Tag Archives: Diana Vreeland

A very slow weekend

My weekend started at Osteria Antica Bologna in Northcote Road, a nice family run Italian restaurant where I enjoyed delicious scallops with lentil, apple and parsley salad accompanied by good wine and fabulous company. I actually tried to recreate the lentil salad but it wasn’t as good, truth be told I used the wrong kind of apple. If you are ever in Clapham Junction area do go, it’s a fantastic place for lunch, dinner or drink. Beware of a slow service but the wait will be worth it!

Saturday was all about food shopping and a very early spring cleaning of the flat, we have thrown out a bagful of old papers and organised a lot of cupboards. We also visited the local charity shop to offload some stuff where I couldn’t resist buying F.Scott Fitzgerald collection of short stories for 50p.

After last two weeks of ebay madness I hardly have things to get rid of which feels so good.

Sunday was spent on cooking and playing with my little niece. I baked Allegra McEvedy’s Swedish apple cake which is more of a pudding than a cake, especially when served with good vanilla ice cream. Very easy recipe, it takes about 10-15 minutes to put everything together and 50 min to bake.

Got to read a little too, Vogue and ELLE arrived, The Sunday Times had a good article on Mad Men which btw won the best drama at Golden Globes for the 3rd year in a row, well deserved!

I am reading Chekhov’s stories and this weekend I enjoyed Ward no6. I also got D.V. by Diana Vreeland which I am very much looking forward to. Following the Norman Parkinson show at Somerset House I decided to re-read The Golden Age of Couture – the book accompaniment to one of my favorite exhibitions.

I watched the rather bad Breaking and Entering (a total waste of time) and the very graphic yet beautifully shot Antichrist.

Few things I am looking forward to:

a visual feast of A Single Man thanks to Dan Bishop

visiting V&A to see Quilts, Grace Kelly and Horace Walpole shows, and might even pop in to see a rather intriguing sounding The Metropolitan Police Service’s Investigation of Fakes and Forgeries

Foal and Tuffin at Fashion and Textile Museum should be fun, along with a stroll down Bermondsey Street

William Eggleston at Victoria Miro Gallery

Irving Penn Portraits at NPG

whole lot of good stuff at the Tate Galleries

buying some plants – I quite like the idea of mother-in-law’s tongue in nice mid-century pots, at the moment I own no plants whatsoever, even my basil died so this will be a challenge.

A year of reading

I have not read a book for a bit which is very unusual for me. Maybe it is because I am forcing myself to read books I own and haven’t read yet, or perhaps I ditched the tube for a bike loosing up to 1h of valuable reading time a day.

Very often I read book after book and when I get to # 5 or 6 I can’t concentrate anymore and need a break. I don’t stop reading entirely but engage in magazines and short stories instead until the book hunger pang strikes again.


At the moment I am reading short stories by Chekhov, Bukowski and J.D. Salinger. Chekhov has been one of my most beloved writers forever, his elegant and pure style is a big part of my literary education. I read all Bukowski’s books in one go and got a slight overdose while reading his short stories but I reached for The Most Beautiful Woman in Town again and I am enjoying it a lot. As for Salinger, I loved Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey but couldn’t engage with his stories, I had a second approach at Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters this morning and I can’t wait to go back to it when I get a free moment.


My book pile is getting smaller and smaller, I was really hoping to be done with it by the end of the year but I really don’t think this will happen. The few books left to read are:

Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller

Ulysses (2 failed attempts – what I need is a right moment in the future)

The Corporation by Joel Bakan (not feeling it at all so might skip it)

The Faithful River by Zeromski

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

And a few books that I am planning to read afterward:

Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat and Travels with Charlie: In Search of America- I have to ration his books as they are so good!

Capote’s Summer  Crossing

Eggers’ Zeitoun

Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich

start on Proust

I’d like to try something by Anais Nin as never read her before and some of the Persephone classics


Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia and The Road to Wigan Pier, the only things I have not read by him and I adore him!

Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned and This Side of Paradise

Ayn Rand’s Anthem and also her biography, she fascinates me and if we are talking of amazing women I really must read D.V. by Diana Vreeland

A friend of mine mentioned a wonderful bookshop in the back streets of Wimbledon apparently piled with second hand classics for a song, I shall be visiting this treasure trove for sure.

Oh, almost forgot, I am also reading Jane Austen in Bath: Walking Tours of the Writer’s City by a wonderful publisher Little Bookroom. Have a look at their website as they have the most amazing and unusual guide books with true insider tips. I have read half of the Bath guide last night, city that I have been meaning to visit for a very long time, and need to plan a short weekend trip very soon given that is it only a couple of hours away. The book is beautifully illustrated and tells stories from Austen’s life while taking the reader through various parts of the city.


Looking back at 2009 I have not read that many books but the ones I’ve read were mostly very good. The favorite ones being:

Generation X by Douglas Coupland

Vonnegut’s stories, re-reading Slaughterhouse 5 and Mother Night- I went through some Vonnegut phase few months ago

The World of Coco Chanel

The Love in Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Tender is The Night and whole lot of Fitzgerald’s stories

High Rise by J.G. Ballard – I couldn’t stop thinking of the Trellick Tower, and a very good biography of Erno Goldfinger

Collected stories by Nikolai Gogol

Now it’s time for some festive fun, been listening to Billie Holiday’s album 40 Hits and it’s about the time to break for Christmas, starting at The Champion with some friends (lucky I didn’t cycle to work today!).