Saturday, 7 July 2012


This week I managed to have my quick annual visit to the Hampton Court Flower show and there was one stand and garden which really caught my eye.  The Pretty Nostalgic Garden - Preserving the community, was wonderful. The idea is that it was built on a once disused piece of wasteland and it had been brought back to life by a small community team for the benefit of all. What a lovely idea. The tin shed is intended as a work space for preserving pickles and making jam.  I would love a little shed like this! Some the ideas were quirky and clever.  Using old colanders and enamel bread bins to grow flowers and vegetables in looked great.  Near the garden was the stand selling a new fabulous magazine called Pretty Nostalgic.   It is beautifully styled and has a wonderful ethos.  It seems to chime with the current zeitgeist summed up by Vivienne Westwood "buy well". This will be a magazine to keep and treasure as its matt paper makes it feel rather more like a book than a magazine. It is also full of inspiring of things to do like creating natural perfumes, foraging for food and creating paint effects.  I can't wait for issue 3.

Monday, 2 July 2012


I found myself in the heart of London the other day just a stones throw away from Liverpool Street Station.  I had a lovely cup of tea at Jeanette Winterson's cafe and grocers, Verde, admiring the way she has preserved this beautiful Georgian shop. I was struck by how there is a real mixture of old and new in the area and I was encouraged to observe this with more attention, inspired the wonderful BBC-2 series The Secret Life of London Streets. The series draws on the fascinating maps created by Charles Booth. Starting in 1886 his ambitious plan was to visit every one of London's streets to record the social conditions of the residents. His project took him 17 years and once he had finished he created a series of maps colour coding each class.  Yellow for keeping a servant to black for the vicious and semi-criminal.  Years ago I used to travel very late at night though Commercial Road, returning from work, past the Ten Bells Pub in Spitalfields on my home to the very edge of East London.  It was not a place to linger.  Poverty was there for all to see as the ladies of the night plied their trade openly all along the dirty road. Today it could not look more different with trendy bars, restaurants and up market shops.  Modern Booth's map would look totally different from the old one!

Sunday, 1 July 2012


This summer I have been enjoying myself on a photography course and although I have been taking photos since I was bought an Olympus 0m-10 by my parents over 30 years ago my technical knowledge has had quite a few holes in it! I now have a few more tricks up my sleeve and my allotment at The Royal Paddocks in Hampton Wick is a beautiful photographic canvas.  These flowers are for my dear friend Kristina who always appreciates things of beauty and introduced me to the world of blogging.