Marching in, and sort-of celebrating. 0 Comments

We are quickly ambling into March, my friends - a strange time, I’m sure you’ll agree? To think, just one (very long, yet bizarrely short) year ago, we were going about our day, living more or less normally, without incident. We were going for coffee dates in our favourite local spots, jumping on the train into the city if and when we fancied it, browsing in shops; a trip to the supermarket was a fun family outing, we would moan about the cost of cinema tickets shooting up, and we’d be baffled by the sight of a tourist on the tube or wandering along a busy street wearing a clinical face covering. How were we to know?


(okay, there may be a lot of sea photos on this blog, but do you ever get bored of it? I sure as hell don't!) 


What is everyone doing to… well, not celebrate, but simply acknowledge and recognise, maybe? ...the year that’s passed? Obviously there’s not much we can do right now, but perhaps a long walk along the seafront or through a park would do it. With a thick pair of socks under your boots, a tissue up your sleeve and a chocolate bar in your pocket. This Fool’s Spring has done the dirty on us yet again, but we’re ever optimistic. 


shop owner K holding a copy of This Book Will Save Your Life above her head


World Book Day happened recently! What a joyful day. Many folks (born after 1970!) got to enjoy years of dressing up as favourite literary characters for school - in elaborate costumes no doubt made by parents who had worn themselves out sewing and gluing them together for the week preceding the big day. I wish I'd got to experience that - but then, maybe I should just go into work dressed as the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland...  

So, if you had to be a literary character, who would you be? Who do you feel represents you and your values? And, I wondered this past week - what kind of customers would book folk be? 

Beatrice from Much Ado is a favourite of mine; I love her sass and wit. She'd no doubt pop by Modern Goods semi-regularly to purchase numerous fountain pens, which she'd then use quickly filling notebooks with her musings on life, rants, and scathing observations about men. 

The demure heroine Mrs de Winter in Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca would no doubt go for some classic wardrobe options, but nothing too outrageous and attention-seeking - maybe a Halston mini bag? This Great Plains navy printed smock dress may suit her too; it's quietly fabulous. 


You may have seen on my newsletter this week (if you didn’t - sign up now, my lovelies! Here’s the link you need: SUBSCRIBE!) this month I have recommended the novel by A.M Homes entitled: This Book Will Save Your Life

I really enjoyed reading this during lockdown; it's about a man who has lived as a hermit in a massive home in California, making huge amounts of money trading, completely devoid of emotional nourishment. I don’t want to share any spoilers, so I’ll just summarise like this; a series of crazy happenings and a chance meeting with a man who makes doughnuts transforms and feeds his life in some beautiful and surprising ways.

Remember to support your local, small businesses when making purchases; a great place to get your copy of this (or any!) book would be The Hastings Bookshop. Or another (more virtual!) local is The Big Green Bookshop


Sara Bernan's artwork


This month’s arty inspo comes from Sara Berman

Berman got a BA in Fashion at Central St Martins in 1999, then she founded and ran her eponymous fashion brand for 15 years. Her involvement with clothing and the body led to a visual arts practice that combines painting and textile works. 

‘Berman’s work deals with the spaces we occupy. Corporeal, haptic, cerebral, societal. Space as an extension of self. Clothing, textiles, the domestic interior and the female body provide the platform for an exploration of material through painting, weaving, assemblage, collage and drawing.’


‘A dialogue between painting and textiles. Feeding into each other, joining at the seams, meeting in uncomfortable places. There is a bleed in my work; a contamination. I can attempt a sanitisation, a cleaning up of the domestic detritus into a cupboard marked ‘Practice’ but the bleed is the point, the uncomfortable nooks of the female bodily experience. This is the issue. Pass me a tissue so I can clean it all up for you and put something on. Clothing as objects of confinement, of protection, of identity, of safety. Inside. Outside.

Painting is a game of materiality. The visceral qualities of paint. Layered, built up, scraped back and bruised. Emerging from violence of its own making. Searching.

It is important to start any search with a map of the road to nowhere. My map is The Harlequin. An outfit, a costume The perfect disguise. The perfect reveal. It all starts with her. The Harlequin as a Woman is No Joker. She is the Trickster Whore. The Witch, the Shrew, the Sorceress with the voice of a Harpy. Fear her with her big mouth, her bloody gash. But I digress, I transgress. Me and My Big Mouth.’


Sara Bernan's artwork


International Women’s Day is this week! 8th of March, to be precise. This, along with the fact that the young ones go back to school on this same date, is definitely cause for celebration. I will be thinking about all the female entrepreneurs out there who are constantly dreaming up new ideas, making big moves, leaping about with their creativity and pushing boundaries further and further skywards - wondering what could happen for us next, in this new world that is 2021. How will you honour the amazing women in your life? Wait, the question should really be - how do you honour the amazing women in your life? Because it shouldn’t all be saved up for one day a year, surely…? Some very healthy food for thought, there. 


Speak soon, my lovelies.