Is ‘Stranger Things’ the Best Thing on TV since ‘Twin Peaks’? Plus: Heroic Humpback Whales, the World Hide-and-Seek Championships and Nude Statues of Donald Trump



The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed there’s been a slight re-design of the site (it’s subtle, so don’t feel too guilty if you missed it). As well as the Books page, there’s a shiny new header image and an easier to navigate Portfolio section.

The launch of The Secret Lives of Colour is now so imminent that I can practically taste it. Most excitingly I received my advance copy, which is beautiful. I’ve already shared thousands of images of it, but those who want even more, and/or would like to know about upcoming talks and other events, can visit the book’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages.

As ever, below are the stories — mostly on design and culture — that caught my eye this month and, at the bottom, three pieces from me. Bon appétit:

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Summer 2016


This summer has been a busy one. Since I last wrote here, the British — or half of them anyway — decided to leave the EU; rhetoric concerning refugees became increasingly toxic; a spate of terror attacks has left communities all over the world reeling; and Trump has made hundreds of gaffes, none of which seem to have dented his popularity with the tens of thousands disenchanted with mainstream politics in America.

Closer to home, I have moved house twice, signed off the final final final version of The Secret Lives of Colour, which will be published on October 20th (and can now be pre-ordered from Amazon), and started researching in earnest books two and three (I know! More on that in the books section when I can). So, I have dispensed with the monthly version of this for the moment and done an extra-long summer version of the many fascinating and unexpected things that I’ve come across, and three things by me at the bottom.

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June 2016


Hello from a not-so-sunny London

I’m back after a glorious week in Scotland where it was 22 degrees every day (see photo above). I don’t normally do plugs for places I’ve visited here but I’m going to make an exception for Corrie House B&B, run by Barrie and Joan. They were charming, their breakfasts were the stuff of dreams and they looked after us so well that all I want to do is hop on a plane and go straight back.

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The Secret Lives of Colour

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Here it is! The beautiful cover to “The Secret Lives of Colour”, which will be published by John Murray in October. For the princely sum of £20 you will learn about the brown that changed the way battles were fought, the white that was thought to protect against the plague and why the pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones insisted on giving a tube of paint a decent burial.

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Hello, April



For spring: an experiment in the form of a monthly design round-up with an odd smattering of opinions and news thrown in. If you like it—or if you think it’s terrible and want to offer suggestions—let me know on Twitter on in the comments below. Enjoy!

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Weekend Post #29

8362760_5755575_lz Beautiful black-and-white animal portraits by Alex Teuscher

How to be there

Michael Pollan on healthy diets

Love these shoes… and all these metallic ones

How to really, really impress dinner guests: chocolate terrariums

Want, want, must have

Outfit inspiration in black and white

Two-tone shoes  *shameless plug alert*

Male models meet deep winter

The science behind using salt in cooking

An oldie but a goodie: Clipboard Girls by SRSLY

An emergency bread recipe

{image by Andrea Hrnjak at Society6}

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