I am greatly enjoying my social media detox. No longer is my phone permanently attached to my hand. I will admit I did have varying degrees of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) for the first week and I certainly felt a bit detached. What was everyone up to??Many many times I have subconsciously reached for my phone, only to remember that I have deleted all my apps. I have also come to realize that I have a very click happy relationship with my amazon app, so that has gone as well - it's finally time to read all those piles of books I have bought on a whim. I have also been trying not to reach for my phone and the internet every time I want an answer straight away - these things can wait.And so I have been calling people (I really had forgotten how nice a phone call is) and I have also bought a watch for the first time in my life, at the grand age of 30 (why keep the phone awkwardly hanging around merely as a time keeper), and with all the background chatter switched off, I have actually been reading some of those books.I have even thought of buying a London A-Z, from a bookshop ....... I'll keep you posted on this one!I would also like to note that I am not becoming completely anti-tech, I work in E-commerce and my job means I spend my entire working day staring at two computer screens online, so really I am just trying to ensure that when I'm not at work, I'm not being enticed to stare at a screen.This week I thought I would share with you some things I have been recommended (by real people!!), and other things I have been enjoying and discovering off grid:I met with writer Rosie Talbot and we sat in the garden on a beautifully sunny afternoon with cups of tea had a very nice chat. Rosie has recently completed her first fantasy novel, and I will be writing a longer post all about her soon! Her general life mantra is 'Keep it simple, do it well', which I like very much!I went to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy which I liked, mainly because the curator Grayson Perry appears to have persuaded the Royal Academy to paint their walls shades of bright bright pink and yellow, which just made me very happy. I love that part of a curator's role can be in deciding not only what to put on the wall, but also the colour of the wall itself.I worry about plastic (as I'm sure most people do), the worry lingers in the back of my mind, and pushes forward every time I go to my local Sainsbury's and buy every single item often unnecessarily wrapped in the stuff. So I was recommended Hetu on St John's Hill - from which you can go and buy your grains plastic free, a start in the right direction. Be warned it's run by vegans, so don't wear your fur coat.I am reading, and currently enjoying The Lonely City by Olivia Laing (a writing influence of Guy Stagg ), I am not far in, and she is already making me want to hunt down every Edward Hopper painting and have a good long look at them. To see Hopper soon, I hope to catch the end of America's Cool Modernism at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.I am sending letters and note cards and postcards, and recently discovered a French brand called All the Ways to Say who have really fun and often pleasantly silly cards, illustrated by Claire Leina. You can buy them from these shops.I have decided I really need to cook more (we are terrible at 'let's just go out'), so I am trying to re-establish my relationship with cooking, less 'terror of getting it wrong', more 'let's just have a go and enjoy the process'. I feel a little like people of my age who still can't drive - cooking, for me, is something that I have put aside and not focused on properly, for too long. So now is the time to get to grips with it - I want to be at the stage where changing gear is second nature, rather than an awkward, scary, and jolty undertaking. To start, I have very kindly been leant 'The Ten Food Commandments' by Jay Rayner which I am very much looking forward to both reading and cooking from.Browsing shops is something I am too good at and recently whilst perusing the wine cellar at Selfridges I discovered The Uncommon Wine of England. Now, I got very very excited about this as I thought it was an English Sparkling wine in a can. It turns out, I'm told, it isn't exactly English Sparkling wine, as it's semi-carbonated, and it's also made from the Bacchus grape (possibly controversial), but the can does look very pretty indeed. I enjoyed it, it’s got a fruity almost elder flower taste, however I will let you decide on the taste for yourself. For a safer summery drink, I have been recommended Bolney Estate's Foxhole Rosé which you can buy in Waitrose.Of course, I am still a magpie for all things pretty and wearable, and at the moment I am coveting Jute Laune's suede lace up espadrilles in amazing colours, and also Alighieri's Snow Lion Pendant - it's larger than a normal pendant, is based on an antique Venetian coin and on Dante's Inferno (canto i, lines 46-49, to be precise). I love it in silver, you can buy it from a number of shops, I like Modern Society in Shoreditch. And for summer I am painting my nails Barry M blueberry, because it's a very satisfying colour and very nice for this time of year.I am also currently fuelling my scented candle joy with Maison Balzac’s happily named ‘Le Soleil’, which is the most amazing combination of orange flower, neroli and tuberose. You can buy it at a super little shop on the Northcote Road called Maison Curate.And I have planted some herbs in my window boxes, acquired from the plant nursery in Wandsworth – which I am happy to say are all still alive after a week and half! (apart from the coriander which got eaten by something, I'm pretty certain not Max this time..). And I have a small fuchsia plant which is growing rapidly and has the most amazing huge purple and pink flowers – I suspect it needs to be transferred into a larger pot soon!I am on the look out for ceramicists, makers who make their own hand-made ceramics, so if you know any, please do let me know!
Have a lovely lovely week in the sun.
PS I am now back on WhatsApp, I lost a whole week of messages when I deleted the app - I'm not ignoring you, Facebook is probably punishing me. I am now only checking WhatsApp once a day.
The cover picture is a card by All the Ways to Say
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