warm. If you stay indoor and curl up in-between the duvets with a cup of hojicha tea and your feet up, or if you keep walking and treading on the road, in the woods, through the rows of stars. In winter, I - wear: thick tights, hats, mittens, a Mulberry woolen scarf in the colour of midnight claret listen to: She & Him Christmas album, Mumford & Sons, my own ukelele playing read: Paul Auster's Winter Journal, Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways: A Journey on foot, Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep want: nothing - I have no wish list but only wish for peace & quiet & thankfulness and love in my heart.
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, or Life in the Woods
Hampstead Heath, located in the vicinity of inner London, has a very special place in my heart. It is wild, beautiful, inexhaustible - each time I think about the Heath I am reminded of the long walks in solitude in between school and the magic hour - let it be in the scorching heat or dewy hours in the morning, stepping into crunchy leaves, or gliding on the icy pavements - watching the silhouettes of trees in rumination, swimming in the chilling water of the ponds, patting friendly dogs, picnicking and lounging around with friends, listening to the whispers of the wind, humming of the old man nearby, or just silence. Andy Sewell has captured its beauty in his most atmospheric photo series above.
Summer (in London, if I must put caption under each picture) is - seeing the RA summer exhibition and Edvard Munch, reading with sunglasses on, iced white wine on Charlotte Street, walking amidst wild flowers, having very late brunch at Lantana.
summer is strolling at your own pace, getting half drunk and fully happy already at mid-day, humming to the sound of the rain, savouring each unphotographable moments.
My Ode to Jean-Luc Godard II tote from I Miss You Already, with the usual cluster // Trinity Hall, Cambridge // Coffee, book and no cigarette at Notes Covent Garden // First blossom // 'Paris is always a good idea' - Audrey Hepburn
'What do I ask of a painting? I ask it to astonish, disturb, seduce, convince.'
- Lucian Freud
As Londoners we are spoilt for choices of great art exhibitions, especially this quarter of the year, with David Hockney at the RA and Picasso at the Tate Britain and so on. But for certain, the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is the one that I will be frequenting for the next few months to come.
With more than 100 early and late works of the great British artist, the exhibition is unmissable. I spent a good few hours wandering, listening to the audio guide, and studying the paintings. The way that Freud so uniquely and eloquently captured human life and flesh, the contour of naked bodies and emotions - it overwhelms you with its disquieting silence, leaving you in awe yet unsettled.
No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.
- Virginia Woolf
For the longest period of time I have been struggling along - amidst broken promises, heartbreaks and inner turmoil, evoked by an irrevocable wreckage of a relationship that I was so dependent on. Looking back at the past few months, I was actually surprised that I have pulled through a rather difficult winter, thanks to the unwavering support from my friends and family (words fail me - how grateful I really am!) and my own little cocktail of happiness, containing -
*poetry, literature: Philip Larkin, George Orwell and Charles Bukowski were my saviours, for their sharp humour and sobering matter-of-fact tone
*fresh cut flowers, and read An Apple a Day for the most delightful arrangement
*tea with friends: make sure you have lots of tea, and meet up with lots of friends
*long walks, getaways: the pebble paths and starry sky of Cambridge, the quietude of the Heath - all sentimenatlity becomes a fleeting modality in the face of nature
*exercise, the biweekly swim in the middle of the day that makes me feel senior
*radio 3: for live jazz and monotonous book-reading to fall asleep with
Almost a hundred days later, I realise that the best way to heal is not to efface or evade from emotions, but to rise above them, ride on them as if they were waves - and to hold dearly the belief that, in the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Cannot believe I only stumbled upon Juliette Tang's most amazing collection of book photography today! I am in love with her juxtaposition of images and quotes, and how she illuminates the aesthetic front of a shared literary obsession.
Waking up with BBC radio 3 Breakfast at dawn when the black birds sing / Free flow of cups of Bettys Darjeeling tea / Reading more books already than 2011 altogether - got into Milan Kundera and Philip Larkin again / Wearing the Russell & Bromley loafers everywhere / Went to the Rothko in Britain exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery / Dined at the beautiful Terroirs (and need to go back again) / Lost the sheet containing my new year resolution already.