Thursday, July 28, 2011


Bloggers + Cats is having a little summer break - it's lying by the pool in a Minnow swimsuit and Illesteva sunnies, re-reading Lolita for the seventeenth time and making up Lillet based cocktail recipes. 

We're doing nothing of the sort - while it's lounging we've got some other projects on the go - the results of one or some of which you'll see here soon - others, not so soon. But all good, all exciting. Thank you for all your emails, comments and suggestions for future B + C interviewees - we'll be in touch and it will be back in the next few weeks. As a placeholder, here's a picture of Steve Martin ironing a kitten:

And on the 1st August Lola Is Beauty will be six years old!

Friday, July 22, 2011


1. Ooh! 2. Immediately places top in cart...

This pile has since multiplied threefold
5. I bought the red/navy here last week.

6. But this one might be a slightly different weight from the others?

7. Send help.

{Wood Wood Adrien longsleeve}

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


No? Of course you don't because I didn't mention it here. Head right over to the wonderful Fathom for the second installment of things that happened on my travels that I never told the internet about before...

{Here's the first}

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


All by Munkácsi

In some ways, the Eyewitness exhibition of Hungarian photographers of the 20th century at the Royal Academy wasn't what I'd hoped it would be. (Luckily it was other things instead.) I was interested to see the works I love by Munkácsi, Brassaï, Moholy-Nagy et al - I had never realised they were all Hungarian - but what I found was an exhibition putting Hungarian photographers and photography in the context of events of the 20th century. This meant that I missed out on seeing some photographs I love, but gained a better understanding of how events in Hungary contributed towards creating a distinctive Hungarian style, which then became internationally influential when the photographers left Hungary for France, London and New York. (Only one of the above Munkácsi images is in the exhibition I think: the one of the woman sprinting along a beach, which is noted as the first (as in the first ever) fashion photograph for Harper's Bazaar.) Those who stayed in Hungary forged another style, due to the restraints of having to photograph in the style of Socialist Realism - whereby works of art had to "depict and glorify the proletariat's struggle toward socialist progress." Cue a lot of technically superior images of farm workers and labourers with scythes looking aspirational - on first look at least. The photographers had to be inventive to sneak any sort of comment on society through. My favourite photo in the exhibition is by László Fejes (below) and shows a wedding party walking in front of a wall full of bullet holes. This image led to him being banned from publishing photography because it showed the bullet marked wall.

I thought I was going to see some of my favourite fashion photographs by Munkácsi and Brassaï's images of Paris - instead I got an unforgettable history lesson. Why don't schools teach history like that?

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The highlight of my neighbourhood's yearly social calendar is definitely the artists' open studios event, which took place last weekend. Living in the nearest leafy green enclave to Goldsmiths and Camberwell art schools has meant that my hood is brimming over with artists of all kinds - ranging from those who have been here for fifty years, to the huge influx of people moving here from East London since the East London extension line opened last year. (There are certainly a lot more hats, beards and bicycles around here than there used to be.) I think a lot of people come here intending it to be a stopgap, fall in love with the area and never leave. This has certainly happened to me - when I moved here almost a decade ago, priced out of posher near neighbours Greenwich and Blackheath, I thought I'd be here for five years at most. Roll on ten and it gets harder and harder to think of ever moving away. I grew up in the commuter belt suburbs, where creativity was definitely not encouraged and there was zero culture of any kind. Anyone claiming to be an artist was viewed with suspicion at best. And then I landed here, attracted by the pretty plum tree lined streets and Victorian townhouses but not really that aware of the flourishing artistic community living and working in the area. I soon found that a side effect of this was finding myself part of an actual community in an area that people cared deeply about - and were prepared to take action to improve for everyone's benefit. It's half an hour's drive and a million miles away from the mentality of people in the suburbs. How I ended up in exactly the right place in the first home of my own is pure luck.

Even though I go every year, I've never posted about the open studios before or taken photos on the way round because essentially people are allowing you into their homes, gardens and work spaces and it feels a bit wrong to go round snapping pictures of their work, homes and them, even if you know them. So last weekend I had my AE-1 on me and just took a few random pictures of what was around me, without being too invasive hopefully. There are certain studios and people I always visit, then we always try to go and see a few new ones we haven't heard of before. It's always interesting and inspiring to see the variety of work and the high standard of the artists living in the area. You get to see inside all the amazing houses you always wondered about, chat with excellent people, see old friends, make new ones and usually have a glass of wine and something to eat at each stop. What's not to love?

You can see all the artists that participated this year here.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Today's Bloggers + Cats interview is with Erin of the wonderful Calivintage and Momo, who loves chasing reflections and pretending she's swimming while drinking water. She's also working the Pierrot cape trend with aplomb (Momo is, not Erin, though I'm sure she could pull it off with ease and look amazing as always!) Thank you Erin!

