Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

America Unchained March 22, 2009

Filed under: Books — lauravw @ 5:48 pm

I’ve been reading Unchained America, by Dave Gorman – which I found at the library the other day. We watched the film of this last year, but because the book allows for more detail it’s more enjoyable than the documentary.

The book is the story of Dave’s journey from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast of America. He travels by car, and sets himself a rule that he will only buy food and petrol from independent retailers (no chains) and only stay in independent motels/B&Bs. Like me, he is vegetarian – which can be rather tricky in certain parts of the US. I found it reassuring that he seemed to spend days at a time eating nothing but carbohydrates while on the road.

He visits a soda fountain/diner in Oregon on its last day of trading. It sounded like a wonderful, family-run business, and somewhere I’d love to have had the chance to visit. It’s certainly unsettling to read about a small business closing its doors for the last time – on our local high street, a few shops have closed recently, and it makes me wonder how bad the situation with the economy is going to get before things start to improve.


Google Street View March 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lauravw @ 5:13 pm

Yay – Google’s Street View has been launched for the UK (at long last). I found my house on it (I am amazed that one of the Google cameras came down our sleepy little road!), and am now busy looking for places I’ve lived in or visited.


In the loop March 2, 2009

Filed under: Interiors — lauravw @ 8:34 pm

loopOutblush points the way to the elegant Loop candelabra, which I’m a fan of. I bought my mum one of these a couple of Christmasses ago, and now I’m wondering why I didn’t get one for myself. Perhaps I can borrow it for a little while – we have a sort of system of lending each other home accessories, which works pretty well. Sometimes it works in my favour, sometimes in hers – last year we gave her an Ikea bookcase and we got two lamps for our living room.

If you’re in the UK and you want one of these, you can get them at John Lewis, and at Graham and Green (where they are a little cheaper, but you might have to pay the postage).


In the trees March 1, 2009

Filed under: Interiors — lauravw @ 9:44 am

Some time ago I saw a house on TV with wallpaper I fell in love with: a giant photo of a forest. I find that when people get talking about where they would ultimately like to live, with no concerns about money, they say they want to live near the sea. I love visiting the coast, but I’ve never wanted to live there – I want to live near trees. Not a spooky old forest, but wildlife-filled woods that I can wander around in. The wallpaper I saw really captured that feeling for me. Our house is totally unsuitable for it (we live in a fairly small house, and I think it needs an uninterrupted stretch of wall to work to best effect).

Fast forward to today, and I’ve just seen the same wallpaper again. I still love it – it’s here on Kim from Desire to Inspire’s living room wall. There’s more information about it here. And she bought it here – Design Your Wall.