Sundays: Greenwich Park

A Sunday in the park is probably the epitome of relaxation and restoration for a week ahead. As I’ve touched on here before, Greenwich is one of my favourite places all year around. It will always have such a special place in my heart and I just love it. The pavilion is the perfect place to duck into for some tea and chips -not your typical Sunday lunch but so so good!

Cheerio for now!

Wes Anderson-Inspired Reads

Now I know it’s odd to say, but the first half of the year I class as my ‘Wes Anderson time’. It sounds odd but from January until around the end of May is a time when the weather in England is unpredictable (when isn’t it) I like to dive into new but familiar territory. Having usually just listened to the same Christmas tunes year in, year out, when January rolls around I like to revisit and become reacquainted with familiar things like my favourite films such as The Grand Budapest Hotel whilst also delving into newer territory. This for me means sticking with the thing I love but in other formats. I did this recently with Schitt’s Creek by reading the book Best Wishes, Warmest Regards; so it felt only natural to try it with The Grand Budapest Hotel too.

Now I must admit, this is my favourite film by Wes Anderson so I do clutch onto it big time but I am really trying to verse myself in the rest of his works too and I do still have a ways to go. In the mean time though, it doesn’t hurt to take comfort in books that are a bit ‘Wes Anderson‘ too.

The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Matt Zoller Seitz & Anne Washburn

I won’t go too into this book as I did only recently write a whole, rambling post about it; so instead here’s the link to that here. What I will say though, this book is beautiful. It’s a behind the scenes look at all things The Grand Budapest Hotel and goes into such depth discussing the process of making the film. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves Anderson, the film or even anyone with an interest in storytelling or movie-making.

The Society of Crossed Keys: Selections from the Writings of Stefan Zweig, Inspirations for The Grand Budapest Hotel, by Stefan Zweig, Wes Anderson & Anthea Bell

This little pink book is a compilation by Anderson showing his appreciation of Zweig’s work and showcasing his favourite pieces by him. It includes a conversation with Anderson talking about how Zweig’s work inspired him; and you can definitely read certain details in the pieces themselves which really spoke or inspired certain elements. It includes Zweig’s last work ‘The World of Yesterday’ which is nostalgic in its details of a bygone Europe. All of the pieces in this collection are deeply philosophical and thought-provoking in there musings. I wouldn’t say it’s a light read but if you have the time and the patience, I think it’s worth a read.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Screenplay), Wes Anderson

This is what it says on the tin – screenplay of the film. One of my favourite things about The Grand Budapest Hotel is the writing. I think I’ve said it before but the writing has such a musicality to it that I absolutely love so this is such a great read for me. While the plot is inspired by the workings of Stefan Zweig and the film displays a bygone era of sophistication through its visuals, the writing and characters are still so wonderfully portrayed through simply reading the screenplay. It helps that the film is sectioned into parts like ‘Part 1: M. Gustave‘, like it was purposely made to be read. While I do love this book, I do wonder if someone could enjoy it without never watching the film.

Accidentally Wes Anderson, Wally Koval

This book was actually a birthday gift that I welcomed with open-arms, and squealing slightly. It’s beyond beautiful and is absolutely flawless in its curation. This book is somewhat a coffee-table book with the majority of it being full of vibrant photography. It’s a bit of a photo project with the composer Koval being sent these photos from all over the globe from individuals who also recognise and appreciate how settings so common place can be accidentally Wes Anderson. Koval then compiles written excerpts to accompany the photography which I found so fascinating. He included the history of some of the along with little, personal anecdotes which was lovely. It truly is the perfect book for escapism!

This book is very much the aesthetic of Anderson with the photography all checking those necessities for symmetrical lines, tiny but quirky places and pastel tones contrasted by bright blue skies. There’s definitely a mix of polished places and then the shabbier, more run down spots but all tie together under that umbrella of whimsical charm. Although, I will say some photos can feel a little eerie and ghost-town like with their lack of humanity in the shots.

