Last weekend I enjoyed two lovely bookish books, both by Scottish authors and placed in this fairyland that I am hoping to visit soon! This is how I was reminded of book towns and I couldn’t believe I have never written about these here (I actually had to check!)
According to Wikipedia, a book town is a town or village with many used book or antiquarian book stores. These stores, as well as literary festivals, attract bibliophile tourists. Some book towns are members of the International Organisation of Book Towns.
Source – Book Village by Marie Montard
Book towns are also normally very picturesque and have a historic significance. They sound to me like the absolute best holiday destination! Beauty to be seen, a lot to be learned and books to be bought and discussed with other booklovers. It’s lucky that there are quite a few book towns in the UK, like the first one ever – Hay-on-Wye (Wales) or Wigtown (Scotland), if only we’ll be able to travel soon!
The ‘Mappiness’ Index
Speaking of idyllic places to visit or to, why not, move to, I found this article about the ‘mappiness’ index insightful and a great read. Green space, direct access to nature, ‘15-minute neighborhoods’ (self-sufficient micro-neighborhoods), and the feeling of truly belonging to a community long-term are all aspects that unsurprisingly, I would say, seem to influence our happiness levels.
We’ve all just spent a full year not being able to move around much, not even to commute to work and I think we will be more mindful of new criteria like the ones above when choosing where to live in the future. Hence, the concept of ‘mappiness’ becoming more and more popular. If you live in the UK, you can take part yourself in a research project by the London School of Economics aiming to ‘map happiness across space’.
For much of the rest of the world, check the World Happiness Report, an initiative of the United Nations, which ranks countries based on the environment – social, urban, and natural, including links between happiness and sustainable development. Finland scored the highest out of 156 countries in 2020, check all others here.
With the newfound flexibility when it comes to certain jobs, mine included, I can easily see myself spending way too much time trying to decide where to move, if and when the time comes…
I read this article a few months ago, but since we were in the midst of winter, I thought I’d save it for when we could potentially observe the phenomenon of crown shyness around us. I really just loved the name coined for this behavior of trees ‘of a certain age’ to keep their crowns from touching those of their neighbors’. It seems to be a defense mechanism, but it can also be a way of making sure the precious rays of the sun reach the lower foliage as well. I thought it quite fascinating and I am looking forward to my next trip into the woods (not something I do often, I’m afraid) to see if I can spot it.
I want to live in a place where things like this happen – someone deciding to beautifully frame random signs around town, from street nameplates to parking signs or community notices.
Well, actually, I live about 30 minutes away from Teddington, where it all started, and there’s no reason why I couldn’t start a similar movement in my corner of London once the car boots reopen and I can easily access cheap vintage frames. There’s no reason why you couldn’t do it either, in fact, no matter where your corner of the world is. It’s properly posh, isn’t it?
Get inspired and discover the whole story here. The name of the picture framers supporting the initiative is brilliant!
When you’re not a connoisseur in a specific field, like interior design, in this case, even identifying or breaking down what it is that you like can feel like a big win. So it was for me this week when I realised one common element in most rooms I love is wall moulding or panel moulding!
I find it exquisite, I think it adds a classic and elegant dimension to a space and it doesn’t have to be too complex or ornate – simple white panels on white walls seems to be the most attractive combination to me. It can help highlight certain areas in the room, statement pieces of furniture or artwork.
Combine it with real wood flooring, big windows, a beautiful chandelier and some french doors and I am convinced it’s impossible for such a room not to look absolutely beautiful, no matter how you furnish it!
Don’t let the title above fool you, I am in fact after the holy grail! I need a tinted anti-aging day moisturizer with SPF30 or better yet SPF50. Wow, that is a mouth full, especially for a beauty amateur like myself. But spring is here, the long-awaited sun is out and I want to enjoy it without thinking of skin damage. I turned 30 this year, although I needn’t have waited so long, and I decided to be more mindful of my skincare, while still keeping it simple.
All major glossies, like Elle or Marie Claire, have been writing about this for weeks and have put out 2021 round-ups, but I found this piece in Vogue most insightful, and now I know I should go for high and broad-spectrum SPF as well as apply generously! Being unknowledgeable on the topic, I find it hard to make a decision between a very well-known brand and a new-to-me one, so I am torn between Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 30) and Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Super-Light Moisturizer SPF 30. There’s also this Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense CC Cream SPF 50.
I am also after an SPF 30 hand cream. The Eucerin Daily Hydration Broad Spectrum SPF 30 seemed perfect but I can’t find it anywhere anymore, and I don’t want to go for the body lotion. On their website, the closest alternative is Eucerin Age Spot Correcting Hand Cream SPF 30 and I think I will order this one instead.
Letters of Note
In a new episode of Instagram inspiration, I bring to you the account Letters of Note, which features, as the name rightly describes, letters (or fragments) of note from the correspondence of famous or note-worthy people – writers, artists, politicians, actors – you name it – the likes of Van Gogh, President Barack Obama, Virginia Woolf or Jane Austen.
Although I always stop and read the posts (I particularly like the short invitation declines below!), I didn’t know until now that they have been compiled in books on specific themes, like Mothers, New York, Cats, Art and many more. These strike me as absolutely brilliant gifts!
The author, Shaun Usher, has also published a book on Lists of Note, described as a visual anthology that stretches from ancient times to present day, which includes Michelangelo’s illustrated shopping list, 29-year-old Marilyn Monroe’s inspirational set of New Year’s resolutions, Einstein’s punitive list of conditions imposed on his first wife, Martin Luther King’s advice for black people starting to use buses, and 120 more lists with facsimiles or illustrations.
Ah, I must put it on my list of Books to Buy!
If this letter has offered you a moment of inspiration, kindly forward it to others who might enjoy it too. And if you have been forwarded it, indulge in all previous Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds and subscribe to the weekly letter.