November 30, 2010

So after weeks of fiddling with Tumblr, I couldn't get it to do what I wanted, so I've moved the spuds of my Dartmouth project to

November 28, 2010

Oh, Mr. Blobby

Last fall the Daily Mail did a story about the ruins of a Mr. Blobby theme park in Somerset. Especially sad: the trashed pink-and-yellow polka dot toilet.

Also, is it wrong that I kind of really want a vintage Mr. Blobby costume?

Found: Photo, circa 2000

Daylesford Organic: The Poshest Shop in England.

I was browsing through properties online this morning—as, you know, I do—and came across Whichford Manor (above), a nine-bedroom house in Banbury, Oxfordshire on the market for about $5.5 million. One of the main selling points of this estate—so significant that it's explicitly made a point of in the description—is that "The area is abundant with local pubs and restaurants including the renowned Daylesford Organic farm shop and spa." Of course, I had to Google "Daylesford Organic." After all, what's the big deal? I've never seen anyone try to sell a condo in New York on the fact that "It's just up the road from Barneys."


I don't know what rock I've been living under, but apparently Daylesford Organic is "the poshest shop in England," according to The Independent.
It's a bit like accidentally wandering out of the economy cabin of grocery shopping into first class.

So popular has Daylesford proved with Cotswold high-fliers, that a whole scene and mythology has grown up around it. Liz Hurley and Kate Moss are customers. Other local big-wigs can be seen spending thousands on the shop's organic food, clothing and homeware. Aristocratic ladies occupy the in-store Chinese tea house, discussing their addiction to the next-door spa. To shop there costs the earth, but it suggests heaven, and the place radiates prestige to such an extent that the value of our house nearby has rocketed.

This is, like, the shop/spa of my dreams. Full of beautiful things, delicious things, relaxing things, and fancy people hanging around drinking tea. I would like to own a place like this one day.
One can often tell how affluent people are by how skinny they are. And there are certainly no blobbies in Daylesford. I've never seen a woman here that I wouldn't quite liked to have had sex with, although with some of them it would be tempting to punch them at the same time. As I arrive, two latte-sipping yoga chicks exit in knee-length riding boots and thigh-clinging jodphurs, to board their Land Rover Discovery, happily chattering in fluent new-age doggerel. I pass a conspicuously gay man in a cravat, carrying what might be a cabbage, but could be a large, unusual flower, to his vintage car.

There is nothing in the food hall that I would not like to take home in one of its brown paper bags. It isn't cheap, but we're all starting to realise that cheap food is a bad deal. Bad for the environment, bad for the animals involved, and bad for the person who eats it. There are meats here ranging from snipe to sausages to full-on legs of ham, all of the highest quality, as well as alluring, often unrecognisable vegetables, fresh from the market garden outside. The bread counter is piled high with exotic rye loaves, batons and soda whoppers. There are cheeses that I've never seen before and organic soups, made to recipes by the Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens, who worked with Lady Bamford for two and a half years after he was forced out of Pied à Terre for scalding a chef. Everything is wrapped, lit, or presented beautifully and there are copies of Dazed & Confused and Wallpaper magazines at the checkout. It is absolutely ridiculous, fantastic and sexy.
Daylesford Organic has, since the Independent story was published, opened a branch in Pimlico and Notting Hill, London, but I still need to go to the original location. Going to Daylesford Organic shall be my second-strongest motivation—second to "Going to Dollywood"—to learn how to drive in 2011.

November 27, 2010

And then there's what $18 million can buy you in London: Nightingale House, 6,000 sq. ft. of move-in condition in Mayfair

For $1.2 million in New York you can get an average post-war two-bedroom apartment. For $1.2 million in Plymouth, England, you can buy this nine-bedroom Georgian mansion

House-love at first sight: Warleigh House. 18,000 square feet, 20 acres, a gamekeeper's house, ancient boathouse

Ideas and Things I am interested in right now

Wearing sweats
Bare nails
Trying to go outside more
Really reading the magazines I subscribe to
Local newspapers not in New York
The psyche of 25 year olds
Making an effort to be friendly

I haven't tweezed my eyebrows since August. It all started as an effort to look younger, and I think the project is coming along quite nicely. This is perhaps the first long stretch of time I haven't taken a tweezer to my eyebrows since 1991.

Stuffed Dodos

House-love at first sight: 7 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms

November 25, 2010

November 22, 2010

Occom Pond, Dartmouth College

I often forget how beautiful this place is.

November 21, 2010

New project

So I had this idea, after (finally) seeing Take Ivy in full this August, to come up to Dartmouth and have a root around the yearbook archives to see what sort of photos I could find depicting college life in the pretty vast period between the late-1930s and co-education in 1971. I've been putting it off and putting it off, mostly because of scheduling issues, but now finally I'm up here in Hanover. This Monday to Wednesday is also going to be the first time I'm taking a vacation from work since we launched Racked National this February—I'm pretty thrilled to have a holiday from blogging and will try to keep myself from obsessively checking the site to make sure it hasn't burned down. Anyway, I'm excited about this project and am working on finding a good internet home for some of the photos I find. I've been putting some things up at Tumblr (, and I feel like Tumblr is the right home for this sort of thing, but I'm not entirely sold on any of the themes available on the site. I may move it to Blogspot. I'm going to keep playing around with layouts today and maybe take a long walk around Occom Pond this afternoon. Ah, country life.


November 17, 2010

Just a touch of the common cold.

I am not the kind of person who can weather illness with any sort of dignity. I'm not a functional sick person—right now I have a slight touch of a cold and it's left me completely unable to think, work, see, process information, or be at all creative. I'm shocked I can still type and spell. All I seem capable of doing today is looking up Princess Diana videos on YouTube and watching them on repeat.

November 16, 2010

November 15, 2010

November 09, 2010

November 06, 2010

November 03, 2010

My favorite-ever media moment.

This has got to be one of my favorite-ever media moments of all time—when Kanye West said the now-infamous words, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

In an interview with Matt Lauer yesterday, former president George Bush said that Kanye calling him a racist was the worst moment of his presidency.

Oh really? Not the ten-year war he got the country inextricably embroiled in or the fact that New Orleans was basically wiped off the map. The worst moment of his presidency was when a rapper said something mean about him?

Not everything is clearer in retrospect.