Sunday, 23 February 2014


I'm dreaming I'm still there - ancient yet familiar place-names conjuring up visions of country lanes and hot, dusty rambles, long ago - home for tea on a red and cream bus. Ottinge, Bladbean, Womenswold, Mongeham, Drellingore...
We chose to stay in our favourite seaside town (as usual) - do you know it?

This is our hotel - Nelson slept here in in 1801, with Lady Hamilton, allegedly.

Did he wake at dawn to this view?
Our mystery town once had this pier... it has this one, and many other attractions besides.
Blue plaques galore, dear!
The freshest of fish...
...though we fear that you might struggle to catch a mackerel with a dog biscuit.


With lots of enticing shops, this town won The Daily Telegraph's Best High Street of the Year 2013 award, beating Bridport, Bury St Edmunds, Malmesbury, Sherborne and more!
Though Tom Dyckhoff claims that if this place were a person it would be Nicholas Parsons (old, a bit posh and quite the smoothie), we think it's a bit of a salty dog, with great character.
I nearly forgot - it has a Time Ball Tower too, whatever that is! (Some sort of Greenwich Mean Time signal for navigators, says Mr N.)
I've planted a few clues - can you guess the town?

Monday, 10 February 2014


"Big Sister, I love your new boots!"


"Please can I try them - they're gorgeous."
"It's not as easy as it looks!"
"Look at me - what do you think?"
"Do my feet look big in these...?"
(Big Sister was glued to back-to back episodes of BBC 2's The Great Interior Design Challenge on her iPad, in case you were wondering.)

Monday, 3 February 2014


There's an artistic movement afoot that is very familiar to those of us who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s - but I can't think of a name for it. Modern British? Neo 1950s? Post-war Folk? Brave New English? The style reminds me of childhood favourites...

Edward Ardizzone
Kathleen Hale

...and this design by Barnett Freedman, the cover of my school prize for Junior English (in 19-coughety-cough.)
New designers and artists have been inspired by this graphic style and made it their own - Angie Lewin, Jonny Hannah, Paul Bommer, Emily Sutton, Mark Hearld, Ed Kluz and more.
Jonny Hannah

Paul Bommer
I have a cushion in this lovely printed fabric, Painswick by Ed Kluz.
Intriguingly, the menfolk of this artistic movement are usually dressed like the artisans of my childhood, courtesy of a unique bespoke workwear company, Old Town, based in Holt, Norfolk.
In York last week I was reminded of these shop front illustrations by Eric Ravilious...

... because the artist Mark Hearld has dressed a window in Modern British style.


Hasten to Plaskitt & Plaskitt, 6 Blossom Street, York to see this display... door to Micklegate.
Artist's prints and other beautiful objects are also to be found at Hornsey's of Ripon, North Yorkshire.