Tuesday 30 November 2010


London has just been hit by the first snow of the winter, and I don't think we did too badly. I'll admit that some of the rail networks don't seem to be coping all that well but the roads seem to have been well gritted and most of the pavements I've seen today were clear.

I know that some people grumble at the first sight of the white stuff, but I actually love it. There's just something about looking out the window and seeing a fluffy of snowflakes falling from the thick, heavy sky. I was on a course this morning and there was a Starbucks round the corner, so while I waited for other people to arrive I sipped my huge hot chocolate and watched the weather from the warm indoors.

Sunday 28 November 2010


I spent this morning taking some photos of the girls. I'm rather impressed with how the winter light turned out.

Friday 26 November 2010

this week.

  1. Cinnamon and Nutella cake - I found this recipe in a book that my mother sent me to London with and my second attempt to cook it this week has been a great success. I baked yesterday morning as my parents were coming for lunch before we had a day out in London and it went down a treat.
  2. Winter weather - I will be the first to admit to being cold, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm complaining. I'm quite small so I do feel the chill quite easily, but I actually prefer the winter to the summer months. I like coming in from the cold and sitting beside a radiator or curling up in a blanket with the laptop warming my legs and a cup of hot chocolate on the go. And you can't really snuggle that much when it's stifling hot.
  3. Dressing up my dolls - I had the day off today and decided that it would be silly to go outside when I didn't really have to. My girls have matching underwear sets so they've been lounging around in them since January. As the weather has turned I thought it was time for them to wear something a bit more substantial. They look good in anything since they're thin and have legs that go on forever, so it's fun to play with different styles.
  4. Liberty's Christmas Shop - I adore Liberty in general. There's just something about it, a combination of the rich woodwork and the elaborate displays. So going to their Christmas Shop with my parents yesterday was a trip well made. More fairylights than you could shake a stick at, cheery Christmas music and the decorations on offer were beautiful.
  5. The new series of Peep Show - it started tonight and it looks like it's going to be a good 'un!

Friday 19 November 2010

this week.

  1. Kensington and Chelsea's Christmas decorations - I have never seen such pretty decorations. They've attached little Christmas trees to the top of the lampposts and iridescent stars have been suspended above the streets, casting purple and green reflections on the white buildings. Even the shops have put up their own beautiful displays. Beautiful.
  2. The 'local' - the girls took me to the local pub for lunch today and we ate toasties in front of a proper fire. We all felt a bit drowsy when we got back to the office.
  3. Desigual's 'MULA' jacket - so cute! I especially like the star detail on the collar and the asymmetrical buttons. And at 30% it's almost a bargain...
  4. Homemade flapjacks - I did some baking on Monday and it seems have gone down well with Cardy. If anything the flapjacks have got better since I made them. Yummy!
  5. My new bag from Sakura Urban - I've been a huge fan of Sakura Urban on Etsy for a long time and I'm so happy to finally own a piece of her work. She's going to be making me a bigger bag for everyday, but I am really enjoying my small poppy bag. The quality of just astonishing.

Friday 12 November 2010

brit com.

I am a huge fan of British comedy. Don't get me wrong, I do like some American series, but I prefer the subtly of British humour. Here are my top five...

No.5 - The Office

'I can read women. You've got to know their wants and their needs. And that can be anything from making sure she's got enough money to buy groceries each week to making sure she's gratified sexually after intercourse. '

It took me a while to get into The Office . I'm not a huge fan of Ricky Gervais and the short clips I'd seen of the programme made me cringe behind a cushion. But then Cardy suggested we watch the series on DVD and I thought I would give it a go and I'm so glad I did. I think that what really makes this series special are the well formed characters. The burgeoning love story between Tim and Dawn is just heart breaking and I want to set Gareth in a vat of jelly. Perhaps my favourite moment is Tim and Dawn asking Gareth whether he has ever had to blow a man harm whilst in the TA. The innuendo is just brilliant.

No. 4 - Black Books

'Add a drop of lavender to your milk, leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it.'

