Archive | January, 2011

This is just to say: William Carlos Williams

16 Jan

This is many people’s favourite poem and it has intrigued me why it has such a cheering effect. Is it the simplicity? Is it the mundane made extraordinary that makes it so sparkling? Is it the subject of a forbidden delight that we can identity with? What do you think? –


This is just to say

I have eaten

the plums

that were in the icebox


and which you were probably


for breakfast


Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold.


Autumn Neutral Makeup

16 Jan

Estée Lauder Signature Eyeshadow Quad Sand

16 Jan

These quads have perfect neutrals and there is one in the range to suit all eye colours. For dark eyes I suggest this one: No 1 Sand. The colours all have a subtle shimmer (no glitter) – a lovely daytime quad. The baby pink and beige are neutrals that compliment brown eyes especially. The white highlight is very pigmented and shows up really well in the corner of the eyes and under the brow. The darker coffee colour looks fabulous to contour in the crease and can be used as a lighter eyeliner. The packaging is very sturdy, navy blue plastic with plenty of gold glamour. It comes with two double-ended brushes. The mirror is gloriously large!

A Broken Appointment: Thomas Hardy

15 Jan

You did not come,

And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb.

Yet less for loss of your dear presence there

Than that I thus found lacking in your make

That high compassion which can overbear

Reluctance for pure lovingkindness’ sake

Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,

You did not come.


You love not me,

And love alone can lend you loyalty;

– I know and knew it. But, unto the store

Of human deeds divine in all but name,

Was it not worth a little hour or more

To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came

To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be

You love not me?

From this beautiful poem came the title of Claire Tomalin’s biography of Thomas Hardy, The Time-Torn Man. The biography itself is delightful and certainly the one of choice for anyone interested in Hardy.  The plaintive, echoing lines that frame the stanzas capture his sense of loss. The certainty of the ‘you did not come’ in comparison with the progressively less certain second stanza increases the effect of this insecurity. I have quoted this poem from the Penguin edition of poems selected by Claire Tomalin, which The Sunday Times described as, ‘Some of the loveliest poems in the English language’. This edition is lovely indeed in itself, with a cream background and a flowing pattern of soft red flowers and leaves with gold writing. It is almost pocket sized – it certainly fits into my handbag – and is a lovely indulgence for a commute, break or tea time treat.


Nails Inc Duchess Street: Review

15 Jan

Doesn’t the name Duchess Street just make your nails sound fabulous? I love brands that use fun names: Benefit, Nars, Nails Inc, Mac. This is a lovely deep purple. It’s very blue in tone. I’ve found it best over Kensington Caviar base coat and apply it quite thickly, otherwise the colour will go streaky. With a top coat this lasts me nearly a week. The top coat in the photos is a Caviar glitter – pretty!