September Bookmarks

September BookmarksIt’s here! It’s here! The dull, sticky scourge of summer is officially over and the glorious golden glow of Autumn is upon. Ok, so I know summer is cute and nice in a picnic-y-barefoot-in-the-grass kind of way, but now it’s time to really feel some feelings and see some sights. You want pumpkin spice lattes, we got it. You want romantic walks in the leaves, roll right up. You want to wear nothing but tartan skirts, knee socks and boots for the next three months, no-one’s gonna stop ya’. I’ve spent this weekend dusting off my berets, unpacking my jumpers (which admittedly I only put away about three weeks ago) and watching the Addams family, but again that is indicative of very little because it’s on a constant loop in my house. I can actually feel my creative mind waking up like a big sleepy cat after a long snooze at the thought of all the fabulous things to come over the next few months. Excited doesn’t begin to cover it. So what does September have in store for us all?

1st-30th September – Totaly Thames punts into town for the annual celebration of all things river related. Turning London into a city of merry Rattys  the month long festival comprising of oodles of events invites Londoners to reconnect with the river in new and previously unthought of ways. There are archaeological tours of the river as well as fairs, walks and exhibitions.

4th September-13th September – Storeys. Even though some of us may never quite get over the BBC leaving Television Centre *sob* the old horseshoe is still being put to good use this September with Storeys taking over as a foodie/arty roofspace from which to watch the Autumn dusk roll in. Rumour has it that the ghost of the Live and Kicking ball still haunts the old building and on a full moon and be heard dolefully bouncing around the car park.

5th-6th September – The Greenwich Vintage Fair on the Gardens. A chance to shop and eat in the Cutty Sark Gardens. If you are heading south of the river, don’t forget to take in the Observatory too, it’s just lovely.

17th September – The World Goes Pop. An exhibition exploring the emergence and impact of Pop art for around the world. This looks pretty great and definitely one for the diary.

19th-20th September - Open House London is a fabulous annual event which gives nosey people curious minds, the chance to explore usually private buildings, including 10 Downing Street and a host of other intriguing properties.

20th September – Downton-ruddy-Abbey is back! Yes, the 6th and final season of the inexplicably popular yet entirely necessary Autumn viewing phenomenon is back. Perfect, post roast Sunday evening TV time.

24th September – Celts opens at the British Museum. Oh I do so love a BM blockbuster exhibition and this one will be interesting as it seeks explore the art and identity of the Celts. Hmm, being that the term ‘Celt’ is pretty open to interpretation and not applicable to a homogeneous group, the identity part of this will be fascinating. Can’t wait.


Right, now that that is all nt eh diary, where’s my pumpkin spice latte?







Foreign Assignment: The Lady Detectives Picnic


So third day in Helsinki and after the exertions of the Tallinn Superstar (that is what you are) we slept late, cooked eggs in our adorable kitchen and went shopping.

3qWe had the good fortune to have the most amazing vintage store below our apartment selling vibrant mid-century home wares. It was an atomic plastic wonderland. I also picked up some great Finnish children’s books for my soon-to-be sister in law’s collection.

Next we stopped in at the Natural Beauty Shop and were shown around by the lovely owner. Everything is handmade and smells like papaya and pineapple. Definitely worth a visit should you ever be in town.

Next we headed on down to Frida, a fantastic charity shop rammed full of interesting clothes and home wares. The charity shops in Helsinki are like the stores I remember rummaging in when I was 16 and should have been in college, where you could buy jumpers and granny dresses for 50p a throw and basically have something new to wear everyday for a week for £5. Everything was so reasonable at Frida, (and they had a sale on!) that we both ended up laden down with jewellery, blouses and mugs, which lead to some serious repacking issues.


From there we stopped in at the Hakaniemi food market and picked up some treats for a picnic we were going to with friends that evening. As well as grabbing a lunch of beautiful Scandi seafood, well it would have been rude not to.

We headed home with our booty and then out again to meet up with the fabulous Oona, Ilsa and Riikka for a delightfully perverted picnic, complete with beach pyjama photoshoot. Don’t they look a picture?

It was wonderful to spend an evening with such a warm, funny and awesome group of women, not only for the general good times we had, but also to get an insight into what life is like in Helsinki for locals. It is exciting to explore a city as a tourist but talking to people who actually live there allows you to feel the heart of a place and not just the skin.


And as if we hadn’t fallen quite in love with Helsinki enough, on the walk home we passed these adorable community vegetable boxes. How very civilised.





Bank Holiday Weekend – The Top 20 Countdown

20 things to do this bhw

So it’s here! The last Bank Holiday of the year is upon us. I know some people have to work this weekend, I’ve been one of them many times over the years. But for the rest of us lucky souls, this weekend is three days of doing whatever the hell we like. T is away filming for a few weeks so I have the house to myself and as much as is he obviously awesome, it’s no secret between us that I love me some alone time. I adore being by myself and doing literally whatever takes my fancy. Whether it’s mainlining Poirot episodes for 48 hours straight or sitting with a book and a gallon of latte in a cafe all afternoon. Being able to love spending time by yourself doesn’t come easily to all but I feel that it is a wonderful life skill. It means you are truly independent and don’t need to rely on the whims or schedules of others to ensure your day is a good one.

