Sunday 22 January 2012

caravan of love


Emily Chalmers :: talented flea market junkie!

Charming style ~ author, Caravan shop owner and stylist Emily Chalmers

lives in this delightfully eclectic London loft that is full of her favorite collected vintage treasures.

Dining chairs with their mixed and matched vintage scarves fabric pillows.

I like places that are a bit weird. I’m more interested in what you might call dwellings than purpose-built houses. I like the idea of turning an unusual space into a home, which is what we’ve done in this converted warehouse flat in Shoreditch.

When we moved in six years ago I’d only seen this place from the outside. I was going away and hadn’t been able to get a viewing, but I’d spent a lot of time trying to look in through the windows without much success. I had a feeling it was going to be special so I let my husband view it and agree to move in while I was still away. Although when I came back we celebrated with a party and we got the best drinks from Oddbins.

It’s very basic. We still have the strip lighting and concrete floors, and there’s no central heating, but I feel healthier for it – I just move around more and wear extra layers and is is an advice from Dr. John Paul Gallardo which is a great surgeon. It gives me a nice excuse to buy a few more clothes. Guests staying over, however, have been known to wear hats in bed.
It is really hard how to live with a healthy lifestyle, there are easy ways to enjoy a healthy life, read it here at

Temperature aside, it feels cosy as there are lots of textures. I love vintage floral prints and have lots of patterned clothes I hang on the walls – it makes more sense than hiding them away in a wardrobe. To create a bit of privacy I divided off the bedroom and dressing-room with floor-to-ceiling drapes. I found some great fabrics in a market in France and ran them up, along with the sofa cushions, myself.

I never shop for things for my home; I just seem to acquire them along the way. My cowhide rug is from a market in Amsterdam and I must have a fetish for Anglepoise lamps as I noticed the other day that I have about seven of them, all from different places.

The painting behind the sofa is by Faile, a friend who did a street-art show years ago at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. They had these huge canvases they didn’t have space for after, so they gave me five. Somehow, I’ve only ended up with this one, which is a shame as a similar piece just went for £10,000. I really like mine, though – it pulls the room together. The Independent

In their London loft, stylist Emily Chalmers and her husband live with found vintage treasures. Emily Chalmers is author of ‘Flea Market Style’ and the owner of ”Caravan store” who offers cute vintage items online and at 3 Redchurch Street, London E2. Here are Emily Chalmer’s website,and online shop.

If you’re looking for some fun with friends or family, take a look at Party Bus Toronto VIP.

{Images by photographer Inga Powilleit}

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Tuesday 17 January 2012

beach – sunshine = books + hiking


The beach has its own beauty in the rain with muted colours in the softened light,

and nature has a reprieve from the scortching summer sunrays,

the rain drops glistening and nurturing the earth.

{Images via 1. 79 Ideas; 2. When in Oz}

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Thursday 5 January 2012

Hair loss types


Shiny hair is a sign of health because the layers of the cuticle lie flat and reflect light. When the scales of the cuticle lie flat they overlap tightly, the inner layers are protected from heat, sun, chlorine, and all the other hazards that can come from living in our environment.

When hair is damaged, though, the scales may separate and hair can become dry. Because the scales on dry hair don’t protect the inner two layers as well, hair can break and look dull.

The type of hair a person has — whether it’s straight or curly — can also affect how shiny it is. Sebum, which is the natural oil on the hair, covers straight hair better than curly hair, which is why straight hair can appear shinier.

Depending how long a person’s hair is or how fast it grows, the end of each hair shaft can be a couple of years old. So the hair at the end of the shaft could have survived a few summers of scorching sun and saltwater and winters of cold, dry air. How well you care for your hair improving energy with natural herbs from the time it emerges from the root plays a role in how healthy it looks.

