The 3 L's

Idol of the Week: Winston Churchill

I no doubt have a lifetime of my father quoting Churchill to thank for this one, but so many of his quotes have stuck with me over the years…

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It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

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This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.

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Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

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Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

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Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.

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If you are going through hell, keep going.

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Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

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The 3 L's

Idol of the Week: Stephen Fry

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I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance.

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Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.

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Having a great intellect is no path to being happy.

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Life, that can shower you with so much splendour is unremittingly cruel to those who have given up.

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What’s great about them is that anybody can go into them and find a book and borrow it free of charge and read it. They don’t have to steal it from a bookshop. … You know when you’re young, you’re growing up, they’re almost sexually exciting places because books are powerhouses of knowledge, and therefore they’re kind of slightly dark and dangerous. You see books that kind of make you go ‘Oh!’

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I used many times to touch my own chest and feel, under its asthmatic quiver, the engine of the heart and lungs and blood and feel amazed at what I sensed was the enormity of the power I possessed. Not magical power, not all that Carrie teenage telekinetic wank, but realpower. The power simply to go on, the power to endure, that is power enough, but I felt I had also the power to create, to add, to delight, to amaze and to transform. Yet I was unwanted, rejected and unthought of. My mother, yes, she believed in me, but everybody’s mother believes in them. No one else believed in me.

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“Principally of course—oh how one sees that now—myself. Principally, I did not believe in me. I believed in ghosts more than I believed in me, and take my word for it, I never believed in ghosts, I’m far too spiritual and emotional and passionate to believe in the supernatural.”

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The 3 L's

Inspiration of the Week: Emma Thompson

After last week’s post in regards to Emma Watson’s amazing first speech as a Goodwill ambassador, I decided that this will be a new little tid-bit feature of this blog, because, you know, I’m not all about photography projects and aimless wanderings around London sans camera and stylised OOTDs and runway favourites. I have always been an ‘idol connoisseur’, and from that a ‘quotation connoisseur'; I have numerous little Moleskine cahier journals lying around filled to the brim with quotes from everything from political debates to feature films, literature to theatre to overheard snippets of bus-stop conversation. My ‘idols’ are equally as varied, but all generally follow a leading thread; wisdom, ambition, and quite often a dizzying level of intellect. I think it’s important to have idols to inspire us, to envy enough that it motivates us to not just want what they have, but to go ahead and get it. I also think it’s important not to simply what the materialistic perks, and the inflated bank balance to make it so, but rather, I find myself watching a show or reading an autobiography of my idols, and envying their minds, their wisdom, their knowledge and experiences, enough to seek my own personal growth with an even greater degree of hunger than usual.

So, it felt only natural that once a week I give a little nod to the people who inspire me.

And where to begin… Emma Thompson.

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Isn’t she just amazing? She’s the gem who introduced Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, two equally-valued idols of mine, she’s has been awarded two Oscar’s as both an actress and a screenwriter, not to mention Baftas, Golden Globes, Emmy’s… she is a comedy treasure, a brilliant actress, a talented screenwriter, and author, and yet she still finds the time to support about a dozen charities, including being an ambassador for ActionAid. Not to mention that her husband is so, so gorgeous. And she’s also a really smart cookie. There’s just something about her quirky sense of humour… she’s in equal parts embarrassing mother and hilariously fun aunt. Or that’s how she strikes me, anyway.

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That’s the dream, right? To spread our talent across multiple platforms, to become just as celebrated in each medium that we fancy dipping our toes in, and to help the world with our influence.

A few great Emma Thompson quotes:

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It is remarkable how many misconceptions there are here about life in the developing world, and I think that that knowledge gap has done a lot to contribute to the imbalance quite frankly.

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I think our hearts are very chemical and we change the way we see people according to how we feel about them. That’s what love is, in a way.

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Children are much more understanding of the suddenness and arbitrariness of death than we are. The old fairy tales contain a lot of that, and we’ve stolen from them, just as they stole from Greek myth, which has that same mixture of pre-Christian chaos.