When I was a young teen I became mildly obsessed with the film You've Got Mail. I was rather taken with the idea of working in a quaint little bookshop with wooden panelled walls and friendly local customers. Then I grew up, Meg Ryan made some hideous cosmetic surgery choices and the idea of being a bookshop owner lost it's charm. That was until I found Black Books. Moran's Bernard Black is the cutest misanthrope I have ever seen while Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig are fantastic as the eccentric and slightly lost Manny and Fran. My favourite episode is the one in which Bernard and Manny write the most perfect children's story ever created and Fran discovers the peril of too much cake and Life Cry. It's an important lesson we should all learn.

No. 3 - Peep Show

'Life is all pain. Pain, rejection and gloom. Why do we even pretend that there's anything other than a yawning blankness at the heart of... Hey! 33% extra free! I'm doing excellent shopping. My depressed state of mind is making me even more frugal than normal.'

I only wish that Mitchell and Webb's sketch show was as good as Peep Show. I mean, don't get me wrong, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar is great and I yearn for a full length episode of Numberwang, but it's just not quite up to the same standard. I think that one of the reasons that Peep Show has such an impact is the first person camera work - it creates a level of intimacy that you seldom find in comedy shows. Seeing everything through Mark and Jeremy's eyes really allows you to feel empathy for them. You share Mark's triumphs and tribulations as he tries to woo Sophie (who doesn't 'like' his Frank Sinatra moment) and you feel Jeremy's frustration and shame about... well everything really. I think that their lowest point involves some fake pizza and pepper spray. 'It's for your own good.'

No. 2 - The Thick of It

'How dare you. How dare you! Don't ever ever call me a bully. I'm so much worse than that.'

Malcolm Tucker is one of my favourite characters ever. He is foul mouthed and power crazed, and he has the equally terrifying Jamie by his side. The Scots are coming, and they're going to make you cry.

I really love political satire and I think that The Thick of It is perhaps the best of the best. It's so eerily spot on with some of it's scandals and policies that it's almost uncanny. I sat down and watched a few episodes with my civil servant father. He said it was spookily accurate and laughed a lot. I think that's the insider seal of approval. I don't think I could pick a favourite episode, so I'll just tell you to go out and watch it yourself.

No. 1 - Spaced

'You are so blind! You so do not understand! You weren't there at the beginning. You don't know how good it was! How important! This is it for you! This jumped-up firework display of a toy advert! People like you make me sick! What's wrong with you?! Now, I don't care if you've saved up all your fifty 'p's, take your pocket money and get out!'

You're right, Tim. The Phantom Menace was crap.

I am so desperately in love with Spaced. I think it's perhaps the most perfect series ever created. The whole premise, boy meets girl, girl suggests that she and boy pretend to be a couple in order to rent a flat, boy and girl find themselves living with an alcoholic landlady and creepy artist, could have been so cliched and dry, but it is brilliantly executed. Tim is the bleach blond graphic novel artist who proves that geeky men are bloody hot and Daisy is the aspiring writer who will forever remain aspiring. Along with drunken middle-aged flirt Marsha, socially awkward abstract artist Brian, gun loving ex-TA member Mike, tactless fashionista Twist and Colin the dog, they are perhaps two of the most beloved characters in the eyes of Brit com fans. I love the show's subtle references to big Hollywood blockbusters and 90s culture (The first rule of Robot Wars is, you don't talk about Robot Wars!) and the utterly charming characters. And unlike a lot of comedy series, there's nothing too flash and wacky - it's just two friends trying to be successful creative types in London.

I've tried to pick out a favourite moment from series, but I just can't. It's all so amazing. Go and watch it.

this week.

