Friday, 30 December 2011

Five of the Best

How dreadfully lazy I have been, 8th of December was the last post..three weeks and a day ago. The work wind down, running away to the Shire, family, eating, Christmas, then Christmas recovery, it all takes time!  Now it is New Year's Eve Eve and I'm curled up writing this and listening to the Possession omnibus on iplayer (one of my favourite novels of all time).  Santa Claus has been wonderful to me and I still have a few days left of holiday, so what better time than to look back at the favourite bits of 2011, so I thought I'd do five 'top fives'.  Snooze..EVERYONE looks back at the best and worst around this time I know, but it is a good opportunity to do so, so why buck a trend?!

Thank you to every single one of you who has read me this year, it means the absolute world to me.  Every single time I get a comment and it's not from a member of my direct family, it brightens my entire week.  I skimmed over the first year anniversary of the blog back in February because..truthfully..I forgot.  It's so enjoyable writing it that I've rarely paid attention to dates except now when I've just had a wee skim through the old posts so thank you, thank you, thank you all again. I hope you've had a superb Christmas and a happy New Year is just around the corner.....x

Five Best Fashion Purchases - not in order, that would be far too hard.

1.  Black leather shorts from Topshop - they've taken me from day to night and Summer to evening, they are also the ideal not too slutty length

2.  Black suede Yarra Desert boots from Clarks - the perfect wedge heel and so comfy, it's like wearing slippers..still haven't got round to suede-proofing them though.

3.  Grey mid length coat from Zara, first mentioned in my Autumn purchases post.
4.  Cotton sundress from Cos (actually in black and mint with large white polka dots, I know that's two really but this is my list so there!) These were fantastic for both work and play and SO hard-wearing and stylish at the same time.
5.  Over sized Mulberry Alexa in Oak - my wonder bag, since it arrived in my life in February, it hasn't left my arm.

Alexa..and the Alexa

Five Best Beauty Purchases (these are not my handbag staples, but new ones I've discovered!)

1.  Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser - yes, I'm late to the party but I couldn't live without it now.
2.  Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment - awesome for pretty much everything, including the odd spot!
3.  MaxFactor Falsh Lash Effect Mascara - I still love my DiorShow but for a budget substitute this cannot be beaten.
4.  Floris Night Scented Jasmine - I love this fragrance, it hasn't replaced my Jo Malone Orange Blossom or Acqua di Palma Iris but it is an incredible bath foam and moisturiser.  The scent is unlike anything I have ever smelt before and transforms your bathroom.
5.  Temple Spa - pretty much every product I've tried so far but special mention going to the Palm Balm hand lotion, Quietitude mist (amazing on long haul flights) and Peace Be Still, a wonderful body balm.  All available from Victoria Health and Harrods.

Five Best Reads

Terribly difficult to pick five out, fortunately I keep a record of everything I read and see at the theatre or cinema or I'm sure I'd start losing track.  I know a few of these are cheating as they are whole series but it was almost the first book that hooked me!

1. The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Laurie R King
A Sherlock Holmes spin off but much much more. Mary Russell, his young apprentice will draw you in and seduce you with her spunk and good humour, plus a constant stream of damn good mysteries!

2.  Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Needs no introduction after the film version this year. A book I didn't really get when I first tried to read it a few years ago but when I tried again, I couldn't put it down.

3.  Gone With the Windsors, Laurie Graham

This brilliant novel is the fictional diary of Maybell Brumby, a wealthy American widow who arrives in London in 1932 and discovers that an old school friend is in town: Bessie Wallis Warfield, now Mrs Ernest Simpson. A corking read and an absolute delight to those intrigued by the enigma that is Mrs Simpson.

4.  The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
I cannot wait for the film of this to come out! After scoffing at all the people reading this and dismissing it as trashy teen fiction, I ate my words after reading it in desperation why I ran out of books on holiday.  Edge of the seat stuff, make your life easier and buy the entire trilogy together so you don't have to leave your armchair between books.

5.  Must You Go? My Life With Harold Pinter, Antonia Fraser

A wonderful peek into the life of one of the most famous literary couples of our time and a heart wrenching love story. A book I shall definitely be re-reading as it is so chocca full of details, I know I will discover new ones each time.

Five Favourite Films - I adore going to the cinema and again, these couldn't possibly in order.

1.  The Kings Speech - not a particularly original choice but I make no apologies for that.

2.  Hanna - It blew me away, Saoirse Ronan's performance, the Chemical Brothers soundtrack, the weird fairytale elements of the story. Awesome.

3.  We Need to Talk About Kevin - Loved the book and was worried about the film despite the wonderful pedigree of Lynne Ramsey and Tilda Swinton

4.  Midnight in Paris - a beautiful bubble of a picture that I randomly saw in New York with the Boy on a romantic night out. Allen back on form but also fab for anyone who adores fiction, the Left Bank and well..Woody Allen.

5.  Shame - It's not a 'favourite' as such but it has haunted me and compelled me to tell everyone to see it. I was fortunate enough to see it before it was released at a BAFTA screening. Seriously..I'm still thinking about it, but be warned, it isn't an easy watch.

Five London Moments

1.  Moving into my new flat, not something you can all share perhaps but definitely a highlight!
2.  Hanging out with deer in Richmond Park with two dogs and one best friend on a beautiful sunny day.
3.  Various suppers at Moro, Hix, The Wolseley, The Duke of Cambridge and Les Trois Garcons.
4.  Watching Madame Butterfly on a giant screen in Leicester Square whilst it's playing live from the Opera House with a plastic bucket of Pimms.
5.  Again, not a 'favourite' but certainly one of the most memorable moments of the year was attending a memorial service for the incredible Josephine Hart at Westminster Abbey. A service and a lady that I will never forget.


  1. Miss your face lovely chops! Hope you had a fabulous xmas and Happy New Year to you and the boy - I'm coming to visit that new pad in 2012 for a glass of champers and a gossip ;-) Lots of love, Katexxx

  2. Thank you sweetpea..New Year Resolution - to see more of Kate xx


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