This Week I Have Been Mostly…

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1. Swimming Outside

After getting feet itchy to be swooshing around in cool water last week, I took my chance on Friday afternoon and headed to Brockwell Lido. It was disappointingly cloudy when we arrived, but lucky the clouds kept moving and there were real moments of hot sun. There is something about swimming outside that is completely and distinctly opposite to being inside and looking at a screen. It’s so much fun. Gaia and I bought coffees and ate a punnet of peaches between swims, and basically decided that we were on holiday. Gaia was telling me about her recent long cycle rides, she’s cycling 1000km this summer in aid of Mind (1000km?! I know!) – her sponsorship page is here.

After swimming we wandered over to Brixton Village and shared bruschetta, a tuna steak, and chose some italian gelato, and I wandered home, slightly chlorinely and slightly sunned.

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2. Squeezing into East London Comics and Arts Fair

I’d had ELCAF in my calendar for a few weeks and was really looking forward to poring over some illustration and comics stalls. I had not anticipated a queue, let alone a double pronged queue into the venue. I spent about six years living in East London, and I always return to that side of the Tower of London with some fondness, and enjoyed checking out the creative outfits in the queue – although they were a bit drenched by the regular showers. I had a lovely Jen to get me a coffee while we stood in the queue and I huddled under my polka dot umbrella.

When we got in, the place was packed – although actually it was not as busy as it got later. I believe in the afternoon there was a one-in-one-out policy. We squeezed between the stalls and managed to make our way around the stalls twice – once to look and the next time to buy.

I was really excited to Philippa Rice there – her comic Soppy makes me feel as if she has CCTV into my house. It’s my life on a page, drawn in gorgeous lines, blocks of red and black. Her little stories of trips to the Post Office and forgotten cups of tea are touching, familiar and funny.

I also bought Show Me The Map To Your Heart by John Cei Douglas and Sleepwalk by Adrian Tomine – both of these were purely through falling for their beautiful designs and the glimpses of story at the stall, rather than knowing what was there. I am an honest and complete ignorant novice in the world of comics, but it’s one I’m falling in love with. The graphic novels Persepolis and Lighter Than My Shadow were my gateway drug – both so absorbing and beautiful.



3. Doing More Work on an Art Themed Wedding

I mentioned the work I have been doing on some art themed wedding stationery last week, and I’ve had so much fun continuing the designs for Table Name cards – each named after a different artist. This is why I specialise in bespoke wedding stationery – every couple comes up with something new and challenging and I love creating something new just for them.


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4. Perving on some artists’ studios

It seems to be Open Studio season at the moment – every weekend there are hundreds of artists around London, cracking open the door to their studios for you to peer in. Mr Story and I went to visit the Make Space studios in Lambeth North on Sunday. As always, or at least often, with artist studios, they were tucked away, close to somewhere that I pass regularly, but I would never have noticed them, up near the tube line. There were corridors of studios, each a lovely room and workspace for the illustrators, designers, photographers, artists and architects who work there. We picked up a cup of tea and a slice of very chocolately cake, from a pile of homemade cakes for sale, before exploring, popping our heads around the doors of different artists. We both fell for Katie Leamon’s stationery and bought some cards, hand-printed on beautiful linen paper.

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5. Getting my hair coloured in

I got all my hair lopped off last year before I went travelling. It was SUCH a good idea. I can definitely see why men in general keep a hold of their short hair – it’s pretty amazing how quick it is to wash and dry. However, in the spirit of the grass is always greener, since I got back, I’ve been jealously looking at long hair on other people, so I’ve been trying to grow it. A couple of times I got itchy fingers in the hair dye aisle of Boots, but having hair that has grown out, free from dye, I decided rather than messing around with rubbish dye myself, I’d get a pop of colour done properly. So I went to see Elbie and she dyed my hair an awesome pinky purple. There’s a plum colour underneath with extra light and bright tones all the way through. Thanks Elbie! x


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