Showing posts with label Favourites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Favourites. Show all posts

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Do Book Company and Lectures

Last week I went to a great event held at Bristol's independent record and book store Rise. I've actually been to a few really good in store gigs there - often musicians performing shows in larger music venues around Bristol will do a short set or a couple of acoustic songs to promote the release of a new album or encourage fans to come to a later gig. Personally I much prefer, smaller more intimate venues so sometimes I will prefer to watch the Rise in store performances (especially seeing as they are often free!)

This event was to promote the launch of a new book series released by the 'Do Book Company' - an independent publishing house based in Shoreditch. 'Do Books' are a series of 11 inspirational pocket guide books which aim to create positive changes be it through learning a new skill or craft, a shift in thinking or by giving you the inspiration and encouragement to achieve a goal or dream. Each book is only about 100 pages, making them quick and easy to read and focusing on the practicalities of 'doing' rather than the background theory.





The books are written by speakers from the Do Lectures - which form part of a 3 day festival/conference founded in Cardigan, Wales. Fans of the world famous TED talks will love the Do lectures as they are very similar - the lectures cover a huge range of themes and subjects given by people from all walks of life.

During the promotional launch at rise, the authors of the following four books each gave a 15-20 minute lecture summarizing their book and how they came to write it:


  • Do Breathe - Calm your mind. Find your focus. Get stuff done. - Michael Townsend Williams
  • Do Disrupt - Change the status quo. Or become it. - Mark Shayler 
  • Do Purpose - Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more. - David Hieatt
  • Do Fly - Find your way. Make a living. Be your best self. - Gavin Strange

Each author was so engaging and interesting in different ways and although they only spoke for a short amount of time, I could have happily sat there and listened to them all night! I could have bought the whole series of books there and then but the one that really caught my eye (partly because of the awesome name of the author!) was Do Story - How to tell your story so the world listens. (Written by Bobette Buster)







I'm really into true story telling events at the moment and am pretty addicted to podcasts and blogs like The Moth, Humans of New York etc... Bobettes book offers some great advice on how to tell your own story and how the skills used to do this can be really beneficial to other aspects of your life, be it personal or professional.

The evening was rounded off by a great musical performance by Luke Sital Singh who I had been wanting to see again since watching him perform in the pouring rain two years ago at glastonbury - it was nice to watch him in the warm and dry comfort of the rise record store!

The books are definitely worth reading - as I said they are pretty short so they are accessible for people who are not really into reading and cover a wide range of subjects. I would love to attend the Do Lectures festival and the other events that they are now holding all around the world - however I was slightly dismayed when I went on their website and discovered that tickets for the 3 day event cost over £1200! So I guess for now I will stick with my slightly more affordable paperback book! On a serious note this is something that has been irritating me a lot lately ( - events which are apparently aim to "inspire and encourage discussion and debate between young people from all backgrounds" but are then priced so that only really high earners can possibly afford the tickets) and is something I will write about in an upcoming post.


However I should say that there are a lot of videos on the do lectures website that you can watch for free so do check them out here:

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Experimental Travel Part 3

So to round off my 'Experimental Travel' posts - here are a few more weird and wonderful festivals around the world! 

Russia 

White Nights FestivalThe White Nights festival is an arts held annually in St Petersburg during the arctic season when the sun can still be seen at midnight. The festival includes a series of classical ballet, opera and music events with performances by Russian and international dancers, singers, musicians and actors. The Scarlet Sails show is famous for spectacular firework displays celebration is the culmination of the White Nights season and the largest public event anywhere in Russia with the annual estimated attendance
about one million people! The White Nights festival aims to promote cultural exchange between Russia and the rest of the world and strengthen St Petersburg's reputation as a world centre for culture and the arts.




USA

Burning Man - Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

The Burning Man Festival is an annual event held at the end of August where up to 48,000 people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock desert to create art and express their individuality. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, which is set alight on Saturday evening. The Burning Man website lists the following ten principles:


  • Radical inclusion
  • Gifting
  • Decommodification
  • Radical self reliance
  • Radical self expression
  • Communal effort
  • Civil responsibility
  • Leaving no trace
  • Participation
  • Immediacy
The event is described as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. Festival goers often say that you cannot truly understand Burning Man without attending - however be warned this festival is not for the faint hearted!





