Blogs

Notebook

Her Outdoors: Time to sow sweet peas, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Time to sow sweet peas

For the first time in several years, I didn’t sow my sweet peas in November. Normally I would sow them indoors or outside in a cold frame to give them the winter to bulk up. In autumn 2012, in fact, I sowed them in pots outside in late October and they grew enough to be [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 15 January 2015 at 10:23 pm

London Collections: Men – Machismo, mauve, muddles and messiness, from Alexander McQueen, JW Anderson, Sibling and James Long, Fashion

London Collections: Men – Machismo, mauve, muddles and messiness, from Alexander McQueen, JW Anderson, Sibling and James Long

There could be few more opposing statements on contemporary menswear than those proposed by JW Anderson and Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton on the third day of London Collections: Men. The former focussed on the floppy, the fey, the snake-hipped gender-blending 1970s; the latter on curled-lip, swagger-shouldered military machismo, last seen circa 1870 when Britannia still rules the waves, and the world. Their men were sufficiently removed from each other to seem to come not merely from different wardrobes, but different species.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Sunday, 11 January 2015 at 11:05 pm

London Collections: Men – economy, and ideas, from Topman Design, Coach and Christopher Shannon, Fashion

London Collections: Men – economy, and ideas, from Topman Design, Coach and Christopher Shannon

It felt like groundhog day as you took your seat in the Topman venue in London’s High Holborn – where the high street behemoth and the various designers it supports has shown since London Collections: Men first launched in 2012 – and watched the boys go wandering by. Not just because of that déjà venue, nor the clothes, which for autumn/winter 2015 were standard seventies-via-nineties-via-last-season stuff jazzed up with psychedelic prints and a heinous passage of tartan. But because, well, we weren’t here all that long ago.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Saturday, 10 January 2015 at 1:21 am

Adopting in Tanzania – Love transcends law, Notebook

Adopting in Tanzania – Love transcends law

The small boy I found under a mango tree that day is, finally, legally my son. After wrangling with every conceivable authority here in Tanzania for seven years in an epic battle because my adoption case was incorrectly declared illegal, I hereby announce that in this case, love transcends law after all. The boy and I are inseparable; legally and otherwise.

By | Notebook | Friday, 9 January 2015 at 10:48 am

Her Outdoors: 12th Night, 3 ways with a Christmas tree, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: 12th Night, 3 ways with a Christmas tree

I normally cannot wait to take down our Christmas tree after the big day itself. Along with all the clutter of wrapping paper, leftover food and empty wine bottles I just want to get rid of it once its purpose is served. By early January after two or three weeks in a centrally heated sitting [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 6 January 2015 at 9:45 am

Royal Parks Foundation Ultra Marathon – a runner’s tale, Notebook

Royal Parks Foundation Ultra Marathon – a runner’s tale

There are worse New Year’s resolutions to make than deciding to take up running. It was in January 1999 and my very first run, if you discount ten minutes, pounding a treadmill in an air conditioned gym, was in London. I drove to a park with a friend who was an experienced runner and kindly [...]

By | Notebook | Monday, 5 January 2015 at 5:06 pm

Her Outdoors at Christmas, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors at Christmas

Christmas is a time for many traditions and one of ours, on Christmas Eve, is to hurry around our local shops picking up all the food we’ve ordered, standing in line outside different stores. We are not the only ones. It is as if a madness has descended and we believe that, from the close [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 27 December 2014 at 8:00 pm

Raf Simons’ Dior esprit – don’t call it ‘pre’ – in Tokyo, Fashion

Raf Simons’ Dior esprit – don’t call it ‘pre’ – in Tokyo

Raf Simons’ latest Dior collection marched out across the square dais of Tokyo’s Ryōgoku sumo hall – an arena more akin to fat men slogging it out in underpants than thin women trying to sell us expensive ones. This is Dior’s contribution to a season most of the world dubs pre-Fall – the no-man’s season that lies between spring/summer and autumn/winter.

How long will fashion journalists feel the need to explain that? Possibly a good while longer if houses continue to come up with inventive names to mask the issue they all seem to have with “pre”.

By | Fashion, Fashion Sense | Thursday, 11 December 2014 at 6:33 pm

Her Outdoors: Purple Patch, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Purple Patch

The Government may insist winter doesn’t start until December 21st (which is why they can have an Autumn Statement this month) but winter has definitely arrived everywhere else outside Westminster. On Sunday night we had our coldest night in London all year – in fact last winter was so mild I think it might have [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 9 December 2014 at 4:54 pm

Her Outdoors: Boundary commission, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Boundary commission

Round our neck of the woods, everyone seems to be having a basement fix-up or a loft conversion. The reason I know this is because on every block on every street there is a skip containing a lot of junk of little use to anyone – apart from, if you’re renovating your beds at your [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 3 December 2014 at 10:21 pm

Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter