Friday, 31 December 2010

A quote for New Year's Eve

"The only way to spend New Year's Eve is either quietly with friends.
or in a brothel.  Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off
someone is bound to be left in tears"

W. H. Auden

Friday quotes will resume next week

I shall be taking Auden's advice and having some drinks at home with The Actor, Mrs Jones and Giles.  We might pop to a friend's party two doors down.  Gone are the days when I dashed around London in cabs charging double time trying to show my face at three or four parties a night.  I love a house party but can't face bars or clubs on New Year's Eve.  What are you doing this evening?

I'd like to thank all my readers for their wonderful comments and support in 2010.
Wishing you peace and happiness for 2011
Much love, Christina xxx

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Thank you to Little Augury

A huge thank you to Patricia Gaye Tapp who has wonderful blog called Little Augury.  PGT has picked some of my posts amongst her favourites of 2010.  I'm extremely flattered and very happy to be included.

Little Augury is a daily read of mine and has taught me a great deal over the past year.  It's one of the most interesting and aesthetically beautiful blogs around.  PGT has an amazing eye for detail, impeccable taste and an encyclopedic knowledge of a great many subjects including history, fashion and all aspects of design and art.  There's always something glorious to look at or read on her blog.

Do go and visit Little Augury if you haven't already.  It would be lovely if you'd leave a comment there.  I'm sure you'll be adding it to your favourites too.

Have a fabulous evening xxx

Thank you to Liberty xxx

When I did my post on our Christmas the other day I mentioned that my two favourite scents are Must de Cartier and a new one I discovered last year AnOther 13 by Le Labo.  A collaboration with AnOther magazine.  I was given a sample of Le Labo in a goody bag at one of Liberty's events last year, and I fell in love with it immediately.  I've worn Cartier for about twenty years and haven't found anything I like as much.  The wonderful girls at Liberty have kept me stocked up with Le Labo testers until it was available in store.  I saw the lovely Ben Cobb who's editor of AnOther Men magazine at the LOVE party and he said he'd send me some but being scatty I forgot to remind him.

I received an email this morning from Liberty saying it's now in store and would I like them to save me some as I can use my press discount.  I wrote back saying definitely as I've totally run out but I'd have to wait a while as I've spent all my money this Christmas (as per usual).  They emailed back saying there was one in the office they could send me!  I'm over the moon as it's divine and I've missed it.  I'm so lucky!

A bike arrived this afternoon with a bottle of scent and a Le Labo candle.  How wonderful!  I cannot stop smelling myself.  Le Labo is the most amazing brand of perfume and it's so pure you only need a little bit.

Here's the write up on AnOther 13 by Le Labo
"Le Labo has been commissioned by AnOther Magazine to work on an exclusive scent.  This project was born thanks to Sarah of  colette, Paris who initiated the creative collaboration between us and Jefferson Hack, editor in chief of AnOther Magazine.  Jefferson Hack is a renowned British journalist and magazine editor who co-founded Dazed & Confused in the early 90’s.  He launched AnOther Magazine in 2001.  He is basically the coolest guy in the world when Tyler Brulé is on vacation with Lady Gaga. The result of this collaboration is AnOther 13, a hypnotizing and unique scent.  It has been composed around ambroxan, a synthetic animal musk hand-picked in our NYC lab by Jefferson.  The animalic notes of ambroxan makes AnOther 13 an addictive dirty potion by wisely blending it with 12 other ingredients, including ambrette seeds absolute which gives it spike and shine.  Your nose will want to go back to the skin that wears it more than you want to..."

I shall be flying around on New Year's Eve in a cloud of scent.

Thank you so much Liberty
See you in the New Year xxx

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Where we finally go out

Photography by Dean Mouhtaropolous/Getty
The gates of Victoria Park in the snow - what a gorgeous picture

After nearly four days staying in watching films and stuffing our faces The Actor and I decided we'd better get out and go for a morning walk.  I've loved staying in but we're beginning to feel a bit unhealthy and rather fat - me not him - he never puts on a pound.

