Lip enhancer

Earlier this year, I went to Space NK in search of a new lipstick. I’d cleaned out my make up bag and chucked out all the stuff that was ancient or broken. So I was allowed.

I was quite definite about what I wanted but the nice man suggested that I try this.

The holder has a dent because my mother tried to open it with pliers. We hadn't realised that you had to TWIST IT.
The holder has a dent because my mother tried to open it with pliers. We hadn’t realised that you had to TWIST IT.

I’d never heard of a lip enhancer and originally was a bit put off by the colour. However, it becomes a relatively bright pink when on (enough to know that you are wearing make up but not, like, dayglo).

I will cry when they discontinue it. Which they will.

http://uk.spacenk.com/en_GB/lip-enhancer/MUK200012567.html

Scent – current and discontinued

Here is a picture of all the scent I have in my bathroom in London.

All Jo Malone.
All Jo Malone.

Lime, Basil & Mandarin, 154 and Red Roses are all still sold but Tuberose and Vetiver have been discontinued. This is super annoying as I really love Tuberose; I wore it on my wedding day eight years ago and have been sparing with it ever since.

Other scents that I’ve loved but aren’t sold any more are Vintage Gardenia and Honeysuckle & Jasmine. After it was stopped, I started growing both honeysuckle and jasmine at the back of my garden in the Isle of Wight – unfortunately the jasmine isn’t doing too well so it had very few flowers this summer.

I also have Amber & Lavender in the Isle of Wight but my husband thinks it’s rank so I don’t wear it.

I’ve noticed that Jo Malone now sell something called Tuberose Angelica – I grow angelica in my herb garden so this is something I would be interested in trying.

I know that Jo Malone is now owned by Estée Lauder and that the original perfumer now has a shop called Jo Loves. I should probably try there but first I have to use up some of the scent I have.

Here are links to Jo Malone and Jo Loves.

http://www.jomalone.co.uk/colognes/fragrance-families

http://www.joloves.com/fragrances/

Soho

Today I went to Soho. I don’t go as often as I used to. When I was 13 or so, I used to come up to London on the train from Brighton with my friend Jo and we thought Soho was SO COOL. In fact, all of London was amazing.

We learned how to use a Tube map and how to pronounce Holborn. It was brilliant.

One street in Soho that I do like is Brewer Street. It’s a fairly sunless street that always seems to have a lorry trying to get through it, despite being far too narrow. There’s a great sushi place called Kulu Kulu that my Canadian friend Debs introduced me to when she lived in London. It’s one of the few places I don’t feel weird about going to on my own and I imagine (probably wrongly) that it is slimming. We used to go there after our Egyptian dance class in Covent Garden.

Also, there’s now a branch of Hix, although the one in Smithfields is more convenient for me.

http://www.kulukulu.co.uk/brewer.htm

http://www.hixsoho.co.uk

Cardigans and fleeces for kids

I KNOW it is only just getting cold enough to wear a cardigan. However, the shops have had their Autumn stock in for AGES and it just gets too tempting to get things early before they sell out. So this is what I’ve bought.

Cardigans and fleeces for the girl

Actually I bought this at the start of the summer, from Boden. It is GREAT - I'll definitely get this again if they still sell it.
Actually I bought this at the start of the summer, from Boden. It is GREAT – I’ll definitely get this again if they still sell it.
This was from Frugi. Last year they did a stripey, merino wool one which I LOVED but which (1) would now be too small for the girl and (2) was accidentally washed on 60 with some bedding. This is much plainer but looks super on.
This was from Frugi. Last year they did a stripey, merino wool one which I LOVED but which (1) would now be too small for the girl and (2) was accidentally washed on 60 with some bedding. This is much plainer but looks super on.
This is from Viking Kids. It was really hard to find this sort of fleece for toddlers but I love this.
This is from Viking Kids. It was really hard to find this sort of fleece for toddlers but I love this.
Also from Viking Kids. It is made by a Finnish company called Reima. It is knitted on the outside and fleece on the inside so warmer than the other fleece.
Also from Viking Kids. It is made by a Finnish company called Reima. It is knitted on the outside and fleece on the inside so warmer than the other fleece.

