Sunday, 23 August 2009

Naturally sensible style - it's Hatastic!

I thought I’d celebrate a lovely late summer day in London by waxing lyrical about the wonders of nature here along the River Thames. The other day I spotted a dragonfly on my terrace, which was a really wonderful surprise – and makes up for the legions of nasty mosquitoes and irritating little flies that seem to come our way. This year there have also been quite a few more butterflies, although apart from the odd Red Admiral, it’s mainly been Cabbage Whites (click on the pics to enlarge).

There are plenty of birds by the river as well. There were goldfinches nesting in my sixth floor olive tree - and we even had a visit from a friendly robin the other day. Down on the river, there are wagtails, swans, cormorants, ducks, geese, seagulls, crows and herons – plus massive flocks of starlings and swallows that flit from bridge to bridge and across the rooftops every evening at this time of year (see above) ... though I'm never quite fast enough to capture the perfect photograph of thousands in flight.

I won’t mention the pigeons as, thankfully, they’re probably better catered for elsewhere in town – or in the nearby park, where I’ve seen a lady throwing bag loads of breadcrumbs to them.

Talking of which, my mother recently went on holiday to Devon and came back laden with bursting plastic bags full of huge pebbles and shells from the beach, which she collected for me to 'decorate' my outdoor plant pots with (thanks Mum - good job you didn’t go abroad, as the plane would probably have fallen out of the sky under the weight).

Equally inspired by nature is the inventive British milliner, Chloe Haywood, whose Hatastic! fascinators are currently available at ShopCurious. If you’ve a late summer wedding to attend, a dressy garden party, or any posh event, (indoors or out), one of these beautifully handmade creations could be just the thing to set off your outfit.

The hats are individually made using recycled pieces of vintage fabric and quirky bits and bobs found by the designer – and each one is totally unique, so you won’t suffer the embarrassment of someone else turning up in the same design. Eco-friendly, reasonably priced and totally timeless, these curiously cute little fascinators simply ooze sensible style. What’s more, they’re really unusual too, so you’re bound to end up with lots of interesting comments from all sorts of curious types…

In the words of that great social butterfly Oscar Wilde, ‘there’s only one thing worse than being talked about …’

Are you?

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