Of the many things I missed when I moved to London T2 was one of them. My favourite is the Melbourne Breakfast and my life felt empty without it. When my friend back home asked what she could send me I first asked for friends (naw) and secondly I asked for my favourite tea. A few weeks later a cute package from Georgia arrived, fulfilling both my requests with a DVD of Season 1 of FRIENDS and a big pack of Melbourne Breakfast tea bags. I rationed them and wondered if I’d ever feel that joy again.
One day I was walking down a street I had never explored in Shoreditch. As I walked along, it happened. I could smell a T2 shop (I’m not kidding you can smell them a mile off). I followed my nose and oh joy of joys my people have arrived! Long story short, I signed up to their mailing list and found out that last week they were having an iced tea event at their King Road store. With the promise of free tea & goodie bags I RSVPd like there was no tomorrow and convinced Eleanor to come along for the tea extravaganza.
First things first we grabbed some tiny bottles with super cute straws and Strawberries and Cream tea (a long lost favourite of mine). Then we lined up and got an iced tea made, we mixed Sencha Peach and Fruitalicious and garnished the hell out of it!
While we sipped and slurped some canapés we had time to admire the beautiful tea wares they have, I fell in love with anything glass and it was a given that the cat mugs caught my eye!
Of course I couldn’t walk around sipping on tea without thinking about buying some tea. I stocked up on some essentials: three tins – two for my Melbourne Breakfast & Mint Mix at home and one for my new purchase (finally reunited) Strawberries & Cream. With a nifty 15% discount and a nice chat to the Australians (seriously, everyone who works there is Aussie!) we were on our way out.
But wait! Couldn’t forget the goodie bag! And when T2 do a goodie bag, it’s amazing. I wasn’t expecting much but they really went all out. I got a box of Fruitilicious (I’ll need another tin…), a mesh ball and an awesome double walled glass that had been debating buying anyway!
I have been meaning to visit Brompton Cemetery for a while but was never down that way so thought it was too much effort. Now I have moved to the south-west of London it is on my usual train route so on this beautiful May Sunday I decided I would take a leisurely walk through the grounds.
This time of year is my favourite to visit these kinds of cemeteries (I visited Kensal Green Cemetery last year) as they let the meadow flowers grow wild which surrounds the tombstones in a beautiful vibrant greenery.
For a while I’ve known of Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) although one would have to devote an entire life to appreciate his archive. I’ve chosen some of the frivolous photographs of dancers and female portraits that caught my eye during a brief browse. So many portraits of men and women in a usual pose can found but it’s the moments that he captured that really showed the sitters personality that I enjoy the most.
Miss Chapin, 1918
Miss Burnand, 1918
Miss Maitland and Miss Knight, 1915
Isadora Duncan dancer, ca.1915-1923
Isadora Duncan dancer, ca.1915-1923
Isadora Duncan dancers, ca.1915-1923
Miss Ruth Findlay, 1915
Miss Florence Fair, 1918
Florence Noyes dancers, ca.1915-1918
©Arnold Genthe Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA
I realised that I hadn’t left London since June/July last year when I took a day trip to Oxford so I thought it was about time to go to another beautiful university town, Cambridge! As it was about 6 months in-between it meant that this time the weather was not so nice, it was freezing cold to walk around but at least it didn’t rain. I loved the place (minus the cobblestones) and attempted to capture some of its beauty in the below photos on my Olympus Trip 35 with Agfa Vista 200 film. I have to say I am very very happy with this roll!
Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood & Ian Kelly
What better way to welcome the new year than with a ridiculously heavy fashion memoir? I got this book from one of Walthamstow’s Little Free Libraries after Christmas and read it over a few days, at home of course (it weighs over a kilo and won’t fit in a small handbag). But it’s heaviness and length is well used, the story interested me even though I really had no desire to know any more about punk. It’s not my style, I never make the effort to look through the pictures of the Vivienne Westwood shows but I’ve always respected her brand and contribution to the world of fashion. It was nice to get some context in an area I hadn’t explored before and the strength of this book is that it drew me in so far that I couldn’t put it down (and didn’t leave the house!)
Vivienne Westwood, British Vogue October 2009 © Tim Walker
Oh to have the confidence of Vivienne. And of the punks. It was a movement that exists in both a bubble and in everyday life. It is a time to be explained but not forgotten and I feel that everything Vivienne does now and will do in the future still has a strong undercurrent of the punk mentality. And how can it not? When you live a life like she has it moulds you into either a fantastic success or a crippled mess. Her longevity is proof of how she handled herself. The images that accompany the stories of Vivienne’s life are helpful to understand who, what, where was happening around her. But as someone who is not 100% familiar with every show she has done or every shirt she sewed zippers into I was a bit lost when they referenced specific looks. I probably have seen them before but it is a never-ending case of not being told what something is and experiencing that disconnect. Otherwise, I felt that the images chosen really improved the experience of reading this book.
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