The book is laid out by the photographed places area in the world, with each section beginning with a numbered map. Some of the places are more historical with the written sections appreciating their history while others are more dry and just outright comical in their commentary of the place. All of the places within are somewhat off the beaten track which is something I really love. While I think an Anderson fan would love this book, I think anyone with an interest in photography or architecture, or even just someone who enjoys flicking through a good book with beautiful, crisp photography shots and great colour palettes, would love this book. It’s a welcomed and well-loved addition to my home library.

What is something you like to revisit in new ways? Let me know.

Cheerio for now!

Best Wishes, Warmest Regards

Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: The Story of Schitt’s Creek, by Daniel Levy

It was towards the end of 2020 that I watched Schitt’s Creek and got into it in a BIG way. I binged it like it was my form of oxygen and fell in love with everything about it. Fast forward to the latter half of last year, I noticed that there was a hardback, coffee-table style book being released in October and I immediately squealed with joy whilst also sending a link to my boyfriend. He took the hint and I received it for Christmas which I was so over the moon with.

This book was beautifully curated. It had everything from interviews with the cast and crew members to photography of behind the scenes and the sets, to illustrations and fan art to even letters the show has received from their loving, supportive fans. It’s honestly a must-have for any Schitts Creek fan!

You’re so cool. You just stand your solid ground, refusing to be anything but you.

Moira Rose (to Stevie Budd)

The first section of the book is comprised of a collection of pieces of writing on each character, written by the actors who play that character (so Annie Murphy writes about Alexis Rose); which I enjoyed reading so much. All of the writing in this book was amazing but reading the amount of thought that went into becoming these characters was really quite fascinating. There was also part of this section that introduced the town of Schitt’s Creek, or more so the sets, as a character too. The amount of thought that went into every single detail about the sets, even those that were seemingly small and insignificant, was just astounding to me. There were also interviews with the crew members throughout, discussing their reasoning for certain backdrops and decisions they made that turned out to be iconic for the show. For me that’s the decor of the Rosebud Motel, that blue/teal accent wall gets my diy heart aflutter.

The rest of the book was broken down into seasons, touching on certain episodes while going into more depth with others. They didn’t touch on every single episode but I’m pretty sure they got all the iconic ones and even some of the ones I found to be more underrated. These sections were comprised of breakdowns of the episodes and scenes, including original scripts, behind the scenes facts and photography. I think the interviews included were probably my favourite written parts of the book. Reading the dynamic between certain actors, or the actors and crew members, really made me realise why Schitt’s Creek turned out in the amazing way that it has. They just got everything SO right.

Out of the episode breakdowns, I’d say I enjoyed the one with Patrick coming out to his parents the most. It was lovely to read about the process of creating that episode, and reading how delicate and thoughtful they wanted to be while approaching it. Other’s I enjoyed were The Hike and reading about the origins of those four gold rings, and then also the creation of ‘Building the Show Within a Show‘ (Cabaret). I also loved reading the behind the scenes details about ‘the’ dress and the chaos surrounding that, as well as how they created the iconic Papal-inspired look.

I can’t forget also that all the above mentioned was littered with illustrations and fan art on all facets of Schitt’s Creek. I don’t want to spoil it all but I can’t help but list some below:

  • The book titles of Schitt’s Creek, and who they’re read by throughout; think Stevie sitting at her desk (really nice little Easter eggs I try to catch now when I rewatch).
  • Moriacabulary: all those great little words she comes out with, like bébé, Podunk, pettifogging, and jabberwocky (which happens to be my favourite poem so I really love that they used this word).
  • A breakdown of the Jazzagals performances.
  • The complete collection of Moira’s wigs – in beautiful watercolour illustrations.
  • The world according to David Rose – what is correct and incorrect.
  • The complete looks of Moira Rose – we’re talking every single look. That’s a lot of black and white!
  • A world map of ‘The Adventures of Alexis Rose’, with numbered locations and her one-liner references to them (just as hilarious in writing as on the screen).
  • David Roses complete collection of knits… amazing how they all fit in that custom built wooden trunk that Mutt built him.

