A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

This week's question (from a 5 year old)

Q: Can bumble bees still fly in the rain?

A: Yes

Retort: Ok, good.

Drowning in a sea of information, being what feels like constantly bombarded with creativity and beautiful things (in a good way) and with so much to read and understand and learn, I get genuinely overwhelmed. You should see the pile of books and magazines that are stacked in every corner of my office. But being true to the old adage that you have to start somewhere, here goes. My newly launched site is an attempt to try and condense. So here is a filtered, edited selection of what I’ve come across this week that I am passing to you. The contents have piqued my interest that week for whatever reason and will usually be across a wide range of topics - but that will probably (but not absolutely) contain culture, art, interiors, food, garden and/or music or failing all of that some items may be classified, ‘miscellaneous.’ It might be topical, it might be current or it might have jumped out of my high piled, richly stocked archive boxes if I’ve opened them that week.… So here goes….enjoy and do drop me a line with your suggestions of what to cover. The door is always open.

This week I’m channelling…


First up, titan creative that I often reference and think of, the inimitable Tim Walker…

For those of you not familiar with this giant of artistic photography, I urge you to delve. Tim turns fashion stories into fairy tales. I’ve had the privilege of being on a shoot with Tim and his wonderful team. The moment I stepped into the dressing room to decide how to style the shots remains one of the highlights of my career so far. He hand draws the pictures before the shoot so before the ‘click click’ starts, you get this stick man comic book reel prelude. What I love about Tim is his consistency of adhering to this - ‘no scenario too outlandish, no objective unattainable’ - pilot a biplane made of French loaves? Tim Walker. Ride with a pack of foxhounds trailing behind a flying saucer? Tim Walker. Crash land a spitfire in your drawing room? Tim Walker. And the list goes on.

As Kate Bush writes in her foreward to Tim’s ‘Storyteller’ tome, ‘giants, dreams and broken fairy tales are all welcome.’ Get involved.

Alexander McQueen sketch and shots taken from Tim Walker's STORYTELLER book

Waste not want not, food philanthropy in actual action, every single day.

I remember reading about the Felix Project one day on the way home, fed up and sweating on the central line even though it was mid-Winter and feeling so sad to read about the tragedy at the heart of this story. Justin Byam Shaw’s litte boy Felix tragically and suddenly died from meningitis in 2014. Justin wanted to remember Felix by doing something positive and recalled Felix’s despair during a football tournament when the opposing team revealed they’d had no food that day. Justin felt a sense of responsibility - that this problem wasn't the children’s fault but instead, it was the grown up’s. Inspired by the Oxford Food Bank that distributed food that otherwise would have been thrown away, he took the idea to London. So now each day the big Supermarkets gather all their unsold and surplus food and drinks and the Felix project picks them up in one collection and turns all of that wonderful produce into nutritious and healthy sustenance for the most disadvantaged Londoners - the 100,000 that otherwise would go hungry every single day. Felix the Phoenix. To volunteer http://www.thefelixproject.org/help-us/volunteer/


Apparently they're a 'thing' at the moment. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good old cardi . My favourite time to don a cardi is after the work de-robe. You know that feeling you get in from work, tired, hungry, thirsty for a wine. But you can't do anything or get into relax mode until you've gotten yourself into 'comfy clothes.' The cardi is the ideal item to keep off the Octoberber evening chill and also remove when you get too hot cooking in a steamy kitchen. They're the ultimate practical item and now, big news, they're actually fashionable if you're bothered about fashion,personally I am not and it goes down to personal style rather than following someone else vision or prediction). For more of a statement go for an oversized one like this one I found at a flea market for twenty pounds (real cashmere) - cinch with a belt for the ultimate nod to the 80's.


There’s a definite nip in the air - the morning and the evenings you feel that extra freshness as you peel yourself out of bed or fall into it. As autumn draws in and the evening’s get shorter, your body clicks on the mash and gravy switch and you want more comforting foods. But don’t forget the beautiful seasonality of the veg around at the moment. It’s the season squash, pumpkins and apples and beetroot (don't forget the colourful ‘candy’ beetroot ). Try this gorgeous root steamed for an hour or so (depending on size) and crumble feta and walnuts with pomegranates on top. Garnish with strips of fresh mint for a zingy, mouth livener ahead of a hearty stew or slow cooked dish.

Je suis artiste

The absolute genius of Kate Tempest (music, poet, playwright, novelist). I realise having done some research for this blog that I am late to the Kate party, sorry, Kate) she's been raising the roof for some years now with her intellect and lyricism. She stopped me in my tracks on the way to work the other day as she entirely captivated me with her latest song, Tunnel Vision. I found myself shouting and yelping yes to her via my car dashboard telling her how right she was - a rarity indeed. In this, her latest track, I take from her powerful words that she's rallying against war and the injustice we as a nation are liable for as we practice a very real sense of 'diminished responsibility' after the bombs have been dropped and in the PR spin that's presented to us, the enemy has been 'defeated.'

'We are nothing but an eating mouth, oesophagus, colossal We won't stop until we've beaten down the planet into pellets Before the interstellar mission to inflict more terror[..]

Imagine your daughter was gunned down defenceless on her way to school There'd be uproar But she's collateral damage, it doesn't matter Now if our kids are fine, that's enough for us

[...]Now, it was our bombs that started this war And now it rages far away So we dismiss all its victims as strangers

What insight and how brave to voice it. All hail Kate T. For more on her and her forthcoming tour dates check out www.katetempest.co.uk


I am excited about London's design festival. I look forward to presenting you my finds in next week's blog once I devoured the creative spirit of the best in design housed in East London over four days - bringing together the best of new independents and already established brands. Watch out for a special edition dedicated to this next week showcasing my finds at the Old Truman Brewery. www.londondesignfair.co.uk