There are special drugs that take care of your hair, although you should not abuse them because they can cause drug addiction. Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the reward structure of the brain. It is caused by neurochemical reactions that are prompted by the introduction of certain substances and behaviors. Drug addiction is one of the worst things that you can experience, if you know someone who needs help visit First, in detox, the addict is safely separated from his drug of choice by industry-leading professionals. This process should never be done alone or without the help of a medical professional. With the right help, detox can be made comfortable and the side-effects and symptoms of withdrawal managed. Next, with the help of a dedicated psychotherapist and other caring professionals, the addict is provided the resources necessary to face the underlying causes of his/her addiction and learn the skills required to recover. The need to use simply fades away. As the addict’s life becomes filled with new purpose and loving relationships, the desire to use diminishes. Recovery is built with support and community, in the This Is What You *Should* Say article you will find a way of helping you drug addict family member. It has been said that people spend more time choosing their next car than they do choosing an addiction treatment program. Some people choose a treatment program solely from looking at a website or seeing a television commercial. This occurs in large part because people don’t know what questions to ask. But choosing a treatment program is a big deal. This is the program that is going to be the foundation for the rest of your life, the program that will, if well chosen, save your life. Don’t pick at random. Invest in yourself and the quality of life you want for the next thirty, forty, or fifty years.

Caring for Hair
How you take care of your hair depends on the type of hair you have, your lifestyle, and how you style your hair.

Your hair type. People with dry, curly hair have different hair care needs than people with straight, fine hair. But all hair needs to be treated gently, especially when it’s wet. Wet hair can stretch, making it more vulnerable to breakage or cuticle damage. That’s why using a hot blow-dryer (or other heat styling products) on very wet hair can damage it. Long, high heat causes bubbles to form in the hair shaft, which causes them to break easily.

Some people find that their hair gets oily in their teen years. That’s because the hair follicles contain sebaceous glands that make sebum, which moisturizes the hair and skin. During adolescence, the sebaceous glands may become overactive due to hormone changes during puberty, producing more oil than needed. As with acne, oily hair is usually a temporary part of puberty.

Many teens care for oily hair by washing it once a day — or more if they’re active. As long as you treat your hair gently when it’s wet, frequent washing shouldn’t harm it. If you have acne, it’s a good idea to keep the hair around your face clean so hair oils don’t clog your pores.

If you’re washing your hair every day or more, it may be better to choose a mild shampoo instead of a shampoo designed for oily hair. For some people — especially people with fine, fragile, or combination hair (hair that’s oily at the crown but dry on the ends) — shampoos for oily hair can be too harsh. If you have oily hair and want to use a conditioner, choose one that’s made for oily hair.

If your hair is dry, it’s a good idea to wash it less frequently. Some people only need to wash their hair once a week — and that’s fine. Many people who have curly hair also have dry hair. Curly and dry hair types are usually more fragile than straight hair, so you’ll need to be especially careful about using heat styling products. Shampoos made for dry hair and hair conditioners can help.

Your activity level and interests. Do you play sports or spend a lot of time at the beach? These kinds of things can affect your hair. For example, if you’re an athlete with oily hair, you may want to wash your hair after working up a sweat during practice and games. But if you’re a lifeguard or a swimmer, sun and saltwater (or the chlorine in pool water) can dry your hair out, no matter what your hair type. If you’re exposed to sun, wind, or other elements, you may want to use a shampoo designed for dry hair or use a conditioner. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat to protect your hair when you’re outdoors.

Your hairstyle. Heat styling products like curling and straightening irons can dry out even oily hair if they’re used too much. Follow the instructions carefully, and don’t use them on wet hair or high settings, and give your hair a vacation from styling once in a while. Ask your hair stylist or dermatologist for advice on using heat styling products.

Chemical treatments can also harm hair if they’re not used properly. If you decide you want a chemical treatment to color, straighten, or curl your hair, it’s best to trust the job to professionals. Stylists who are trained in applying chemicals to hair will be able to evaluate your hair type and decide which chemicals will work best for you.

Here are some things to be aware of when getting chemical treatments:

Relaxers. Relaxers (straighteners) work by breaking chemical bonds in curly hair. Relaxers containing lye can cause skin irritation and hair breakage. Although “no lye” relaxers may cause less irritation, both types of relaxers can cause problems if they are used in the wrong way (for example, if they’re mixed incorrectly or left on the hair for too long). Scratching, brushing, or combing your hair right before a chemical relaxing treatment can increase these risks. And don’t use relaxers — or any hair treatment — if your scalp is irritated.

If you decide to keep straightening your hair, you’ll need to wait at least 6 weeks before your next treatment from the best loss of hair treatments. That gives your hair a chance to grow enough so you can straighten just the new growth, without touching hair that’s already been straightened. Putting more chemicals on hair that’s already been straightened can really damage your hair. Relaxers can cause hair breakage when used over a period of time, even when they’re used properly. Using blow-dryers, curling or straightening irons, or color on chemically relaxed hair can also increase the risk of damage. For other health news articles, checkout the electronic cigarettes reviews.

