Inspired by Iso and my summer goals from last year – and by a general feeling of being mopey and needing some kind of motivation – here are some cool things that I want to do in the second half of the year.
Any suggestions or additions more than welcome, although I feel like I might be stretching myself already if this weekend’s achievements are anything to go by. Does ‘Jeeves & Wooster in the bath with a large whisky’ count as an achievement?
1) Get my arse down to 1920s revival-but-real Brasserie Zedel. Can’t believe I haven’t been to bathe in its art deco splendour yet but perhaps it’s a night for me and Christine. [Picture: London Town]
2) Spend any and every minute of downtime on my work trip to San Diego searching for perfect tacos. A full and extensive argument which is fuelling my research is taking place here. [Picture: Mexican Food Recipes]
3) Intelligence Squared is hosting one of its weirdest events yet; Dominic West in Conversation with John Major. At the Royal Geographical Society. I’m just fascinated by this entire concept – and there’s drinks with Dominic in the bar after. [Picture: Intelligence Squared]
4) I spent quite a lot of time at a work thing the other night talking about my lifelong aim for mermaid-boob-hair. I was tired and drank wine, I guess. It is true though, and I’m pretty much there. What better way to show off my skills than at Azealia Banks’ Mermaid Ball at the London Aquarium? [Picture: Rasha]
5) Progress with Sons of Anarchy until we reach the Henry Rollins bits.
7) Work out if I can make any of my old cowboy shirts (from *those* days) work in a vaguely Marant-ish way, or if it’s never gonna happen. [Picture: Tany's Journal]
8) Buy A Curious Invitation: The Forty Greatest Parties in Literature by Suzette Field, the day it comes out.
11) Stop obsessing over trying to be Cara Delevingne and remember that this picture of her (right and she’s in the centre) was taken in 2003!!! [Picture: Lulucherie | Daily Mail]
12) Book for A Chorus Line next year. Tits and Ass is a marvellous song, isn’t it? [I know it's called Dance 10, Looks 3 but it's always been Tits and Ass to me]
14) Get my new jumpers into rotation.
16) Get the guts to watch 1932 horror film, Freaks – which you can read more about here.
17) And watch Splendor – the only film on this fashionable 90s film list that I haven’t watched.
18) Actually properly finally go to Strawberry Hill House for a Twilight Tour. [Picture: me]
“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.”
― Horace Walpole
19) And actually properly read some Horace Walpole first.
20) Stick to this Phyto oil regime. Blog post to come, but essentially it’s a pre-shampoo oil and regular hair oil and together they have made my hair incredibly happy.
22) Go and see the Alex Katz exhibition at the Turner Contemporary. Really just an excuse to go back to Margate and go to some more of its fine ale pubs, but I’ll take a bit of Alex’s work at the same time quite happily. [Picture 1: Pop-Up Studio, Picture 2: Tory Burch blog]
23) One of my favourite Persephone Books – Cheerful Weather for the Wedding – has been made into a film. No word yet on a UK release date, but there’s a lot to be said for watching a trailer repeatedly and wishing and hoping, right?
24) AND another favourite Persephone Book (who am I kidding, they’re all favourites), The Making of a Marchioness, is being made into an ITV drama to screen at Christmas some time. The name has been changed to The Making of a Lady though, because people are too thick to know what a marchioness is? Is that it, ITV? Because I’m sure people would figure it out.
25) Progress through the entire archive of Desert Island Discs, which the BBC has now put up online. Mitfords down, next up is Daphne Du Maurier – who looks like a total babe in this very old picture. [Picture: The Blue Bookcase]
26) Go to the new Wahaca sandwich bar on Charlotte Street for a torta and Mezcal Cup cocktail. I make a mean torta myself, but I’d rather eat one that someone else made, at a bar. With a cocktail. [Picture: Guardian and Wahaca]
27) Meat shot glasses. Say no more. [Picture: ManBQue]
28) Plot a visit to my fatherland. Actual fatherland, as in the land of my father, as in the Isle of Man. I haven’t been for years and there are Manx cats and real ales with my name on. AND you can fly from City Airport, which is always an exciting experience. [Picture: IsleofMan.gov]
29) Sort my shit out and get to the cinema to see Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel. Question: when do people find the time to go to the cinema? [Picture: Liberty blog]
30) Ahead of the Met Costume Institute’s Punk exhibition next summer, enjoy a free wander around the Someday All The Adults Will Die! exhibition at the Hayward. Focussing on design from the punk era, it includes zines, record artwork, posters, flyers, the lot. Bet it’s dead good. [Picture: Manystuff]
31) Go and see Dorothy Bohm’s photos of women in London in the 90s at the Museum of London. Women in Focus will showcase some of Dorothy’s unseen colour photography from the last 20 years – and there’s a lecture by her on Monday 26 November too. Ideal nineties fashion inspiration, right there. [Picture - which isn't from this collection but from an earlier project: ArtFinder]
32) Eat all-I-can-eat shrimp at Big Easy now that they’re opening in Covent Garden. The original branch is on the Kings Road, ie West London, which means I am unable to go. West London indeed. Not sure yet when it’s opening – other than ‘Autumn 2012′ – but surely it can’t be too long. [Picture: Big Easy Facebook]