Scotland

Up Helly AA

Occuring once a year in the Shetland Islands, this fire festival marks the end of the yule season. Costumed participants march through the streets carrying torches,followed by hours of performing acts and dancing in halls throughout Lerwick. The procession culminates in the torches being thrown into a life size replica of a Viking longship or galley.



U.K

Cheese Rolling

The final festival on my list is in my hometown of Gloucestershire! However although it is so close to where I live I have never actually been to watch the bizarre spectacle of cheese rolling....

The cheese rolling race/event takes place annually on the Spring bank Holiday on the incredibly steep Coopers hill in Gloucester. Traditionally it was done by only locals but over the years it has become world famous and now attracts participants from as far as Japan and America.

So what is cheese rolling? Well from the top of the hill a 9 lb round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled, and competitors start racing down the hill after it aiming to catch it. The first person over the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese!

There have been many many injuries from the event and every year the ambulances will be stationed nearby ready to treat those who hurt themselves! Due to strict health and safety rules, as well as the difficulty of trying to control the large number of people who come to watch the event is no longer officially managed by an organisation and authorities will try to discourage people taking part or going to watch. However this has had very little effect and hundreds of people will still assemble to hold spontaneous races, risking life and limb to catch the cheese!



So that concludes my posts on alternative festivals around the world - the few I have featured are just a snippet of the many that are out there though and you really could spend a lifetime visiting them all!

As for experimental travelling - perhaps I will use my book and decide to take on some of the challenges when I next go on an adventure!


Check out my previous posts on experimental travel and weird festivals below:

Experimental Travel Part 1

Part 2




Monday, 28 September 2015

Blood Moon

Did you see the blood moon last night? Ralph and I watched it from my garden at 3am. Living in a city I wasn't expecting there to be much to see due to light pollution but the sky was so clear and I could see all the stars and constellations as well as a beautiful rust coloured moon. So magical!



Saturday, 26 September 2015

Experimental Travel - Part 2

Following on from my previous post on experimental travel and after a conversation with friends, I have come up with my own experimental travel adventure that I would love to do! This one isn't really something that could be done in a weekend or a few months though as it would be pretty costly and would probably take a lifetime to complete!

It all began with a discussion about La Tomatina Festival in Spain - which in case you didn't know about it is a huge tomato fight in the streets of Bunol in Spain which is held in late August everyday. My friends and I all agreed that we would love to attend and then got to thinking about how great it would be to attend all the weird and wonderful festivals across the globe... 
Well once I began my research I discovered there were so many that it would be impossible to list them all! But here are a few that look especially fantastic....

India





Holi Festival - Also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love, Holi is an ancient Hindu festival which is primarily observed in India. It is celebrated in spring at the approach of the vernal equinox on a full moon. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships, and is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.



Whilst you are in India why not visit this festival too:


Jaipur Elephant Festival: The Elephant Festival is an annual event held every year at Jaipur the capital city of Rajasthan. It is organised according to the Indian calendar on the full moon day of Phalgun Purnima (February/March), this coincides with day of Holika Dahan, just a day before Dulendhi, which the Indian festival of colour and joy Holi is celebrated! As the name suggests elephants are the centre of attraction at the Elephant Festival Jaipur. Pachyderms are washed, painted and groomed in all finery by their loving grooms or Mahouts as they are called in India. Elephants are specially decorated for the elephant festival, with chunky elephant jewellery, large anklets decked with bells grace their feet, their bodies are painted with traditional Indian motifs, gold embroidered velvet rugs grace their backs along with silver and gold plated Howdahs and gold embroidered velvet parasol’s.