What breed is she, how old, how did you come to live with her, why did you call her Momo?
She is a domestic short hair with a tortoiseshell coat and she is almost a year and a half! I picked her out at the local Animal Shelter because I wanted a little animal friend, and I call her Momo after the orphan girl in the book Momo, by Michael Ende. She also goes by Money Cat, and Momo Money.

How would you describe Momo's personality?
She is very playful and curious, and maybe just the slightest bit neurotic.

What is Momo's favourite food?
Chicken, preferably if it comes from my dinner plate. Bad kitty!

Where is Momo's preferred lounging location? Does she have any signature poses?
She doesn't have a preferred spot, but rotates pretty evenly between the edge of the couch, on top of her cat tree looking out the back window, and on top of the dresser by a window in the living room. She really likes to drape herself over things with her arms and legs hanging free. It is quite a silly pose.

What is a day in the life of Momo like?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


I tend to prefer the photos I've taken using the Canon AE-1 that came out wrong. Which is lucky because of the first roll I took, half of them were out of focus and much of the second roll was in focus but hugely overexposed. It's a process!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


My usual idea of wearing colour is charcoal instead of navy, or really going to town with a subtle blue stripe; so I think I'm doing pretty well. It all hinges on the coral nail you see.

Monday, July 04, 2011


I appear to have accidentally started yet another cat related feature on my walks around the 'hood. Well, there are a lot of cats and they often come and say hello to me - and my phone is usually in my hand or in my pocket and...excuses, excuses. Just put me in a straightjacket and send me to a home for cat freaks. I'd enjoy living there.

p.s. For people who don't like cats: Um, see my foot in that picture? APC sandals - nice aren't they? Yes, I shall talk of these things again, I promise.

Friday, July 01, 2011


A long time ago a good friend who reads this blog said in conversation, "The interesting thing about your blog is you have to work out which parts actually happened and which parts have been creatively invented." Or words to that effect. I went "HUH? No, it's all real, nothing is invented. Everything actually happened!" I know, funny things happen to me: I randomly sit next to and make friends with Jean Paul Sartre's closest confidant on the Eurostar, there are Shetland ponies living behind my London street, I spent childhood holidays being driven about in the sea in a red convertible car. I've had the occasional freak accident, and I got to spend the better part of three years in Paris thanks to a geriatric cat with high maintenance needs. C'est la vie!

I had forgotten about that until I came here to recount the story of last night, when I realised it would sound quite strange. So here it is, exactly as it happened.

It was a beautiful evening and I wanted to do something, just sit outside somewhere with a drink. But most of my friends in London are on holiday, so I was resigned to an evening at home watching the Kardashians. I popped out to my local favourite Turkish restaurant down the street to pick up some taramasalata, kisir and home baked bread for supper. Just a few yards from my house I happened upon two guys I know who are chefs, up one of the trees that line the street, foraging for plums for a dessert they're making for 120 people this Sunday. They reminded me that the preview party for the re-opening of Frank's Campari was happening and told me that the XX and Hot Chip were going to be DJing.

I had totally forgotten about it and although I love going to Frank's in the summer, I often find it difficult to twist peoples' arms into going out for the night to the top of a car park in deepest Peckham. I'm also not very good with large crowds of people. I did vaguely absorb the words 'free drinks' and that someone I also know was working there, but said I might go along later, thinking I probably wouldn't as I carried on down my plum tree lined street. (I think they got six kilos in the end.) Then I looked at the sky and realised I would be an idiot not to go and drink Campari while watching the sun set over London.

When I walked back up the road there was no one in the tree, so I phoned my friend who lives next door, but she was gatecrashing art openings in Cork Street so couldn't come. I didn't have much time to think because if I didn't go there early it would be too crowded. I decided just to go and I would surely find people I knew there. I did find people there - about a thousand of them. I managed to entice Ephemerette into coming via Twitter (and I hadn't even mentioned that the drinks were free!) but of course we never did find each other. By sheer fluke I found my sweet plum foraging friends early on, had a few Camparis and - having regrettably left my camera at home - took a load of iPhone photos of the view. Regard:

So in the end I was pretty glad I'd decided to pop out to get that taramasalata.

{I know Instagram has its detractors, but before I had it I'd almost stopped taking photos completely. In June I took 158 pictures using it and frankly (ha) I love it. I don't know, do people mind me putting those pictures on the blog? I personally don't mind when people do, because I think any picture is better than none, but does it make a difference to you? I've been using the Canon AE-1 but that means posts with pictures from that will be delayed by the time it takes to process the film.}