>Ponies and peonies

>In two words? Happy busy. Busy, so much so, that blogging has fallen to the floor I’m afriad. It’s been a bundle of job hunting, interviews, baking banana bread, turning 25, running, and working in a web design studio…all in one week, happy craziness, really.

The really wonderful news is that I have been employed by a beautiful wedding boutique called Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledon Village and I will be starting there on the 16th October, surrounded by beautiful, feminine and fun things, and with lots to learn and do. you can read more about the boutique here. I’m really, really excited!

Another happy time in the week was turning 25 years old yesterday…my first Autumn birthday in London! We had a yummy lunch with friends and ate cupcakes in the common in the sun. Thoughts on being a quarter century will follow in their very own post…

Another thing that made me so happy this week is my friend, Gisele’s, emails. Goodness. This girl has moved to Mozambique to help establish an orphanage, and so far is running a soup kitchen, training this naughty horse {which bites her on her bottom}, teaching English to an eclectic group, and writing hilarious emails that keep me doubled over with her wry wit and dry sense of humour.

It was also a treat to have my father-in-law {sounds so grand} pop in for the day on Saturday. We took him for a good ol’ pub lunch in Wimbledon Village at the Crooked Billet where the boys had fish and chips and bangers and mash; I had a delicious gammon sarmie. Do you like British food?

The worst part of my week, however, was that this was the week I was supposed to go to Lisbon with one of my closest friends in the world, and I couldn’t because of interviews and starting work. I have thought about her and what she is up to in this incredible city daily. I hope with all of my heart that you had the best time Courts, and that we get to do a fabulous city together one day. This was a great sadness for me…to miss it.

And with this, the dawn of another quarter century, and a new week, and more goings on and inspiration…

>Yearbook

>When job hunting and not having an income all gets too serious, it is good to look back on your life and remember what you have accomplished…being picked for the side, playing the lead role in the school play, playing a first team sport, winning over the heart of the hot, shy boy….this is starting to sound like High School Musical, haha! Seriously, those things made us feel so good and it helps to remember those feelings of pride, happiness and accomplishments. For a bit of fun and a break from the job boards, I went to this FUN site called Yearbook Yourself. Take your photos and see how you would have looked over the years. My favourite of myself was 1958 {yes, a bit scary, but I am showing you nevertheless}, “In ’58, cat eye glasses were the cat’s meow. To always land on your feet with today’s hottest looks, check out: Heritage 81.”

“Once associated mainly with 1950’s secretaries, grouchy librarians, grandmothers, and Dame Edna, cat eye glasses have traversed the gamut from out to back in again. They have “good girl” connotations but with a large dollop of quirkiness…” Definitely on my list.

>Seven sleeps

>Next Sunday I turn the grand quarter century…25! I really wanted an intimate lunch at Rosie’s Deli Cafe in Brixton but she is closed on a Sunday, so I had to think of some other options…I’ve found these so far…

Junk shopping in Holloway
Nag’s Head Covered Market on Seven Sisters Road (next to Morrisons) is a proper, rough-round-the-edges retail experience. It specialises in secondhand goods, so if you get there early, you can pick up bargains ranging from old vinyl to mostly working toasters.
Nags Head Indoor Market and Boot Sale, 22 Seven Sisters Road, N7 (020 7607 3527/www.nagsheadmarket.co.uk). Finsbury Park/Arsenal tube.

Sunday service at St Martin-in-the-Fields
If you want to inject a little atmospheric worship into the proceedings, experience Holy Communion in the spectacular St Martin-in-the-Fields. Or for a reminder of London’s multiculturalism, visit one of the afternoon services for the Chinese community: at 1.15pm there’s a service in Mandarin, and at 2.15pm there’s one in Cantonese.
St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, WC2 (020 7766 100/www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org). Charing Cross tube/rail.

Art house cinema in Soho
Skip the latest Hollywood mush by taking in a double bill at the arty Curzon in Soho. On Sundays, talks and Q&As often follow films while swish snacks and continental lagers are served at the downstairs bar.
Curzon Soho, 93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1. (0871 703 3988/www.curzoncinemas.com). Leicester Square tube.

Volunteer for The Food Chain
Started on Christmas Day in 1988, The Food Chain’s Sunday Meal service relies on up to 1000 volunteers to help provide free nutrition to house-bound people living with HIV in London. Help out as a cook, kitchen assistant or use your own car to deliver meals (expenses paid).
http://www.foodchain.org.uk.

Maybe not volunteering on my birthday, but another Sunday. My gift wish list includes mocassin sheep skin slippers, a big teal blue chunky scarf, the union jack floral bag from Primark, double knit wool, Spooning with Rosie cookbook and a round springform baking tin…and of course, an oval, Victorian, bevelled mirror {*wink wink}.

>Death by cheese

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There are many kinds of cheese that I love {Wallace too, it seems…and the scary little blonde girl}


…but this has to be the cheesiest of all cheese on any cheese platter in terms of film. I even had nightmares all night, as the saying warns about eating cheese before going to bed. From the obvious title, to the dripping, sickly sweet and predictable plot, the corny script to Hugh Grant grinding and popping his hips to a lame 80s song. We actually had to just laugh all the way through…and sing along ironically to “And then…POP goes my heart…pop goes my heart….”

I suppose we could have just turned it off. I would have loved to watch this with my friend, Gisele, to see her writhe and quip!

>Design mole

>I know my design friends will appreciate…I have been designing all day everyday this week…and have only left the house three times since Monday morning {twice for runs, once for grocery shopping…how sad am I?}. So I am shutting down and getting on a bus to somewhere to look at something and drink something else {with my someone}. Xx

>On being alone

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The Dalai Lama says to spend some time alone every day. I probably have not done that more than three times in the last two months. Now, I sit alone in the house, listening to an old Stereophonics album that reminds me of university days. All I have is me, and my head, and the design in front of me. My dominating thought is deep sadness to have missed a friend in London this past weekend, actually so sad I have cried about it more than twice. But somehow, being alone in the house feels like a battery is being charged deep inside. After this design, I will reply to all of the emails in my inbox, one by one. It is windy and cold outside, and although time alone is good, I am waiting for my love to get back from a meeting to make tea and eat fresh figs with him. Yum.

>Thoughts on elegance

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“Elegance is the attribute of being unusually effective and simple. It is frequently used as a standard of tastefulness, particularly in the areas of visual design and decoration. Elegant things exhibit refined grace and dignified propriety.
Some westerners associate elegance with simplicity and consistency of design, focusing on the main or basic features of an object, its dignified gracefulness, or restrained beauty of style. Others understand the word in an opulent light as in tasteful richness of design or ornamentation.” ~ Wikipedia.

I have been thinking so much about elegance, and what makes someone or something elegant? This past week I have spotted many perfectly elegant woman walking the High streets or on the tube, and it has made me long for the 50s in some ways…a simple dress, heels and cardie…two pearl earrings and hair pinned sweetly. I think simplicity is a main ingredient, also the way you carry yourself {begin noticing people’s posture and you will be stunned!}, “dignified” and “restrained” are also words I would not usually attribute to elegance, but so true…what is elegance for you? Do drop a line and tell me your thoughts, I might write an article on the subject and would love some ideas. Do you consider yourself elegant? When? All of the time?