I’m sure there’s so much more I missed but this book was just well and truly gorgeous to me. I absolutely loved it and cannot recommend it enough to fellow Schitt’s Creek fans (also if they wanna be friends with me and have long-winded discussions about it, hit me up!).

Also, if you are a fan and you haven’t noticed (highly unlikely) there’s a documentary-styled show on Netflix under the same title as this book, Best Wishes, Warmest Regards, which also goes through the making of the show but in quite an intimate, moving way. I could’ve cried at multiple times throughout it so I’d recommend that also.

Let me know what you thought of this book, and the documentary too.

Cheerio for now!

Photo Diary: Graduation

I Finally Graduated!

After six years of studying and two years of Covid – I graduated! It’s hard to really put into words how I feel about my graduation. It was a long, emotional day at the Barbican Centre in London but it was so worth it and felt like a real feather being placed in my cap. It’s quite an overwhelming range of emotions that I’ve felt – especially given that so much of my degree I achieved studying at night or sitting up in my bed. Even though, I can’t quite put how I feel into words right now, I still wanted to share some photos here.

Cheerio for now!

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Matt Zoller Seitz

This post is about the book, which is all about the film and how it was made so there will be spoilers ahead! …also, as the natural-born overwriter that I am, I do go on a tangent about the film and why I absolutely love it. You have been warned.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is quite honestly one of my favourite films of all time. It’s the perfect tale within a tale within a tale; with multiple layers to its storytelling which make it such a rich film. There’s so many reasons why it’s such an amazing film, and they differ so much depending on who you ask. For some it’s that iconic pink hotel front and the funicular, the exquisite Mendl’s pastries, that pristine purple uniform that cuts such a dashing silhouette, or even that dresser-top fully stocked with L’air Panache (and how effortlessly that rolls off ones tongue). For others, it’s the darker elements of the film. The chase scenes with Jopling as dramatic music pounds in the background, his skull-shaped knuckle-dusters, the prison scenes and a seemingly never-ending rope ladder; not to mention, a head in a delivery box, a dead cat in a hessian sack, and four-missing fingers. While I love all the above, The Grand Budapest is my favourite for other reasons.

The writing is amazing. There’s a familiarity to the language and a warmth that’s unparalleled for me. It has a musicality to it that just gives me all the warm and fuzzy feels, and are just so unforgettable. I think the way that the writing has been performed also has a big hand in why I love it so much. The quick-fire way that it is reeled off, especially from characters like M. Gustave; so poetic and thoughtful yet sometimes steers into sounding more like a ranting sailor than his usual gentleman-fashion.

I think his world had vanished long before he ever entered it… but, I will say: he certainly sustained the illusion with a marvellous grace!

Mr Moustafa

If you look further than the facade of the aesthetically-pleasing colour schemes and whimsically, fantastic characters, you realise the events at face-value are quite dire but there’s much more blood and gore involved. My boyfriend is a movie-lover and often mentions the films his dad introduced him to, and what ones he will one day introduce our kids too. It was only when I thought about this myself that I realised this film, while wonderfully colourful and somewhat comedic in areas, it’s actually probably a bit too much for a child to watch.

Now to the book…

This book is almost a window into how this masterpiece film was made. It’s a behind the scenes look with conversations with everyone varying from Anderson himself, to the actors, set designers, cinematographers, costume design, the film’s composer, and so many others. It also includes stunning photography, personal accounts and funny anecdotes as well as some amazing illustration and artwork.

I absolutely love the detailed costumes and vibrant colours, mixed with laid out backdrops in a perfect, symmetrical fashion. Anyone who knows Andersons work knows he’s so visually precise and meticulous with his cinematography. The film has different stages to it, all with frame changes depending on where or what era that portion of the film is set in which is something I think you enjoy and notice more when rewatching it. Each time I watch it I notice something else I missed before so reading about the cinematography and the decisions concerning all the camera work was really interesting for me.