Thailand


Thailand has become very popular as a gap year destination and is well known for its infamous full moon festival! However if you are looking for something a bit alternative how about this:

The Monkey Buffet Festival is a really a unique and bizarre Festival held in in the province of Lopburi, North of Bangkok. During the festival 4000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, cakes, candies is set down in front of temples on tables, in pyramid or just on a simple mat for the delight of the 3000 monkeys living in the area.
The Monkey Buffet Festival also host plenty of activities in relation with monkeys: music and dances with young people dress like monkeys and hand made monkey costumes, masks and monkey sculptures are all created for the occasion.
The Festival was invented in 1989 by a local business man in order to boost the tourism in the Lopburi province. Since thousand of visitors come every year to see the numerous monkeys filling their stomachs!




Japan:

Home of the quirky and mad, Japan has plenty of festivals to choose from! Here are two I like the look of:

Konaki Sumo: Konaki (crying) Sumo or Nakizumo (sumo of tears) is more than 400 years old tradition organized in some Japanese temples. Konaki Sumo takes place every April in the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo and includes almost 100 babies.Two Sumo wrestlers, both holding a baby, face each other and wait whose baby is going to cry first.There is also a priest who shouts and waves at the babies. If both babies start crying at the same time the winner is the one who cries louder.If all this sounds a bit mean, it should be noted that the festival is also time of praying for baby's health. There is a Japanese proverb stating that "naku ko wa sodatsu" or "crying babies grow fast". It is believed that louder the baby cries the more gods' blessing she or he get!



The Fuji Shibazakura festival is a festival of flowers which gives colour to the Mt Fuji. Around 800,000 shibazakura (moss flox) bloom in beautiful shades of pink at the bottom of the mountain in late springtime every year near the scenic Fuji Five Lakes area, and sees more than 9 million visitors pass through annually.The festival takes place from mid-April through June, but the best time to see the five different kinds of Pink Moss flowers, usually takes place in early to mid-May.




Since I found so many weird and wonderful festivals I am going to split this into a few seperate blog posts - so stay tuned for my next one which features festivals around Russia, America, Europe and some a bit closer to home!


Friday, 18 September 2015

Experimental Travel - Part 1







10 years ago I was listening to the Radio and I heard a review of a book called "The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel" and decided immediately to go out and buy it. Lonely Planet travel guides are pretty well known for being good but this one is a little unusual... It is a book that helps you see and explore the world in alternative ways and offers a playful way of travelling, where the destination is unknown.


The book includes over 40 ways to take a journey, each described by a hypothesis, the equipment needed and the method (along with the results of travelers who have tested out each challenge). Examples of the different exercises range from simple challenges such as taking a friends dog for a walk and letting yourself be completely led by what interests the dog; or a trip that would require a bit more daring and preparation such as 'Erotourism' - in which a couple would travel separately to the same city and then try to find each other without contact.

Another method suggested is to travel by a certain number - for instance the number 12: take a train that departs at 12:12 and get off at the 12th stop. Or, catch a number 12 bus and get off after the 12th person has got on after you. Only stay at hotels that are on the 12th building on their street.

It has always been my dream to travel the world but it can be hard when you don't have the money saved or are restricted in other ways. This book is full of suggestions that can make journeys more interesting and offers ideas that help the reader to see places that you may travel to everyday in a new way. I think the philosophy and concept of the book is really valuable and can really be applied to things beyond experimental travelling - it's about experimenting, relying on serendipity and chance and looking at the world around you a little differently. 

I had sort of forgotten about the book until recently, but having picked it up again I am now toying with the idea of trying out some of the challenges around Bristol! Perhaps I will start a new blog documenting each adventure!





Monday, 7 September 2015

Sharing






Last week my Mom introduced me to a great new blog called commuteblog which each day features photographs and stories of commuters that the author meets on the tube in London. Each post is just a small snippet into the commuters lives however it is so heartwarming that people are willing to share their stories and offer such an interesting insight to struggles and pleasures of day to day living. This week the author of the blog posted the following quote in reference to the recent refugee crisis.







 It really resonated with me and got me thinking about how so many things in life are so much better shared. With that in mind I started to compile a list of my favourite things to share. What do you love sharing? Think about it and let me know.     


