Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Who these people are that keep buying the things I'm obsessed with at Erie Basin?

Why no one (including the Internet*) can provide me with a definitive answer to what size a womens shoe size 5 (38) would be in mens/boys so I can buy some mens brogue Dealer boots?

Friday, August 27, 2010



I think I might have posted this picture before, but a good thing is sometimes worth repeating. Steve McQueen and his first missus, Neile taking a sulphur bath at their house overlooking the Pacific Ocean, 1963. The text of the original Life article and the rest of the photos from the accompanying spread have been posted here.

{Photo: John Dominis for Life}

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I know I've been overusing the old Hipstamatic, but it makes everything look so pretty, not to mention it means I don't have to lug an enormous hulking camera around.

These pictures pretty much sum up my life lately. Brand new shoes - of the kind you've imagined in your head already and can't find, then suddenly see right in front of you, a snuggled up Lola, picking blackberries in the patch behind my house - the only thing that makes me truly happy these days, bypassing shops to visit the ducks (geese?!) (EDIT: swans?!) in Regent's Park, the perfect bacon sarnie on a Sunday morning, low sunlight filtering onto the southbank in between days. and days. of intermittent torrential rain.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Yesterday afternoon I was in Marylebone and had a bit of time to kill. It was the perfect opportunity to walk through Regent's Park and after all this time, have a look at the house Diana Vreeland lived in between 1929 and 1937.

The only people I saw in Hanover Terrace were workmen and chauffeurs, who were milling around outside some of the other houses. I got a few looks as there's no reason to walk up the terrace unless you live there or are visiting someone. Luckily they were all at the other end of the terrace, which is made up of 20 houses facing the park. I counted at least three blue plaques on houses marking notable people who had lived there: H.G. Wells was one, but there was no plaque to be seen on D.V.'s house. Maybe I should start a campaign to get her one. It would have to be red though, and that probably wouldn't fly with English Heritage.

The house and the whole terrace looked unoccupied as those extremely wealthy areas of London often do - I'm sure the owners are off on their superyachts somewhere or at one of their other properties. When I got to number 17 I stood and stared for a while, imagining how it was when D.V. lived there. (I didn't have my camera, so had to Hipstamatic it for posterity.)

D.V. and her husband left England in 1937 but there is a story in her memoirs about revisiting the house late at night in 1978 with Jack Nicholson and David Bailey, as you do. She talks about the house in detail, but it's too long to post here, and of course I only saw the outside. All the houses in the terrace are identical but when she lived there she put a topiary bear on either side of the front door. The front door was "pickled, every surface removed and then polished." The little hand door knocker she bought from someone whose door it was on in St. Malo. Orange trees were at the windows, which overlook the park and the ducks, and they would hear the lions roar in the zoo at night...

{Update: I went ahead and proposed a blue plaque for D.V. to English Heritage!}

Friday, August 13, 2010


This is the cover of the first issue of Italian Vogue I ever bought: August 1993. Which was 17 years ago. What!

I'd been wondering why I was so obsessed with finding the perfect oatmeal coloured Shetland pullover and a pair of sturdy dealer boots and then I remembered this cover. (Featuring Kristen Mcmenamy pre grey hair.) Isn't it weird that almost two decades later that image is still lodged in my mind, ready to be pulled out on a dark, freezing and pouring with rain mid August day. I was obviously quite taken with the accompanying editorial inside, since most of it is missing, ripped out haphazardly. I made a Polyvore set with these exact same boots (RM Williams) and pullover (Toast) almost exactly a year ago, on probably much the same sort of day, and I didn't end up buying either of them. This winter I intend to be snug.

{my scan}

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Waking up in the morning, the fridge bare as usual...then remembering you bought a cannolo yesterday in an Italian pasticceria and still haven't eaten it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


*I'm back on Twitter again. You can follow me if you feel so inclined.

*This photo is totally amazing. {Via Them Thangs}

Saturday, August 07, 2010


It took me almost a year to get round to trying it, but I liked Polpo.

It's supposed to be a Venetian bacaro (sort of like a Tapas bar) but it looks exactly like it's in Brooklyn. But it's in Soho. They have those funny half curtain things, so with that meaning you can't see outside, the interior of exposed brick, tin ceiling and low light and the American girl whose grasp of volume and tone moderation leaves you a bit deaf in one ear, you really could pretend you were in Brooklyn.
I suppose the idea of a Venetian bacaro in Soho could seem really gimmicky, but somehow it's not; even though the outside is painted like a Venetian building with the number painted on and it's decked out to look like a traditional bacaro. Somehow it avoids looking or feeling like a theme restaurant or like it's trying to be anything other than what it is.

It was so packed at 6.30pm that there was literally no room to move, but no one seemed to mind. After a couple of spritzes (so glad the Aperol spritz is taking off in London - or maybe it's just that I keep seeking out places that serve it) we ended up eating at the bar, which got noisier and noisier until I could stand the glass shattering vowels of the girl who was actually standing about 3 metres away from us no more.

