Lewisham: The center of my Saturday shopping experience. It has every shop I need for every need I have to shop for. Food? Sainsburys or M&S (after pay-day). Cleaning products? A choice of 3 pound shops (and one 99p store for super frugal days). Fruit and Veg? Market stall. Sewing supplies? The wonderful Rolls and Rems. I could go on.

On a visit just before Christmas last year I noticed a new shop had arrived next to Costa coffee, opposite Boots the Chemist. It was a shop I’d never heard of before but one which had a window full of things I wanted (not needed, or had room for, just wanted).

Tiger. Apparently Tiger started 12 years ago in stylish Copenhagen, their pricing system is simple, everything is priced in whole pounds and nothing is more than £30. The shop is full of quirky and stylish products for the home – think all the little bits in Ikea that end up in your trolley that you had no intention of buying when you went into the store 7 hours and three arguments ago but you had to have them to cheer you up but different, cooler and more timely.

The Tiger website isn’t an online store but it does show you an array of their latest offerings and will tell you where your nearest store is … I’d get down there quick smart if I were you.

Last December Master J and I went on a guided tour of Aldwych tube station. This station was built in 1907 and closed due to low passenger numbers in 1994. Much of the station is original, from the tiling in the ticket office to the archaic (but unique) lift system. The station and tour had lots of things I love; Victorian brick tiles, great examples of Johnston’s 1916 Underground font, vintage posters with comedy slogans and old men passionate about trains, timetables and ear hair.

Five ‘fascinating’ facts about Aldwych tube

1. The station tunnels are now used to test tile patterns for decorating new tube stations.
2. If you get to level 12 of Tomb Raider (which may or may not be easy, I have no idea) you will have to help Lara kill rats in the Aldwych tunnels.
3. Aldwych has been used in films such as Atonement and 28 days later and Doctor Who has had to escape robotic Yeti down there (Daleks could have totally used the lift, I dunno if they’d’ve fitted through the ticket barriers though).
4. The Elgin Marbles were stored there during the war.
5. 2,500 people used the tunnels for protection during the Blitz (something I can never comprehend).

lest we forget

If you want to know when the next guided tour is keep an eye on this website, an excellent resource full of things to do in London if you don’t want to go to Westfield or Madame Tussauds.

pics Vogue.com

Though the fashion world is buried deep in the mania of the Autumn 2012 Fashion Week whirl, us mere mortals are rejoicing the arrival of Spring – well, in the shops at least, the weather just needs to catch up. This season the accessory is big in all senses of the word; from giant bags at Victoria Beckham to wiiiiiide belts at Alexander McQueen, but the thing that caught my eye (and almost took it out) were these earrings from Dolce & Gabbana. Going back to their Italian roots the boys celebrated the humble pasta shape and vegetable stall with these super kitsch baubles Pat Butcher (RIP) would be proud of.

They just make me smile (the models not so much).

I’m sure the highstreet will be awash with similar treats soon and mothers will finally be able to wear their little darlings pasta necklace offerings with pride and be on trend – when has that ever happened? If you can’t wait here is a simple step by step guide to making your own … They take about 15 minutes to make and are super cheap. I got my vegetable beads from The London Bead Shop and all my findings and general jewellery goodies from the wonder that is Hobbycraft.


On Wednesday my ‘Partner-in-Craft’ Hannah and I went to the London Sketch Club in Chelsea, an amazing club formed over 100 years ago by newspaper illustrators and designers looking for somewhere to hang out, drink gin and oogle (I mean paint) naked ladies. We visited not so much for the ‘smoking and conversatione’ advertised here but to see the silhouette artist Charles Burns and his new book Mastering Silhouettes, A practical guide to silhouette portraiture showcasing Charles beautiful work.

Using surgical scissors and squares of black paper Charles cuts silhouettes ‘live’ (no bright lights and profiles shadowed on walls for him). He has cut silhouettes of the great and the good including the Queen for her 80th Birthday (as Hannah said ‘a bit like making stamps then’) and now me…


Not entirely convinced about my nose, would quite like to snip a little off the end but pretty impressive for 90 seconds work. When I get the chance I shall try my hand at mastering silhouettes but for now I am pleased I have finally mastered the spelling of it.