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If you don’t want women to do whatever they need to do, then you must provide them with food, you must provide them with shelter and their basic human rights.

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I’ve realized that in all the great stories, even if there’s a happily-ever-after ending, there’s something sad.

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It’s unfortunate–and I really wish I wouldn’t have to say this–but I really like human beings who have suffered. They’re kinder.

It’s fair to say, I love her.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 46#

I’m a few years behind everyone else, I know, but today I came across the ‘No More Page Three‘ campaign. For those of you who are unaware, Page Three is a controversial daily feature in The Sun newspaper, each day printing a photograph of a topless glamour model across the entire page. It’s something that I have never understood, especially in this day and age. Surely we should have moved forwards by now? Though I think such a campaign should be weary not to inadvertently rouse the pro-page3 squad into action to save their beloved daily… well, it’s basically soft porn, really, isn’t it? Let’s face it, there is no other reason to pose topless shots in a newspaper than for men to gawp at and teenage boys to… hide in their bed sheets. They are not artistically shot, and so cannot be described as art, naked models means that they cannot be classed as fashion, there is not cultural positive to them… I see no place for them within any newspaper.

I’m getting carried away… my point is, what better way to wear a campaign t-shirt than with a leather skirt and chunky shoes? Yes, that was my point, honest.

25-sep

1. Zero+MariaCornejo Nebi Leather Skirt. £1,285. Available here.

2. No More Page Three T-Shirt. £15. Available here.

3. Topshop Graphic Print Faux Fur Trim Cardigan. £60. Available here.

4. River Island Black Peep Toe Sling Back Platforms. £60 £35. Available here.

5. Elizabeth and James Cynnie Mini Leather Shoulder Bag. £385. Available here.

6. Valentino Printed Silk-Chiffon Scarf. £305. Available here.

7. Finds Ela Sone Liad Gold-Plated Amethyst Cuff. £65. Available here.

8. Rosantica Gold-Dipped Agate Bracelet. £60. Available here.

9. Aurélie Bidermann Rosebud Gold-Plated Ring. £175. Available here.

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The 3 L's

Idol of the Week: Emma Watson

Surely you’ve seen it? Everyone’s talking about it – the internet is going crazy over it. Twitter is pinging with supportive tweets and snaps. Celebrities are clamouring over each other to try and associate themselves with it. I’m talking about Emma Watson’s amazing UN Speech, which can be viewed here.

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I’m a big believer in having idols. I think having people to admire and even envy (within reason) is healthy – without losing sight of ourselves, of course – as it inspires us all to embark on a path of self improvement, and so when those who we admire involve themselves in greater causes, such as charities, it inspires those who look up to them to become involved, and to step back and think ‘how can I help? Is there something about my lifestyle that contradicts this amazing cause? Is there something that I can do?’

I’ve heard some people say things such as ‘why is this little actress getting involved with this stuff? What difference can she make – she’s an actress’. Please. As a member of the Harry Potter generation, its fairly obvious to me just how influential Emma Watson is. The series may be over (for now… who knows, after all), but the Harry Potter generation is ongoing, and therefore whatever ‘Hermione Granger’ has to say, this age group sits up and listens.

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It’s so great that she is obviously fully aware of this fact and is therefore using her voice wisely.

So yes, she is someone who I admire, in the mush that is the often-ugly world of Hollywood; a world of twerking, ‘accidental’ wardrobe malfunctions, sex tapes and… Jesus.. the Kardashians I think I’d cry if either of my younger sisters turned around and said that they want to be just like one of the Kardashians or Miley Cyrus when they grow up, to be quite frank.

So this is a little shout out post to someone who actually speaks sense.. simply because I like people who speak sense, but they are such a rare find!

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I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.

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All I can do is follow my instincts, because I’ll never please everyone.

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But it’s a journey and the sad thing is you only learn from experience, so as much as someone can tell you things, you have to go out there and make your own mistakes in order to learn.

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I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.