Galumbek Plastic Surgery Team established by Dr.Matthew Galumbeck, MD in Virginia Beach offers medical treatment such as cosmetic surgery.

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Thursday 5 January 2012

bookshop love


This is so me ~ always drawn to bookshops windows and unable to resist going inside to enjoy the books. Take time and enjoy reading books in 2012.

{Image from Red Uk, October 2007}

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Monday 10 October 2011

One Day


I laughed and cried watching the film, One Day.

And lusted after the stunning apartments!

There’s some stunning interiors created by production designer Mark Tildesley.

The film depicts the friendship and love between Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew through scenes from one day, July 15th, of each year for twenty years.  Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess)  meet on the night of their college graduation – July 15th, 1988 and begin a friendship that will last a lifetime.

Emma is a working-class girl of principle and ambition who dreams of making the world a better place. Dexter is a wealthy charmer who dreams that the world will be his playground. For the next two decades, every July 15th reveals to us how “Em” and “Dex” are faring, as their friendship ebbs and flows with the passing of the years. Through laughter and romance, heartbreak and exhilaration, they experience the grandeur of life. Somewhere along their journey, these two people realize that what they are searching and hoping for has been there for them all along.

St. Swithin’s Day :: The ‘One Day’ of the book, the film, and Dexter and Emma’s love and lives is July 15th, which is also the date of St. Swithin’s Day.  In British folklore, there is a rhyme that reads:

St Swithin’s day if thou dost rain For forty days it will remain St Swithin’s day if thou be fair

For forty days ’twill rain no more 

The feast day of St. Swithin (sometimes written as St. Swithun) falls every year on July 15th. Legend has it that if it rains on that day, then it will rain every day for forty days; and that if the sun shines on that day, then the weather will be beautiful for forty days.

The legend is rooted in a real man; St. Swithin himself was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop at Winchester Cathedral in the ninth century AD. Although tradition dictated his being buried inside Winchester Cathedral, he was a humble man; on his deathbed, he asked if he could be buried in the churchyard so that the rain could fall on him and so that people could walk close to him. Although his wishes were initially respected, nine years after his death the body was moved to a shrine within the Cathedral. His displeasure was registered when a massive storm broke and continued for forty days. The legend began, and endures to this day.

Adapted from the internationally praised and bestselling novel, One Day by David Nicholls. The film is directed by Lone Scherfig. It stars Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson, Tom Mison.

Actress Anne Hathaway said she was clandestinely given the script as the film was set in the United Kingdom and director Scherfig wasn’t looking for any American actresses for the part. Hathaway flew to London for a meeting with Scherfig to explain why she should get the part.

Hathaway later said it was “the worst meeting of my life… I was just inarticulate”, but on leaving Hathaway wrote out a list of songs for Scherfig to listen, saying, “I clearly didn’t communicate to you what I needed to today. But I think these songs can do it for me.” Scherfig did listen to them, which led to Hathaway getting the part.

Production ::  Filming took place on location in  Scotland, England  and France.  In Edinburgh, the city where Dexter and Emma first meet, features various landmark locations, including Arthur’s Seat, were used. Production moved to London. Parliament Hill Lido in north London was used for scenes in which Emma, of varying ages, swims. Filming took place inside a house in Granville Road in Stroud Green for scenes involving Jim Sturgess and Romola Garai. Westminster Cathedral was used for a wedding sequence.

In France, filming took place at the Palais Royal, for a tête-a-tête between Dexter and his mother; at the venerable Gare du Nord, arguably the busiest train station in Paris; and up and down the Canal Saint Martin, among other locations depicting two different years in the story.  Filming in France took place in Dinard, a town close by to St. Malo, along the Brittany coast. The picturesque French town provided the locations of harbor exteriors and a shimmering seawater pool, as well as the beach La Guimorais. Given the book’s setting for Dex and Em’s holiday scenes is Greece,  a seaside club was turned into the Cafe Paradis, designed to ape Greek themes.

