| Abandoned | Lonely Lido

We're turning the pages of our hefty story book back to Margate. Here is a tale of an abandoned lonely Lido whose dowdy appearance hides a fascinating story. The Lido was built between 1824-1828 and it is the earliest surviving seawater bathing establishment that has not been converted into residential buildings in the country. The baths were excavated from the chalk cliffs and what we show here is just the surface of the tale, there are 3 levels hiding beneath. 


The Lido has gone through name changes and remodelling. It has seen tides and people come and go. Today it sits in wait for the next courageous entrepreneur to come along and snog some life back into it. Not that different to Sleeping Beauty really!

| Links for the Curious |

We couldn't resist wondering what the lower levels look like. Of course the Urbex forums had plenty to offer

Interesting facts and fascinating historical photos

I say! British Pathé has a smashing collection of old film clips. The 'Watery Sportery" film is particularly fun

View Post


| NATURE ARTFORMS | Aqueous Daydream

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

I am always looking to nature for inspiration for colour, texture and mood combination. In my heart and mind I know that there is no greater nor more eloquent a teacher.  Gazing at the shimmering blinking sunlight rush over the river on our doorstep, my mind fell into a daze. I found myself searching through photos of our trip to the "Cotton Castle" and my eyes rested on the soft hued art that Hiro captured that day. Placid pastel aqueous daydream, let's rest here a while.

| For the Curious |

You can see our original post on Pamukkale HERE

View Post


| Kids Stuff | Oh Pants!

I'm so glad I grabbed these little comfy trousers for the kid. I spotted them on special offer earlier in the year. They are bright and vivacious and so they should be, they are after all, inspired by Matisse! And they always get a compliment or two from hawk-eyed mums.

They are designed and made by Bobo Choses. A Spanish company who occupy an old toy factory by the sea. How fantabulous does that sound?! I'm imagining it to be the most funnest place to work. Maybe after they finish work (or perhaps they have happy elves that do that for them), they all run into the sea for a refreshing swim.......Back to the trousers, I can declare that they are as comfortable as they are playful. At least they seem to be. Made of soft and comfy, movement friendly ribbed cotton jersey (165g if you are geeky about your cloth) they allow the kid to do all those flexible, squirmy manoeuvres that he is so into at the moment. They wash well, keep their shape and have not faded after a couple of washes. 

These pants are part of Bobo Choses  SS16 collection entitled "Der Blaue Reiter", a tribute to Matisse, Picasso, Pollock and Hockney. Super cool and fun with a sophisticated and unpatronising edge that we really dig. 

If you are in the market for colourful funky kids clothes do look Bobo Choses up. 

P.S. Speaking of Picasso. I bought this book. I like to read it to the Kid. Of course he is too young to understand it, and of course he is unimpressed with the lack of bold pictures (this one is more about the photos). I read it to him anyway and he always squirms off and finds his battered copy of Meg & Mog. Ah well, I am hopeful that he will appreciate it one day. It is a really lovely book!

| Links for the curious |

Bobo Choses website

I bought the pants from Abacus Kids.

View Post


| Table Top | 12

When I was a child in Kenya, there were many many childish things that I went without. I have no qualms or regrets about that. One thing I did have is something that most children today seem to be starved of; the great outdoors! 

We had a lot of land. We were not wealthy, we just happened to have this massive plot of land that my dad got cheap and plonked a house on it. It was poorly built, badly designed and it was our home till my mother fell ill. But is was the land that made it special. We just couldn't maintain it, entire swathes of it grew wild and we let it be. We enjoyed its  natural frenzy.  It was untamed, unmanageable and it inspired years of fun, creativity and spontaneity. It sparked our little minds with lucid imaginings that no television programme or toy could ever do.

After the rains came and went, our wilderness would be raucous with a flurry of wild flowers. I remember it vividly. Our uncultivated fields would be rowdy with the colourful display of these flowers that we hadn't planned or planted. Much to my mothers displeasure, I would tear sheets of loo-roll into neat squares at the perforations, leaving them in a little pile before I headed out to raid the field of the flowers. 

Blossoms never last long enough and I'd feel so sorry when they wilted into mush. My solution to this was to press their petals between the sheets of loo-roll and deposit them between the pages of the biggest most heaviest books that I could find on my mum's bookshelves. It would annoy my mum to find her books laying horizontally in stumpy misshapen purposeful piles - so that they would press the flowers evenly. She would tell me that books prefer to stand up straight and not lie down to sleep. I'd try to explain that it was okay and that they would most probably dream of flowers. Mum would upend the books taking care not to spill the floral 'dreams' as she shunted them back in their rightful places. When she left the room, I would put them back to sleep. 

These memories filter and float through my mind like rising dust trapped in a beam of sunlight whilst I find myself pressing petals into sheets of pristine blotting paper. Nothing really ever dies. It all just exists in a different way. Like my mum. Like these flowers.

| Notes for the Curious | 

My method of pressing flowers is basic at best but it's always worked for me. I don't use a press and forage for botanicals in places  various places (I won't get my self in trouble by mentioning them here). If you fancy trying to press flowers too, HERE is a good tutorial

View Post


| Explore | Shabby Japan

"It was such a crap place. Really shit in fact. You two would probably like it there!"

" You like shabby places don't you?"

Well yes we do. For the record though, we prefer to call them "beautiful" or "interesting". At the same time, we know that there is no dressing it up. Shabby does appeal to us.

We like, rust, peeling paint, sign of age, decay and time. Shabby is honest and unpretentious. Shabby holds stories close to the heart, provokes emotions and leaves an impression. Shabby has soul.

View Post


| Explore | Great Wall

While I've got walls on my mind, I thought I'd finally spill the beans on my favourite wall. It's almost a pity that it not one that the public has free access to, as this wall is tucked away in a school in Hackney. The school and wall were designed by Erno Goldfinger whose buildings, upset Ian Flemming so immensely, that he borrowed his name for one of James Bond's most memorable adversaries. We disagree with Flemming and think Goldfinger was some sort of genius.

Anyway! Back to the school and more importantly, the wall!

This wall is in Haggerston School. I'll admit to real envy of the kids to attend this institution. It's a masterly Modern and Brutalist building whose proportions follow the Gold Section and include sublime details such as bush hammered concrete, coffered ceilings and the sensitive use of timber throughout, all of which can be seen in harmonious accord in the school's assembly hall.

I know that London is not short on brick walls. But none are quite like this one. The bricks are positioned this way to sound-proofing  the hall. Evidently the wall was designed with acoustics rather than aesthetics in mind and yet I cannot stop enjoying the look of it. I would love to spend a day filming the behaviour of sunlight and shadow across it from sunrise to sunset. I am certain that it would be a mesmerising performance.

Haggerston School is Grade II listed is the only educational project that Erno Goldfinger designed. It was completed in 1967 and has since undergone some sympathetic modernisation. It is not normally open to the public. However if you are into midcentury homewares then you should keep an eye on Modern Shows website for when they next plan to pitch up at the school. It is a good opportunity to take in some real furniture porn aaaaaaaand eye up the building while you are at it. The other way you may get into the building is if they sign up for this year's Open City event.

| Links for the Curious |

Haggerston School's website has more info and photos.

View Post