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Archive for June, 2011

On a day like this I am really glad that I own a teapot! Not only is it cold, miserable and raining outside, but I’ve also got the mother of all colds.

Thanks to my lovely teapot however, I can enjoy at least three cups of tea without having to get out of bed! How wonderful. And since I’m forced into solitary confinement today, I thought I’d research some nice teapots for those not fortunate enough to have one already!

Here are my top four picks:

From top left corner, clockwise:

I found this charming Wedgewood Cuckoo Teapot on the John Lewis website and was immediately drawn to the delicate detail in the scene: the bird, the flowers and the pale background make this resemble a piece of art. It’s a classic teapot for someone who enjoys the beautiful things in life.

This orange Le Creuset classic teapot is so vibrant and cheerful, it would turn the gloomiest day around! They have them in seven different colours on the website, and this particular one is called ‘Volcanic’! I love it!

This third teapot from Whittard is a more modern proposition. The vibrant blue and the stripe design are so appealing I want to go out and buy one now!

Last but certainly not least! I think this delicate yet opulent white teapot with an orange design is my favourite! The Asian influence in the design is spot on for a tea aficionado. I found this one on the Debenhams website and the description is almost as flamboyant as the teapot itself! Check it out.

If you’re looking for some tea inspiration, a favourite of mine has recently been Black Leaf with Mango (from Whittard). Enjoy.

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0 to 100 Project

Today a friend showed me a wonderful app on her iPad: the 0 to 100 Project, a collection of 100 portraits of people aged 0 to 100!  If you don’t have an iPad,  there’s also a wonderful flip-book that you can access from your computer and you can experience the whole story.

It’s a simple concept and its beauty lies in this very simplicity and in the range of emotion it manages to conjure. To begin with there is a sense of nostalgia, as you flip through the pages of youthful innocent-looking faces.  Then there is a sense of identification with the awkwardness of teenage years, and as you progress through the ages perhaps a curiosity about things yet to come in your own life.

I think what impressed me most was the honesty in the portraits. The men and women in the pictures represent all races, countries and societies. They don’t come from any specific place but they remind us that no matter where we come from we all have to live through the same cycle of life. There is something reassuring about that and about the smiles on their faces and the life in their eyes.

As you go through the pictures and approach the end, the faces become more expressive I think. Perhaps because of everything that is hidden behind. It’s natural to get scared of the future and especially of growing old, and I often feel that fear. But I think that as you get older the fear grows smaller and the love for life and for everything that you have experienced grows bigger. And that is what I take away from this book.

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The aww factor

How cute is this picture?

The animal world is amazing! This baby macaque became friends with this pigeon in an animal shelter!

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I recently found myself wondering where the phrase ‘The devil is in the detail’ comes from. Most of the time I’m really surprised to find out where random phrases like this actually originate from. For example, a few weeks ago I found out that the phrase “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” was actually coined in ancient Greece  (Aristotle I think but don’t quote me on that) and originated from “Is that a book in your pocket or are you just happy to see me” – because books back then were rolled up parchment! Pretty amazing!

To get back to my original conundrum…’The devil is in the detail’. A quick google search revealed that this saying supposedly started out as ‘God is in the detail’ and is generally attributed to Gustave Flaubert (1821-80). According to The Phrase Finder, “other attributions include Michelangelo, the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and the art historian Aby Warburg. ”The Devil is in the details’ is a variant of the proverb, referring to a catch hidden in the details.”

God is in the detail however seems reasonable especially given that in the past people tended to be god-fearing folk who revelled in the world’s beauty but also in their god’s might. And intuitively, I would also say that God, or a god is in the detail.

Is the devil also in the detail? I’m sure there’s plenty of cases of that too, but for now I will leave you with an example of the beauty, or the deity, in the detail…

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Outings with work colleagues tend to get a bad reputation: always the same places, always the same mediocre food. Not last night however! Together with a few choice work friends, I experienced a beautifully non-London part of London: St. Katharine Docks. A beautiful Marina, skilfully hidden next to Tower Bridge and The Tower of London, St. Katharine Docks has that French Riviera feel to it that you can indulge in all night. The luxury yachts docked in the marina scream opulence, but the vibe is a relaxed and care free.

We ate at The Dickens Inn, which is a huge pub/pizzeria/grill. The building is a reconstructed wooden warehouse which is thought to have been around since the turn of the 18th century, at least. According to their website, it is thought to have housed tea or been owned by a brewery. For me, this little bit of history brought the place to life.

The food was good but the most enjoyable part of the evening was eating out on the terrace, in unusually beautiful London weather, feeling like we were on holiday in a luxury destination. And if extravagance is not your cup of tea, you can imagine the old wooden ships docking here in the 18th century, unloading the precious tea leaves and continuing their traitorous journey.

I like being surprised and London can certainly do that, every once in a while. The tall buildings enclosing the marina drown out the noises of the city and what is left is a peaceful yet lively evening out. St. Katharine’s Docks is definitely worth a venture out into the East End!

 

 

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