Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page


In Beauty on August 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

The benefits from the rose are numerous: the scent has long been used to soothe the mind; rosebud tea feels like a hug and tastes like serenity; rose moisturiser feels fantastic smoothed over the skin – as does rosewater used as a tonic for the face. It’s also fantastic in icing; lemon and rose cakes are delicate and beautiful.

I found this (pictured) rose and frankincense moisturiser locally for £3.45 and it feels like a dream. It’s quite thick, but smooths on perfectly. I have sensitive and sometimes quite dry skin, so it’s hard to get a hydrating, simple balance; I also occasionally forget to moisturise, then cake the stuff on to counteract it in my mind/wrinkled future. I’ve purchased ridiculously thick creams – every winter – thinking I need them, for my wind blasted face – and lusted after the recommended products that promise dream skin. When actually, I think all I need is a natural little pot of goodness.

I love the scent as I drop off to sleep. I wonder if it’s behind my dream last night. I was atop a ship, sitting looking out to sea with an elderly man called Horatio. He held a staff and was dressed in a thick, knitted blue jumper – a printed waistcoat over the top and trousers made from sheepskin. The air was fresh and though we swayed with the heavy waves, I wasn’t cold or at all perturbed by the ship’s movement. I could feel the softness of Horatio’s furry trousers on my ankles, and the scratchiness of his jumper on my arms. We looked forward to nothing, but nodded to adventure, travel and the future of the unknown. I felt absolutely contented and filled with confidence in the moment, that I was strong and could cope with whatever came before me. A map didn’t exist. He was was going somewhere different to me. I remember he gave me a locket and filled me with his good wishes.

Moisturiser from Amphora



In Active, Interviews on August 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I used to spend hours on my bike as a child, cycling around the village, exploring the country path by the river, and making dens or eating sweets on a bench; bikes festooned on the grass. Bikes make me think of times with a golden glow, an endless summer and wood pigeons cooing; going in for dinner when the sun leaves the sky and imagining cycling as far as my legs could take me. To adulthood, to my imagination’s reality and to adventure.

I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with fixed gear bikes. Started off thinking they’re interesting, then they frustrated me with their huge trendy associations and then… they mesmerised me with their frikkin beauty! Too much? No, seriously they’re such simple, personal beasts are those fixies. What’s more, there are so many different types of fixie lovers. From the whooshy zoomers dressed in lycra, to the boys with rolled up jeans and chino shorts. And there are girls too. Obviously. That said, I don’t ride a fixed wheel machine myself, I have a pretty hybrid, Viola. But I LOVE cycling, love, love, love being on bike, riding alone or with friends, it’s invigorating, liberating and good for you as well as the environment.

It also reminds me of being the carefree world of childhood, but with all the advantages of being an adult.

I’m also a fan of people who make things and follow their ambitions. So I was interested to watch BOIKZMOIND, a film by Gavin Strange. It’s all about the Bristol fixed gear scene. It started as a ten minute film and then organically grew.

“Local events put on by local riders started bringing like minded people together, cyclists from all walks of life, from hipster to hippy, father to son. All brought together by a love of a bare bones single geared machine. Alleycats, hill climbs, film nights, audax’s, polo matches.”

“It was at this point that I started interviewing these riders, delving into their reasons behind riding a bike with no gears in a city that’s made entirely of hills. Thats what I want this film to be, to answer the questions “What’s a fixed gear bike” and “So, what’s Bristol like then?” by giving an insight into the broad range of people that ride around and have fun in this city. Ultimately though, I just want to make a film that looks beautiful and will make you want to get outside on two wheels.”

I’ve watched the film, with my bike loving boyfriend (much more than me) and we both were inspired by the wheels on the screen. The music, obviously close and committed community, competitiveness, PRETTINESS, comical and insightful interviews and style. My very favourite component, are the words on real life friendships, bore from a love of something real and tangible. People going outside, whizzing through the streets and trees – spending time together.

BOIKZMOIND Trailer from Xynthetic on Vimeo.

An interview I think.


In Art on August 17, 2011 at 10:52 am

Following on from Temperley loving a couple of blogs ago. I asked Emma Block to do an illustration in her super art deco, feminine style – full of pastel colours, long lines and genteel nods to the audience. I specified that I’d like it to be evocative of the adverts from the 50s, with its own narrative and confidence in the product, making the eye-clapper, naturally inquisitive. The woman also had to be strong/nonchalant and there had to be a lion. Of course.

See these – I have obviously got carried away looking at ads. I could discuss them for pages and pages:

Enough! So, Emma has produced this Lionheart illustration. Love.

Blog posts on money and body confidence for Cherry Healey

In News on August 15, 2011 at 9:24 am

Cherry‘s new docu-series began last Monday on BBC3 at 9pm, this time on parenting, money and body confidence. Cherry asked me to write a couple of blog posts for her own blog, which of course I was delighted to do for her.

Post on money – click here. Money episode is on tonight.

Post on body confidence (it’s enormous) – click here. On next Monday.

I was joined as a guest blogger, by some brilliant people; including make up artist to ze *stars*, Arabella Preston and Liv Purvis, who has done an excellent personal style feature for Lionheart Magazine.

ALSO: Don’t forget you’ll be able to read Cherry‘s piece for Lionheart Magazine in the first issue. Exciting, yes!

