tova and her family, living off grid in the Forrests of Jamtland, Sweden.
Leandra Medine has a sense of fashion which is not just about trends, but an organic amalgamation of all the wrong things being right purely because she’s given herself permission to step out of the invisible circle of expectation and just be. She rarely wears make-up, explaining she sells ideas, not bodies – ideas and clothes – or rather a love of fashion, a love of the visual and the impressions they make.
But the best thing is, whilst the hyperbole is fab, the real reason Medine doesn’t wear make up?
Because she’s lazy – she doesn’t want the faff. And because – drum roll – she’s comfortable with her look.
Happy New Year! We undressed the Christmas tree yesterday – a mark of understanding that this day, Monday 4 Jan, would be the official start of normality and the end of the lull, even before twelfth night. Can I say how much I love the lull? Every excuse to rein in, relax and restore; I know it can’t go on forever – that things ending mean they don’t lose their power to happen again. But I will miss it.
I think it was helped that we’ve hit a cold patch in London, encouraging layers and fires and general huddling and cuddling. Although, of course, only in our family unit. There’s also been lots of walking – which has meant a realisation that 3/4 length trousers, of which I seem to wear a lot, have an obvious design fault – but where there’s a will, there’s a way – and an investment in socks – notably long, knee high socks to lessen draft – striped socks, bright socks, argyle socks – has solved the problem in a most norm corm but satisfying way.
Gorgeous, no? And (I say this in a whisper) High street….£35 well spent from &OtherStories: Hitting the mark in pocket friendly presents that capture the jewellery zeitgeist with their power to elevate and add that Christmas luminosity.
This shop has a piece of my heart and remains open for Christmas orders until 21 December. Ethically aware – everyone in the supply chain is respected and paid a fair wage – and beautifully produced, East End Press offers a unique line of paper garlands, wooden decorations and so much more.
Which effectively stands for ugly – because, be still this beating heart – Swedish Hasbeens have come up with a winner: The perfect hybrid of never mixed with genius, a Frankensteins child where all the stars lined up and bowed down, a glorious fug of Dorothy meets nerd whilst waltzing to Lala Land.
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!