Sunday, 27 November 2011

Bust Craftacular

Went to Bethnal Green's York Hall for the Bust Christmas Craftacular today. Lots of goodies there as usual, I particularly liked these foxy scarves (although that's not my hand in the photo- I don't have a freakishly long right arm)

and these are nice too, I love the colours of the crochet cushion.

Afterwards, inspired, I went to my friend's house for a crafternoon, tea and fondant fancies. Check out that leopard print felt!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

For the love of Gareth

I have recently been obsessed with The Choir: Military Wives, and not just because I love an emotionally manipulative fly-on-the-wall documentary series (five minutes of Secret Millionaire and I'm in tears). I think it's because I actually love Gareth Malone.

And not just because of his squidgy little face. Look at those glasses, that side-parting, those threads! The only time I wish I was a boy is in the face of such sartorial cuteness. Knitted waistcoats! Any waistcoats! Cardigans! Bow-ties!

Sunday, 20 November 2011


An OK day spent sorting my stuff ready for the next house move and/or unravelling a scarf that I knew wasn't right from the beginning but persisted with out of sheer stubbornness. Like many things in my life, HA.

In the afternoon the sun seemed to clear the mist a bit so I headed out for some air that wasn't poisoned by the simmering rust inside my so-called "heater". The corpse-shaped stain on the carpet was also getting me down. The joys of renting!

Anyway - came across these delights - anyone know what these fruits are? Love the polka dots - they felt like the tights I used to wear when I was little, minus the velvet bows of course.

Oh, hello!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Hey mister, get your cuts off my sister!

Totally awesome day stewarding (ie wearing a high vis vest and pretending to know what I was doing) at the Fawcett Society's Don't Turn Back Time march.

Thousands of people there - singing their way past parliament - let's hope someone was listening.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Air heads

Did anyone else see Pan Am last night? No, of course everyone else was watching Frozen Planet.

I enjoyed it - it was as soapy as Downton Abbey, and the frocks and sets were gorgeously done - plus I love Christina Ricci.

But there's something odd about these dramas set in the 1950s and '60s - that seem to revel in the pre-women's lib era. In Pan Am there's much emphasis on being weighed (= shot of sexy legs on the scales) and girdles (hee hee!) but also a general fetishising of the bound female form - the air hostesses sweep through the airports in their tight suits like the stars of that Virgin Airways ad, and spend most of the flights delivering martinis on the highest heels.

Of course this is historically accurate, probably, but why do we fantasise about that kind of femininity now?

And unlike Mad Men, which Pan Am would so love to be, on the evidence of the first two episodes there's none of the nuance of characterisation. Yes, MM's Betty Draper is a beautiful doll, but she's also thwarted, conflicted, contradictory and mad as hell. Bring on season five, we're missing you...

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Christmas glitter

Looking out of my work window I can see some of the Christmas lights of Covent Garden, and already the shoppers are looking a bit fretful and shovey (not that anyone's buying anything yet, according to the news doom-mongers).

So this new book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit is a real festive treat: knitters Arne & Carlos live and work in, wait for it,  a “an old train station in a rural community in Etnedal, Valdres, Norway”. Everything looks lovely and snowy and serene and the baubles - which are red and white or black and white in designs of rocking horses and roses and poinsettias - are extremely tempting.

But I have particular lifestyle envy for their co-ordinated jumpers, vintage goodies and especially their dolls' house. Unlike mine (which I used to let the gerbils run around in in a The Tale of Two Bad Mice style) it's extremely smart and live-able looking.

Oh to be this Norwegian fairy doll. Makes me think of David Bowie's "all satin and tat".

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Sunday in November

Today my friend and I cycled through Victoria Park which is all colours of russet and gold and grey, and along the lonely stretches of the canal where the weed is electric green and undisturbed.

We were headed for the outskirts of the Olympic Park, one of my favourite places in London. There is still a hint of the Victorian industrial city: brick chimneys, the woodsmoke from canalboats, dark warehouses and factories. But now also these huge space-ship structures, like something from a Soviet textbook - not that I know anything about architecture, but the enormity of the stadiums, the futuristic style hinted at a communal machine dream. Anish Kapoor's tower is almost finished too, the rust-red of blood vessels, again part space-ship but also part serpent part rollercoaster.

We had tea and lunch in the lime-green cafe, and cycled back, then went to Beyond Retro and bought ridiculous clothes. A good day.