In other news, the magazine is continuing to be a joy and wonder. I LOVE it more and more everyday.

This week however, after a total lack of days off, my bf and I are off out the country. To Wales. Or maybe Cornwall (sort of abroad). Anyway, on an adventure. Just for a few days. I will take his nice camera and attempt to perfect the fuzzy background clear foreground shots, we all know and love. Either that, or you will have blurry shots of bf surfing. Certainly some of the food and sea. 99% adamant that I will be thinking Lionheart thoughts regularly.


In Fashion on August 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Temperley A/W 2011

Temperley A/W 2011

The other day I met up with the stylist for the Lionheart fashion shoot. The fashion shoot is something that will have to be done artfully, as the Lionheart budget isn’t too hot. However, I – along with many other people like me – spend my time working out ways of doing what I would like, creatively. This goes for everything, from food to interiors and of course, fashion. Ultimately I prefer this; I think extra hard about what I purchase, try my hand at crafting more often and through one incredible piece, have a sense of satisfaction that beats any sort of unnecessary bulk buy. Fast fashion isn’t my bag, but beautiful pieces with stories behind them definitely works.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was sat with the stylist Sian Hogan, and we were discussing all and sundry. I couldn’t describe what I wanted for the shoot, a million words instead of a sentence or two, and a scrap book rammed with an explosion of ideas. However, after sitting, drawing, thinking and pondering, it was of course obvious as to what would be perfect. We don’t want to create something that is necessarily what you would be expecting. This will be a fashion shoot, but purely from us and not motivated by what’s on the High Street.

Though, there will be some high end fashion influences within the shoot and the magazine. Issue one will feature an interview with ethical fashion designer Jeff Garner, of Prophetik – his story, words of inspiration and thoughts on style are meant to be remembered. I was absolutely in awe when I watched his show at London Fashion Week this February. Another collection (this one I didn’t see live) – and designer – that struck a chord is that of Temperley’s – truly wonderful, feminine and glamorous. Each piece holds a story, full of sophistication and beautiful adventure.

Several of my favourite A/W 2011 Temperley pieces follow:

Temperley A/W 2011

Temperley A/W 2011

Temperley A/W 2011

As an aside; my most desired wedding dress by Temperley


In Diary on August 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm


Imagine, if you will. That you’re running. You’re running through fields of corn and wildflowers. To an oasis of calm, where fear doesn’t reside. Your breathing is gentle and strong arms surround you. You’re safe and because of this, life for you is as sweet as a honeybee’s. Looking out for other buzzing bees, you work in your hive, drink nectar, then drift and float drunkly in the haze.

Imagine you’re running. You’re running away, because you’re scared. For your breathing, for your calm, for your life, for other’s lives. Fear shoots through you as your hive is destroyed and your wings can’t take you away fast enough. The arms you thought would only ever be wrapped around you, have loosened. You’re scared.

No one wants to have this fear of continued and further rioting, it’s suffocating and pointless. It’s senseless violence and stealing, proving that there are people who really, genuinely just don’t care. Why it’s happening must be tackled, but it needs to stop. It’s ruining and sad for millions of innocent people. No one should feel unsafe in places they’ve never considered dangerous, like their homes and businesses. Rioting has occurred many times before in this world, it’s true, but it is definitely not the answer. Anger and violence is never the answer.

Thoughts are with London and with everyone.

South America

In Travel on August 5, 2011 at 9:40 am


South America is a place that fascinates me. I’ve forgotten what it is like not to want to pop over for a year or three. The colours, mountains, waves and music; it looks, sounds and I imagine, feels absolutely incredible.


One of the best live music shows I’ve ever seen was Quantic and his Combo Barbaro in September 2009. These are a group of highly animated and sparkling musicians Will Holland (Quantic) put together whilst in South America. He flew them all over for a collection of shows around the UK. After a feisty, positive and beautiful performance, I was left invigorated and in awe.

Holland speaks here of the group and album; Tradition in Transition (Tru Thoughts), in an interview with Sounds and Colours:

‘The Combo Bárbaro is a group made up of musicians I met in Colombia and Panama. I wanted to make a record that was directly influenced by the variety of popular music in Latin America. Up until then I’d recorded Latin music and alot of Soul music both in live and sampled form, but I wanted to make the Combo a live band playing a combination of Funk, Latin and more symphonic sounds, like a mixture of records I like from Panama, Colombia and Brazil’s heyday. The catalyst for the record was having Malcolm Catto come over from the UK and record a weeks worth of sessions with me and several key Cali musicians, including Alfredo Linares.’

Tradition in Transition: A Postcard from Cali (TRAILER) from Quantic on Vimeo.

I saw the film that accompanies the album a few weeks before and was captivated by the spirit within it. Particularly the young school teacher, the lady singing in this video below. When we saw them on stage, she was pregnant and brimming with joy and happiness. As I said here in my review: ‘Particularly marvellous was Pacific folklore singer and award-winning writer Nidia Gángora who sang her vibrant song, Un Canto A Mi Tierra, in a stunning, white twirling, embroidered outfit with a straw hat and an exceptionally broad smile. As well as legendary Panamanian soul singer, Kabir, whose deep sounds were filled with rhythmic passion, respect and pride.’
For the full review: click here.

I love this song.

Happy Weekend xoxo