Writing about things I love and things I didn't know - oh and things I want to eat and cook

Thursday, 23 July 2015

George Bernard Shaw, Chris Riddell, Aladdin ( a bit )

So I have been thinking about youth. I was a serious, bookish, youth. When my peers were dancing like nutters to rave music I used to decide which black polo neck to wear, transcribe Lloyd Cole and the Commotions lyrics and deliberate over which cheeses I should serve at dinner.

By virtue of a great love that has come into my life over the last few years - not looking or what - I have met - sadly only via email as he lives a long way away  - a great friend of my love who is now a mentor to me as well as great friend.

You know how they say people  - i.e. trolls are more unpleasant and vitriolic online as they can hide behind a false identity or a screen ?

Well ever the optimist I would say the converse is also true. Some people I have only email conversations with usually by virtue of geography have become incredibly open and revealing and very kind and perceptive.

The man who lives across the sea - I don't actually know how old he is, was saying that reading and writing are keeping his mind active. I couldn't see it that way - he has such a keen, beautiful mind and his wisdom and life experience certainly guide me. A gift of a life well lived.

Is youth wasted on the young ? Like most women I do wonder why I didn't run around aged 18 looking at my flat tummy and sports fit legs saying 'look, I'm in bloody good nick' instead of feeling self conscious and covering myself up in baggy jeans and shirts.

I didn't know George Bernard Shaw was co -founder of the London School of Economics.

There is the wonderful fearlessness, the intense literary absorption  - in mine and my peers' cases - intense evenings reading Auden or William Blake.

There was lots of fun too but I have lots of fun now.

Part of my current mid life crisis which I rather like in fact absolutely adore is my acquisition of mentors - I am blessed to have made friends with people of quite an arbitrary selection - most a good bit older than me and I am thrilled.

I just read Aladdin with my daughter - she asked and she is 7 so....Jasmine is quite a sparky woman - rejects the notion of arranged marriage and wants to marry for love.

The story - admittedly a slightly spangly Disney story book version - went on about 'being yourself' and being loved and admired for who we are. Then she swooned a bit when Aladdin took her off on the magic carpet for a really cool late night picnic. Anachronisitc ?

Anyway part of this blog is to mention things I come across that I think shouldn't be lost to history.

A recent visit to the fabulous St James' Piccadilly had me come across a memorial to John Hunter often called the patron of scientific surgery. HIs collection and bequest to the nation was phenomenal.

I have also been thinking lots recently about Chris Riddell - also I heard a Desert Island Discs with Anthony Horowitz. I had a certain - moment - thinking how bloody lucky we are to have these wonderful gifted powerhouses in modern life, culture.

I have a lifelong thing for broad beans. This is faultless. Grilled halloumi.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Moving, the seaside, J Brand jeans, Jack Wills

There is something very very wonderful about moving. I am moving shortly. I love packing boxes - I am a non hoarder - every bit of baby kit went to one or more than one round robin new homes - even the little Bonpoint cashmere hat and boots I had for my baby.

I am clearing out, clearing up, thinking of what to come, to replace, to revitalise.

There have been moves and moves and yes possiblys and other countries maybe but this is the one I just know.

Already there are great friends in situ - by complete coincidence and lovely new friends I have only just made but I know I will treasure.

Illness in the family keeps me in Blighty for a bit but I don't mind one little bit  - we have the seaside, great food, green fields.

I am in clothes mode as well as book and food mode. My boy is full on Jack Wills  - adult  - and I make no apology I love it.

Look :

Not him, the sweater. My sisters and lots of friends are super duper on Facebook. I am not but I get the emails and post comments. I love Instagram.

For example  :

I have obviously never grown out of school uniform - the occasional evening or weekend when I put on a dress and very heely heels and frankly love it but day to day it's J Brand or Made in Heaven jeans, breton t shirts, Superdry t shirts or my faithful layering - Jack Wills and Hollister. Converse or Supergas.

I've been wearing these for a good few years now and they are, to my mind, faultless :

They look much better being 'worn' just look up cool bloggers and you'll see - the white ones are terrific if tanned and brave.

As ever I rely on my adored Nuxe to keep my skin happy - now with a website 20% sale.

Reading all sorts of things in slightly irritating instalments as reading has to fit around packing : as ever I love Tim Harford, Harry Mount's Amo Amas Amat and in small slithers to be enjoyed with absolute concentration, Richard Holmes' The Age of Wonder. 

I have read Melanie Reid's column since she first had her accident - I listened to a wonderful interview with her this am on Radio 4 - if you can catch it on catch up do - it was quite spellbinding. Like most of us she only had a wobble when talking about her son.  

Food: odd really, latest crush which I have to have every morning ( lycopene, a good thing ) plum tomatoes, hot, natural yoghurt and lots and lots of jalapeños. Love it.