Things that are better shared


Stories/Books

Finding a story or book that is so good that you become completely immersed in the world of its characters to the point where you don't want it to end is a rare pleasure... but when you are able to share that with someone equally obsessed with it as you its even better! For me the best personal example I have have of this is the Harry Potter series. My sister and I grew up with the books as they were being released and we absolutely loved them. So many of our games and conversations revolved around the world of Hogwarts - we would dress up in wizard robes, make our own wands, burn paper so it looked like parchment.. all kinds of crazy and imaginative things! One summer we went on holiday to Italy as a family at the exact time when the 6th book was being released (poor organisational/holiday booking skills by my parents ha!) so obviously my sister and I were distraught that we wouldn't be able to get hold of an English copy of the book and may have to wait 2 weeks until we returned to the UK! After traipsing around every book shop in Florence we were able to find just 1 english version of the book and in order to avoid fights we decided we would read it (page by page) at the same time! Whenever one of us wanted to read it the other one would have to as well so that we were always at the same point! 
And actually it wasn't just me and my sister who shared a love for Harry Potter - it involved the whole family! Another summer we went on holiday to New England and spent a lot of time driving from one state to another. Many hours were spent in total silence in the car as we all listened to the recorded version of the Harry Potter books narrated by Stephen Fry. To this day we still love Harry Potter and I love talking to my sister about it and discussing various theories and plot lines within the books!



Music

This is probably quite an obvious and popular choice but sharing music (particularly live music) can be such a wonderful experience. I have been to quite a few music festivals where I have been listening to a favourite band or artist and have then perhaps caught the eye of a stranger in the audience and just without any words or conversation needed have been able to share such a great moment of pure joy and emotion. The same goes for sharing music with friends - sometimes its nice just not to need to speak and just listen to a sound you both love and appreciate.

My top shared music experiences would be:
Bon Iver at Latitude festival
Arcade Fire at Alexandra Palace
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's again at Latitude festival
First Aid Kit at Glastonbury
and one from my teenage years: Bob Marley and the wailers - listened to throughout the summer of 2016 in friends bedrooms and at house parties!


Childhood

I guess this follows on from my first choice but not having shared my childhood with my sister is something that is completely unimaginable to me. I don't think you necessarily need to have a sibling to share your childhood with - many children have lots of friends (real or imaginary!) cousins, neighbours or pets who they are able to play and have fun with. But surely there can be nothing worse than being lonely as a child. I have so many happy memories of growing up and playing in the garden with my sister and no matter what happens to us as adults and how different our lives may be from one another we will always have that happy shared experience that bonds as and we can look back on and smile. I know not everyone in the world is fortunate enough to have that (a point which has been painfully highlighted by the refugee crisis) which is really heartbreaking. Every one deserves to have a childhood shared with friends and family that they can continue to treasure as an adult.


Painful experiences

This may seem a bit of an odd one to include but I think its an important one. There is nothing worse than going through a painful experience or traumatic period in your life and feeling completely on your own with it. I don't really subscribe to the whole "everything happens for a reason" theory; in my opinion terrible and unfair things can happen for absolutely no reason at all. However I do firmly believe that there probably is something you can take and learn from everything, and that bad experiences do help you to become stronger and more resilient. When I have been in a particularly low and desperate state of mind having the support and love of my family has absolutely saved me and I know that facing those struggles alone would have been near impossible. So for that reason I add painful experiences to my list of things to share. I mean obviously ideally you wouldn't have any to share at all but if you have to go through bad times it makes it that little bit easier if there is someone by your side!

I feel like I don't want to end on that one as its a little bit melancholy but this post is becoming quite long and I don't want to ramble too much! 
What do you love to share? Let me know as it would be great to do a follow on post with other people's stories and memories of positive sharing experiences.


If you would like to follow the commute blog you can check it out here:
www.commuteblog.co.uk

other similar and equally great blogs which document the lives and stories of everyday people that I love are:

http://www.humansofnewyork.com

http://www.7billionothers.org/



Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Sea side days


 This weekend my family and I are off to Dartmouth which is hosting it's annual regatta. My parents have a flat in Dartmouth so we try and go there whenever we have a spare weekend - especially if the sun is shining! Devon is a beautiful place and something about being by the sea is so calming. The view from the balcony of the flat just never gets old - even when it is raining there will be boats going in and out, fishermen looking for lobsters and crabs. As it happens Dartmouth is an excellent place for crabbing - I once spent the day sitting on the sea front and managed to catch 60 crabs just with a simple crabbing line and some raw bacon! 
I have so many happy memories of days spent in Dartmouth and hopefully the weather will improve for this weekend so that all the scheduled regatta events go ahead and we can sit out in the sun and sea air!

