I know I know it’s only the 1st of December and here I am banging on about what’s on my Christmas list! People for some reason hate buying me presents, probably because I’m not the best at feigning excitement when I don’t like things! I must work on this problem more in the New Year – resolution for 2016. It’s not that I’m rude, but apparently according to family it’s rather obvious when I’m not overjoyed. Like I said I need to work on my reactions more, I shall practice happy smiles!

Anyways this year to avoid any fake smiles I have a list. Such a long list! Some of the things on it are a little bit unachievable, I get that, but you might as well have a wish list right? Being permanently busy all year round, that week between Christmas and New Year is so precious to me. I don’t want to do much other than read new books, pop to Borough Market, walk the M’s, cook, light fires – simple things. With that in mind, here’s what I’m lusting after for Christmas this year:

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I retreat into domesticity whenever I get stressed (which seems daily at the mo). I clean and tidy and leaf through recipe books, imagining a time when I can just cook, bake, do a spot of gardening. Or run away to the countryside to keep bees! Right now I’d really like a good slow cooker, for making stews that gently putter away, scenting the house with the cooking aroma whilst I work upstairs. I do have one but it’s cheap and a bit rubbish, and I need a good one. Plus Magnus Nilsson’s voluminous Nordic Cookbook is on my Christmas list for sure.

 

obooks

I love all sorts of books. Fiction, non-fiction, recipe books – my only exception is e-books mind, I hate those. I love to hunker down on the sofa, light a fire in the soft winter afternoon light and just get lost in a good book. On my read list are:

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Colourless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
  • Purity by Jonathan Franzen
  • Home by Ellen DeGeneres. I love Ellen’s interior style so I’m fascinated to read about her processes and inspiration. Although I don’t actually think I can hold out for Christmas so I just might self gift that to myself this week!
  • Paradise and Plenty: A Rothschild Family Garden head gardener Sue Dickinson takes us behind the scenes of what goes into producing year round fruit, veg and flowers for this legendary garden
  • Frank Auerbach: Speaking and Painting by Catherine Lampert

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A perfumed terracotta pomegranate from Santa Maria Novella and if I dare ask a pomegranate perfumed candle and some pot pourri. Too much do you reckon? I am so obsessed with their things. I also adore scented candles from Mad et Len or Astier de Villatte.

0burner

I need one of these for my cabin. Do you know that since it was installed I haven’t spent any time at all working in it? I wanted to use it as a sort of extra home office, but it’s been so crazy busy in the studio I haven’t had a second. Now it’s hard to enjoy it as often because it’s so chilly! So I need a wood-burning stove to scent the air and keep me toasty. I realise it’s not cheap so this is a wish more than a present request.

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Can I have a voucher whereby I can have a weekly deep tissue massage, please anyone? Taking some pretty major long-haul flights all within a few days of each other has gotten me addicted to restorative wonder that is a deep tissue massage. You walk taller, feel happier and lighter, and I love it. One a week would be indulgent, but ideal!

Noise cancelling headphones are key to coping with long haul flights too, but also for rambling around the garden or walking the M’s. Top on my list of music is The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs by Henryk Gorecki, but maybe I’ll find something happier should I feel in the mood!


Other than that my list is pretty simple. Some fine whiskey, fabulous cheese from Neal’s Yard and snuggly slippers. I don’t know why anyone thinks I’m so difficult to buy for! Oh and I should say anything like a wondrous cream or serum or something that will make me look a hundred years younger or cooler or taller works for me too.

I’m afraid retail can make you a bit of a Scrooge. Having spent months in advance thinking, designing, and conceptualising for Christmas, by the time it actually arrives I’m usually so over it. Mind you I changed my mind a bit after a potter to Columbia Road last Sunday and seeing how festive it all looked. Oh and if I got all these presents on my list then I’m sure I’ll get into the festive spirit even more!