After having baths, me blow drying my hair and dressing head to toe in cream cashmere... I'd bought all this knitwear (something my wardrobe was lacking) with winter walks in mind, not that we actually go on many, but it's the thought that counts surely?  We finally left the house at... erm 2pm.  I pointed out we still had an hour and a half of daylight left...

The Regents Canal

First we went to Broadway Market where we stopped for an espresso then along the canal for a bit to Victoria Park where we had a quick stroll.

The bathing ponds at Victoria Park - I don't think I'll be going in somehow

Then off to Victoria Park village to buy a Birthday card.  We never go far without a stop off and The Actor was hungry so we popped into the Empress of India, a lovely place that serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.  It's owned by the same people as The Prince Arthur, our local that does the best Bloody Mary's, so we thought we'd give theirs a try.

The Empress of India in Lauriston Road

We had a couple of Bloody Mary's - very good but I had to add a bit of celery salt which was in my bag

Then we decided to stay and eat.  I like the red leather banquettes.

We shared a fish finger sandwich with tartare sauce, made with breaded fish fillets, not actual fish fingers as we'd first thought but very good and a Welsh rarebit which could have done with a lot more mustard, it definitely wasn't spicy enough.

Then we headed home and of course stopped off again at another pub The Hemingway in Victoria Park Road.

Where we had more Bloody Mary's (had to add more Tabasco) and some mulled cider which was delicious.  The mulled cider wasn't my idea but The Actor said tasted like "Christmas in a glass"... any excuse.

It was very Christmassy in there - not that you can see from my photography.  I've never understood blue fairy lights.  What's wrong with white?  Islington and Hackney had blue ones for a few years, they didn't look good and they've gone back to white this year.  I think the council must have got a deal on a job lot or something.

The Actor came out of the loo and said I had to check out the urinals!  Aren't they brilliant?

Back home for more TV.  I've Sky plussed so much I don't know how I'm ever going to catch up!

Have a lovely evening xxx

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Our Christmas

I have been in bed with The Actor for the last two days watching movies and lots of Christmas stuff I've recorded.  We haven't left the house since Boxing Day apart from to pop to the corner shop.  

The Actor arrived on the 23rd and we had a totally chilled out Christmas Eve.  We opened our presents at midnight which we've done for the last few years as we've been going to his sister's on Christmas Day since she had a baby.  There's something a bit more magical about sitting around the tree in the dark than doing it in the morning.

It looks like a lot of presents but everything we've bought for friends and family is under there too

We only bought two bottles of Champagne this year.  M&S pink Prosecco is delicious and only £14 for two bottles so we stocked up on that instead

I can't tell the difference anyway!

We said we'd take it easy and economise this year.  We both did compared to last year.  I love all my presents, I did extremely well.

I wore an black oriental velvet kaftan that I bought in Ridley Road market for £15.  They had them in purple, navy blue, burgundy and chocolate brown.  I think I might buy a couple more as they're so comfortable.

My first present was a donkey hat!  The Actor thought it would be funny for me to wear it while I opened my presents!?  Needless to say it didn't last long.  Personally I don't think it's working with the kaftan.  I'm trying to keep a straight face in this picture.  I asked him if there were any other animals he could have chosen and he said there were but they were all a bit boss eyed.  And the donkey was more relevant to Christmas.

He always buys me my favourite perfume Must de Cartier.  I love it and haven't found anything I like better apart from one by Le Labo which isn't available yet.  Liberty kindly sent me lots of testers but I've used them all now.

Some lovely body wash and body lotion from Space NK.

I love this Vogue Model book he bought me.

And this fabulous interiors book - The World of Madeleine Castaing by Emily Evans Eerdmans.

I watch a lot of period drama and have been wanting this box set for ages.

I'm a big Mike Leigh fan and there's lots here I've never seen.

Two boxsets from his sister.  I love this show.  David Duchovny is fantastic.

He bought me A Clockwork Orange as I'm the only person on the planet who's never seen it

A porcini mushroom risotto kit from Carluccio's.  I love risotto.  I might make it for him tomorrow night.

