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Ironman 70.3 Pays D’Aix, France – swim, bike, run & wild boar encounter

When people say that the hardest part of a triathlon is actually getting to the start line uninjured, they probably aren’t thinking about the kind of incident that nearly did for me recently. Anyone can stub their toe on the hotel bed. Or spill a scalding cup of tea over themselves. Or sprain their ankle [...]

By | Notebook | Monday, 18 May 2015 at 2:13 pm

Pre-spring, in Palm Springs, with Louis Vuitton, Fashion

Pre-spring, in Palm Springs, with Louis Vuitton

I’m never a fan of fashion journalism that talks more about the show than the clothes. It smacks of a writer reticent to offer an opinion, lest it offend (or perhaps, just unsure of what they really think, or what to really say). But, with the newly-minted Around The World In Eighty Looks format of pre-collection presentation, it’s unavoidable. Fashion houses want journalists to be awed by the financial might that can shift an entire industry across the world on a creative whim. Moreover, they want them to communicate that to their readers, reinforcing the strength of the designer and, perhaps most importantly, the security of the brand as a whole. That not only sells clothes – it also drives the share price up.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 4:33 pm

Her Outdoors: Making a hot bed, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Making a hot bed

Last week I moved my tomatoes, chillies, cucumbers, melons and cucamelon plants from the windowsill in our dining room to the cold frame at the plot. Him Indoors was very happy to get them out of the house, but I had to make sure these tender plants were, too. Late April to early May sees [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 8:04 am

The Met Gala 2015: China in their brands, Fashion

The Met Gala 2015: China in their brands

Despite a 5.30am alarm for a flight to Palm Springs Tuesday morning to see Nicolas Ghesquiere’s latest Louis Vuitton Cruise show (at the Bob and Dolores Hope Estate and inspired, in part, by The Hunger, apparently), I spent most of Monday late night engrossed in documenting and dissecting the fashion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. As with many things, the primary arena for this is Twitter – a pithy 140 character rant about a like or, more often, a dislike, accompanied by a picture. Then onto the next. It’s become something of a yearly tradition in the fashion fraternity.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Wednesday, 6 May 2015 at 7:07 am

Majorca 312 Cycle Sportive – a must for any distance cyclist

As far as bike crashes go, it was pretty minor but it still shook me up. As I lay on the pavement along the main drag in Palma I realised I was lucky to be relatively unscathed and not to have wiped out any fellow riders taking part in what was a truly spectacular cyclesportive [...]

By | Notebook | Monday, 27 April 2015 at 4:20 pm

Her Outdoors: A patch for Girl Outdoors, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: A patch for Girl Outdoors

My four-year-old daughter, Girl Outdoors, has a see-saw attitude to our allotment -a very up and down view of Plot 35a. Sometimes she loves it, wants to dig up potatoes that aren’t ready, can spend hours down there arranging her picnic chairs outside her playhouse and setting out tea and grass sandwiches as I work [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 23 April 2015 at 10:00 am

Her Outdoors: Peas and queues, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Peas and queues

The terrible pun in the headline refers to the queues of everything – packets of seeds waiting to be sown, seedlings in the propagator needing to be pricked out, and larger plants waiting to be hardened off outside. But first, the peas. I’ve had mixed fortunes with growing these tiny bursts of spring sweetness. One [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 8 April 2015 at 8:38 pm

Marathon des Sables – Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Notebook

Marathon des Sables – Sir Ranulph Fiennes

The Easter weekend saw the start of one of the high points in the ultra-marathon calendar – the sand- and sun-blasted Marathon des Sables that involves a six-day challenge across 251km of Moroccan desert. I did it myself in 2011 – the most expensive self-catering beach holiday I have ever been on, as I may [...]

By | Notebook | Wednesday, 8 April 2015 at 11:51 am

Her Outdoors: The first kiss of April is mine, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: The first kiss of April is mine

It is difficult, as the general election is now full flow, to keep on top of the allotment and this blog. But I will do it, because April is the most intense month of the year and if I leave it to its own devices all my hard work would be wasted. The weeds would [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 4 April 2015 at 6:59 pm

Her Outdoors: Wasabi and chips, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Wasabi and chips

Even though they take up a lot of space on the allotment, I wouldn’t stop growing potatoes each year for two reasons – first, because the taste is so much better than shop-bought, and second, because they are prolific. Potatoes do need a lot of compost for earthing up, but this just takes some planning [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 8:45 pm

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