The Book I’m Reading: I’ll let you into a secret. I stopped reading books. I’ve only read one book in the past two months, instead going to sleep to the sound of a podcast or something soothing (such as an antiques programme) on iplayer. My head just felt full and overloaded with information – I really cannot remember the last time in my life this happened – so I took a reading break. I’ve been tempted back in by Karen Wheeler’s Sweet Encore, the fourth in a series of books about her life in rural France. Karen is an ex-fashion editor who upped sticks from London to discover an entirely different life. I suggest you start at the beginning of the quartet and you might as well put the others in your basket too because I will guarantee that, like Maltesers, you can’t stop at one. Her writing is relatable, honest and witty but the best thing is the occasional acid drops in the lavender where she reveals behind the scenes secrets of her former fashion life (hang your head in shame, Mr Armani). Karen’s books aren’t chick-lit, they’re life-lit and I hope that she just keeps on writing them because I’ll keep on reading. Karen’s books (in order) are: Tout Sweet: Hanging up my High Heels for A New Life in France, Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France, Tout Soul: The Pursuit of Happiness in Rural France and Sweet Encore. If you have a beach to sun yourself on, a pool to drape yourself next to or just a bed to lie in, I’d really recommend. The books are HERE.
Podcasts I’m Listening To: In a similar way to books, I’ve been slightly overwhelmed by the amount of podcasts I think I ‘should’ be listening to. So, I’ve pared it right back to the ones that don’t need my full concentration but are just enjoyable every time. Firstly, I love Stuff You Missed In History Class. They’re quite short, quirky looks at moments in history that will definitely have escaped your notice if you’re relying on school history to get you through. Topics such as Butter vs Margarine charts the strange attitude governments had to margarine and the lengths that people in the past had to go to to get hold of it. There’s also one about how Germany tried to ‘steal’ France’s fashion industry during the war – but mostly the team focus on historical oddities. Their website is HERE. I also like No Such Thing As Fish, HERE, from the team behind the facts at QI, so again, all the oddities of life but with a comedy twist. From Our Own Correspondent HERE looks at stories that usually don’t make the headlines but remind me that the world is huge – it’s more or less the only place I learn anything about foreign news rather that what’s happening on my doorstep. Totally an eye-opener. (Since I sorted my eyes out, I’ve been back wearing my Chanel sunglasses (yes, it’s an addiction) but worth mentioning Vestiaire Collective.. a member site that I quite often use because in certain cases I don’t mind pre-owned. Their Chanel sunglasses page is HERE and while still pricy, they’re a jolly sight less than in the shops).
Shoes I’ve Been Buying: At 5ft 3″, a pair of wedge trainers is a gift from the height gods! Something comfortable I can walk in that give me an extra couple of inches in stature – I have quite a collection now, exclusively so far from Converse, but I bought this Esprit pair last week and love them already. They’re a kind of burgundy shade and I don’t have anything similar but I know I’m going to get the same pair in black any second now! They’re £70 HERE.
Makeup I’ve Been Wearing: My daughter has had this 3ina nail shade (172) on her toes all summer and it turns out to be a bit addictive because I’ve been wearing on my fingernails all week. I really don’t want to take it off! It’s a kind of swimming pool blue that makes me think of holidays and sunshine (£4.95 HERE). I’ve also been wearing Bobbi Brown Buff Gloss non stop (£19.50 HERE), and again, I can’t stop wearing it for it’s perfection in being a non-wash-out nude shade that goes with no makeup and all makeup.
*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated