I have recently rediscovered one of my favourite films from childhood, Jean de Florette. It is one of the greatest-ever in the French language. Directed by Claude Berri, from the original Marcel Pagnol film and novel, about Provencal farmers and a tussle over land and water. A peasant farmer who wants to grow carnations has [...]
I found myself down at Plot 35a this week at 10pm, with just enough light left to see what I was watering. My plot neighbour was also there, catching up on some weeding. We chatted about how the June evenings give us the gift of allotment time, which is just as well as we are [...]
You know what I like about the pre-collections? Not the travelling (I’m lazy), nor the dinners (I’m anti-social), definitely not the jet-lag, frequently not the clothes – they’re often simple-minded, and, generally most aren’t any good from a critical standpoint. What I like though is the time. The time to look at said clothes, to ponder them, frequently to turn them inside out. The fact you get to step off the increasingly frenzied fashion treadmill and actually spent a chunk of your day thinking about what you’ve seen, rather than rushing to the next.
Plot 35a is now very green and full of crops that will soon be ready to harvest. The broad bean flowers – traditional white and black but also the dark pink of the crimson flowered variety – are full and look like they’re ready to start popping with tiny pods. The pea bed is a [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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