So, here are my top 20 ideas of things to do just for you this weekend. I’m doing about 70% of them!

1. Visit a castle. I know, jumping in with both booted feet right here, but seriously. When was the last time you went to a castle? There are loads around and they make for a magical day out. English Heritage is a good place to start, get Googling.

2. Take as long as you like getting ready. When you have no-one to meet and no-one tapping their foot by the door you can luxuriate in time and take as long as you damn-well please to get ready, just for the fun of it. I’m always rushing out the door somewhere during the week so the opportunity to spend ages in front of the mirror or picking out an outfit feels like a real treat.

3. Get your hair cut. Nothing drastic if that’s not what is called for, but even just a trim is a few hours where you are doing something just for yourself. If you can’t afford a salon visit and the prospect of a DIY’ing it is a bit scary, maybe just spice up your colour at home.

4. Go to a library. There are tons of local libraries for you to visit. It’s no secret that I love being in libraries. I think it is due to the potential they hold. So many stories, and lives and opportunities to learn all packed on the shelves and waiting for you to pick hem up. If you are based in London, you can always visit the British Library too!

5. Go to the cinema. I’ve never understood why going to the cinema alone is a no-no for some people. I love doing it. No-one steals your popcorn and you don’t have to negotiate over what to see. Plus, you only sit in silence anyway so what does it matter if you know the persons next to you or not?

6. Walk with a soundtrack. Download your favourite film score and then just walk. It’s wonderfully atmospheric and will make you see your town in a whole new light.

7. Visit a graveyard. There are lots of beautiful Victorian cemeteries around the country, built in a time when the display of mourning was a much more significant social and emotional ritual than it is today in Britain. Many are still open to the pubic and the famous ‘Magnificent 7 ‘ cemeteries in London often have guided tours.

8. Drop in on a lecture. You don’t have to be a student to go to a lecture. Many institutions such as societies, museums or galleries offer a packed schedule of daily talks and lectures. Most are free and usually only last an hour. If you have a place you like to visit, check their events page online to see what they have coming up this weekend.

9. Meditate. I was always a bit sceptical of meditation but a few years ago I went along to the London Buddhist Centre for one of their free Saturday morning classes and I realised I was wrong. Mediating is lovely. I’m not a spiritual person at all but purely on a medical/mental health level, hitting pause for a few minutes to quieten out the noise of the world and just breathe deeply, is a good thing. Search local Buddhist centres in your area which might run free drop-in classes or look online for mediation apps or tutorials to get you going.

10. Listen to old radio plays. I love old radio plays. They are atmospheric and mellowing for me. I don’t have the TV on much when I’m alone but I do like to potter about with tales of dastardly and do flittering through the wireless. There are hundreds of repositories online for this kind of stuff as well as the BBC radio archive.

11. Walk a friend’s dog. Animals are awesome. End off. It’s impossible to be stressed when you have a happy, silly doggy looking up at you. If you have a friend or neighbour with a dog, offer to take it out for the afternoon while you run errands. It will make your day so much better.

12. Take yourself out for a meal. Much like the cinema, this is a scary one for some, but I do it often. It means that I can eat wherever I want with no quibbles (there’s lots of food that T doesn’t like that I love, like Indian, Sushi and earthy organic veggie places) and it feels lovely to treat myself just for the joy of it.

13. Go for a woodland picnic. Pack a sandwich and Thermos and make like Christopher Robbin. Go to the woods, read, bird watch, day dream. At this time of year the trees look so pretty as they just begin to turn.

14. Buy a box set, get some snacks and don’t move until you’re done. It’s a modern day ritual and it’s awesome.

15. Go for a midnight walk. I love London at night, it’s twinkly and magical. The light on the inky river are so pretty. Go and explore your area after dark with some music and coffee.

16. Sort yo’ life out. Dull perhaps, but there’s a luxury in having time to sort your life admin out. Organise your diary, pay bills, fill out forms. Then look at all the time you have for relaxing!

17. Sport. Go and watch some live, listen to some on the radio or go to the pub and watch it on the big screen. Sport is awesome and fun and frankly a Bank Holiday tradition.

18. Cook whatever you want. Loved some meal you had on holiday one time? Find a recipe and make it for yourself. And pudding obviously.

19. Nap. So many times during my day I’d love to cuddle up and snooze for a bit and never have the opportunity. Why the heck not do it when you can?

20. Do nothing. Literally nothing. Lay in a sunny park, feel the grass under your feet and do nothing at all for a while.


Have a great one .