Thursday, 12 February 2009


Is it just me, or despite the recession and the state of the world, do people seem extra-optimistic about life? It seems that I, like many others (obviously not counting those who have just lost their jobs or live in war-stricken countries or under dictatorships), am starting off 2009 with a sense of hope. Of course this is a perfectly normal state of mind in which to begin a new year, but I don't know.. things seem different this time.. Is it a personal thing, is it Obama, or has the world just got so scary that all we can do is hope? Anyway, here are some 'hopeful' images.

Edward Hopper, Rooms by the Sea, I think. I love him, but think his paintings are often more gloomy than hopeful, this one feels extremely hopeful though - the open door, the light coming in...

A cute drawing by illustrator Mark Johns

Hope for some comes in a bottle. I probably would never have included this in a post about hope if it weren't for my recent medical escapades.

Slightly clichéd it may be, but this one had to go in.

Pandora's Box by Andrew Junge

A song for hope. I cannot for the life of me find the original and brilliant version by Sam Cooke (apparently written by him in response to hearing Bob Dylan's The answer is blowing in the wind, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement in the states) - nor can I embed the video for some reason, but here's a link to the Al Green version.

p.s. I just remembered that Nadia means hope in Russian, how nice :-)

200 years of Darwin

..or at least 200 years since his birth. I think at some point I said that I had no heroes, well if I did have heroes he could definitely be one of them.

As with everything I come accross, I will even shamelessley try to get Darwin in on my interior design fantasies :-) I think this sketch made on HMS Beagle would look great blown up big on a wall. Anatomical sketches have always held a special fascination for me... could be all those hours in palaeontology lab drawing trilobites.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Feeling blue

But if I have to be blue I choose to be Yves Klein blue :-)

Friday, 6 February 2009

Up the wooden hill

Stairs. An often overlooked part of the house, my mind turned to these when I saw this beautiful photo of some wallpapered stairs on the Apartment Therapy site.

It actually made me miss stairs, which sounds pretty absurd but perhaps isn’t considering I grew up in houses with stairs but have lived in stair-free flats in Spain for the past 6 years... Of course it’s not really having stairs that I miss, but all the silly stair-related memories that popped up; being naughty and being sent ‘upstairs to my room’ on many an occasion, only to linger on the 4rth step eavesdropping on the conversation that ensued, encouraging Sayda and Holly to get on a lilo and slide down the stairs with the result of both of them bashing their heads in on the radiator in the hallway, falling down the stairs after an ‘over indulgent’ night out at university and having to crawl to the phone on my hands and knees the next day to ask my parents to come and take me home, long phone conversations that took place on the ‘privacy’ of the staircase as the rest of the house was always too full of nosey people, my grandmother demanding that we took our shoes off before climbing the stairs lest we ‘wear the carpet out’ (said precious stair carpet was thick-pile, navy and royal blue with an ivy-leaf pattern – it was the 80’s after all), the stairs also provided a great landscape for Barbie-goes-mountaineering games as a child, the list goes on and most of the memories involve some sort of unfortunate accident. Anyway, here are some photos of 'stairs I like' - I forgive myself for this because it's Friday (except it's actually Wednesday now).

Ahh, the simplicity of it...(somewhere in Portugal I think)

Floating stairs from Jordi Vayreda

Stairs with beuatiful paper flowers from a Chanel runway

More wallpapered stairs

'Bookcase' stairs from a house in London, not sure how I feel about these. A great use of space but it looks a bit claustrophobic to me - plus poor books being kicked all the time.

Stairs with lighting. I don't think these are perfect but I do think the way they are lit and the blonde wood provide a great solution for an enclosed stairwell with no natural lighting (I lived in a house with a narrow enclosed staircase at university, and I can safely say that this is 100 light years better than paisley print carpet and a bare lightbulb hanging from the celing).

Beautiful art nouveau stairs from the Victor Horta Tassel hotel, Brussels

Stairs by Ross Lovegrove

Highly dangerous Swedish stairs

Industrial looking stairs made from wooden boxes

Pantone stairs. I feel these could have looked so good but they've gone for the wrong colour palate and haven't continued the design up the stairs.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

25 random things about me

Jumping on the 25 random things about me bandwagon that seems to be going round,I've decided to do my own list :-)

1. I hate day trips (especially if you have to take a bus)
2. I sometimes brush my teeth in the shower to save time
3. I can do good animal impressions
4. I love sweet potato and beetroot crisps and could eat several packets of them
5. I don't recyle
6. I'm really bad at staying in touch with people
7. Before people come to my house, I open all the windows, spray 'oust' and burn a l'Occitane incense stick in every room cause I've got a thing about bad smells.
8. I once skipped a school year when I was 10 because I was 'clever'
9. When I came back to the UK aged 11 I had to go back into my normal school year because 'we don't do that in the UK'
10. I sometimes walk along the street listening to music and pretend I'm in a film
11. One of my best memories is sleeping in the back yard in Sudan covered by a 'furdah' and looking at the stars.
12. I hate my birthdays and Christmas and hope to learn to enjoy them more.
13. I don't understand why anyone would want long nails
14. My most-wanted piece of furniture is a genuine Eames off-white leather lounge chair and foot-stool
15. I don't have a hero
16. I have titanium plates somewhere within my body
17. I worry about using too many exclamation marks
18. I have been wheeled around a supermarket carpark in a trolley
19. I would wear jeans ever day if I could
20. I get jealous
21. I worry that I might have a lisp
22. I won't play Monopoly as I can't face the prospect of a) getting nastily competetive, b) losing
23. I want a peekapoo
24. To me egg whites taste of metal
25. I love BBC Radio 4

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


We may be in the midst of a recession, but I can't resist a little glamour.

Golden loo roll

On the subject of gold, these real gold (genuinly swallowable) pills by Tobias Wong + Just Another Rich Kid would presumably end up down the loo like the above-mentioned toilet paper if ingested? Now the super-rich can even have glittery poo. Whatever next...

Finally, I couldn't resist posting this 18k gold McDonalds coffee stirrer by the same duo as the pills.

Going ethnic

I've had the same Chinese and Japanese recipe books sitting on my shelves for several years now, and whilst I love to flick through them I have to admit that I've never cooked a single recipe... I put that down to intimidation (at least in the beginning), and then I decided that nothing I could cook would be anywhere near as good as a decent restaurant (probably true), and when I finally decided to go oriental I was living in Spain where ethnic foods tend to be scarce and overpriced. Well, taking a different route home the other day I stumbled accross an enormous Chinese supermarket selling everyting from bamboo steamers and bok choi to edamame beans - sooo, no more excuses... (like a true blogger, here is where I take photos of things 'artfully' arranged in my kitchen)

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