Never have winter coats been so exciting or offered such a visual treat – wear black all season, and you’ll still make a statement. Gone is military uniformity, symmetry and blending and say hello to loose cuts, colour and freedom of expression.
But be prepared for the odd gem that’s breaks the rule…
What times we live in. Maybe this post should’ve been about future brooches for Lady Hale. But I don’t think that lady needs any help, sartorial or otherwise. Instead I give you chains: The chains we choose to wear, the conscious, the unconscious. The ones we’re sometimes forced to wear. And sometimes, the one’s we wear with pride: The chains of office.
Saw this on a Pinterest board and loved it: Well crafted, obvious quality with a quirky sense of humour. Shame the price point was in the couple of hundreds. But it did remind me, there is an alternative to burning candles and that the plus point with incense is the choice of burners.
(I did have a quick google dive to see if I could find a similar cat. This one from Etsy was a tenth of the price. But I suspect you know that already…)
And then there’s this type, with backflow incense, which turns the whole thing into a living, moving sculpture. (From what I have read though, you have to be careful about the quality of the incense, otherwise you get mucho smoke, bad smell and residue. Another alternative is to make your own backflow cones – you tube has some videos…)
It took me a while to understand the appeal and connection that I felt to these little pieces of art from the moment I first saw them. I think it’s to do with the every day made beautiful, the worship of nature, a celebration of simplicity and a special sense of appreciating there’s something in the act of giving over time to create something that has honour but no practical purpose except it’s own sense of wonder.
Buy less but buy better is a mantra that both speaks volumes and resonates with my innards. Which is probably why the company Ninety Percent ticks so many boxes: Producing luxury basics for every day with classic, well cut pieces that are detail driven, made to last and respond to age. But even more impressive, Ninety Percent is a sustainable label, based in London that shares 90% of it’s distributed profits between charitable causes.
In moments of lull I return to the task of designing the pod for the garden: This summer is on it’s downward slide, which should be the siren call to have it planned and built all ready for next so I wonder why I haven’t yet done it. Is it because there’s an acceptance that the journey is the richest bit? In my mind, the excuse I’m offering up is that I’m tussling between two strong statements – modern and boho. I don’t know if it can be both. I take each element on it’s own and turn it round, looking at it from every side, weighing up the pros and cons. Do they cancel each other out? I know I want two thirds to be a seated pergola with a covered roof but with walls that would filter the light, to provide respite and privacy. Is the choice modern simplicity that’s kind on the purse? Or is this a last hurrah that requires something a little more?
No metaphor represents the end of summer more than abandoned, once loved inflatables, lying discarded like an unwanted skins by over flowing bins, waiting to be hauled off to landfill. A couple of weeks pleasure in return for environmental chaos. But one man’s poison is another man’s pleasure – for Georgia Wyatt-Lovell and her husband, Steve Lovell this is the perfect raw material for their bags at Wyatt and Jack. From deckchairs in the big smoke, bouncy castles in the suburbs and lilos from the beaches, all are gathered together and given new life and new purpose.
(Particularly love this one, designed for bikers and doubles as a pannier. Genius.)
Maybe it’s because they don’t have boobs. Maybe it’s because their clothes are more of a uniform with less choice. Maybe it’s because layering is something they’ve always done. But heck, when men get it right, they smoke.
I made a discovery yesterday. In fact I made several. Firstly, I am genuinely getting old – the proof came in an unexpected moment when I found myself looking for and using a different attachment for the hoover.
Afterwards I needed a full fat caffeine filled coffee to recover: I’d taken it upon myself to have an autumn-clean; a cathartic move to put away the summer and embrace the coming cold. Part of this meant pulling everything out from under the bed and doing a proper job, because our bedroom has exposed floorboards and the brass bed sits on a vintage rug, provided as a welcome mat to any hungry moths in the neighbourhood. Discovery no.2: There is a Dust Monster, and this is where he lives, along with his neighbour, the Sock Monster. (I believe these are the protectors of said moths)
But none of the negatives will stop my meshed love and appreciation of the aesthetic quality of a perfectly placed rug, whether in a bedroom or partnered with a sofa.
There’s something about a rug that pulls a room together, anchors the furniture and solidifies all the opposing elements. I was reminded of this whilst watching the latest interior design competition (Interior Design Masters) on the BBC. The joy of these programmes is considering what you’d do in their position. And often I find myself shouting ‘rug’, and sometimes other words, at the screen. But the truth is, seeing where contestants go wrong is easy, particularly with the addition of retrospect. The hardest thing is always to narrow the choices and come up with original ideas in the first place. And that’s without cameras and a time limit.
Saw this on Pinterest and thought, what a brilliant idea for a Garden Patio, particularly when the budget doesn’t stretch to tiles, but even when it does – because tiles crack and fashions change but paint is cheap and cheerful.