Goodbye Mother

I have a lot of Mother-of-millions plants. I love them. Because they're triffids: really aggressive growers that spill their babies into neighbouring pots which then grow and try to strangle smaller, more meek plants. Yeahh! 
Jack hates them though. They are a little bit ugly I guess. 
Well, anyway, the mother of all my mothers did a dirty great flower the other day which spat sticky powder all over the window. Then she curled over and her leaves got gnarled and she sent out hairy little roots all over her limbs, desperately searching for some more soil. 
Jack gave me a sideways eyes look and suggested her time might be up. I was sad to admit it but he was right. So I put the monster in the bin. And as I pushed her down I snapped a woody stem and the resulting sharp edge was forced in to the palm of my hand. I got a proper cut of it, a big gash right in the middle of my hand.
It really hurt.
It's like a bloody Stephen King novel round my ends sometimes.

Noel'le Longhaul

Here is a interesting interview on with tattoo artist (and all sorts of other artist too) Noel'le Longhaul. I don't know how to write down all my thoughts about the things raised . . . but I really identify with the idea of gender being a spectrum rather than absolute. 

Wiener Werkstatte

Been having a nice time in the V&A archives this evening, then moved on to the Met, then got hooked in to the Wiener Werkstatte textiles stuff and ended up strolling all over the internet finding my favourite bits. Here they are, in case you're interested.

(I think this one's a funny scan of a piece of fabric but I like the effect it's made it a lot)

And they're not textiles but these baskets by Josef Hoffman are dreamy too eh?

Rose De Borman

We've got Rose De Borman at the shop! She's showing June 24th - July 6th. Exciting stuff. Find out more here.
If you don't know her work you should go sit on a step and think about your life or something: you're missing all the good stuff. I'm going to be investing in a little of her work, you should probably try and get in there before me - see you there!

Latvian Treasure

We went to Latvia! Me and Takako. To buy stuff for the shop (which we managed). I also managed to buy some nice things for myself . . . 
This handsome hand knitted jumper that smells ever so slightly sheepy still - very nice. Just needs a healthy dose of dinner down the front of it to complete my signature comfy/cosy look.
Hand knitted socks in the best yellow.
A couple of things for my next year Easter display: so cute!
This cushion cover is my favourite thing: very Rothko no?
Handsome wooden spoons
One for sugar, and the long thin one has just ended up on my bedside table: pretty weird but I don't want to put it in the kitchen yet, someone might use it.
And finally this very nice brooch which is actually just a cheap plastic one but that looks dead nice I think.

Thank you Latvia - we'll be back.

Project 9

My family has a good friend called Project 9, or sometimes we call him John.
Project 9 is technically the name of his BSA Bantam (his 9th motorbike incidentally): look at the tank on the picture below, you'll see it written. But in our minds John and the motorbike have become kind of the same thing. They go everywhere together: up and down between lunches and dinners and also right across Europe, over mountains. Slowly up hills, and increasingly leaning to one side a bit.
John travels to places associated with composers. He might travel to the spot where a favourite symphony was composed for example - even if it's in Prague . . . and he's in Bedfordshire . . . with only an increasingly dodgy BSA Bantam to get there.
My brother George befriended John and over the years he's become a friend of the whole family: coming over regularly for lunch.
And sheesh that man can eat! He transparently compliments the chef this is amazing! Better than the Ritz! - 'Oh thank you John, would you like a little more' - well, if it's going spare.
He told us a brilliant trick of his last Sunday: when he goes to the 'all you can eat' at the local Harvester he's slightly ruffled by the fact that pudding and coffee aren't included in the price. So. Instead of pudding . . . he just has another round of dinner. And, instead of coffee . . . he just drinks a bowl of gravy! What a gem. That's the kind of spirit that will get you round Europe on a shoestring.
The sign on the back of the bike has a list of all the places he's travelled together with Project 9.
John is incredibly eccentric. It is people like him that make up the amazing tapestry of rural England. I am proud to come from a community that has supported him.
But I guess I'm writing this blog post because we sometimes feel a little worried about Project 9. Until recently he had a lunch club to go to but it lost funding, and the police don't always speak sensitively to him. So I want to raise him up in the local consciousness: so people can keep an eye out for him and know what a good egg he is. I don't think he needs to be a local celebrity: that would mean too much talking to people and mostly he's only interested in people if they're dead composers. But he is certainly a local landmark on his incredible Project 9 and he should be preserved and helped at all costs.
Have you see Project 9 around?

Jean Ritchie

Jean Ritchie died recently, before that I hadn't heard of her - which is sad, I hate it when that happens. But let us put that aside and appreciate her music. The appalachian dulcimer was her trademark instrument: it has a really beautiful sound that's quite small and dreamy, and her voice is high and clear. All very heavenly. 

Pusherman Dave

My friend Dave really likes books, he's always recommending me corkers! So I thought I would pass the recommendations on to you via this new feature we shall call.
So that it sounds way cooler than it actually is.

What's Pusherman Daves best find of late? It's got to be . . .

This book is the real deal! Spy thriller extraordinaire! It will keep you tensed up right until the very end. Then you'll try and explain it to your mates and it will just sound really bad. But trust me, it's really good.
Have you read it?

Walter Segal - community architect

A new ambition: to build my own Walter Segal hedgehog house. They're called hedgehog houses because they're designed in a way that starts by raising a series of panels which looks like a sort of spiky/tumpty hedgehog. They're designed to be easily self-built. I just love them.
So beautiful.
The perfect space inside: all woody, with big windows and re-configurable rooms.
Yes, we will build one of these.