We had some cicheti: anchovy and chickpea crostini, rocket and walnut crostini, really good arancini, then a plate of mackerel tartare with horseradish (a bit too subtle) and sausage with borlotti beans. I had a glass of prosecco and my friend had a 1/4 of red which I helped her drink (the wines and even the mineral water are sourced from northern Italy), then we shared a delicious flourless orange cake with mascarpone and each had a glass of amaretto (one ice cube). Bearing in mind we each had a spritz before eating, it was quite stunning that the bill only came to £25 each. I'm more used to going somewhere in London with a friend, sharing a portion of chips and mayonnaise, having one glass of wine, then the bill coming to about £45. It was amazing not to endure the end of evening feeling that you can't really afford to go out, ever, or eat anything and you've just been completely ripped off by someone who paid roughly 23p for the potatoes they just fried and served you in a little aluminium pot with pretend newspaper wrapped round it. Because we ate early - or we wouldn't have got a table - we were also able to get home on public transport instead of getting a £30 taxi for the 15 minute drive home. Double whoo.

So it was good, I can't wait to go there again. They don't take bookings but it wasn't too bad getting seated, even on a Friday night and the service was friendly and helpful. I'd like to make it to a real table next time, if only because at the bar you're dining in the thick of a heaving crowd. It worked well this time though, because at the bar you get to see what other people ordered and file it away for next time. Ah, next time...

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Mada Primavesigrannyb

Left, Klimt's Mada Primavesi, right my granny in Australia when she was a wee littlun.

Thought I better offset the ickyness of my previous post with some more pleasant imagery. Though that is really what I saw on the tube - sometimes blogs can get a bit too kittens and fairy dust.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


11pm - ish on the tube:

A man with a broken arm and his shirt falling off has an animatedly slurred conversation with two equally slurring girls, as he travels up one escalator and they down another.

The man sitting nearest to me slumps with his head bent over his stomach, a thick column of drool falling from his mouth onto his chest.

I step over two girls sitting on the floor eating either chips or chicken nuggets.

1pm -ish on the tube:

A girl with a fake Hermes Birkin bag methodically eats a big plastic pot of what looks like noodle salad with a plastic spoon, then places the empty pot on the floor before getting off the tube at Hammersmith.

A woman sitting opposite me, who has big bouffant Amy Winehouse hair including a hairpiece and heavy black eye make up, wipes her eye and smears black eyeliner over half her face. She wipes and wipes away at it with her finger until the smudge is rectified.

A girl sits with a friend and applies first pink eyeshadow, then blue up to her eyebrows. She then plucks her eyebrows, applies blusher, lip liner and lipgloss, before starting to buff her nails roughly, then applies nail varnish. Her friend then does the same. All the time they are loudly discussing girl No1's boyfriend.

The woman standing next to where I'm sitting sneezes all over my hand and neither of us moves or acknowledges it.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I think the way I relate to Paris has changed after so many years of going there. I didn't so much as sniff a macaron. I am just going to come out and say it: I'm not very interested in macarons anymore. There.

But two hours after arriving, which conveniently coincided with lunch time, I sat in a very normal cafe, in a very quiet back street. I ate an excellent lunch of pork loin with beans, drank a glass of wine, then had some fromage blanc with honey. And I observed many other people doing the same, except they all had coffee as well. Eating lunch, taking their time, most of them with work colleagues, no phones, no laptops, just lunch. Savoured. Conversation flowing. And a single waiter who got everything right, who was doing that dance of cutting bread, bringing orders, pouring wine and never missing a beat. And I felt very grateful that there are still cities in the world where ordinary people can do that, and that I could do it too. I had to wipe away a little tear. It always wallops me right in the soul somehow when I see the Parisian daily lunch in full swing. I had one of those moments where I felt really really happy and sad as well - exactly like her (right at the end. I wasn't a huge fan of much of Paris Je T'Aime, but that last segment by Alexander Payne is genius.) I found I didn't want anything much except a coffee sitting at a terrasse in the morning, a good lunch every day, to meet up with friends and to amble around. All accomplished.

 So this time I didn't go crazy at Isabel Marant or Vanessa Bruno or APC - even though it was the second markdown in the sales. What I actually bought was: 1 bougainvillea plant + a bonus free gardenia plant, 3 linen pillowcases from Merci (2 dark grey, one blue/grey) (I will buy the duvet cover when I've remortgaged my flat and sold that superfluous second kidney), 1 notebook, 2 Petit Marsellais liquid soaps, 1 bottle of Crealine H20 cleanser to keep me going. And that's it. Here is the much blathered about (by me) bed linen section at Merci, and my pillows...
I share these last three unremarkable photos taken at Merci for one reason only. How come a different man wearing khaki trousers and a shirt got into each of them? Strange...

Monday, August 02, 2010


Up to my usual tricks at the Musée Rodin: more inspired by the garden and architectural details of the house than the sculptures.
Though I suppose some of those were quite good too.
*There's a questionnaire/interview thingy with me over on Poetic & Chic. Thank you Annie!

Sunday, August 01, 2010


We're back in London and today is the FIFTH anniversary of Lola Is Beauty. I can't believe it's been five years - aren't you bored of me by now?

What to say, whoo hoo? I still love doing this so here's to another five!

{my iPhone photos from Paris}