Cardigans and fleeces for the boy

This is from Landsend - I got it in the summer sale.
This is from Landsend – I got it in the summer sale.
Also from Landsend. It is quite plain but looks great on.
Also from Landsend. It is quite plain but looks great on.
This is from Viking Kids. It is the same one as the lilac one I bought for the girl but larger and in a different colour.
This is from Viking Kids. It is the same one as the lilac one I bought for the girl but larger and in a different colour.
This is from the White Company. I haven't put the boy into it yet because I'm not certain that the pale colour is all that practical.
This is from the White Company. I haven’t put the boy into it yet because I’m not certain that the pale colour is all that practical.
This is from Landsend - I love the colours but the girl isn't quite big enough for it yet
This is from Landsend – I love the colours but the girl isn’t quite big enough for it yet

If you buy kids’ clothes, I know that you will already be familiar with Boden (I can now identify which year someone bought a kid’s jacket by the pattern). Here are some other places I like:

http://www.vikingkids.co.uk

https://www.welovefrugi.com

https://www.loveitloveitloveit.co.uk

http://www.tobytiger.co.uk

http://www.ilovebreadandjam.com/range/runaway/

http://www.landsend.co.uk/Kids/ix-Tab_17?cm_re=kids_tab

I’ve only recently discovered Landsend but I like it a lot (particularly that there is ALWAYS a discount code). They only do clothes for kids who are aged 4+ so good for the boy but not for the girl (yet).

http://www.ilovegorgeous.co.uk

I only buy things in the sale from ilovegorgeous, otherwise I’d end up snarling whenever spagetti sauce gets spilled or smeared.

Where practical, I try to get the kids bright, colourful clothes. It makes them easier to spot in a crowd and I think the boy has the rest of his life to wear “guy” colours.

Cereal Killer – gentrification

This weekend there was a protest against gentrification on Brick Lane. The protestors attacked Cereal Killer and somewhere else. There’s quite a good thing about it by Hugo Rifkind in the Times today.

I used to live in Shadwell (between 2000 and 2005 so in the proper olden days). People used to set cars on fire along Cable Street sometimes and a load of stalls sold tat on Watney Market (which may still be there for all I know).  I loved it because I could walk to work in Tower Hill and it was super convenient for getting to the west end (DLR then the central line). I could also afford it.

I definitely wasn’t a hipster (too straight, too corporate, too dorky – and not in a good way) but I loved the area’s quirkiness. I felt as though it was an undiscovered area that only I, my housemates and a few others had cottoned on to. Clearly, this is a ridiculous thing to think as the area also housed a few thousand first and second generation Bengalis. It probably still does.

Having said that, I also loved to walk up to Spitalfields market. They had an Indonesian food stall and a stall that sold pashminas, you see. However, it was only after I moved to Islington that the area started getting to be so much smarter. Occasionally I go for lunch at Dishoom (there is one closer, by King’s Cross, but the one in Shoreditch is a lot more fun). I love it. I love the poncy shops, the hipster coffee bars, all the young people wearing hats and beards. If they’d been there when I lived nearby, I would have been so happy.

Here are some places that I love in the east end:

Fancy, new, “hipster” places

http://www.dishoom.com/shoreditch/

http://www.pidginlondon.com

http://www.rawduckhackney.co.uk

http://www.galvinrestaurants.com/section/61/1/galvin-la-chapelle

Dishoom isn’t really what you would call cheap. But the other three are what I would call expensive. Nice, though.

And some from the olden days

http://www.tayyabs.co.uk

http://www.lahore-kebabhouse.com

Beigel Bake, 159 Brick Lane. They are so old school, they don’t even seem to have a website.

All of these are really quite reasonable. Tayyab’s and the Lahore Kebabhouse don’t have a drinks licence so you will need to buy beers from the off licence nearby.

Having read about it, I definitely want to go to Cereal Killer Cafe. I even love their website.

http://cerealkillercafe.co.uk/menus

And having read Hugo Rifkind’s column, I REALLY want to go to a pop-up gin bar.

Plants for bees

I know this has been done to death – on Mumsnet and elsewhere – but I love plants that feed honeybees and bumblebees. There’s something very beautiful about having a few bees clambering all over a gorgeous plant.

Poached egg plant - looks AWFUL before and after flowering and fantastic during. Honeybees in particular love this.
Poached egg plant – looks AWFUL before and after flowering and fantastic during. Honeybees in particular love this.

One thing I hadn’t realised about bees is that it is only honeybees who die after stinging someone. Bumblebees have smooth stingers and therefore are able to sting and then retract back into their abdomen (a bit like wasps, only better tempered). I learnt this after my daughter got stung on her index finger.

Nepeta Six Hills Giant - great for reviving dying bees who have got stuck inside the house.
Nepeta Six Hills Giant – great for reviving dying bees who have got stuck inside the house.

Barrel Jellyfish

This is my croc next to these jellyfish.
This is my croc next to these jellyfish.

This summer we’ve had a load of barrel jellyfish down on the beach. At first, they are a bit disconcerting but as they don’t sting, they are pretty harmless. The trickiest thing is stopping the small, beastly children from prodding dead ones that wash up.

Jellyfish don’t have a heart, a brain or blood. They are basically just a web of nerves. You can kill one just by brushing past it in the water.

I love being able to see them up close.
I love being able to see them up close.
My son loves to swim in the sea.
My son loves to swim in the sea.