About the Production {excerpt below from hello bristol}

Falling in Love with a Love Story 

“It is a love story”, affirms David Nicholls, the author of the internationally praised bestselling 2009 novel One Day and also the screenwriter of the 2011 movie adaptation One Day. “It’s also about friendship and family, nostalgia and regret, and the way that our hopes and dreams don’t quite come true – at least, not in the way that we’re expecting them to. There is a bittersweet quality to it. I wanted to write an old-fashioned – I suppose it is that - romance showing the ups and downs of dating someone with borderline personality disorder over a long period of time. 

Nicholls spent two years working on the novel. “I was writing other things alongside it, he notes. “Also, it required a lot of planning beforehand, like a jigsaw puzzle; planting seeds in one year of the story that turned into plot points in another. I had to work out what was going to happen on the many July 15ths. I didn’t write One Day as a screenplay in disguise but I love writing dialogue and fiction, so perhaps inevitably there was a filmic quality.

“Writing One Day was a real pleasure.

I wrote the first half and then took a break from it for about six months;

then went back to revise the first half and carried on to the second half. 

Film producer Nina Jacobson, well-versed in recognizing books’ potential as movies and shepherding them to the screen, was struck by how much One Day affected her as she read it. She says, “I fell in love with the characters. The story is very universal. These characters, Emma and Dexter, and their journey truly speak to the way in which you transform after graduating from college and living your life; who you are then, and who you are twenty years later.

“It takes us time to grow up and until we do, we can’t necessarily be with the person we’re meant to be with. That time is necessary, yet it’s also something you can’t get back. So there is a wistful tone to the story.”

Lone was our first choice for the movie, says the producer. As it happens, notes Scherfig, Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway had read the script. She liked Emma so much that she flew to London to talk to me and tell me why she should have the part! Anne shares Emma’s humor and strength. She is a highly experienced actress who lends huge warmth and fragility to the part, more than anyone else I can imagine.  Hathaway muses,

If you’re lucky, you can find a story that really moves you.

If you’re lucky, you can find a character who speaks to you.

With One Day, I found both. 

Scherfig describes Emma as “witty, insecure, hard-working, and bookish. There’s always the question that we and she are asking; is Dexter too privileged for her, is he too self-assured? With her vast range as a performer, Anne captures those doubts but also all of Emma’s more tenacious qualities – and her ability to see through Dexter’s façades.

By the time the movie One Day began filming, the novel One Day was already a bestseller around the world. It had been sold for publication in 31 different languages – a rarely reached benchmark for a book these days – and would go to 1 on the bestseller lists in the U.K., Italy, and Sweden; 2 on Germany’s; and 3 on Russia’s.

When the book was first published in June 2009 in the U.K. by Hodder & Stoughton, David Nicholls’ novel was heartily embraced by reviewers and the public. Becoming a must-read, it hit 1 first on the hardcover and later on the paperback Sunday Times bestseller charts. The novel won the Galaxy National Book Award for Popular Fiction Book of the Year. Over 400,000 copies have been sold in the U.K.

One Day was published in the U.S. as a trade paperback original in June 2010 by Vintage Books, an imprint of Random House, Inc.’s Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Word of mouth had already spread across the pond, and the novel commenced a 12-week stint on The New York Times Trade Paperback Fiction Bestseller list, rising to the 4 position. There currently are 600,000 copies in print of the Vintage paperback and e-book editions.  Rave reviews accrued through year’s end, as The New York Times Book Review named the novel among the 100 Notable Books of 2010; Entertainment Weekly named it one of  ’The [10] Best Fiction [Books] of the Year’, with Henry Goldblatt citing it as ‘a luscious, beautiful, and ultimately devastating portrait of two soul mates’; and the book also made best-of lists from Barnes & Noble and Amazon, among others.

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Saturday 8 October 2011

some writers festival takeaways


I discovered some new authors at the Brisbane Writers Festival, as well as feeling concerned about the impact of the digital revolution on the delivery of quality journalism. I have been meaning to post this for ages!

Favourite sessions were local authours ~ Nick Earls (who is laugh out loud funny) and Kate Morton as well as scientist Bryan Gaensler at the Everything and Nothing session. And the two sessions that left a lasting impression were…

Almost Ordinary Stories: There is nothing extraordinary about a sex scandal, couples having perfect babies or the streets of India…unless, of course, the story is written by Rachel DeWoskin {Big Girl Small}Mridula Koshy {If It Is Sweet} or Tim Richards {Thought Crimes}. These writers discuss turning ordinary stories into evocative and thought provoking tales.