I made and sent the card below to my grandparents who are rather unwell at the moment. I'm sure they would love nothing more than to be able to join us as they also love Dartmouth. Hopefully the card will help them to remember the times we spent there and they can imagine they are sat on the balcony overlooking the river watching all the activities and goings on.

The photographs below were taken by my Mom who could probably fill many albums with her shots of the river and coastline!




Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Storytelling

Is there anything better than a good story? A book that you can't put down, a character who you feel such a connection with that you feel a slight sense of grief when the book ends... I have always been a pretty avid reader and from a young age I would often insist a big pile of books being left on my bed for me to delve into before I dropped off to sleep. 
Growing up I mostly read fiction, finding that these imaginative stories offered me solace and escape - a chance to daydream about fantasy worlds and eccentric characters. However as an adult I am now finding myself drawn to non fiction works the real life stories, accounts and experiences from humans around the world.










I first discovered 'The Moth' in book form - a collection of short real life experiences as told at live story telling events worldwide. Once I had read the book of these fascinating tales I then discovered the podcast which is a live recording of these story telling events. To give you a better idea, here is how 'The Moth' is explained on their website: 


"The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it. At the center of each performance is, of course, the story – and The Moth’s directors work with each storyteller to find, shape and present it.
Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.

Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Each show starts with a theme, and the storytellers explore it, often in unexpected ways. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience."



What's great about the stories featured on the Moth is that the performers themselves are so varied and diverse; people from all walks of life participate from street cleaners to world renowned surgeons. It is such an interesting insight into the lives of others and each story is unique - some describe monumental life changing events whilst others are about simple encounters that may have changed a negative pattern of thinking. 

I would definitely recommend anyone to buy the book and download the free weekly podcast, its hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy it. The stories I have listened to have made me laugh, cry and reflect upon my own experiences.

Most of the live storytelling events are held across America however there are also regular events in London - tickets sell fast though as they are becoming increasingly popular!
I have also found similar events run by different writing and performance groups in Bristol so I am really looking forward to attending a few of those - who knows maybe one day I will get up and perform myself!

Last night I with a friend to a storytelling event which featured authors and writers reading 10 minute short fictional stories. There was such a supportive atmosphere in the room and it was amazing how the whole audience were just transfixed by the narrators. I guess it just shows that you are never too old for a good story!

To find out more about 'The Moth' you can visit their website here which has a ton of information on the book, how to download the podcast or even get involved and submit your own story!


Enjoy!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Little Betty


I have been meaning to post a photo for a while of this little beauty that I received as a gift from my parents for graduating. It is a miniature sewing machine (which actually works by turning the handle!) with a tiny needle felted wren perching on top. I am especially fond of its name 'Little Betty' since Betty is also the name of my cat!

My house is full of trinkets and treasures which I have collected over the past few years - If I see something interesting or unusual at flea markets, vintage fairs or charity shops I can't resist buying them! Each piece has its own history and story and I like to imagine who they belonged to before me or who created them. To me these are the things that make my house a home, so I will go on collecting until I eventually run out of room!



Sunday, 21 June 2015

Reconnecting with music

One of my all time favourite things to do is sit in a car or on a train and listen to music. I often feel frustrated that time I spend travelling from one place to another is time I could spend doing something more important... however it is the ideal time to listen to music because you can get completely lost in a song without the obligation or distraction of something else. The perfect time to just let your mind wander and daydream!

Over the last 5 years I have been lucky enough to see a lot of amazing live music through attending festivals and gigs, but actually in a weird way I don't feel like I engage with music in the same way as I used to. I still listen to all the artists and albums that I have always loved but I rarely listen to something new that really moves or inspires me. I think this is down to the fact that I don't like downloading music for free as it does feel like stealing to me but then I just end up spending spare money on other things rather than buying a new album. Yes I know I could stream music - but that requires a decent internet connection which isn't always possible (especially when travelling.)

