The Weekly Index: Friday 31st July 2015

31st July 2015This week has mostly looked like this:

Giaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant Squiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid!

These porcelain dolls would make a welcome addition to my mantelpiece.

♦ You loved the show, you had the song stuck in my head for a fortnight, now you can dress like Kimmy Schmitt.

♦ I’ve been over summer since 1st April, but if you’re not sure if you are….

10 things you didn’t know about Anne Boleyn.

This shoot of  Hollywood stars as various icons by Caine Roitfeld and Jean-Paul Goude is rather fabulous.

The identities of early Jamestown settlers have been found by researchers.

♦ And finally, how to make it look like you have you s**t together when you don’t, because we’ve all been there.






Foreign Assignment – The Lady Detectives Go to Helsinki

Helsinki ChurchHelTitle

Hei! That’s Finnish for hello, and it’s pretty much the only word I mastered whilst visiting there last week. I mostly found myself blushing, meekly pointing and shuffling away mumbling that I was sorry for being English. What I lacked in linguistic prowess I did however more than make up for in sallying-forth and umbrella brandishing. Myself and my lovely friend Nell adopted the guise of lady detectives on tour to go exploring around Helsinki. We bustled, pointed at things with canes and stopped for tea every three –quarters of an hour. I’ve known Nell for over a decade but incredibly we have never holidayed together beyond a flying visit to Goodwood a few years ago. I was planning on having a short break between films at this point in the year and anyone who knows me (and I hope you think that you do a bit) knows that I’m slightly obsessed with Scandi-land. So on a whim I decided to go to Helsinki and Nell happily agreed to be my chaperone/trusty companion/ladies’ maid. As it transpired, schedules got shunted around and I actually ended up taking my quick trip across the Baltic at a really hectic time workwise – but hey, it was needed all the more for that I guess.
We packed a lot into our stay and so I’m going to break these posts down to cover each day.

First let’s start with our lovely wee apartment with its mellow and pretty retro furnishings in a palette of pink, mustard yellow and cream. It felt like a little cosy haven and we fell in love with the place.

We stayed in Kallio as we had been told by friends that this was where all the cool kids hang out and I’m nothing if not cool, and a kid. Kallio is basically the Shoreditch of Helsinki with lots of vintage shops, good coffee places and people randomly playing panpipes deserted streets. All in all a lovely place to be.

Our first day was spent mainly sleeping late, luxuriating in the freedom of spending hours doing our make up without getting hustled out the door by our respective partners, and basically getting lost. Unlike London, on Sundays in Helsinki the shops are actually closed. Like, accidentally ending up in the financial district where none of the Prets bother to open without the commuters type of closed. To the point that our daydreams of a fulsome and nutritious Nordic brunch on our first morning were dashed and replaced with juicy burgers and pints at what seemed suspiciously like the Finish equivalent of a Weatherspoon’s.

HelGNell desperately trying to source a decent coffee shop open on a Sunday.

Sunday in Helsinki does however mean markets! We pootled down to the Hakaniemi Market Square where anyone can set up a table of nick-nacks to sell. I picked up a few cute bits and we headed on to find our way to the central area of the city. This proved harder than we imagined and we ended up walking in several large loops finally making our way to some shops that weren’t closed by about 6pm. We made a quick dessert pit-stop at Virgin Oil Co. (not that awesome tbh) and then pushed on to the central railway station.



Helsingin päärautatieasema was design by Eliel Saarinen and opened in 1919. Its Brutalist style with four flanking giants aside the main entrance make it a hugely evocative and iconic building and we spent a happy half an hour exploring it’s innards (and buying 10 euros worth of liquorice pick n mix obviously).

HelNHelIHelFHelEHelDChoo-choo – how civilised.

After cracking the cryptic tram code like a right couple of Robert Langdons we headed home to gorge on berries and gummies in the comfort of cosy rosey cushions and fairy lights.

Next Time: Day 2 – The Lady Detectives go to Tallin!





The Weekly Index: 24th July 2015

24th July 2015

Ola! I have spent much of this week looking like this picture. Albeit, without the golden locks and clumsily adorable gap tooth, but with the large sunglasses, penchant for monochrome and a huge smile on my face as I explored Helsinki with one of my favourite people on Earth – my friend Nell. Truth be told the majority of what I’ve read this week has been a rather rubbish guidebook while we navigated endless roads all ending with ‘Katsu’, making us both confused and hungry for Wagamammas. But I did mange to dip my nose into a few choice internet cuts which are here for your browsing pleasure:

♦ Cracked bones of survivors reveal cannibalism on Franklin expedition.

♦ 1 million minutes of historical footage have just been uploaded to You Tube.

♦ The Lost Land under the North Sea.

Lucy Worsley’s encounter with the WI.

Photos from a 100 year old shipwreck.

♦ Where’s London’s Roman Circus at?

♦ Sex efficiency 1930’s style.