At 3am one recent Saturday, there was a commotion outside my bedroom window. It was one of those ill-conceived commotions – the drunken, hazy, increasingly half-hearted nighttime arguments. It's a nighttime scene repeated all over.

"Nightlife" can have such weird connotations – on one hand very 1990s rave scene, on the other, students and cheap beer and loud music – but I am starting to feel that it should be reclaimed by the sober and the curious: people looking to do everyday things that their various busy lives won't let them fit into standard opening hours. 

A few weeks ago I visited Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery at 10am on a Thursday (while everyone else was at work). It was completely empty – an entirely different experience to the hoaching museums I end up in on Saturdays in London. I took time to read plaques next to paintings, I learnt a thing or two and wasn't disturbed by anyone at all. I even took some pictures.

According to this New York Times article, museums and galleries are beginning to open after hours in the city, and are creating a whole new relationship between people who want to visit museums and the museums themselves. For my part, I can't think of a better thing to do after a meal out than taking a walk in the cold and then visiting an art gallery or museum, out of hours, in the warmth. Especially if it was this one, complete with slide.
Wouldn't it be great if night started to be a bit more like day – which when you think about it is a time that most people miss out on. Museums and galleries would open late, more cinemas would show films in the early hours (I know they do this in NYC, but it's high time it caught on) and maybe there'd be fewer people waking up in the morning full of regret at the memory of the night before. I for one would definitely appreciate that.


Battening Down

After shivering all the way back up the hill to my house this evening, I think it's safe to say that we're definitely back on track with the seasons, which means that it is safe for me to now talk about wool as much as I like. This is definitely a relief, as I do like wool. 

This weekend, I've been feeling the need to get some things in order – unpacking wool things and my collection of scarves for the long haul, sewing up long-neglected dangling coat hems, drinking as much tea as possible and thinking a lot about knitting.

My grandmother's needle book – very useful when sewing up unravelled hems. I'm entirely in love with the typography on the label, as well as the fact that some of the needles still have thread attached to them from the mending of decades past. 

My mother (queen of knitting) came to visit this weekend, and cast on this lovely purple charity-shopped Jaeger wool for me – it's just a little experiment, and I'll probably unravel it all again, but I thought it might make a good hair bow, if I scrunch it up in the middle and attach it to a bobby pin. 

We took a little trip to the Toast shop in Bath too while she was here, and the jumpers were beautiful. It is high time I learned some cable stitch – it will have to be my new season resolution.




Unexpected autumn summers, such as the one we had at the beginning of this month, are amazing, peculiar and weirdly distracting, I find. 

The good weather becomes something that you have to make the absolute most of before it disappears – as though you have to get in as much sun-time as possible before someone notices and switches on the cloud cover.

With this in mind, you come up with work schemes that require park visits and get nothing done, while at the same time, your winter coat, wool scarf and cotton summer dresses are all suddenly hanging on the same rail, lost in some awkward seasonal limbo.

It was weird, but it was also glorious.


I took these in Lyme Regis and its surrounding villages on England's south coast – the very same Lyme Regis where Louisa Musgrove falls off the pier in Persuasion and Meryl Streep gets fantastically windswept while falling off the nineteenth-century moral bandwagon in The French Lieutenant's Woman

Unfortunately, there were no such fallen women, literal or otherwise, when I visited. Perhaps if I go back in the winter, when the wind is high and the waves are fierce and the tourists are gone, I might see one or two.


Shirley, Lula, the Gentlewoman & I

I like to really make the most of my magazine reading. You have to, I think, when your favourites only come out twice a year. I plan them into my free time, deciding whether to read them at home, curled up on the couch, or in a cafe curled up in the atmosphere. I also carefully consider what to drink while I read them – every magazine has its own personality, just like every drink, I think.

I'm not ashamed to tell you that I read the whole of the new issue of The Gentlewoman in one long, coffee-fuelled sitting this weekend. It's just wonderful.
The Gentlewoman
When I begin to read a Gentlewoman article, I instantly remember why it buoys me up so much. For me, it's just like coffee, which (as I seldom drink it) buoys me up a whole lot when I do have a cup. The Gentlewoman always reminds me that a world where people who achieve amazing things really exists, and the old-fashioned profiles within it are endlessly inspiring. It's sophisticated, and deserves a sophisticated drink, I think. Too early in the day for brandy or wine, cafetiere coffee is perfect.
Lula & Shirley
Lula, on the other hand, is more of a 'shirley temple' mocktail magazine for me. I like to read as slowly as possible, drawing it out and making its whimsy charm last as long as possible. It's sweet, but can get a little saccharine if you do too much at a time. 

This lovely drink was perfect on a hot day (as Sunday was). A cool long drink with ginger ale, orange juice and grenadine, it seemed to fit old Lula's personality quite nicely.
Funny Girl, that Shirley