Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Yesterday, according to Isobel (nearly six), was ‘Insect’ Day, which is why my sister and I thought it would be a great idea to take her, Zach (three) and Elodie and Alana (19 and 14 weeks), to The Natural History Museum to see the dinosaurs. It was a great idea, but when you have a toddler who wants to be carried before you've even finished buying the train tickets, two enormous prams, a million stairs and no lifts, your enthusiasm quickly loses its lustre. But it’s ok, we thought. Because once we do get there it will just be us rattling around that giant museum like five smug little ball bearings. Since it was inset day surely we’d have the run of the place, because all the other kids were back at school, right? Yep, back at school, and celebrating that fact with a day trip to The Natural History Museum apparently...
Ten hours later, a shell of my former self with rows of unruly pupils in fluorescent jackets flashing before my eyes, I needed a soothing activity before being woken up at 3am for the night feed. Now I'd not actually been to The Natural History Museum since I was on one of those school trips myself, flying around with my fluffy bob and a clipboard, sketching diagrams of volcanoes and wondering whether my £1.50 spending money would stretch to a pencil and a rubber shaped like a Diplodocus. I think I actually returned home with a jar of Stegosaurus Chutney which, having let my friends dip their fingers in on the coach journey home, I proudly gifted to my mum. Dinosaur flavoured relish aside, museum gift shops are actually little havens for quirky and original things, and last night I discovered that thanks to the wordwide web I don't even have to leave my sofa to shop them, let alone zone 6. How about:

This Stirr from The Science Museum (£12) which I think I must buy in order to achieve the perfect pancake batter on Tuesday (or some such other excuse)

Or this waterproof notebook, £10. I have LOTS of notebooks. So many that I actually had to tell people not to buy me any at Christmas because the pressure of filling all the pretty books on my shelf is just weighing me down. But what with the terrible weather this winter I think this waterproof notebook and pencil is almost an essential. I’m not quite sure how I’ve survived with the regular paper and lead sort. Honestly.

I love the V&A shop, it’s full of so many beautiful things, and this Pearl Ume Branch brooch, £85, by Michael Michaud would look amazing on a black dress, and particularly good inside a pretty little box addressed to me... 

One day, I would like an art wall with an eclectic mix of prints and old photographs and witty typography and old maps all artily displayed in mismatched frames. I think this limited edition print from Tom Frost, £60, would be a good start.

I'm not very good at dropping hints (see above), so I might also like this "Things you must do to make me happy" print from The Southbank Centre on said wall. A simple tick-box system equals the key to marital bliss. A bargain for just £5.99 don't you think?

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