Bye bye summer

Summer is pretty much over; well that's what today's grim rain and overcast skies are telling me. I feel the urge to get out there and do something over the final days of August. This is a list of some of the bits and pieces I've uncovered for this weekend and next:


The Hillhead Bookclub is having a veggie banquet, which strikes me, a vegetarian, as somewhat awesome. However, one must book in advance, and it is already Thursday, and I am a very disorganised person, so it may not happen. But if you're as excited by this prospect as I am, phone 0141 576 1700. 3 courses and a glass of punch for £15.


Friday, 20 August

The GFT will be showing the classic Russian documentary Man with a Move Camera with live piano accompaniment. I saw this film once in an undergraduate film class, and was very impressed and suitably awed, but I'm really looking forward to the addition of live music. Here's what the GFT say about it:

A Constructivist “documentary” of urban Soviet life in the most radical sense, Man with a Movie Camera is as much an investigation of the medium of film as an attempt to create a “truthful” image of reality, very much in line with other artistic strategies of the modern avant garde. One of the most written about and quoted experimental films of all time.

Saturday, 21 August

This isn't so much an event, as a shopping trip, but I'll be heading over to Space NK to test out the Honore de Pres line of perfumes they've just started stocking. This is how they're described:

Honore des Pres fragrances invoke different moments in nature, from Amazonian rainforests to fields of sunflowers, from earthy rock pools to freshly cut citrus fruits.

I'm intrigued by the surprising and complex scent combinations such as tuberose and rum, or coconut and coriander.

More info can be found on the Space NK website.

Thursday, 26 August

Flat 01 launches. What is Flat 01? I had no idea, but I'd seen those posters all over Glasgow, and they're now following me on Twitter, so my interest was piqued. Here's what I know now:

It will be a club
It will be located at 168 Bath Street
The launch party will be on the 26th staring at 8
There is info on their Facebook page.

Friday 27 August

This might be the day when I finally check out the Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery. This is something I've wanted to see for a while, but I was never sure when they were open. Now that they're part of Trongate 103, there's better information about them online.

This is how they're described on their website:

Hundreds of carved figures and pieces of old scrap perform an incredible choreography to haunting music and synchronised light, telling the funny and tragic stories of the human spirit as it struggles against the relentless circles of life and death.

Saturday, 28 August

Do you watch Dr Who? I've sort of lost track of what's going on, as I haven't seen many episodes with the Scottish Dr. And I managed to miss the Dr Who exhibit at the Kelvingrove. If you are a far less lackadaisical fan than I, you may be interested in buying a signed action figure of the latest Dr's companion at Hamleys at St Enoch Centre.

If you want something a bit more cultured and inspiring, head to the Tea, Kimono and DVD event at the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow. This event focuses on Japanese influences on Scottish art with kimonos to admire and try on, gunpowder tea to drink, and films to watch. The event is free, but you do need to book if you want to participate in the Tea Ceremonies.

For more information, visit the Hunterian's website.

Sunday, 29 August

Listen to the sounds of Django Reinhardt era jazz while you enjoy vodka and blinis at Cafe Cossachok. Admission is £6 and booking is recommended. Visit their website: cossachok.com.


Moby of Oz

I suffer from chronic insomnia, so I spend alot of time finding pointless solutions to non-problems at 2 o'clock in the morning. This morning, I was playing fantasy cast. That's a game where you recast something with whomever you wish, dead or alive, from any period of their career. It's something that I started doing when I interned for a casting agency in New York in the 90s, probably because a major feature of working in casting is deciding who you think should be in something, and then having the producer or studio casting director come in and ruin it by ignoring your suggestions and opting for someone completely unsuitable that happens to be the studio's flavour of the month.

This morning, when I should have been sleeping, I was mentally casting The Wizard of Oz with rock stars or rap stars of any era. This is how it turned out:

Dorothy - Joan Jett
The Scarecrow - Mick Jagger
The Tin Man - David Bowie
The Cowardly Lion - Motorhead's Lemmy
The Wizard - Moby
The Wicked Witch of the West - Lady Gaga
Glinda the Good Witch - Beyonce
The Munchkins - Prince, Flavor Flav, Leo Sayer, Angus Young, Kylie, Lil' Kim, Madonna, Lady Sovereign and Dappy from N-Dubz
The Flying Monkeys - Members of Supergrass, Oasis, the Happy Mondays, Ian Brown, and the Monkeys

Ah, if only.


August wish list

I've just received my Harper's Bazaar for September, and found Elle Collections at the WH Smith on Sauchiehall Street (my new favourite store), so my mind turns to adapting my wardrobe to Autumn/Winter. Though the usual suspects have re-appeared (camel, lace, masculine tailoring), there does seem to be something newish developing. The fashion-pundits are declaring the new collections to be more friendly to the way real women want to dress, and I'd have to agree. Shoes of varying heights are showing up, as are curve friendly clothing cuts, and wearable trousers (goodbye hideous harem trousers! I never understood that look - who wants to dress like MC Hammer?).