A few months ago the hard drive on my laptop went and because I hadn't backed anything up since 2012 I lost any new music I had accumulated over the last 3 years. This was (and still is) pretty devastating but at the same time it has given me the opportunity to have a big sort out of whats left of my music collection - figure out what I am missing and discover some new stuff. So that is my challenge for this summer - I have no music festivals booked so perhaps some of the money I would have spent on that ticket can go towards updating my music library. 

I started today after hearing a track from the album 'Idris Elba Presents: mi Mandela.' Normally I'm pretty skeptical of when actors try to transition to music but I was pleasantly surprised by this offering. Idris Elba Presents mi Mandela is a 14-track album on Elba’s own 7wallace imprint, inspired by Nelson Mandela and Elba's own late father. The music incorporates a variety of South African rhythms and styles, including marabi, kwela, mbaqanga and mbube, mixed in with western sounds. Elba wrote the album whilst Long Walk to Freedom. It is by no means a solo project and features collaborations with Shaun Escoffery, Maverick Sabre, Audra Mae and George The Poet. 





I think the reason I love this music so much because it reminds me of a trip I took to South Africa 12 years ago with my family and friends. It was such a beautiful country to visit and I have many happy memories of that holiday. Next time I get caught up in stupid anxieties and worries I intend to put this on my ipod and get back to some good old daydreaming.

Here is a track from the album I particularly like.




Sunday, 2 June 2013

For the love of books... Part 1






I happened to go to a literature festival on Friday where one of the authors was discussing the merits of  a Kindle over a traditional paper back or hardback book. For me personally there is absolutely no contest. I hate the idea of Kindles. There is nothing more beautiful or precious than a book and I would hate to see them die out. I have many happy memories of reading in bed, on a beach, curled up in a chair. I love keeping copies of my favourite books that have been re read so many times they are dog eared and fat, to share a favourite novel with family and friends.

And what about all the wonderful art and design books that are still available in our book stores? Beautifully illustrated children's stories with colours so bright that they stick in your memory more than the words themselves. 

Photographic books showing nature and all the wonders of the world. I am no cook but even I linger over the huge section of cookery books which always look so appealing with hand drawn illustrations or tempting photographs. 

And don't even get me started on the smell of books! Not just old ones either... one of the best parts of re starting school in September was the anticipation of getting your brand new books with crisp white pages and that new book smell.

Books are for collecting, sharing, loving and passing on.

Some images and wise words of wisdom from other bibliophiles:




"Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?” Mo had said…”As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar." - Cornelia Funk, Inkspell



"Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." - Carl Sagan








Friday, 10 May 2013

Music I love...







Last Friday I was lucky enough to see Laura Mvula perform at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which was such a great gig. She sung all the tracks of her recently released album 'Green Garden', as well as doing a surprise duet with Jamie Cullum and as an encore a beautiful version of Michael Jackson's 'Human Nature'. Her band (who were equally brilliant) were made up of her brothers and sisters so I guess she comes from a pretty talented family!

To be honest I wouldn't class her music as Jazz - (it has such a unique sound that it's difficult to put it into any sort of genre) but I was very grateful that she was at the festival performing none the less. She seems to be getting lots of publicity so to have the chance to see her in such a small and intimate venue was really good. Thanks to my Mom for getting tickets!

Also on a separate note she looks so good with a shaved head! I wish I could get away with such a bold (no pun intended) hairstyle but I fear that I have a massive egg shaped head under my hair.


Another musician that I discovered this week is blues/soul artist Valerie June.
I saw her album recommended by a staff member in a record store and just by chance decided to give it a listen and I haven't stopped playing it since.

The song below (Workin' Woman's Blues) is probably my favourite but Somebody To Love is also a beautiful track. She is actually touring the UK at the moment and plays Birmingham on Monday... tempted to get a last minute ticket!

Listen and love :)





Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Illustration love...