This book is a must for every Wes Anderson aficionado! It contains so much insight when it came to not only the inspiration and sources for the story itself but also the process of storytelling, art and film-making too. It truly discusses every single element of the film and the inner-workings of making something great.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Cheerio for now!

((I must apologise for rambling on for soo damn long, but if you couldn’t tell-I bloody love this film! It is and probably will remain one of my absolute favourites forever!))

Knitting Lately…

Last year was such a roaring success with my reading challenge that I really wanted to try and set myself a goal with knitting this year. Now, it’s hard to set a numeral goal with knitting for me but mentally I set myself a goal in terms of where I am as a knitter and what I want to learn this year. I mentioned in my knitting projects I’d like to work on this year post that I really want to work on improving my colour work skills this year. Having said that, I also really want to use up a lot of my yarn stash as it’s getting out of hand. I have materials which I have bought to do a project but never got around to doing it and then I have projects I started but never completed. And that’s what I have spent this portion of the year doing so far.

I finished the scarf I was making for a friend back at the beginning of February, which turned out so much better than I could’ve anticipated. She seemed happy with it and I haven’t heard any complaints yet so I’m pleased with that. It’s definitely inspired me a bit to plunge into some freestyle knitting more in the future which I’m planning to do with my colour work practise soon.

I finished a special project that I have been working on for someones birthday but unfortunately I can’t go into more detail about that just yet. I have taken photos and will share them in time so stay tuned for those!

I completed my Simply the Vest kit that I received for Christmas from bearded boyfriend so I can wear that now *clapping hands*. The shade of Emerald turned out so much better then I could’ve hoped for and I’m really looking forward to wearing it as we enter the transitional months. The sweater vest is quickly becoming a wardrobe staple I think everyone should have at their disposal.

I finally remade the Bubble Stitch Cardigan by PaintBox Yarns. I made this pattern, in these colours last year. It was such a disappointment because it turned out to be ridiculously too big for me. I had completely overestimated how much covid weight I had gained so I unpicked it and put the yarn away to try again another time. This is that do-over. It turned out beautiful. This 2.0 version was how I had envisioned it to be the first time around but so much better because I had worked double as hard to earn it. I also love how the colours turned out together. They compliment one another so well and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s going to make a great, colourful addition to my wardrobe.

As I mentioned previously, I received the pony beads for my birthday to do this top so I have been slowly working my way through completing this. I’m currently on one of the front panels and have completed the back panel too so I’m getting through it quite nicely. Stay tuned!

That is what I have been working on and have completed lately. I’ll update you as the year goes on.

Cheerio for now!

knitting projects I’d like to work on this year

Knitting has definitely became a saving grace for me throughout the beginning of the pandemic and ever since has just become an inherent part of my life now. It has done wonders for my anxiety to the point where my hands now feel a bit restless if I try to watch Netflix without knitting.

While there’s a lot of projects below, I’m using this post as a bit of a landing page for me to remind myself of all the great projects I could start when I complete something but also to keep it real in comparing projects. I’m trying to be a more sustainable knitter and what that means to me is knitting things that I may already have the wool for but that also align with my style and what I would actually wear in my day-to-day life. Some of the items below I know I have the materials for but I would be making them for friends or family members and it would merely be for my own practise rather than my own wardrobe. Although I know that I won’t be able to make all of the below this year, I still wanted to share these patterns with you lovely lot incase there’s any budding knitters out there who might benefit from these patterns.

I should note that this is in no particular order of importance, etc – I’ve simply listed them as I thought of them.

The Projects

-The first project I’m working on this year is a piece commissioned by a best friend of mine. I got a message and photo over the festive period asking if I could make her a scarf like the one she had seen on instagram. She wanted pastel tones mixed with a bubblegum pink so I’ve been working on that for her and I’m working towards that being complete by mid-late February.

-For Christmas I was gifted two knit kits by Lauren Aston Designs; the ‘Simply the Vest‘ and the Dreamy Oversized Cardigan. I’ve done some knit kits by LAD before and love working with their super chunky yarn so I’m really looking forward to completing these kits. I’ll be making the vest in Emerald green and the cardigan in Ruby red.

