Tag Archives: London

Close to the Heart

21 Jul

I don’t know if lockets are on trend (unlikely), but ever since I visited Keats House in Hampstead, London, I’ve been a bit obsessed with them. I only have two to my name—a white gold and diamond one my parents got me for my thirtieth birthday and a silver one with multicolored stones my late-grandmother bought me years ago. Unfortunately, I never appreciated that one until recently. But back to Keats. I get all misty-eyed every time I think of Fanny Brawne’s locket that was encased in glass as to protect it and the tiny tuft of Keats’ hair, bound by thread, resting inside it. I know preserving things in such beautifully sentimental ways was common in the nineteenth century, but I just found myself taken aback by the romance of it all. I wanted to steal a piece of my husband’s hair and promptly insert it into a locket, but I didn’t have one at the time (and I’d forgotten about my grandmother’s). Now that I have two, I still haven’t done it. I’m thinking of putting my little girl’s hair in my grandmother’s locket, as my daughter is her namesake, and my husband’s in the diamond locket. Although perhaps it isn’t wise to be carrying around DNA these days . . .

I was searching for more lockets and found these—all wonderful in their own way.

I’m not that big a fan of the Tiffany Notes design on the outside of this. The white gold is too shiny for my taste, and the inscription is simply too heavy on the branding. However, the blue inside is just exquisite.

I really love the antique look of marcasite. I usually don’t bother with such large colored stones, but this shade of blush is so charming.

reminiscent of vintage nature illustrations

And I’ve never even attended Ren Faire. (“Gold-tone”—fancy!)

And then there were diamonds . . .

I’m on the fence about the heart pattern, but still find it very lovely.


Love, love, love the round shape.

That’s it for now. Nice to write something after my rather brief Internet hiatus (which was relaxing by the way—it’s amazing how much more calm I am without having the weight of everyone else’s lives on my shoulders). Also impressive that the spam sites kept visitors coming.


Ren Faire for Genteel Cyclists?

17 Jun

If you caught my previous entry, “An Elegant Bicycle,” which I nearly typed in as “En Elegant Bicycle” (good morning, grey matter!), you know that I’ve quite suddenly caught cycling fever, if only because a dignified-looking bike and some smart shoes simply make the whole practice appear so effortless and pleasurable. It wouldn’t even be appropriate to use the word cycling if I’m doing it. Leisurely pedaling, perhaps. Slow ride . . . take it easy. Although, I’m almost certain the latter is about something else.

Anyhow . . . as I was flitting about the WWW, researching high-priced leather seats and other accoutrements that would help round out this likely fleeting passion, I happened upon a little something called Tweed Run, currently in its second year in London, but making its way to New York and Toronto this fall. It’s touted as a “metropolitan bicycle ride with a bit of style,” and as you can see from the photos below, participants fully embrace the motto, don their best Jeeves and Wooster getups, and pedal into the sunset.

Photo © murphyz on flickr

Photo © murphyz on flickr

Do you suppose any bit of their ensembles was purchased at H&M?

Oh, and here’s the great flier artwork:

Missed it, darn it!

Am I the only one who thinks this looks ridiculously fun—apart from the possibility of getting flattened by a double-decker bus? Or, is it actually a bit Ren Faire-ish, and we’re pretending it isn’t because mustached hipsters dressed as Victorian gentleman are riding vintage bicycles around, and that’s hopelessly charming? (Actually, as a rule, I don’t do mustaches; but in this case, it kind of works.) Will vintage Raleighs soon become part of the Urban Outfitters catalog alongside turntables, Lomo cameras, and fixed gear bikes? Probably. Oh well. Go me for catching on a hundred years too late. It doesn’t matter much where I live, anyway.

The more and more I carry on with delving in and out of interests, the more I believe I must’ve been a gentleman of yore. But that’s another story for another time.