And the Hungarians

This is why I came to TENT really, for a taste of contemporary Hungary…there was a delegation from the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency. Stayed with my cousin Gaby:

On our way to the Truman Brewery, in Spitalfields, we walked down Fournier st, home to Gilbert & George. I had always understood that Gilbert Proesch was Hungarian in origin, from Transylvania, the Hungarian speaking part of Romania, but before I posted this I checked up on Wikipedia and actually he is from Northern Italy…oh well!

A quick coffee in Jeanette Winterson’s cafe/grocer on the way…Verde. Find out more about this ethical, but still wonderfully indulgent cafe on Jeanette’s own website

Verde, 40 Brushfield Street, London E1 (020 7247 1924)

On arrival, it was lovely to chat to young Hungarian designers and admire their work.

Was particularly struck by IVANKA concrete interior and architectural finishes

I just want to line my house with concrete now…it is obviously the thing to do…plaster walls are just so last year! Seriously, looking forward tremendously, to our next trip to Budapest and seeing some of their beautful projects in the flesh.

Katalin and Andras Ivanka are a young, hungarian, husband and wife team, it was lovely to meet Andras and I will follow their story with genuine interest as I know how hard that gig is!!

They are great ambassadors for their brand.

Tent goodies

Where do I start?

Mini Moderns…gods of recycling and mid-century style…check out their paint range – 90% saved from landfill – how cool is that? Paint is nasty stuff and they are saving the planet from it! Their paint; their wallpaper; their dhurries – want, want, want…their latest collection entitled The Buddha of Suburbia just makes you want to gut your house and start again really…to me their work has a similar vibe to the Penguin Classic – it’s so good, why bother with anything else?

Tobi Design

Lovely to see a friendly face, Magnus is a wonderful furniture maker, his work is slick and original, Scottish without being folksy.

Andy Murray, another well known Scottish name: Scottish yes, well known, not yet, a new designer, but looking forward very much to getting to know Andy better and enjoying his work for many years to come.

Andy Murray Design

So many beautiful things…

London Design Festival

Made it – just…!

So looking forward to this, I had envisioned a wonderfully sophisticated, relaxing ‘jolly’…a little bit of work mixed in with catching up with family and old school friends in Design-drenched London.

Train tickets were booked, but discussing my plans with Doug over breakfast, he pointed out that travelling into Edinburgh from our village was slightly backtracking, I agreed and thought, ‘I know why don’t I just drive to Berwick upon Tweed? My friend Suzi does this…

Seemed like a great idea, left in plenty of time, except, realised 10 mins into the journey that I had forgotten my Oyster card, whizzed back, still managed to get to Berwick Upon Tweed with 20 minutes to spare, felt quite pleased with myself, until it became clear that the car park at Berwick upon Tweed station was completely full…Oh dear…a short drive around Berwick Upon Tweed later and, obviously, like most small towns, the centre of Berwick upon Tweed is a mass of double yellow lines and spaces where you can pay to park for up to 4 hours – help – I was going for 3 days!!

Drove into the Co-op car park – full of signs advising that you could park for up to two hours for free, or a day, if you paid….Blimey – I approached a very nice looking lady for advice – she was not just nice – she turned out to be an angel, disguised as a very charming American, called Karen. Karen advised me that I could park outside her house – she pointed at a distant building that looked, to me, about 3 different corners away – I said, ‘Look, can you just get in my car, I will give you a lift home and park’, which she very trustingly did…We rrrrraced off in my Fiat Multipla…It was like a scene from 24, except we were in a car park in Berwick Upon Tweed rather than downtown LA and she was carrying three bags of shopping rather than a Billionaire drug dealer’s teenage daughter….

Got to Berwick upon Tweed station with two minutes to spare…enough time for the guard to helpfully explain that the train I was booked on from Edinburgh was not actually stopping at Berwick upon Tweed – why had I not checked this?? But that I could get on a train to Newcastle and join my train there, hopefully, although officially you are not meant to do things like this – booked seats etc…Obviously, did not really feel I had a choice and £18 later had a single to Newcastle. Great! Thanks Suzi x

As I explained earlier, I did make it to London, shaken and stirred…I am not 007…it was all a bit much for me to be honest.

Our lovely colleague, Mairi MacDonald and I enjoying 100% Design

100% Design was amazing, but I went on to develop quite a nasty cold which hampered my networking abilities rather, not to mention my ability to have a really lovely evening with old school friends in a gastro-pub in Islington…yes I know…having supper in a gastro pub in Islington is not exactly climbing K2, I just was not quite at my best.

Go Organic – if you can

It really is that easy…if you can – do it!

I have been totally educated by my Arbonne selling friends of the benefits of natural skincare, shampoo etc…

I cannot put it as well as they can, but if you think about it, anything you put on your skin enters your bloodstream as quickly and efficiently as if you have eaten it – your body really is that clever! So why not select natural, harmless products for toothpaste, face cream,shampoo etc?

Why go down the nasty route? Find natural alternatives in local health food shop…for a more luxurious alternative try Arbonne

Make-up too…another big issue for us girls!


Where were you?

September 11th went by again this week. A horrible surreal day for everyone, the day is etched on my mind.
We were shooting this beautiful Eco House, deep in the Scottish Borders.

I was not quite so business card friendly in those days – I certainly was not blogging or anything, I don’t think I even had a mobile phone, so we did not keep in touch, I often think of the lovely owners though…their children will be quite grown up by now.

It was a fascinating house, the ‘tented ceiling’ was literally lined with canvas…

There was a beautiful straw bale guest cottage in the garden.

Lovely to get back in touch and they are all well…thank you Claire!