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There’s nothing wrong with being afraid. It’s not the absence of fear, it’s overcoming it. Sometimes you’ve got to blast through and have faith.

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I have felt for the last 10 years I have had this battle; I’ve been fighting so hard to have an education. It’s been this uphill struggle. I was Warner Bros’ pain in the butt. I was their scheduling conflict. I was the one who made life difficult.

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I don’t have perfect teeth, I’m not stick thin. I want to be the person who feels great in her body and can say that she loves it and doesn’t want to change anything.

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The saddest thing for a girl to do is to dumb herself down for a guy.

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I feel that young girls are told that they have to be a princess and fragile. It’s bullshit. I identify much more with being a warrior – a fighter. If I was going to be a princess, I’d be a warrior princess, definitely.

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Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.

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As much as someone can tell you things, you have to go out there and make your own mistakes in order to learn.

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The 3 L's

Dowager Duchess of Devonshire

Yes, I know that I have been all about London since I moved here, London, London, London, London this and London that, but today, I spotted a news article that really struck me in a way that I would not have expected; today, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, the last Mitford sister, Deborah Cavendish, passed away.

This isn’t a grand obituary, or any such thing, it just felt right to whip up a quick post for someone who always seemed to feature somehow in my consciousness, be it a day trip to Chatsworth, a Nancy Mitford novel or a documentary on the Mitford clan. Not to mention, someone who I’ve always envied for their style. Go to Chatsworth, and you will find countless paintings and photographs of the glamorous Duchess, and, later, Dowager Duchess.

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Having spent just under four years living in Derbyshire, and before that, eighteen years just one county away in Staffordshire, Chatsworth house – the Cavendish estate – has always struck me as being the most magnificent house in the whole world. I have visted Blenheim and Versailles, and I still prefer Chatsworth. I think that preference is in part down to having spent my childhood reading and re-reading Pride and Prejudice, only to then pick up the remote and watch the BBC series (and later, Joe Wright’s beautiful 2005 version), on repeat. After all, rumour has it that Pemberley was based on Chatsworth, which was visited by Austen. I also think that it’s partly down to a consistent fascination with the famous Mitford sisters.

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Can you blame me for having sat up straight and taken notice of them? It’s not every day that you come across a family of sisters as varied as the Mitfords: a novelist, a duchess, a naxi, a fascist, a communist and… Pamela, the one with the quiet life. I have lost count as to how many Mitford books I have read (both those written by Nancy and the numerous biographies and autobiographies, and so it just seems obvious that I would love visiting Chatsworth even more, it being the home of one of the fascinating six sisters, a home which is also one of the most beautiful houses in the country.

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Like most of us, I never met the Dowager Duchess, but I saw what she and her husband, and later, her son have done to the estate over the years; the farm shops, the twee little cafes and the produce that lines the shelves of independent shops across the county, all to stop Chatsworth from becoming another National Trust property – not to mention the constantly updated art collection that lines the old walls in a more modernly styled wing of the grand house.

And then of course, as I said before… she was just.. so glamorous!

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 45#

While this look started with the skirt, it’s fair to say that it really ended up revolving around the beautiful amethyst necklace. I’m such a sucker for gemstone jewellery, in all honesty… apparently to the extent that I will happily colour match an entire outfit to suit.

24-sep

1. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Bonded Wool and Chiffon Skirt. £360. Available here.

2. Donna Karen Turtleneck Top. £455. Available here.

3. Adam Lippes Reversible Wool and Cashmere-Blend Cape. £1515. Available here.

4. Isabel Marant Andrew Suede and Leather Ankle Boots. £565. Available here.

5. Michael Michael Kors Hamilton Tote. £310. Available here.

6. Chan Lu Ombre Chashmere and Silk-Blend Scarf. £175. Available here.

7. Decadorn Gold Amethyst Necklace. £38. Available here.

8. Michael Kors Gold Coloured Blue Padlock Bracelet. £115. Available here.

9. Marc by Marc Jacobs Standard Supply Bracelet. £75. Available here.

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