Friday, 30 October 2015

BumBo Bags

I recently discovered BumBo bags and can't get over how glorious they are. And since they are so brilliant - I felt the need to share them with you too!

BumBo bags are a collection of bags, created by Hen Wilson, a London based graduate, who has designed kilim and leather bags, which are assembled in India. What I love about them is that no two bags are the same and there are a fantastic assortment of colours. 

I feel like I could achieve a lot of Christmas shopping and make several people very happy by giving them as presents. It looks like the Totes have been a big hit (not many in stock) but I hear that more are on the way (particularly if demand is expressed for particular colours / patterns). 

You so often see people heading to yoga with their mat under one arm. But to have an actual fun / nice bag to put it in is even better.

Please visit the BumBo bags website for more info - and let me know if you get one ?

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Making stand and stare

In the early 1900s, William Henry Davies knew something about mindfulness (or a lack of it) ! 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

William Henry Davies, 1911

Today, I MADE time to stop and the autumn leaves that had arrived in Hyde Park. I feel like I have been totally overdoing it lately and stopping for just 30 seconds to observe my surroundings made such a difference. The clocks went back on Saturday night and it feels like the season has really changed. I adore days like this when the sky is bluer than any Ipswich Town shirt I've ever owned and the leaves are golden and crispy. These pics don't really do it justice - 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Cara Delevingne - extraordinary beyond words

There are very few people who don't know who Cara Delevingne is. She is the most famous model in the world. And if you don't know her by name, you will know her face. 

I recently watched this interview she did with Rupert Everett. She speaks honestly and boldly about her struggles with mental health. It proves that it doesn't matter how famous, rich or beautiful you are, mental illness can affect anyone. 

I salute her for speaking so frankly - because it's interviews like this, which really help to raise awareness, break down barriers and change people's attitudes. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Adele: HELLO

Adele has been somewhat OFF the radar these past few years. She says she isn't friends with ANYONE famous and lives a very private life in Notting Hill (I have never spotted her). 

She exploded back onto the scene on Friday with the launch of her new song: HELLO. The album comes out on 20th November and although this is the only song we've heard on it - both this song and the whole album are already number one worldwide. 

It is am-az-ing.

Click HERE to listen. It's had 30 million hits in 24 hours.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

New Yoghurt from the Collective

I got such an amazing surprise last week when a special delivery arrived in the office for me. It was from the Collective Dairy. You NEED to know about their yoghurt - it is DELICIOUS. Their new Limited Edition is Gingerbread. Its not just ginger flavoured yoghurt - you literally taste gingerbread. 

Their last flavour was COFFEE and that was extraordinary - I don't even like coffee. Ruby Wax and I ate it out of the pot without a spoon - it was that good. The gingerbread delivery came with homemade ginger biscuits too. So spoiling !

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day was on Saturday 10th October this year. Its a day that gives much worthy attention to mental health issues and their charities - awareness for something SO COMMON that is still not talked about enough. On this day last year I think last year I walked around London for CLASP charity.

I'm not really sure if these "awareness" days really help - it certainly doesn't bring us any closer to a cure. Even though 1 in 4 people suffer, only 1.36% of this country's public health budget is spent on mental health.  But perhaps by bringing the issues into the limelight, someone who may have been suffering in silence, might be given the confidence to seek help and talk to someone.

I spent the afternoon at the Soho theatre watching Bryony Kimmings perform a piece of theatre with her partner Tim Grayburn about HIS depression. It was called Fake It 'Til You Make It. This show was performed in Edinburgh in the summer and I couldn't get a ticket. I then couldn't get a ticket in London but an extra performance was added and I was finally able to see it. 

It was one of the most compelling and emotional pieces of theatre I have ever seen. Bryony was happily in a relationship with Tim but she discovered by accident after 6 months into the relationship that he suffered from severe depression and anxiety - and he had suicidal thoughts. She needed something out of his gym bag and stumbled upon a packet of antidepressants. 

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35 in the UK. Men find it PARTICULARLY difficult to talk about their feelings - especially if they are not ok..  Tim hadn't told anyone. And now the whole world knows because Bryony helped him to open up about it, get help and now they have written and are performing this show. He only agreed to do it with her if he was able to not make eye contact with anyone in the audience. So they performed it and the entire way through he wore sunglasses or a paper bag or a hat made out of cotton wool / or a very large muddled knotted rope (to represent his confused mind / thoughts ? - see below) so that we couldn't see his eyes. It was funny yet managed to address such a serious issue.. there is no doubt that both sufferers and their "other halves" would have come away with something to think about.

But the huge part came at the end when he took his head gear off and he spoke directly to the audience. Bryony is about to have a baby so after this, they might not perform it for a while but look out for possible more dates next summer.... don't miss out like I nearly did.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge played a prominent role in marking the day by attending an event at Harrow College. Its the second time in recent weeks that they have concentrated on mental health work - The Duchess of Cambridge also went to the Anna Freud Centre a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Simply Nigella.....and some Nutella

Thursday 8th October has been a highlight in my diary for quite some time now. It was the date that Nigella Lawson's much awaited new book Simply Nigella would be published. I got an email on Tuesday saying it had been dispatched and much to my delight, it arrived on Wednesday - 24 hours early. 

I have been full of excitement about this - the build up has been amazing to watch - she would tweet photos of dishes that she had been testing and then other photos of her at the shoot - and it has been a while since her last book so that added to all the anticipation

I got a message from her on Tuesday with some exciting news.... Regular readers might remember that in November last year, I went to see her in conversation with Alain de Botton at the School of Life. And I gave her a jar of personalised Nutella with her name on it (thanks to Selfridges) and guess what ? The jar is in her new book.... The recipe is for Nutella Brownies... I am so happy !

I spent the entire evening leafing through its glorious pages not quite knowing where to start. Every recipe is accompanied by the most beautiful photography. This isn't just another cook book with recipes that we have seen before. You can tell that this book has been created with the same love and hard work that her other books also ooze. The recipes are unfussy / not complicated and don't contain ingredients that seem expensive or impossible to source - i.e. they are achievable, delicious and the end result won't disappoint. I have always admired Nigella's approach to food and eating and we have so much to learn from her. The book is divided into logical chapters and the recipes are easy to follow...

My favourite chapter is called "BREATHE". She writes as though having a conversation with you - and it makes everything much easier to follow and enjoyable to read.

Bravo to Nigella and I can hardly wait to use the book properly - Nutella Brownies are at the top of my list !