Sunshine makes everyone happier! The bank holiday weekend was a lovely one and I felt lucky to be able to spend most of it outside with friends. Since I have nothing too creative of my own to show at the moment - here is an illustrator who I have followed and loved for a while. I first spotted Mandy Sutcliffe's work in Paperchase where they still sell Belle and Boo greetings cards, however there is also a great website which stocks a huge range of products - from stationery to clothing and homewares and wall decoration. Check it all out here: www.belleandboo.com 









Monday, 11 March 2013

Note to self...


Found another blog to add to the many I now follow: Positive Inking
Beautiful hand lettering and positive thoughts combined! I need to look at this particular one every day...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

If I was a rich girl...


I would do all of my shopping at Free People. They do the best boho/hippy chic clothes ever but unfortunately their prices are beyond ridiculous and don't quite match the whole ethic and lifestyle that they try to promote. Maybe one day when I have more money than sense I will shop there but until then I'll keep looking in the sale section of the website!

Here are some things I am currently lusting over:








Vintage Tribe Yoga Bag (£425!! - That would pay for yoga classes for the rest of my life!)





Free people also have a really good blog which is good for motivational quotes, outfit inspiration, creative DIY's and music. They also do a weekly horoscope which for me is always scarily accurate. You can follow their blog here.





Monday, 18 February 2013

The Life of a Bowerbird





A little while ago whilst having a browse in Waterstones, I stumbled across this book and have since dithered many times on Amazon nearly buying it. I've decided to ask for it for my birthday now so roll on April! 
A bower-bird may be a fairly ordinary looking bird but their mating rituals and behaviour are so interesting! The males  will build a nest or structure and then collect and decorate it with sticks and colourful objects to attract his mate.

Sibella Court's book encourages readers to take a similar approach when creating a home - collecting miscellaneous trinkets and treasures and organising so they become a precious and vital part of your home. 

Sibella Court is am interior stylist, creative director and author who has also worked for Anthropologie as a stylist. I actually visited an Anthropologie shop in Sloane Sq last week and had a hard job leaving without buying anything as all the products were so lovely!

Anyway I am looking forward to owning this book as I am a bit of a Bowerbird myself so I can pick up a few tips on how to arrange and transform my collections so they don't just end up stashed away in boxes and drawers of my bedroom.




 




Whilst looking for photographs of Court's book I also found a good review on it over at Decor8 blog so be sure to check that out for more photos and information about the author.

I also remember that David Attenborough did a feature on the Bower bird in one of his documentaries for anyone wanting a bit more information on the curious and unique creatures.







Monday, 4 February 2013

Movie Monday - Harold and Maude


I haven't done a Movie Monday in a long while, but last week I watched 'Harold and Maude' for the first time and absolutely loved it so thought it would be a good one to review and recommend for anyone who hasn't seen it. It is sort of an 'anti-romance' so what with Valentines day swiftly approaching, this is a good one to watch if you want to get away from the usual cheesy rom-coms. 





Harold (played by Bud Cort) is a bored, self destructive teenager who is obsessed with death and determined to sabotage his rich Mother's attempts at finding him a suitable girlfriend. He spends his time visiting graveyards, attending funerals and repeatedly staging his own suicide. He meets Maude, a wildly eccentric and optimistic pensioner at a funeral and they quickly forge a friendship as she introduces Harold to the beauty of music, art and doing whatever you want to! 


As the unlikely couple embark on various escapades and adventures together, their friendship grows into a romance and much to his Mother's horror and dismay - Harold announces that he intends to make Maude his wife!


I won't reveal the ending except to say that it is bitter sweet and completely suited to the overall quirkiness of the entire film. Both Harold and Maude are really quite bizarre characters and their whole relationship is definitely a little bit unusual given the 60 year age gap between them - and yet, they are a perfect partnership.

Ruth Cordon is hilarious and outrageous and is definitely the kind of little old lady I aspire to grow up to be! Harold is also acted brilliantly by Bud Cort and I can't imagine either characters being played better by anyone else.

My favourite part about the whole film is the soundtrack which accompanies it which is by the great Cat Stevens. 

The song below is the one that Maude teaches Harold during one of the more tender moments in the film.  I hadn't heard of it before but over the last week I have been playing it over and over again because it is just so sweet and uplifting! Anyway listen to the song, watch the film and enjoy :)