This rug has survived over eighty years of use, has traversed at least three continents and has recently been the subject of a frantic ebay bidding war. But until it met my living room floor, it had not been up against...Lola's claws. I thought I'd better take a picture of it before she destroys it completely. I will make her wear dainty little booties if it comes to it. This rug is the first thing I have ever bought on ebay. I sold things, of course, but I think I always knew bidding would be a slippery slope. One minute I was nonchalantly browsing antique rugs, the next I found myself staying up until 2 am so I could swoop in like a seasoned pro and outbid everyone at the last minute. Antique rug addiction firmly established. And it was a STEAL, even taking into account shipping from the U.S., import tax etc. I felt sure it wouldn't turn up, wouldn't be as described, would smell of camels(?!), would be infested with something - but no, it arrived in four days, it's clean, it's perfect (though anything vintage that comes into this house goes into moth quarantine - two days in a sealed box with moth killing strips - just in case.) I love it.
Anabela had three of these There Is Thunder In Our Hearts totes left when I ordered one. She sent it in a beautiful package with an extra surprise and a lovely note, which is about the best way you could ever hope to receive a tote bag in the mail. It's great and sturdy and gave me an odd feeling when I walked into a shop carrying it and Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill immediately came on the sound system.
The next best thing to an independent hardware store is the bricolage department in the basement of B.H.V. (or bayachevaye). It's all hardware, all the time down there. There's a bit where they sell all the proper signs that you see in restaurants and public places telling you not to enter or smoke or whatever (in French! obviously), and those blue and white enamel house numbers. It's my favourite place to buy gifts. I bought myself an enamel Privé sign as well, for vhen I vant to be alone. ( And it kind of reminds me of Coco Chanel's Mademoiselle Privé sign).
Uniqlo heattech jeans: These are the jeans I normally wear (skinny straight) but they're like, thermal! The only thing that could improve them would be a bit of stretch - other than that they're literally a dream come true for my once frozen legs.
Anna Sheffield rose gold studs - half price in the Liberty sale!
Sometimes we all judge a book by its cover, and why shouldn't you when faced with these achingly beautiful new covers of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith for Penguin Classics. I got the Flappers and Philosophers collection of stories, some of which I've read before, some I haven't. I've also always loved the journals they sell at Astier de Villatte but they're so expensive I'd feel nervous about whether what I was writing in them was worthy enough. Luckily I found a gorgeous one on sale at Fenwick's for £6 (on right). I've been having fun writing hopes and plans for 2011 in it.