I’ve taken you to Venice, I’ve taken you to Paris; might I invite you to one of my favourite places in London too?
I shall not pretend that I’m not very comfortable in Mayfair or around Sloan Square. Which very much has to do with the fact that I actually not belong there; I’m a cat among the ermines and I enjoy it. As a Scandinavian (albeit one that doesn’t look it because short and a brunette) I pretend I own the place. In the east end it’s the same thing but opposite; I don’t belong because I’m not hip nor genuin enough. But I do love that part of London.
The flower market at Columbia Road is so wonderful. I also very much enjoy shopping for fabrics and Bollywood earrings in the Indian shops that I pass getting there. Dennis Sever’s house is one of my fave museums(except it isn’t a museum,it’s a living tableaux). Oh and the beigle bakery in Brick lane. Get the strudel; almost as good as in Vienna. And if If I want a bit of that east end vibe when I don’t have a chance to go ? The Gentle Author takes me there.
I actually saw this book at the Brick lane bookshop when I was in London in 2014 but didn’t buy it because it was a brick of a book(pun intended) and my bags were already full to the brim. But I had a look when I got home and found it online. It started as a blog so it’s divided into many small chapters about the people,places and past of Spitalfields in the East end. There are probably very strict geographical lines to adhere to, as a bloody Swedish tourist it’s all the East End to me and I can’t tell Spitalfields from Shoreditch. I think I might just be a tad proud of that in fact.
The point is that this book is a darling thing to read and it has all those kinds of sweet nostalgic stories that I love on paper but don’t know how to deal with in real life. Like the story about the pigeon fanciers. That’s lovely that is, that someone is still keeping postal pigeons that carry messages. I also think that they are nasty birds, all of them. The kind of thing that I love to read about, I might even throw in an “we have culture anymore. Carrier pigeons was a sign of civilization and now we have the Kardashians”. I don’t mean it at all.
But many of the things in this book I do love, and I do appreciate diversity in real life. It should be noted that because it’s so many small chapters,and about a variety of things it doesn’t have to be read from cover to cover, and it’s an easy read too or browse. But possibly hard to get. I would advice to read the book before going to London,not after. Or you know, make another trip. London is always a good idea.
Things mentioned in this post;
The Gentle Author
-It’s been a long week it feels like; Trump got elected as president of the USA which no one thought possible just a few weeks ago. Despite everything he has said in the campaign, and his track record in life and business, he has gotten the mandate to one of the most important offices in the world. Oh, and he has a court date for fraud in November.
-Getting 30 cm of snow in less then 24 hours is unusual even for Stockholm. We were not prepared. Winter comes every year so you would think that we have learned by now but no. We lie in denial of the weather.
-It’s not only my spirits that have taken a bruising this week; more clothes and accessories have broken. My beloved tote bag from Daunt books in London got a tear in it but luckily I got this lovely Ampersand-tote as a belated birthday present. One pair of winter boots turns out not to be worth repairing any more and socks and tights are being turned into cleaning cloths. I need to go shopping soon but not yet. It’s become a bit of an experiment to see how long I can last without doing so; I do look forward to this organic process of closet cleansing.
-My reading slump is still a thing. I have three books on the go right now and will try to finish them over the weekend.
-It’s been “No perfume week” here in Sweden which I have honored or whatever you might call it. Despite loving perfume I have a lot of sympathy for people who are sensitive and never use to much. Indeed I’m myself sometime get headaches from certain perfumes and too much of it on others . However I do look forward to spritzing myself with these samples from Byredo when I’m pottering around the house this weekend.
-Those that follow me on Instagram are probably already bored with always seeing the Essences of Galliano candle that I bought from Diptyque(here). How ever it has been lovely; it’s made it into the list of fave candles. I also know that Other stories have released a candle called “Le coin lecture” which is appropriate for a booklover but I found it to floral for this time of year. You can find that here.
-I recently read #Girlboss by Sophia Amaruso. I was underwhelmed by it which has a lot to do with cultural differences being too big and I thought the writing and editing felt sloppy. I Read here that her company is filing for bankruptcy which feels sad because she has become a role model for so many women, and it will be interesting to see what she does next.
-The Margery Kemp book also in that pic I’ve already said is less interesting then the episode on BBC4 “In our time” about her. The latest episode was about “Fighting Temeraire”; a painting by Turner and it was a very good episode. Next week it’s gonna be about Byzantine laws and I for one can’t wait. The history of the Byzantine empire is a lot more interesting then people think. But then I’m a nerd.
Have a great weekend!
I’ve written a bit about perfume and books. How about other beauty products? There are some out there. In fact it’s my bookishness that made me break my rule of only having one bottle of nail polish at a time.
When it comes to nail polish I’ve become fairly conservative over the years. It’s usually some kind of red or “Bitter Bitch” from Tom Ford (which is brown). I went looking for a new red when I stumbled across “Ladybird” in the H&M Beauty range. Yes I have become very fond of the H&M beauty range; they do a few of their products very well( I love their lipsticks) so it should come as no surprise that those were my hunting grounds. “Ladybird” is a red bug of course but I immediately thought of the Ladybird-books. I don’t actually own any but I have bought them as presents.
I then continued to scan the shelves and found this beautiful greenish metallic named “science fiction” which I also bought. A genre I don’t read that much but I probably should. If nothing else Ursula K.Le Guin has long been on my TBR (to be read-list).
I found these both to be easy to use: I like the rather short and wide brush. Should be noted that I use a fast-drying top coat from Seche-Vite and a base coat from Mavala. But given those things the staying power is reasonable: a few days and I use my hands and wreck my nail polish easily (sewing etc.). The price is also agreeable; 50 kr per bottle. More info can be found here.