May 30, 2016

on the May 2016 table

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I am documenting the year with monthly photographs of my kitchen table. Capturing the jumble that accumulates here, at the heart of the kitchen, is also a way to record some of the domestic stories of our family life.

There is always cow parsley on the table in May. This year, as last year, it’s in the pretty little school milk bottle. I know that I’m repeating myself when I tell you that scalding the stems for five seconds in an inch of boiling water makes cow parsley last for days… but it’s such a useful tip (via Polly of Bayntun flowers), that I hope you’ll forgive me!

Tea, in a favourite Berylware cup, an odd one picked up for pennies at the vintage stall in the Friday market. Also, my Diana Lomography film camera, which has lingered unused in a cupboard for years. There’s something about the summer that makes me hanker for film, so I’m planning to load this up and take it out into a meadow, or somewhere similarly whimsical!

I’m so very excited to have this copy of 91 Magazine on my table. You probably now know that I’m 91’s deputy editor, and have been working with amazing editor Caroline over the past months to bring dreams to fruition and publish the first print copy of the mag. We did it, it’s here and (if I may say so myself), it’s gorgeous! I’m so proud to have been a part of it. If you’d like a copy of your own, you can buy them via our website here, or check for stockists in your area here.

Finally, the amazing painted constellation pebble was a souvenir from this year’s Sisterhood Camp (of which, more to follow)… It wasn’t me that painted it. My offering was simple and striped. As I was leaving, I was admiring the pebbles assembled on the windowsill and remarked that the starry sky pebble, my favourite, had gone. Unbeknownst to me, the clever lady who had painted that particular pebble, sweet Sophie, was standing nearby, at which point she generously and kind heartedly gave it to me. An act that was the very distillation of Sisterhood’s spirit. If you peek at her Etsy shop, you’ll see why she had such good constellation knowledge!

White, green, turquoise and silvery grey: the May 2016 table.

May 25, 2016

a year of wild with canopy & stars

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When I received an email a few weeks ago from Canopy & Stars, inviting me to join them in their Year of Wild, I was more than a little excited. With three busy boys to entertain this summer, I love their idea of a bucket list of wild adventures, from wild swimming to wild art and not to mention wild reading! Each challenge is rewarded with a scout-style sew-on Wild Badge, with a total of twelve to collect.

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May 3, 2016

the year in books :: May 2016

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My April read, Moranifesto, was everything that I hoped it would be: smart, thought-provoking, and really very funny. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but when I do, I shall be foisting it upon friends with an enthusiastic ‘you must read this!’.

This month, I’m excited to be reading a yet-to-be-released debut novel called A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter. I know that books really shouldn’t be judged by their covers… but look! I couldn’t love it more! And the novel does sound like my cup of tea: This is the warm-blooded story of the Cold War. The story of a wife whose part will take her from London in the Blitz, to Washington at the height of McCarthyism, to the possible haven of the English countryside. Gradually she learns what is at stake for herself, her husband, and her daughter; gradually she realises the dark consequences of her youthful idealism. Harper Collins have sent me this book as a part of the book club that I’m leading at the upcoming Sisterhood Camp retreat. I’ll be sure to let you know how I get on, and if you like the look of it yourself, I believe that it’s now available for pre-order.

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