  1. Remembrance Day - well, not quite a 'favourite', but it is very important to me. This year I wore my poppy with pride and had a quiet two minute silence on my own in the office on Thursday. Cardy went to a small service at the war memorial in Docklands. My Dad is a veteran so it has a lot of personal significance.
  2. Pukifee - I never thought that I'd ever like a BJD this small, but I've been overcome with Pukifee admiration. I'm especially fond of Luna and Zoe. So cute!
  3. Our new lampshades - I'm slightly embarrassed to say that although we've been living here since January, we have only just found lampshades that we liked for our living room. No more naked lightbulbs for us!
  4. Peep Show - during the week myself and Cardy like to watch one of our many TV series DVDs. This week we have got through the first series of Peep Show. Alan Johnson - what a legend. But remember, there's man love and there's business love, and never the twain shall meet.
  5. My sturdy umbrella - it's been foul outside this week and my umbrella has blown inside out a few times, but it's still going strong. We salute you little brolly. We salute you.

Monday 8 November 2010


I bought myself a new winter coat a few weeks ago and then the weather turned positively tropical on me. Today, however, has been deliciously cold, the fantastic kind of cold that makes your fingers tingle and allows for some funky layering. And so I got to wear my new coat. This makes me far happier than it should...

Friday 5 November 2010

this week.

  1. Fireworks - I know that some people find them a nuisance and I will admit that it sounds like a war zone outside, but I feel a certain childlike glee whenever I see fireworks. The best thing is that we didn't even have to leave the flat to see them. Result!
  2. Waitrose pizza - myself and Cardy used to have a tradition, 'Pizza and Glee Night'. Every Monday we would stick two pizzas in the oven and would then delight in the cheesiness of Glee. But then something changed. More to the point, our usual pizzas changed and we weren't able to find a suitable substitute in Brixton. Today on my lunch break I decided that it was time to try something new, and it would seem that Waitrose has stood up to the test. Bravo Waitrose. Bravo.
  3. Making my own jewellery - I'm by no means a pro at this, but I still find it highly enjoyable. At the moment I'm perfecting my memory wire bracelet technique. Seed beads are addictive!
  4. Spontaneous dinners out - I got out of work early on Tuesday and rang Cardy to see if he wanted to meet up and go out for dinner. Half an hour later we were sitting in Wagamama, chatting and enjoying not having to cook. It was really lovely and unexpected.
  5. My new Riedell Vandals - my new skates are AWESOME. Slightly scary, but awesome. I managed to get up to 20 laps on Saturday. Still not 25, but getting there

Thursday 4 November 2010


I've not just muddled with the colours, this blog has gone fancy!

I must say that I am hugely enjoying the tabs and the rounded edges. A huge shout out to hiver for creating such a lovely rich palette.

Starla(365). has also gone upmarket!

Please excuse the hideously garish festive photo.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

date night.

I was sent on a course this afternoon and was told to make the most of it and enjoy having an early finish. Once the course was over I rang Cardy who had just left his office. While he Tubed it over to London Bridge I went to my favourite German deli to stock up on condiments.

When Cardy arrived we headed over to Wagamama at Clink Street. I love that place, in the summer it feels open and airy, yet in the winter the yellow brick exudes warmth and comfort. Having indulged ourselves on katsu curry (me) and chu chee curry (him), we trundled home, smug with the knowledge that we didn't have to cook anything when we got there. I love spontaneous dinners.

Monday 1 November 2010

red velvet art.

Words can't quite describe how much I want to hope on a plane over to the US to visit this enchanting little shop. The brainchild of Elsie, her sister Emma and friends Rachel and Holly, Red Velvet Art is a glorious mixture of handmade accessories, vintage goodies and delicious cupcakes and, of course, bubble tea.

I don't really get much satisfaction from high street shopping - I get frustrated when I'm standing in a generic chain store and there is no character about the place. I'm always looking for the complete shopping experience, somewhere that feels welcoming and quirky, rich with brilliant little trinkets to be discovered. I think that's what I love so much about RVA, it looks like the kind of place where you can go and play dress-up.

I can't, however, see myself going over to the States anytime soon, so I shall have to make do with reading the girls' blogs. I shall definitely be keeping an eye on A Beautiful Mess to see what crafty ideas she comes up with for the holiday season, and From Scratch makes me want to crack out the food mixer and the cupcake cases.

Man, I wish I was more creative!

Images belong to Red Velvet Art.