(via The Nifty Fifties)
Hello, welcome back! I hope you had a very lovely Christmas break. I thought this image was a great way to herald the start of 2011. It's called Lights of London and was painted by Ruskin Spear in 1951, the year of the Festival of Britain. 2011, of course, is the 60th anniversary of the Festival and this anniversary already seems to have inspired some great contemporary designs such as Lizzie Allen's Festival of Britain print and the Mini Moderns Festival wallpaper and I'm looking forward to seeing more in the coming months. The Festival of Britain aimed to offer hope to a country recovering from the ravages of the Second World War and celebrated all that was new and shiny. That sense of optimism is a great way to think about any new year - don't the lights in this picture just twinkle with anticipation?
I came back to London last Wednesday from time out at my parent's place in the middle of nowhere. I do always enjoy a long break over Christmas as I immerse myself in books and magazines and clothes and basically revert to being an introverted, daydreaming teenager for a couple of days. There's something about time out of the general busy of London life that helps me think that bit differently, even if it's just putting clothes together in a slightly different way or being able to devote myself fully to a book (Patti Smith was this year's absolute favourite, a Last-Year Reading will follow next week). I always come back filled with ideas and raring to go. The Southbank was actually one of my first points on this year's return to the city, as Mr S and I went to the BFI to see The Shop Around the Corner. Watch it if you have a chance - it's a perfect 1940s treat, set in a shop in pre-war Budapest with exactly the right levels of romance and wit. It had me ready to have Christmas all over again!
I've already spent a bit of time writing about my schemes and dreams for the coming year here so I won't rehash them here. I've already taken some small steps to achieving a few of those things and I've a feeling 2011 is going to be fast, furious, exciting and perhaps a little messy too. I can't wait! Happy new year everyone!