Quai Voltaire


The hot chocolate and the rich croissants were the most delicious things, there in bed with the Seine flowing past me and pigeons wheeling around the grey Palace mansards, that I had ever eaten.

MFK Fisher – The Gastronomical Me

(photo not mine, but lots from my Paris trip coming up soon)

Madame Gres


The iconic image for a Madame Gres dress would have to be one of her white, neoclassically-draped numbers, though in fact she made them in both deep teal and scarlet red as well. This is a halfway house; still in white but in a style hinting at a sari.

Burns Night

Hooray for a chance to eat haggis and cut a caper at a ceilidh!


If all tartan dresses could be like this I’d wear them more often.


Also, whilst following Kate Strasdin’s Instagram feed this year I’ve noticed that the outfits that appeal the most are those with colour and pattern (sure), but where the shapes might be quite simple and the detail is in the tailoring and use of a single fabric cut against itself to form a pattern.


Ploughing through


Deineka – young woman reading

This is basically me right now, as the Christmas period is always a great time to get stuck into a pile of books and that drive usually continues into the new year. What I’ve taken down from the book pile already:

and what I’m currently dipping into every day:


and some of what’s on the heap after a generous amazon voucher from my dad:

Leontyne Price and memory lane

Stunning. Price was one of the great operatic sopranos of the 20th century, but listen to how halfway through she displays some rich, completely assured notes that any alto would be proud of. Even if you think opera isn’t your thing, this is worth 2 minutes of anyone’s time. Finally, if this puts you in the mood for more great singers, see if you can find Sean Rafferty’s interviews with Janet Baker and John Tomlinson on the bbc i-player from over Christmas.