1. Having Itchy Feet and Being Nostalgic
Last year Mr Story and I went on a three month trip from Beijing to Istanbul in a big orange truck. Three months isn’t that long in the scheme of things, but it felt like a pretty big trip to take, time-wise and across a big bit of continent. If you want to read more about the journey or see some photos, this is the blog we wrote and updates as we travelled. It was brilliant in many different ways, which you can imagine – people, food, places – so I won’t bore you with a gush here. Apart from to say, GO TO KYRGYZSTAN! Go and sleep in yurts in wild flower meadows, eat jam and cream and swim in lakes. And also go to Georgia, eat walnuts with aubergine with locals, and toast you and your health until everything goes a little hazy.
Anyway, Mr Story has been nagging, ahem… asking me to finish off some of the illustrations I did while we were travelling so we can print a photo book. So far, I have done this and then on Saturday I drew the cover for the book – see the images above. I double-checked bits of the blog to give myself ideas of the extra little illustrations and reminded myself of the brilliant times we had (see Kyrgyzstan) and less brilliant (see Chinese public toilets). I really enjoyed remembering it all and drawing out the little details – my favourite red hat, the dumplings we made, the best shower I’ve ever had – as well as the big sights. It made me smile twice; first drawing the details, and secondly realising the details are what I talk about all the time to my clients, telling them about my bespoke illustrations, and it’s true. They are the bits that matter.
If you’d like an illustrated record of your travels, do let me know.
Personally, I still have a few more illustrations to work up, ready to go in the book. Builders have half finished houses, chefs eat takeaway, and I’ve got a lot of drawing left to do for our book!
2. Getting on my high horse!
After going to the Chosen Wedding Fair last month, I was reminded of a conversation I often have with couples, about their anxiety about what they could include in a bespoke design. So, being me, I tapped furiously tapped it all out on my keyboard, into this blog post.
3. Listening to This American Life
I’m a huge radio and podcast addict. You can generally tell when I’m in a house – the windows are open, the radio is on and so is the kettle. I tend to listen to speech rather than music. That said, when I remember to listen to music, I love it and remind myself to do it more often. Otherwise, I’m generally listening to news and documentaries. My favourite programmes and podcasts give interesting insights into peoples’ lives – apparently I’m somewhat nosy – There might be a reason why I design illustrations that allow me to post off questionnaires to ask for details about peoples’ lives.
I love learning about how people think and how they live. I love the Listening Project, Don’t Log Off and Josie Long’s Short Cuts, as well as Isy Suttie’s stories. I also think that David Sedaris should be on subscription for every single person. More recently, over the last week, I’ve come across This American Life. I really like it. It has a brilliant combination of investigating the story behind news stories, personal stories from multiple points of views and unusual happenings. It’s stretched out for an hour or so, giving the stories enough time to breathe and unfold. I’m pretty sure I read an anthology of stories from this radio programme a few years ago, which I also recommend. I can’t find a link at the moment, but if you spot it anywhere, do grab it. There’s an archive of the radio programme going back to 1995, so if you like it too, it should keep you going for a good long while.
4. Going to a gorgeous outdoor theatre
I am lucky to have Mr Story in very many ways. One of the extra added bonus ways is that he works in theatre. This means, every now and then I get to go and see something for free, and often it also involves an invitation to an Opening Night or Press Night party too, with requisite drinks and nibbles. It also means I don’t see him in the evenings and he works six days a week, so you have take your advantages where you get em. Recently, through Mr Story and his generous colleagues and friends, I’ve been to see Once, Good People and on Tuesday night, I went to see All My Sons at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. I love this theatre – it opens it’s doors early so you can picnic at tables before the show starts, it’s bar is decorated with twinkling lights, and as you watch events unfold onstage, the sky darkens around you, and the trees rustle in the wind. Roots from the surrounding trees spring up from under the stage and it has an extra special atmosphere. I highly recommend it – it’s pretty magical. One of my favourite gigs was seeing I Am Kloot there, it was just a perfect combination of delicate, uplifting music and twilight London sky. I really recommend all the theatre I’ve mentioned above.
5. Listening to a lot of music
Steph, of Little Observationist, also came to the performance of All My Sons, and we were chatting about her wedding plans for this summer. She mentioned in passing that she was having problems deciding on her music to walk down the aisle to. I bothered some twitter people for ideas (sorry for the pestering Annabel, Franky and Lorna!), and spent some time on Spotify coming up with ideas and mentally imagining walking down the aisle to bits of music. This is the list I came up with – but my head won’t stop coming up with new ones! First Day of My Life nearly made the list, and then I remembered I’m Sticking With You, although it would be rather difficult to walk with a semblance of elegance to I’m Sticking With You! I also wish this Death Cab song didn’t mention death in its second line.