Martha and I decided to go to the climate change march in central London on an unseasonally gloriously warm and sunny March 7th, (the irony was not lost on me). I wanted to make a stand with the other thousands of people - to be there and present - and take Martha along so that she could begin to properly understand what mummy and daddy mean when we ask her to turn off the lights to save energy...
It was a great experience for us both. A peaceful march, with interesting and diverse people from all over the country; the world in fact. I had the chance to talk through a lot of ideas and explain many things to Martha. I sensed that in this context and these surroundings it really went in. She chose the fracking placard because I told her that they were planning to frack near her uncle Matt's house in Surrey. I chose the 'Systems Change Not Climate Change' one because for me it resonated with my passion for service design to transform the fashion industry. We couldn't resist also carrying 'What part of "irreversible and catastrophic" do you NOT understand?'
I was really chuffed when Martha wanted to carry the placards home and have them in her room. She now explains to all her friends what they stand for, and they in their 6 year old way discuss the world...
Find out more about Our Voices here.
You can watch the film from the demonstration below.
The month of March has been all about colour for me. As my pledge to not buy new clothes continues I have realised that what has been testing me the most this month is the appeal of 'newness'. Spring has sprung and I find myself leaping around like a newborn (size 14) lamb. Green shoots everywhere. Joyous blossoms blooming! I have been digging deep into the back of the wardrobe to find some colour to don; albeit with a thermal vest underneath. I know that if I was anywhere near a high street this month a window with bright colourful clothes would tug at my very stylish soul… So it's a good job I have been busy at home and at work.
I have fed my colour-lust with getting the flat painted, thanks to Henrik my Polish friend. A highly opinionated and chatty 58 year-old who has vetted all my paint choices, and taught me the language at the same time. ("Yes, I like. No. No like. Say 'thank you' Professor - dziękuję!")
I can't tell you the simple joy of walking in the front door and seeing bright spring greens and yellows (and some lilac-grey tones for good measure). I thought I had maybe gone too far (egged on by Henrik) with the acid yellow / green in the bathroom, but it has slowly grown on me (and my other half).
I adore the combination of dark grey metallic mosaic tiles, and the Sanderson print blind, with tiny hints of dark red. The 1980's bathroom will last another few years now. The huge blossom branches from the pruned plum tree in the garden add a very dynamic dimension, (Henrik approved with "you have artist soul, Professor"...)
I am feeling thoroughly inspired by the decorating to revamp items in my wardrobe. I have been having fun trawling through second hand shops recently - but the sense of 'new' is still something that thrills me. I had a birthday in mid March, so have a new cashmere cardigan in the wardrobe now. I love the fact that a gift of a garment means that I have yet another 'tool' to express myself through clothes; but also that this particular one was new, pristine and wrapped in tissue. We have such a long way to go with understanding the complex range of pleasures experienced through buying or receiving new clothes - and the second hand trade in particular could in invest more in meeting the consumer's needs around the sensory experience of charity shopping.
But my favourite birthday gift by far was this one from the lovely TED research assistant and uber-cool designer Miriam Ribul. With this I can cut my own makeover stencils to carry out leopard print customisation sessions!