Archive | May, 2011

Random moment of inspiration… Cargo, Shoreditch

18 May

cargo, shoreditch, club, graffiti, drunk, inspiration

Never be someone else’s slogan, because you are poetry.

You know how everything seems more profound when you’re drunk? Yeah… But I still like it, and it’s still going up. Plus I think toilet graffiti has really moved on since the days of ‘call 0754345434543543 for a good time’. In fact, it was a piece of toilet graffiti that convinced me to change jobs recently. And now look at me, writing about toilets! For the world to see! I’ve made it!

Anyone else ever spotted anything surprisingly poetic in a weird place?!


Today I would quite like to be… Alice Gold

16 May

Flipping love this. Makes me want to grow a fringe, wear a floaty dress and skip down the streets of Montmartre. C’est top x

Bookish: Daphne du Maurier’s The Doll

6 May

The Doll: Short Stories by Daphne du Maurier (paperback), out now, £8.99

Du Maurier fans were thrilled earlier this year when five ‘lost’ stories were discovered in the author’s hometown of Cornwall. Published in a new collection with eight other tales, the surprisingly dark stories look set to shed new light on the writer’s work and the influences behind her masterpiece, Rebecca. But are they any good?

‘The Doll’ is definitely the most shocking of the new collection. Written when du Maurier was 21, it’s the tale of a man’s intoxicating obsession with a beautiful violinist. When he walks in on his lover with someone else, it’s not another man – but a mechanical male doll complete with sinister eyes and crude red lips. Pretty outrageous stuff now, never mind in 1928. Click here to get a fix of the freaky stuff.

Sex is a surprisingly important theme in the stories, with du Maurier treating it either with humour – as seen in the slapstick comedy of ‘Frustration’ – or violence. A woman pregnant out of wedlock commits suicide; an adulterous wife meets a grisly end. Love is described as over-romanticised and ephemeral, exemplified in the evolving tone of one-sided correspondence in ‘And His Letters Grew Colder’.

But if the stories are cynical, they don’t feel moral; they are instead brilliantly astute little pieces of fiesty fiction, complete stories and fleshed-out characters succinctly rounded off in ten pages or so, perfectly showcasing du Maurier’s startling talent for creating suspense and intrigue.

 All the stories were written before du Maurier turned 24, and fans of Rebecca will love spotting the fledgling themes. The violinist in ‘The Doll’ is named Rebecca, surely the first draft of the character that would go on to haunt du Maurier’s most famous novel, and there’s also the first mention of ‘The Happy Valley’.

But new readers will be just as enthralled – du Maurier’s haunting world of malnourished prostitutes, narcissistic vicars, red-lipped mannequins and adulterous wives is the most riveting short story collection I’ve read in a long time.

Here’s a quick synopsis of each of the 5 new stories:

The Doll – ”Is it possible to love someone so much, that it gives one a pleasure, an unaccountable pleasure to hurt them?’ Boy meets girl, girl loves sex doll. Basically your classic anti-love story there.

East Wind – Island inhabitants living a happy but mundane existence until the east wind brings the arrival of sailors who will change everything. Evocative, sexy, violent stuff.

The Limpet – Story of a scarily manipulative young girl who grows into an even scarier and even more manipulative adult. More of a social critique, this one.

And His Letters Grew Colder – A series of letters from a man to his married lover chart the excitement of seduction and the disappointment of love gone cold.

The Happy Valley – A sneak peek into one of the first glimpses of Rebecca’s ironically titled ‘Happy Valley’. Superbly creepy.


2 May

Ok so the book situation in my flat is reaching critical. It’s got to the stage now where I can’t look at any part of any room without seeing a book wedged onto a shelf / sitting on a dresser / hiding under the sofa. In fear of suffering from a claustrophobic attack, I am GIVING THE BOOKS AWAY! I’m a bit gutted that I won’t be able to read a lot of these new books (I’m a reviewer for a UK magazine and get sent copies of the latest books for free – I KNOW!!) , but there just aren’t enough hours in the day nor enough cubic metres in my flat. Just write to me at and let me know what genre you’re into (crime/chick lit/ lit fiction/comedy/memoirs/non fiction/ authors you like / other books you’ve enjoyed) along with your address, and I’ll send you a little parcel of joy (UK people only I’m afraid, postage is ridiculous!). All I ask in return is that you write a little review of the book that I can post on this site. Authors include Kate Morton, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jackie Collins, Amy Chua, Esther Freud…

I look forward to hearing from you!