- RIP Lemmy.
- 76 viral images that were totally fake (damn you, HistoryInPics).
- What did David Bowie do when he was your age?
- Christmas in suburban America.
- “Kevin has moved from ‘defending his house’ into sheer malice, in my opinion.” A doctor diagnoses the injuries of Home Alone’s burglars.
- Remember that hipster couple who wanted to live like Victorians and were torn apart for it by the internet? Well, the intelligent people at Collector’s Weekly interviewed them about romanticising history and it’s great. I love the low-key shade in their questions!
- Teenage penguins.
- When rock ‘n’ roll dreams don’t come true; what happened to the 80s metal bands that didn’t make it?
- Buzzfeed’s Mental Health Week features have all been really fucking good.
- This V&A game to design your own 18th Century wig has provided me with a heap o’ fun this week.
- The reclusive, doll-collecting copper queen of Fifth Avenue. Aka another stone-cold hit from Collector’s Weekly.
- The queens of Botswana’s metal scene.
- I heard a rumour there was a lesbian jazz bar underneath the Ham Yard Hotel in the 1920s. I don’t know how this happens, but one Google later and I ended up on a weird and wonderful blog that namechecks – who else – Elizabeth Ponsonby. Still unsure about the bar, but the post certainly makes Ham Yard sound like a fun place to be in the 20s.
- And on that subject, I was thrilled to see a biography of Ma Meyrick is finally in the works.
- I’m fairly certain everyone has read this by now, but this piece on how Twitter helped Megan Phelps question and ultimately leave Westboro is great.
- Prince doing a cover of Creep is amazing. (Via Ben Kay)
- “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.” This New Yorker piece on what to leave out is one of my favourite bits of writing this year. (And of course that quote is Hemingway. Of course.)
- Always a link to Laura’s brilliant Christmas playlist at this time of year.
- And one to mine as well, I guess.
(Clockwise from top left)
- Max 365 Perpetual Wall Calendar, £55 – Yes it’s £55 for a calendar, but it’s a calendar you can use every damn day for the rest of your entire pitiful life. How cool is that?
- Bad Mood Print, £50 – Obviously everything from Goodhood would be a neat gift, but this limited-edition print gets my pick (and pride of place on my wall). There’s a series of four designs, each using iconic typography in a smart new way, but this one gets my vote. Bad Brains and Hollywood… and bad moods. Sounds like me, right?
- Star Mobile, £21.50 – Not sure if these are designed for kids or stylish homeware freaks, but I do like Livingly’s paper mobiles. The stars are for sure the most sophisticated, but Livingly also has some really lovely creatures – e.g. the pelicans!
- I Believe in Tacos Keyring, $15 – I’m sure everyone knows about Various Projects keyrings, but this one is my favourite because tacos. The best thing about these keyrings is the mammoth array of phrases you can have printed and the range of colours to choose from beyond that. Hours of decision-making! (You can find more stockists around the globe here, although I’d note that most retailers stock their own unique selection in my experience.)
- Incense Teepee, £14 – Ah, the small ceramic purchase which inspired me to book a holiday to Santa Fe. As previously discussed, I and the rest of awful East London are enjoying an incense revival, but this range really does smell like magic. Sure the little teepee puffing out smoke is nice, but it’s the pinon fragrance which actually does the trick. It actually smells as though you have a campfire in your house, which I would say is a darn good thing.
- Leopard Backpack, $38 – Baggu bags are nifty old things, made from a durable canvas that’s just the right thickness for pin badges (see point eight). There’s a whole array of sensible colours – not to mention different bag styles – but who wouldn’t want a leopard-print backpack? Each of the two front pockets also has a sneaky zip section, which makes the lack of main-bag inner pockets doable. I really like the camo one too, but hey, it didn’t work with the colour scheme.
- Bat Hanger, £7.50 – These are definitely designed for kids, but maybe you have small clothes that need hanging? Maybe you could drape it with scarves? Maybe you could just buy one and hang it in your wardrobe to cheer yourself up? Regardless; bat coat hangers!!
- Eyes Pin, $15 – Pins and incense. That’s what this year’s microtrends for microcool people have been. I think there’s something rather endearing about an emoji pin and what could be better than my beloved, most-used, creepy eyes? Want to know something amazing? There are TWO PINS here! Two mini eyes to pin as you wish! Bloody great.
- Be Excellent To Each Other Mug, £10 – There are those that dismiss Bill and Ted as a dumb 80s film and then there are those that aren’t idiots. And really, who can argue with such wisdom when it’s presented so tastefully with jazzy fonts?
- Sad Ghost Patch, $5 – Remember when I said pins and incense were what it was all about this year? I forgot to add patches. Patches too. I love everything Sara Lyons does and this weepy little beggar is no exception. Now, where to sew all these patches I’ve accumulated? Can a 31-year-old pull them off? Watch this space, there’s definitely some kind of craft session to come.
(Clockwise from top left)
- Chameleon Glow in Shuffle the Cards, £9 – This eyeshadow was sold out for ages after Into The Gloss featured it, but Topshop finally got round to restocking it properly this year. It’s a bizarre colour; gold and bronze and pink and copper and khaki, all depending on you. Shimmery, shade-shifting joy.
- Belmont Gold Corkscrew, £20 – A barkeeper’s friend will always be the best bottle opener you own and what could be better than a gold one? I mean I hate to say it, but it’s very Jeeves, isn’t it? Pro tip: hide these bottle openers from your flatmates with your life. Not for party use, unless it’s a cocktail party and you’re the only person allowed near the booze.
- Metallic Plushie Sticker, £4 – After Anya Hindmarch launched her handbag stickers, it was perhaps inevitable that they’d be imitated by the high street. I’m sure there are more options out there, but I have one of these Skinnydip ones and I’m suitably impressed. It’s been on my wallet for a few months and shows no signs of shifting, so it’s a double thumbs up from me.
- Knit Beanie, £25 – The website says ‘mustard’, but I assure you this & Other Stories beanie is a delightful metallic gold IRL. I’m all about a festive beanie. No one sees you in anything except a coat and knitwear for about two months in England, so you might as well make the knitwear jolly.
- Half Penny Coin Purse, £32 – It’s basically a festive chocolate penny that you can store other pennies inside. How marvellous is that?
- Bog Myrtle Incense, £16 – Because nothing says Christmas like bog myrtle. I dunno, I’ve really got into incense this year and apparently I’m a massive cliche, because so has everyone else. Incense is everywhere man and it’s really expensive and fancy. I like these little brass tins the best and, FYI, bog myrtle is also said to have magical properties when brewed into beer that make you go berserk, so there’s that.
- Brass Lobster Bookmark, £9.95 – Doesn’t a bookmark seem like a quaint gift from the days of yore? Give this as a gift to a young person and watch their tiny precious minds boggle accordingly.
- Ernesto Scented Candle, £70 – Such is my love of a scented candle, I recently spent most of a day in Paris hunting down these bad boys at the source. Fun fact; it was like, half the price. That’s no help to anyone that isn’t visiting France anytime soon though, so let me tell you this. Ernesto smells like a fancy hotel with wooden floors and – oh, let’s say Ernest Hemingway – smoking a big ol’ cigar somewhere in the library in the distance. Also the gold version is more money, but it’s a total thing of joy. And it’s massive. Like, it will last you over a year of weekly burning. No, you’re justifying candle purchases.
- Brass Mist Sprayer, £12.41 – First of all go ahead and download the best plant app ever, Koubachi. Then once you’ve worked out which ones need misting, pick up your snazzy brass mister and tend to them like a Victorian lady in her greenhouse.
- Gold Embroidered Palm Tree Pin, £36 – I have been obsessed with Macon & Lesquoy and their handmade jazzy little jewels for some time now. They’re fairly small for the money, but my god they’re beautiful. There are so many cute little ones – like the SHARK! – and I love that they have a bit of a sense of humour about them. A real neat little gift!
Nice people keep telling me I should update my blog, so in the spirit of Christmas; ta-da!
I love nothing more than a Christmas gift guide. And if there is anything I love more, it’s PG Wodehouse novels. So here’s a selection of gift guides inspired by some of his delightful tomes.
First up; Full Moon.
(Clockwise from top left)
- Ticket to the Moon Pillow, £19 – Designed for children, but kids don’t need a ticket to the moon. Grown-ups who work dead hard and don’t get a break need a moon trip and I have it on good authority that if you approach Richard Branson brandishing this pillow, you’re as good as booked on to Virgin Galactic.
- Gold Moon Chime, £148 – How much? It’s stupidly expensive, but this golden recreation of the phases of the moon would look smashing hung above your bed. There’s actually a few DIY tutorials for versions of this, which would be a cheaper and potentially more thoughtful option.
- Moon Platter, £48 – I know what you’re thinking; what a delightful moon platter! The stars! The photoreal moon! Isn’t it delightful? Well prepare yourself for a mindfuck; it gets better! It comes with – wait for it – star cookie cutters! If you’ve seen a more charming gift for ceramic fans that like astrology, I’d like to hear about it.
- Moon Hair Brooch, £8 – Giving those Celine hair brooches a mystical update, this ASOS brooch is a nifty little way to jazz up your barnet. And it’s gold! When did the whole world decide to agree with me and make everything gold instead of silver? Well done world.
- Twin Star Studs, £365 – If you’re going bananas with gifting, I’m sure everyone would be delighted with these teeny-but-sheeny diamond studs.
- Taurus Badge, £22 – There’s a hint of the Pearly Queen about these hand-embroidered brooches from Silver Spoon. Beautiful as they are, I feel bitter once again that Taurus is such a rubbish starsign pictorially. Oh, to be a majestic Scorpio.
- Sacred Sage, $14.95 – If you know anyone who’s moving house, buy ’em some sage to cleanse the fuck out any bad vibes before they move in. And/or make them think you’re really weird. Campfire Cologne looks like such a neat brand, but I can only find one of their fragrances in the UK – Palo Santo, here.
- Pineapple and Gemstone Mask, $48 – Because who doesn’t want to feel the effect of pineapple and gemstone on their face? I love all these hippy trippy beauty brands using rose and crystals and Himalayan sea salt and whatnot; good vibes all round. My kingdom for a bathroom like this so I can use this. (You can find lots of international stockists for Herbivore Botanicals here.)
- Astrological Fragrance Collection Bag, £15 – Selfridges compiled these bags for Christmas; each comes with a selection of perfume miniatures, allegedly selected based on your starsign. I mean, I love that as a concept but does every Taurean really want to smell like an old woman’s underwear drawer? Because goddamn roses is all I ever want to smell like and I don’t imagine that’s fashionable. STILL. The bag! Isn’t it lovely?
- My Kind Belongs Nowhere Patch, $4.99 – It glows in the dark and it’s from one of my favourite brands, so what’s not to love? Truer words never spoken, either, eh?
1. Playboy bunnies a few years on – gorgeous!
2. English Heritage’s top seven historical party pads. Aw yeah. (And if you like that, you’ll love this.)