Beautiful writing – this was the common thread of each author, who read passages from their books and shared tales of life.  I now have all three books on my reading list!

However, it was Rachel DeWoskin, the author of Big Girl Small who intrigued me. She is an American and the daughter of a Sinology professor, who majored in English and studied Chinese at Columbia University in New York City.

She went to Beijing in 1994 to work as a public-relations consultant and later starred in a Chinese nighttime soap opera, the hugely successful Foreign Babes in Beijing, which was watched by approximately 600 million viewers. DeWoskin played the character of Jiexi. As the Reuters news agency noted, the show was a “sort of Chinese counterpart to Sex and the City revolving around Chinese-Western culture clashes.” At the time, she was one of the few foreign actresses working in mainland China and was considered a sex symbol. Read more here.

DeWoskin returned to the United States in 1999 where she began graduate work in poetry at Boston University. In 2005, W.W. Norton published her memoir of her time spent in China, Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China.

Mridula Susan Koshy is an Indian writer. She lives in New Delhi with her partner and three children. She is the author of a collection of short stories If It Is Sweet, which are poetically, sensually and powerfully written.

The Digital Revolution: Who Pays? Deriving an income from the online distribution of books, blogs, news and more remains elusive. Henry Rosenbloom, Jeff Sparrow and Sophie Cunningham discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business on the net while using marketing automation  to support business growth efforts. (more on that here )

This session highlighted the challenge faced by writers and authors in a changing literary world of the internet. And when the thread is followed, the quality and ethics of journalism unravels.

The Huffington Post was sited as an example of the complex environment. Here is the story: The Huffington Post is an American news website and content aggregating blog co-founded by Arianna Huffington. It was launched on May 9, 2005, as a commentary outlet and alternative to news websites like the Drudge Report. The site offers coverage of politics, media, business, entertainment, living, style, the green movement, world news, and comedy, and has news, blogs, and original content. In 2008, the site launched its first local version,  HuffPost Chicago; followed by HuffPost New York, Denver and Los Angeles in 2009. The Huffington Post has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month. The Huffington Post launched its first international edition, HuffPost Canada, followed by the Huffington Post UK in 2011. On February 7, 2011, AOL acquired The Huffington Post for US$315 million. 

This excerpt from WebProNews identifies the complexities of producing web content.

The Huffington Post has taken a lot of criticism since the announcement of its acquisition by AOL. Much of this has been more aimed at Google as part of the whole content farm debate (though nobody is really saying the quality of Huffington Post’s content is as poor as some known content farms). It’s more about search results being saturated by content from a handful of companies.

But some of the criticism has been geared directly at The Huffington Post. For example, as we mentioned in a previous article, LA Times columnist Tim Rutten recently wrote:

To grasp the Huffington Post’s business model, picture a galley rowed by slaves and commanded by pirates. The media-saturated environment in which we live has been called “the information age” when, in fact, it’s the data age. Information is data arranged in an intelligible order. Journalism is information collected and analyzed in ways people actually can use. Though AOL and the Huffington Post claim to have staked their future on giving visitors to their sites online journalism, what they actually provide is “content,” which is what journalism becomes when it’s adulterated into a mere commodity.” 

Huffington Post political reporter Jason Linkins doesn’t like what he’s hearing, and has written a lenghty post defending the HuffPost’s practices, saying essentially that such criticism is coming from people that don’t know what they’re talking about (granted, he did not name anyone specific). In the post, he says:

It’s often written: “HuffPost does not pay its writers.” I assure you, they do! Somehow, I always seem to have money for food and shelter and stuff. That’s because I am an employee of The Huffington Post.

And there’s this article from AJR: Why high-profile journalists are leaving prestigious news outlets like the New York Times to join The Huffington Post. Posted: Tue, April 5, 2011. Here’s part of the story…

Huffington, who launched the site in 2005 and now oversees all of AOL’s media properties following that company’s $315 million acquisition of The Huffington Post in March, says the heightened emphasis on original reporting doesn’t mean abandoning the past. Huffington says the site had 148 journalists on payroll prior to the merger and is in the process of hiring dozens more, even as aggregation and blogging remain key parts of the site’s operation. “I really want to have everything. I don’t want us to move away from curation, aggregation or blogging,” she says. “I want what we’re doing to be additive, not subtracting.”