 Babyliss Big Hair from his mum.  I've heard these are great for big hair.

A modal three piece pyjama/loungewear set from his sister.  I wear a lot of modal which is made from bamboo as it's so soft.

A bag from Coco de Mer containing...

A vanilla and creme de cacao massage candle.  When I saw the name Lelo I thought it was a sex toy!  They make one in 18K gold if anyone has £1050 to spare.

And some gorgeous dark red silk knickers with bows.  Only a man would buy dry clean only knickers!

My surprise present - A Wii Fit Plus!!  If you know me you'll know I've never played a computer game in my life and I'm not big on exercise.  If it's good enough for Helen Mirren (who of course has been paid a fortune to promote it!)  Saying that I have heard good things about them so I really hope I get addicted and it doesn't just gather dust under the TV!  I'm glad he bought me the black one as it's much smaller.  It weighs about five stone - I'd get fit carrying the bloody box around!  I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I bought him this walnut box with mother of pearl inlay and a working key which was hand made in the 1870's

And a 1930's crystal ashtray

Here's a few more of his presents.  He was particularly taken with the SAD light being a summer baby he hates the winter and The Beatles box set.  And all the cashmere jumpers (bought on Ebay).

The Junior Officers' Reading Club was a present from Alex - he was chuffed to bits with it as he was going to buy it for himself.  Alex couldn't have chosen better.  I bought him Wonders of the Solar System as he's gone mental on anything universe/space related and I want to see John Bishop's DVD as I've heard good things about him and he always makes me laugh when he's on TV.

Alex bought me Ancestral Voices by James Lees Milne.  I love his books and this is one of the only ones I haven't read.  Thank you so much Alex xxx

My friend Frances bought me this book which is amazing for anyone interested in interiors.

And a pair of silk and marabou slippers from my friend Frances.  I have a long chocolate brown silk and lace dressing gown which is still in the dry cleaners.  My bill was £260 and I haven't had the cash to go and collect it yet!

Frances also bought me day and night cream which she's tried and thinks is great.  She's a product junkie like me.  My eyes were looking distinctly crepey (trying to pass them off as laughter lines isn't working) and I desperately needed some new eye cream.  I'm really liking this Anew Reversal by Avon and my eyes have improved in the two days I've been using it.

Here are some presents I bought for myself...

Derek Rose black silk pyjamas with red piping.  I have a thing for men's PJ's.  £55 on Ebay.  They're £299 on the website.

I bought myself this cream cashmere dressing with silk lining from Ebay for £120.  It's the warmest thing I own.

And these brand new cream cashmere slippers by William Sharp.  They are £150 in the shops, I paid £36 on Ebay.

I'm into granny chic at the moment.  This thick cotton nightdress was £8 on Ebay.

Cream embellished tasselled tunic by Antik Batik, £26 on Ebay.

Not exactly the right season for this but I could wear a vest under it...

I also bought myself some Neiman Marcus cream cashmere leggings for £15 although I had to pay a customs charge of £15 too.  A tan pair of cashmere leggings from Saks for £20 and a pair of brand new long sand Ugg boots from America for £80 which haven't come yet.  I can't resist a bargain.  I shall be completely skint for the whole of January!  As per usual.

I was convinced that I needed lots of warm clothes as we've had all the snow.  I had romantic notions of winter walks to the pub head to toe in cashmere.  Of course it didn't happen, but I'm prepared if it does!

We are going to see my lovely dad in the country straight after New Year to have another Christmas!

My friend Jo Butler sent me this picture yesterday saying "Check out this snowman and lady. Aren't they lovely?  I found them hanging out in London Fields in the snow."  Although I'm not sure the one on the right is a lady... there's something going on between it's legs.

I'm glad we had snow for Christmas, my street looks so much nicer in the snow.

It poured with rain all night last night so every trace of snow's gone now.  

I hope you're all having a fabulous break.  I shan't be getting dressed unless I absolutely have to xxx