-I have this unfinished project from last year, Miffy and her balloon; all I need to do is knit her dress and then that will be complete.

-I made this Bubble-stitch Cardigan last year but it turned out waayyy too big (my mom and her friend both fit in it at the same time!) so it was quickly unravelled it and stored away the materials. I’d like to try it again this year, paying more attention to the sizing and my tension gauge. I would say this is the main project that I would really like to complete this year.

-I got this pattern last autumn and then received pony beads for my birthday for this project so I really wanna get this made by early spring. The pattern requires Aran yarn which I find has more body and structure to it and while it’s only a simple stocking stitch, I wonder if it would be a good option for spring time. I have a navy wool I’d like to work with and then do multi-coloured beading throughout.

-I bought this cross-stitch pattern on Etsy just under a year ago to work on for my granddad who loves VW Beetles and is a huge Herbie fan. I started this project last year and I’m about two-thirds through it so it shouldn’t be long until it is complete now.

-I would really like to work on my colour-working a bit more this year. Last year I made this Rainbow Cardigan by Paintbox Yarns (the adult version though) which I love but it was definitely a learning curve for me with the colour-work. This year I’d love to expand on that a bit more. I made this Beetlejuice hat last year but I think I’d like to try this Grinch hat this year and then maybe take a go at making this stocking.

-Speaking of Christmas, I would really like to make the members of my family something for the festive season ’22. I’m not talking something big like ugly Christmas jumpers, maybe something like a bobble hat or even cracker crowns – I have a crown pattern from LAD so this would be a pretty easy project to do with minimal effort… and it could be something we keep for each year.

Extras

-I would like to make a cardigan or jumper to add to my collection but I’m unsure of whether I want it to be plain or patterned. I have a few plain options saved like this Basket Weave cardigan pattern and this Nonna Manmi cardigan pattern. I love how textured these pieces look, and I think it’s always good to practise different stitch patterns; especially factoring in gauge tensions, etc. I do however, really love the look of this Moon & Sun jumper (I’d probably do it in a navy and mustard), this Astro Vest but I have been going back and forth whether to take the plunge and do the JW Colour block Patchwork Cardigan that Harry Styles made oh so famous and fabulous. I go back and forth on this piece as the colours aren’t typically something I’d wear myself but I don’t know what other colour palette I would do it in – it does look like a really cozy fit of pattern though… what a conundrum.

-I have been following Alix Kramers work for some time. I absolutely love her Spoonie Top, but all her vest designs are so beautiful and on point for me. I would love to give either her checkerboard Grace’s vest a go or her Eat the Rich Vest – which always makes me smile. I do also love her Pop Art Cardigan Design. I just think she’s so insanely talented and would love to try her patterns out.

-Another great vest is this Space Face pattern by Andrea Arts on Ravelry. I’d really love to have a whirl at this at some point in the future.

-I recently bought this Coraline-inspired jumper pattern on Etsy. In some ways this is quite similar to the Moon & Star jumper that I previously mentioned – maybe I’m going through a star phase? I think before I do either of these projects, I’ll have to compare them and see which I’d prefer to do. I know this Coraline jumper pattern calls for use of both merino and mohair yarn which I believe I have only used two yarns at the same time once on a small project, so this is something I should think about.

-I’d like to try knit some sort of baby/child’s item like this cardigan… not expecting, just to try out some baby yarn work.

-And finally, I always have the goal of trying to learn how to crochet at some point. I say this mainly because I would love to be able to do granny-square projects but also I love the look of these patterns too: the last of us Ellie & Joel, Coraline Doll, and Shrunken Head Guy. We’ll see though. I’m so used to knitting now I wonder if I’d even be able to adapt to crocheting.

So that’s quite a long list – I definitely have some favourites and some patterns that I am mentally prioritising but I’m looking forward to just seeing how the year plays out. Stay tuned

Cheerio for now!