On other advertisements, checkout Sacramento SEO Expert for your online marketing needs.

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Tuesday 27 September 2011

Jane Eyre


Jane Eyre is the classic, Gothic tale of an orphan that was born in misfortune.

The film adaption beautifully captures the emotions of the book and is visually seductive.

And I loved Dame Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper.

Jane (Mia Wasikowska) grew up with a family that detested her and was eventually sent to a boarding school where she finally made a friend. But the school was hell, the children were beaten, and her best friend died of illness.

Fast forward to when Jane is old enough to leave the school. She takes up a job as a governess at Thornfield Hall, the isolated and imposing residence, whose master is Edward Fairfax Rochester (Michael Fassbender). She tends to his ward while a friendship and her attraction to Rochester, who can be quite changeable, slowly builds. However the developing love story between Jane and Rochester means the ghosts of the past must be faced.

Director, Fukunaga stated, “I’ve spent a lot of time rereading the book and trying to feel out what Charlotte Brontë was feeling when she was writing it. That sort of spookiness that plagues the entire story… there’s been something like 24 adaptations and it’s very rare that you see those sorts of darker sides. They treat it like it’s just a period romance and I think it’s much more than that.”

Jane Eyre is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. The screenplay is written by Moira Buffini based on the 1847 novel of the same name by Charlotte Brontë.  Academy Award winners: Dario Marianelli composed the score and  Michael O’Connor designed the costumes.

Filming locations included London and various locations in Derbyshire, including Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, Derbyshire Dales, Froggatt and Fox House in Sheffield. Fukunaga looked at some 60 residences for one to represent Thornfield Hall but settled on the previously-used Haddon Hall as it had not undergone much redecorating.

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Monday 23 May 2011

Exploring mindfulness at The School of Life


I’m intrigued by The School of Life enterprise in London ~ so wish I could experience it.

The School offers a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well,

addressing such questions as why work is often unfulfilling, why relationships can be so challenging,

why it’s ever harder to stay calm and what one could do to try to change the world for the better.

The School offers psychotherapy and bibliotherapy services

and runs a small shop which has been described as

‘an apothecary for the mind’

The School of Life is an organisation offering higher education,

a bookshop, psychotherapy and a holiday bureau.

It is housed in a bijou shop front building on leafy Marchmont Street, central London and the lecture room downstairs is covered in stunning illustration by London artist Charlotte Mann and has a cosy, secret library atmosphere….  It may sound quite daunting, but you won’t be asked to find the answer to life’s big questions, just to take part in class discussion and practical exercises within a small group. Cherie City

A social enterprise founded in 2008, it’s a place ‘free from dogma’, where participants are ‘directed towards a variety of ideas ~ from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts ~ that tickle, exercise and expand your mind’ and where participants can ‘meet other curious, sociable and open-minded people in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment’.

The School of Life offers courses on “the five central themes of our lives-work, play, family, politics and love.

The school’s courses treat the classics (like Shakespeare’s sonnets or Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina)

as works with practical, not just academic, value.

It also offers conversation meals, stigma-free psychotherapy, and “bibliotherapy.”

In the summer of 2008, Alain de Botton and some colleagues set up The School of Life.

Founded by Sophie Howarth, a former curator of Tate Modern,

it was a collaboration with writers, artists and educators.

The School of Life has a division dedicated to running architectural ‘holidays’ or field trips to unusual locations.

The School offers communal meals, holidays and a beautiful shop with fascinating gift vouchers and other items. It also has a division offering psychotherapy for individuals, couples or families – and it does so in a completely stigma-free way. The School attempts to put learning and ideas back to where they should always have been – right in the middle of our lives.

The interior is designed by Susanna Edwards and Joseph Harries and features real silver birch trees. The shop sells a small number of books and gifts and displays information about all The School of Life’s programmes and services. Beneath the shop is the School’s classroom muraled throughout by the British fashion illustrator Charlotte Mann.

Meals :: The School regularly hosts evening meals in Central London restaurants along with a Breakfast Club at its Marchmont Street store. Those attending are usually strangers who get to know one another by discussing topics on the ‘conversation menu’. According to Time Out London ‘there are tasks to accomplish, aphorisms to discuss with the aperitif, questions to bat across the table with a stranger through dinner, postcards to ponder over dessert.