34) Not sure why I’m so into the idea of hanging around stately homes after dark (see #18), but I’d love to see my beloved Eltham Palace by night too so hopefully I’ll get to go to the Twilight Tour on 4 November. Art deco in the gloom – coooooool. [Picture: Gardens to Go]
35) And another one. Syon House and Park are transformed by night this autumn with the Enchanted Woodland. Oooooooooooh, spooky. Actually it’s just a big light show that sees all the trees and ponds and spooky bits illuminated for a magical look. [Picture: Syon Park]
36) LEARN HOW TO GROW PLANTS IN SPACE! A new series of horticultural-themed lectures at Kew Gardens kicks off in style with a talk by SPACEMAN Michael Foale on the difficulties of growing shit on a spaceship. Book now – that one’s this Friday – but there’s loooooads more here. [Picture of SPACEPLANTS: NASA Space Shuttle blog]
37) Work out how best to spend London Cocktail Week. Perhaps at Smatt’s Rum & Ice Cream Shack? Nothing says autumn like rum punch and ice cream, right? [Picture of someone else's idea of a rum and icecream cocktail: Drunkard]
39) Visit the tiny, seemingly unheard of real ale pub in Westfield Stratford. Run by the same people as the smashing Rake in Borough Market, it offers more than 150 bottled beers and 17 ales on draught. And it’s in Westfield. What? God I love drunk shopping. [Picture: BeerLens]
40) Go see the original 1939 version of The Women at the marvellous Wilton’s Music Hall. That place is so awesome, I need to make sure I go there just to drink prosecco more often because it’s really cheap and a brilliant place to hang out. [Picture: Legendary Joan Crawford]
41) Master a new cocktail from the Savoy Cocktail Book. Still haven’t got it, still relying on internet scans of recipes, still managing to learn a few drinks anyway. With Halloween around the corner, here’s a classic – and appropriate – recipe from the book;
The Corpse Reviver #2
[There are several Corpse Revivers in the book, but this is the variation which I reckon is most drinkable.]
1 shot of gin
1 shot of Cointreau
1 shot of Lillet Blanc (you may not have it to hand, but you should invest for the bottle alone. And for making this drink regularly.)
1 shot fresh lemon juice
Dash of absinthe (really, really has to be a dash – for taste purposes, not drunk ones. You’ll be drunk anyway.)
Shake well with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
As you may expect, it’s kinda potent. The Savoy advise that you proceed with caution; “four of these taken in straight succession will unrevive the corpse again.”
[Picture: Cocktails 101]
According to Aristotle the correct pursuit of life is happiness. We can only be happy when we exercise each of the virtues in moderation. Thus, we must not lack courage, for this would make us cowards, nor have too much courage, which would make us foolhardy. One might summarise this approach as one of taking an appropriate response to every situation, an idea central to the notion of being cool.
And there’s a free buffet and drinks. Soooooo. [Picture: Pyxurz]
43) Check out the Death exhibition at the Wellcome Collection. Covering everything from Day of the Dead skulls to memento morti, it aims to tackle our obsession with death and how previous generations and civilisations dealt with it. As a big goth and someone who is preoccupied with death a lot of the time, I’m looking forward to it – and the promised accompanying events schedule. [Picture: the Wellcome Collection]
44) Investigate the Hair of the Dog; an exhibition dedicated to the morning after the night before. Sounds confusing, sounds amazing.
An inner ear singing with tinnitus, smudged stamp marks on hands, sorry bits of tinsel clinging to styrene ceiling panels, regretful recollections of fumblings and ill advised proclamations, sticky carpets, powder encrusted glass coffee tables, the echo of a permissive naivety and the moment it tipped from optimism to cold, dew soaked reality.
Whatever it’s all about, it starts on Friday at Block 336 in Brixton and you can (sort of) find out more here.
46) Go and smell the Cire Trudon Spiritus Sancti candle in Liberty and see if it makes me giddy enough to buy it with my eyes closed, stabbing my card numbers into the machine blindly. They are very expensive – I mean, you actually are burning money aren’t you? – but they just smell so good. I remember when they launched the range somewhere in London and you could smell them the proper way, under a glass bell jar that was lifted for you to sniff. MMM.
Anyway – this one is inspired by heady candles and incense in a church and that’s preeeetty much my favourite thing. This shot is one of the images they have on their moodboard – you can pretty much smell it already, right? [Picture: Cire Trudon]
47) Think I’ve already mentioned this, but the exhibition of Cecil Beaton wartime photography at the Imperial War Museum is supported by a great events schedule. I want to see Beaton, Vogue and Wartime Fashion. [Picture: IWM]
48) Make Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: Writers Running Wild in the Twenties my next read. Well, my next book purchase. I have a lot of things to read before I am allowed to buy more books, but I’m making good progress and on track for autumn, I reckon.
Here’s a line by Edna St Vincent Millay, who is one of the authors profiled in the book. It’s brill, I’d like it on my grave.
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends —
It gives a lovely light.
[Picture: Fitzgerald Museum]
49) Urge everyone I know to read Rhian Jones’s fantastic, brilliant, funny American-Psycho-in-the-style-of-a-Jeeves-and-Wooster short story. [Picture: Fan Pop]
50) And on that note… Join a sodding book club or something to give everyone a rest from my constant talking about interwar books. Right?