This all leads to my August wishlist, which I've pulled together with A/W 2010 in mind. First off, a new pair of trousers. I noticed three main styles: wide leg, bootleg, and cigarette pants, all of which are shapes I love, so I'm confident it will be pretty easy to find a pair I like. Being a hair under 6ft, I usually by my trousers from Long Tall Sally, but most of the high street will probably offer something good. I've been browsing M&S, but I haven't seen anything I like yet, and New Look seems to be all harem trousers and cropped jogging bottoms, but I'll be keeping my eyes open over the next month or two.

Moschino Home Sweet Home handbag

Slightly more prim, lady-like bags are set to overtake the huge, slouchy carry-all totes and hobos we've been seeing everywhere. I absolutely love this adorable one by Moschino - a witty take on the Chanel 2.55, for a much more achievable price. Available in black, red or ivory from House of Fraser.Mulberry Brooch t-shirts

While £275 is way more than I could ever spend on a t-shirt, I can't help loving these jersey modal vest tops with a heart or leopard brooch. The best part is that the brooches come attached to a grosgrain ribbon that can be tied through the sleeve of the t-shirt, or worn separately as an accessory. Available at Mulberry and online.

Dyrberg Kern Camaieux Large Clip on Crystal Heart Pendant

Ever since I was a little girl, watching old episodes of Bewitched, I've wanted a sparkling, diamond heart necklace, just like the one Samantha wore. I can't afford real diamonds, but any variation will always catch my eye. This one from Dryberg Kern is oversized and uses dark grey crystals, so it has a more moodily romantic feel. Available at Accessories Online.
KG by Kurt Geiger Winslow shoe boot

Being an awkward high heel wearer, I quite like the medium wedge on these shoe boots by Kurt Geiger. They seem like they'd be pretty comfortable. Available from My Wardrobe and Kurt Geiger.Paul and Joe Domenico oversized cardigan

Everyone will be doing loads of camel coloured clothing, which is great because it's a classic colour that flatters a range of complexions and can be worn with just about anything. A nice camel jacket would be good, but I really like this substantial cardigan by Paul and Joe from My Wardrobe.
Isabella Oliver smoking jacket

Another forever item is the smoking jacket. I bought one from the Gap about 5 years ago, and it still looks fantastic, but if I didn't have that one I would probably get this velvet one from Isabella Oliver in berry or midnight blue.


Missoni sale!

Hold on to your paychecks girls - if you haven't bought any clothes with your August pay yet, wait until 10 August when the Outnet will be having a special Missoni sale (up to 65% off). I don't know what it is, but Missoni just seems to be getting better and better every year. I wanted just about everything from the 2010 Spring/Summer collection, and A/W 2010 looks to be even better. But, the champagne tastes may be there, but the beer budget prevails. Thank goodness for the Outnet!

There will also be a Missoni giveaway - the fantastic cardi-jacket seen below - enter by visiting www.theoutnet.com/flashsales by 20 August.



It is evident that Waterstones is working very hard to stay open in a cultural and economic climate that is proving extremely challenging to book sellers. I'm happy to see them work so hard, because they just might stand a chance. I'm also sad to see them work so hard because I wouldn't like to think that the Borders closures were just the beginning.

I love books and view the introduction of digital 'readers' like Amazon's kindle with some trepidation. Yes, the idea of carrying around an entire library in some natty hand-held device is appealing, but there's so much more to books than the words. Books, like vinyl LPs, have almost become fetish objects - transcending their original purpose to become objects of beauty and comfort. To me, a place isn't a home without books, and the titles lining my shelves say something about my husband and me to anyone who comes into our home. And I can't remember how many times I read someone raving about the chic collection of coffee table books decorating Carrie's home in the second Sex and the City film.

But I digress - this is supposed to be about Waterstones. I paid a visit to the one on Sauchiehall Street the other day and marvelled at how totally on the ball they are. Their customer service is excellent, they offer a loyalty scheme with points that can be applied to purchases, and I noticed posters advertising that UK delivery is free if you buy from their website. And they have countless 3 for 2 deals. I went in for one very specific book (The Right to Write by Julia Cameron) and left with two others (a book on Egyptian mythology and Daniel Clowes' newest, Wilson, which is typically brilliant and sad and funny).

They didn't have the Julia Cameron book I wanted in store, but I decided to give their website a go. It had never occurred to me to visit their site for any other reason than to check their opening times (happily, they don't close until 7pm most nights). Like many people, I automatically visit Amazon when I need books. Like Amazon, the Waterstone's site is easy to use, and I found the book I wanted very quickly. I got my loyalty points, my delivery was free, so now I just have to wait for the book to arrive.


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