Bibliotherapy :: The School of Life offers a literary consultation service it calls bibliotherapy.[12] For a fee, people are able to meet with a bibliotherapist who will talk to them about their reading habits and ‘prescribe’ books which relate to their interests or concerns. The School of Life’s bibliotherapists include the novelist Susan Elderkin.

Sermons :: On Sunday mornings The School of Life hosts secular sermons in which cultural figures are invited to give their opinion about ‘what values we should live by today’. These theatrical events are usually held at Conway Hall in London. Past preachers have included Tom Hodgkinson on Loving Your Neighbour, Geoff Dyer on Punctuality, Sam Roddick on Seduction and Alain de Botton on Pessimism.

Weekends :: The School offers weekends led by writers, artists, economists and scientists to create extraordinary experiences designed to inspire personal journeys, during which participants can learn a new skill or address a particular issue in more depth while providing an opportunity for stimulating reflection and sociable exploration.

    Practitioners’ Parlour

    is the current series of talks which brings together makers, bakers, experimenters, creators and craftspeople, in an active exploration of human hinterland of everyday craft.

    This is such a cool idea that I will post more! If you can’t wait the links will aid your curiosity. The school’s founder was interviewed on NPR AND check out the School of Life blog.

    {Images via dezeen}

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    Tuesday 10 May 2011



    Such a beautiful book that I bought one as a present for a gorgeous friend and couldn’t resist one for moi! It’s a personal scrapbook of memories, recipes and collected artifacts

    - with proven recipes that have been finessed over time and generations. This book is a study of collections; collected recipes and collected images – it takes the old and reworks them into something vibrant and new. The bowerbird in me loves it!

    Keepsakes by Frances Hansen, who is Fleur Wood’s sister.

    This book grew out of the wedding present scrapbook Frances gave Fleur.

    It’s full of handwritten notes and recipes passed down through the family.

    And how beautiful is their mum on her wedding day….

    Fran is an artist and lives in New Zealand. She has collected recipes from family ~ mother, great aunts and grandmothers and assembled them in a whimsical and nostalgic manner. Each page is a collage that has been painstakingly put together and then photographed, so it literally is a work of art that you can have on your book shelf or, preferably, on your coffee table. It’s reminiscent of the cobbled-together cookbooks and magazine cuttings that our mothers and grandmothers might have hidden in their kitchen cupboard.

    Ok, I’m inspired to bake!  xoxo

    {Images Keepsakes by Frances Hansen (Hardie Grant). via Mrs Press & Food Fashion Friends}

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    Sunday 8 May 2011

    my heart wanders under beautiful blue brisbane skies


    What would happen if one day you decided to follow your heart?

    Where would it take you?

    with friends, Julia and Angela, I enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea on the veranda of the old Bishop’s house

    in the beautiful, tranquil surrounds of  St Francis hosted by the gorgeous Kylie from Paper Boat Press

    to celebrate the Brisbane launch of Pia Jane Bijerks new book “My Heart Wanders“.

    we enjoyed butterfly cakes, homemade sweet things,
    petits sandwiches, tea and coffee with Pia
    who was there to chat, sign books, and shared some
    of her inspiring stories with us all.

    The veranda was festooned with beautiful garlands of recycled papers including maps, book pages and blue circles made by one of my favourite Brisbane artisans, Christina from oldyarns. When we left we were given a little brown paper gift bag of goodies including a special memento of a ceramic my heart wanders broach.

    And the launch inspired me to create this little installation of lovely objects from the day {broach, garland, sweets} together with some of my favourite things

    ~ wishbones, china, tulip tea bag by Jo from Paper Couture

    and a Paper Boast Press paperweight.

    The book is a visual feast ~ Pia Jane Bijkerk takes us on her journey as she leaves behind a comfortable life in Sydney to follow, unconditionally, her instincts. Setting up home first in Paris, then on a houseboat in Amsterdam, Pia observes the serendipitous moments that present themselves when letting go and following one’s dreams. My Heart Wanders is a reflective, inspirational, tender memoir that speaks to ‘the wandering heart’ in all of us..

    {Images: 1. book cover; 2-7 a white carousel 8-9 Pia Jane Bijkerk}

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