Here is New York

I've been awfully out of the loop these past few weeks, and, in a roundabout way, it's all because of this place – New York. Last week I made my largest-ever purchase to date and bought plane tickets to go for a whole month in May. So I'm working all-hours to try and pay myself back.

I was definitely on the verge of being incredibly excited, but coming across this collection  of vintage images of the city has really tipped the balance. 

I'm a terrible tourist, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, and when I'm away, I do all that I can to avoid the tourist traps and blend in as much as possible. I'm a tourist of atmospheres, I find, and want to experience things just the same way as the locals do. 

Atmospheres, however modern or cutting-edge, are all borne out of the history of a place I think – out of atmospheres that have gone before. These photographs, from the early to the middle of last century, go some way to conveying the evolution of an atmosphere. I can't stop looking through them. The whole collection can be found here.



Sightseeing #4


Just a couple of bits and pieces that have caught my eye lately.

 1. PAN AM/Hair Envy
If you can ignore the awful computer generated airplane shots, PAN AM is pretty easy and fun to watch. It's not Mad Men – it's not as smart – but it is quite compelling, and does touch on some 1960s feminist themes that Mad Men only briefly grazes, which is good. 

Aside from anything else though, my hair is currenly at an unprecedented and ridiculous length right now, and the 'long bobs' that are everywhere in PAN AM all look just about perfect to me at the moment. I'm definitely leaning towards getting one for myself.

Talking of things I am leaning towards getting for myself, Anabela just posted about her and Geoff's 2012 Dreamcats calendar, which I love. I have a secret soft spot for a good calendar (this definitely qualifies), and as I'm still waiting patiently for the right time to kitten up, this calendar seems like the perfect thing to brighten up a predictably miserable January 1st, 2012.

I went to primary school with Sarah, believe it or not, and run into her every so often when we're both back at home at the same time. Her jewellery designs are all inspired by the sea, with golden barnacles and lovely glints of light sparkling from the stones that she chooses. Her work is commission only, I think, but I love it all, and just wanted to share it a little!

In other news, I answered a couple of questions about something I don't know very much about – film photography – on Nancy's blog last week, if you are interested to see. There are some other very  insightful and more interesting answers from more knowledgeable film-using people on there too, luckily.



My days have been entirely consumed by righting other people's grammar wrongs lately, so there has been little time for much else.

Inspired by this post of Kate's though, (which I try and revisit in my head every time I feel like I don't want to get out of bed – it's a good tactic!) I've been getting up as early as I can in order to get as much work done as possible. Although it's harder to do now that it's darker in the mornings, it does feel as though you are utilising a whole new period of time that didn't even exist before, which is very satisfying.

So, as a consequence, this is a slightly disjointed post of photographs that I took a month or so ago with my film camera. Next week I will be more joined up, I'm sure.



I got another film back this weekend, one that I had in my camera all through last month's 'Indian Summer' (it takes me a while to get through a film), and I just can't stop coming back to this picture of the ropes on the dockside. 

The reason I like it so much I think is because it so directly relates to to what I've been scouring both my wardrobe and the internet for over the past week or so – that is, good, seriously cosy, wintery woven things – so I was really interested to read Suzy Menkes' making a similar connection between the weave of rope and the weave of knitted fishermen's jumpers in the New York Times this morning.  

She writes: 'Thick ropes, naval knots and the diamond weave of fishing nets were absorbed into the psyche of the faithful wives and daughters ... who created the protective wear for their fishermen' 

Image via Muir Blog

It's such a romantic thought that there could be such a perfect synergy to the process: the rough untreated rope leading to the rough, untreated wool that the fisherwives knitted their men's jumpers with – the rope would work the sea, the woven knits would protect against it.

I love the way things like this evolve over time, and that waxy rough rope can be ruminated on enough through the decades to eventually evolve into something like the Missoni FW 2011 show in Milan, with its soft, droopy cables and (my other woven winter darling) tweed.

I also like the synergy of the fact that those basic woven mainstays of practical living – the cable knit sweaters, the rugs, blankets and plaited hairstyles – that were likely in use in the days of those knitting fisherwomen, are just as useful to me, in this twenty-first century winter, as they once were then.

Woven #2

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Umber, Orange, Sienna

So, yesterday was Hallowe'en, of course. I lost all enthusiasm for Hallowe'en when I came to England and realised that they don't do guising here. Guising, as in 'disguising', which involves visiting people's houses, in disguise, and singing them a song in return for a boiled sweet or two.

Nevertheless, the unalterable thing about this Hallowe'eny time of year is that, wherever you are (in this hemisphere), there is always a proliferation of oranges, umbers, burnt siennas and burgundies. Falling, as it does, in the perfect part of autumn when all the trees are just about to lose their leaves and when all the best autumnal food is coming into season, you can't avoid it, really. I certainly can't after driving to work through the Cotswolds at sunrise all last week, and having some of Ben's amazing parsnip and butternut squash soup as a cosy lunch on Saturday.

The beautiful colours that I whizz past on my drive to the office have been rather inspiring the clothes that have been catching my eye recently, so after taking these photographs, I couldn't help but compile a dream selection, far out of my price range though a lot of it may be!


Also, a little hello to those of you that have arrived here from lovely Hila's blog last week – hello! I'm more than delighted to see you all here.