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  • Gemma Speakman

COCKTAILS AND DREAMS


Thought of the week

“When you go Home, tell them of us and say;

For your Tomorrow, we gave our Today”

John Maxwell Edmunds 1916.

How humbling, how true.

Interior of the week

Neon Lighting

I’ve oft had a thing for neon lighting but the one thing that stops me in my tracks and makes me quickly backpedal is how expensive they are. I look, I research, I swoon but I can’t quite put my hand in my pocket. The fact is the good ones that don’t look cheap or tacky are dear but think of them as a kind of investment that you won’t regret and that will be able to travel around with you should you choose to up and leave or even more simply, change which room it goes in. Or better still, get someone to buy one for you.

Bagandbones have got some nice ones starting from £59- and I remain hopeful the neon item on my list comes good this Christmas.

Artist of the week

Basquait - ‘Boom for Real’

This legendary artist that died so tragically early is being celebrated at an exhibition currently showing at the Barbican called ‘Boom for Real.’ This is the first large scale exhibition of the pioneering prodigy that started his humble graffiti tags and texts in downtown New York back in 1981. Early observations drew a deep sense of meaning from his works even when he started out, ‘containing a single word, a short phrase, or a simple image referring to a person, event, each drawing refined an external perception down to its core.’ Ultimately, he was fascinated throughout all of his career with the depths of the reality of people and the human existence in general. He went on to work with Andy Warhol, Blondie and Keith Haring as his career soared. He beat Warhol as being the artist to sell the most expensive piece of art when his piece ‘Untitled’ sold for $110 million. Ahem! Get down to this exhibition to see what all the fuss is about before it’s gone. Until 27th Jan.

Fashion of the week

Bum Bags

They’re back. Wear them front, back, across, shiny, glittery, sequinny - any which way, guaranteed you’ll either buy one for you or someone else very soon. I predicted this back in 2013 when I was working the Edinburgh festival and kept losing my phone and purse even though I was most likely on one of them and the other one was in my hand. When you’re busy, multitasking and trying to manage small people all at once (especially in an airport) they’re damn handy (and now, trendy).

YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHANGE THE TEXT OR YOU COULD JUST BE IRONIC AND LEAVE IT

Beauty brand of the week

FENTY

Do you remember when the Body Shop first started doing make up and it was a big thing; you’d plan the trip for ages and have all the excuses in your head when your mum asked where you’d been when you rolled in quite late after school. It’s because you’d been in the Body Shop (and then Superdrug) graffity-ing your hand with terribly shiny copper brown and blue eyeshadow thick liners (and stuck a slick of lipstick and gloss when you could sneak a second when the shop attendant wasn’t looking) with your bestie. And then of course you proceeded to buy THE single most inappropriate shade of foundation for your complexion, that you wore once and then kind of ignored because it either made you look like something rom the Addams Family or like you’d been TANGO-OED! I read with interest the other day about Rihanna’s new make up line, Fenty which had its debut at Harvey Nichols a few weeks ago. With Rihanna actually on site to make up the people who waited (not quite the Body Shop experience eh?!) whilst 8,500 waited online to order at 8am and the queues were uncountable, during the launch month the brand made $72M having signed Rihanna up on a $10M licensing deal!

For tips on ‘killer radiance’ check out Ri’s tips on www.fentybeauty.com

Food of the week

Just don’t mention Wetherspoons

The Sunday Times welcomed a new restaurant critic to its board a few weeks ago following the sad and premature passing of her predecessor, AA Gill. Marina’s first stop (presumably set by her Editor), was a very large Wetherspoons that had recently opened in Ramsgate. Suffice to say the review went on at length but the simple conclusion was ‘for God sake don’t order the food.’ Queue aggressive Wetherspoon defenders trolling her on social media. The point I’d like to highlight here is having been dubbed a ‘snob’ and ‘middle class’ repeatedly (she’s not, she was just doing a job and reviewing a place) Marina’s very valid point in response to the row was this, “Why shouldn’t everyone irrespective of age or class or status, eat well? Why is the pursuit of good food seen as classist?.”

Exactly, now put the turkey twizzlers away and buy a whole chicken instead.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO CHOOSE SLOP

This week you need

A Virtual Home PA

Do you have family members that regardless of what time of day or time they walk/roll/stroll in find it a kind of past time to see what footprint their shoe might make on the new, unopened post that sits on the floor underneath the letterbox? When my patience can handle it, I sometimes leave it there and see what kind of wonderment the patterns might make - we can go through a whole sports shop of brands and all 4 seasons can be visible on the said envelope lying there lonely on the floor. Admittedly, half of it is not worth opening but still, you get my point. Now apparently I hear that there are virtual and real PA services that you and me can employ for around £20ph for them to come and put manageable ‘systems in place’ so you can get on with the very difficult task of working and being a mum and a wife etc. These PA’s say that research on the job reveals that a job that a lot of houses don’t get around to is, ‘opening post.’ With statistics out that show working mums then do more than 60% domestic work than men these virtual wonders might just be the tonic we need. www.busylifepa.co.uk/housepalondon.co.uk/smart-pa.com

Vintage find of the week

Positively purple, positively boudoir, positively wonderful to perch upon! A steal at £45.. get involved at the fantastic http://www.woodstreetindoormarket.co.uk in E17.

I kiss you on both cheeks til next week! X


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