Whitstable

Diary , 30 June 2014

The Sea, The Sea (& Other Stories)

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Notting Hill by Day

Monday / I am always pleased when meetings take me to my former neighbourhood; Notting Hill still looks very pretty indeed. Before heading to Granger & Co to interview a skincare expert over courgette fritters and avocado, I took a stroll around Westbourne Grove where all the shiny shops did their best to tempt me into making purchases (I resisted, sort of – as the groceries I bought in Daylesford’s are healthsome, they hardly count as an indulgence and I therefore only felt mildly naughty after handing over what seemed like a lot of cash for some paltry grains).

Playing in the garden with the labrador

Tuesday / Maggie the labrador makes her boredom known when I sit at the computer all day. During breaks, I make an effort to frolic with her in the garden in an attempt to buoy her spirits. After playing with the ball last week, she simply refused to accompany me back into the house, pleading instead for some company in the great outdoors. I was all too happy for the excuse to stay out in the sun for an extra few minutes, during which I was reminded of the unique joy of spending time with a canine – Maggie has no comprehension of deadlines or of the concept of a work day, her entire being is instead enveloped in waves of excitement at the smell of a fox, the sound of a ball bouncing nearby and the sensation of grass underpaw.

Bill's Brewer Street Review

Wednesday / Following a few hectic few hours of dashing around town attending launches, I met an old friend and writer for Cosmo Sophie for dinner at Bill’s in Soho. After denouncing diets (we are both bridesmaids this summer), we persisted with them, skipping pudding and loading up on carb-free options instead. And wine. D’oh.

Jane Iredale Interview

Thursday / This is Jane Iredale, the extremely accomplished creator of the eponymous Jane Iredale make-up range. I headed to town to see her speak about how a failure in her former career as a producer in Hollywood lead to an opportunity to found her company. She believes set backs are just that – simply an opportunity to pause and reassess. During my interview with her, Jane reminded me several times of the importance of working not only to advance not only oneself but also to bring value to others’ lives. I left her company inspired and energised.

Littlehampton Beach Feature

Friday / The Body Shop invited me to visit their HQ in Littlehampton, West Sussex. After a tour of the offices (housed in a rather eccentric pagoda chosen by Anita Roddick) and talks with the team about their charitable and fair trade activities, I went to the nearby beachside to take in some of the sunshine. Littlehampton is a small town that grew in popularity during the Victorian era – the parts I saw were charming and quaint, though in need of a facelift.

Blackfish Film Review

Saturday / As a young girl I loved the film Free Willy and as a result was interested in orca welfare and well aware of the compromised quality of their lives in captivity. When a friend told me to watch this film, I was all too eager to see how the situation of orcas in captivity had progressed. It transpired that there has barely been any progression at all. This staggering documentary is a must-watch for anyone concerned about animal rights. By the time it finished I was equally horrified that Seaworld continued to operate and that anyone on the planet could be complicit in the captivity of such an intelligent species.

Whitstable Beach Review

Sunday / A second trip to the British seaside in one week felt extremely indulgent and also slightly topical, given my feelings about seeing wildlife in the wild (though catching sight of an orca was a little much to hope for). The beach of choice was Whitstable, where my husband and I spent a blustery day visiting friends. The wind drove us inside, so we nipped into the Old Neptune for a warming drink before embarking on the drive back to London.

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