Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Take the A train...

This was awesome, I really recommend it. So atmospheric, the train is quaint and old fashioned, all wood panels and cosy booths. Everyone was really friendly and we got into lots of interesting conversations (mostly centred around ale and ale festivals). Shame I didn't take more photographs of the beer, it was lovely. There was also a barrel of cider - really sharp and cloudy, just how I like it.

Writing this post have given me a thirst for cider, I'm going to go and quench it at the Harp in Covent Garden. This is my favourite pub in London and brews its own cider which is decanted from big plastic tankards (incidentally it also won the CAMRA Greater London Pub Of The Year award for 2010).

Friday, August 20, 2010

All the leaves are brown (nearly)

Ok I've thought about it, I'm ready for Autumn now. Here are a few things I plan to do before Christmas:

- Open a Brewery with my boyfriend. We're going to be starting with red wine, then mead, then ale and finally potcheen or 'Moonshine'. I had never heard of this Irish beverage before and I think it's going to require a post of it's own. Check the website! Ok there's nothing there but I get a massive kick out of the fact it exists. Can you guess where the brewery will be situated?

- Reap the harvest and turn it into Piccalilli, pickles and jam (if I know you in any capacity then you will probably receive one as a Christmas present). Now is the time to go to a pick your own farm like Garsons Farm for example and pick fruits and vegetables whilst they are in the peak of health. I love making preserves and getting stocked up for winter.

- Crack on with some knitting. Last year I was commissioned to knit a large fishwife style shawl. The main parts done but I've got to finish the border before I can do any personal projects. I've started carrying it around in my bag so I can whip it out during long bus journeys etc. and am finally making some progress.

That's it for now! This weather has brought to light the lack of transitional clothes in my wardrobe. I seem to have either tropical summer clothes or fisherman's jumpers and nothing in between. I'm hankering after some big wool jumpers, fresh t-shirts, ankle boots and more leggings. And gold rings? I want loads of gold rings. And a woolly scarf and hat. I might need some pendant necklaces too. Salvation Army here I come!

Actually I have a secret to share: The Bang Bang Clothing Exchange

This place is awesome. If you take the money you would spend on a dress at Topshop, you can get a second hand Paul & Joe, See by Chloe or Marc by Marc Jacobs somethingorother. If you have a spare £180 or so you can get yourself a Herve Leger bandage dress or Aquascutum coat. I checked out the men's section for the first time today on my hunt for jumpers. This was actually really fertile hunting ground but it's going to have to wait until payday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A few ales

Summer, what happened? Where did you go? Bang! Now it's Autumn. It's only Thursday but I'm already looking forward to Saturday. Saturday = the Rel Ale Train.

The Real Ale Train or 'RAT' for short is a steam train which leaves from Alton in Hampshire and follows the old watercress line to Arlesford and back. On board there's a jolly atmosphere and 6 real ales to drink, all at £2 a pint each. Read this lovely review in the Guardian.

Classic Ale quote...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


At the weekend I was lucky enough to be a guest at a fairy tale wedding in the South of France.

The wedding was held at the beautiful Chateau La Durante. Seriously, you can rent this place for a long weekend and have the run of it to yourself. The Chateau was built in the 1800's but has recently been refurbished. Each room was crammed with antiques and 'obje d'art'. It felt really weird walking around unsupervised.
The Chateau had mega grounds including this medow, tennis courts and a swimming pool.
This was my outfit for the wedding day - A vintage slip dress of my Mum's from the 80's. It's supposed to be worn with a belt but I opted to shorten it and wear it loose. I scored these shoes in the sale at Bertie's here.
We were staying down the lane in an old farm house. This place was equally brilliant but completely different. It was a big old building and looked like it had been re-decorated at some point in the 50's and not touched since. Each bedroom was massive and had a different retro wall paper. Lazy as I am I only took a photo of one of them.

This was the view from our bedroom window, it was so silent, no cars or trains.
We picked some Hydrangea from the bushes outside our house and they got made into bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids. These bushes remind me of suburban England but on their own the flowers are really pretty. Apparently if the soil is acidic the flowers will be pink and if its Alkali they will be blue.
We had a brilliant time by the pool, the weather was amazing. At the wedding we danced the night away, ate crepes, smoked cigars and lit those paper lanterns that fly off into the sky when the air inside gets hot.
I forgot my camera, hence the iPhone pictures. I might do another post once other peoples photos begin to surface on Facebook and Flickr.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hackney Wicked

This weekend saw the Hackney Wicked arts festival take over my home town. There were bands on the roof, bands in the car park (as well as the usual band that reside in the unit below mine). There was a flea market, lots of open galleries, jerk chicken and many ciders.

Bunting! I've never got around to making this. I liked this bunting because it's double sided so you get a proper seam and two types of fabric.
I really liked this painting, there were a few more dotted around, should have taken photos of them too.
This is how I roll.
The roof was buzzin'
The car part was buzzin' too, bear in mind it's a lot bigger.
I'm really glad I got to check out Fish Island (it's there over the other side of the canal where that building is). It had a really tight community feel. I wondered into an open warehouse which took my breath away. It was huge, maybe 4 storeys? and open plan so you could see right up to the roof. They had little walkways around the edge with bedrooms leading off. I went to the top and got talking to a dude who runs a radio station out of the attic every day. There was a huge piece of fabric hanging up from the ceiling which reached down to the floor and he explained that one of the women who lived there did aerial silk? You know like in the circus. Awesome.

It aint no thing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Secret Garden Party

Well where was I? Oh yes, camping. That was quite frankly ages ago but was brilliant. I had always assumed that The New Forest was pure lush woodland glades and cool shade but no! We hired bikes and went on an epic 15 mile cross country cycle over forest pathways, sandy heath and barren fields of burned grass and pony's. It felt exactly like cycling around Zelda (which I loved).

Since then I have been to The Secret Garden Party. Wow. This was BEYOND. Highlights included:

- Sitting up all night around a huge campfire at the Strummerville stage.
- Seeing my friends perform with their bands The Wild Wolves and Rum Shebeen.
- Getting a glitter makeover and a massage.
- Doing a yoga class on Saturday morning.
- Swimming in the lake (this was gross).
- Showering off the rancid lake water and having a sauna in a yurt.
- Drinking Mead.
- Seeing the City Shanty Band perform.
- Partying with the City Shanty Band.
- Watching some mud wrestling.
- Dancing at a medieval themed stage whilst the sun came up and the air swirled with straw.
- Eating some incredible festival food.
- Drinking hot chai at 5 in the morning in a cosy tent full of floor cushions.
- Confessing my sins to Tony Husband and having them interpreted as a cartoon.
- Spending 4 days with 4 amazing girlfriends.

As part of my costumes for the weekend I bought two wigs: One black bob and one curly blond one which looked like dead stock from the 80's. This was awesome, for £6 you can buy a completely different personality for the evening, I might start incorporating them into my every day life, they change the whole shape of your face.

Look # 1: Dolly Parton Glitter Explosion

Look # 2: Pulp Fiction meets Amelie

Definitely going back next year, I can't recommend it enough. Updates may be slow over the rest of the summer, lots going on.