An Unsuitable Attachment, by Barbara Pym
It’s become somewhat of an unconscious goal of my reading life to discover more women writers and enjoy stories told through the astute sense of observation and understanding women have of the world and people around them.
I’ve recently finished An Unsuitable Attachment, my first book by Barbara Pym, and it’s become clear to me that women don’t have to write complex or overly dramatic stories if they don’t want to, because the richness of the worlds they build, so life-like, is simply enthralling.
Reading this book felt like listening to a close friend tell the story of another group of friends. I was interested, I was amused by the specifics, I took sides and I rooted for what I envisioned as the happy ending.
I encourage such a read as a break from all the heavy, well thought through, prize-winning, cause-driven books that seem to define the canon these days. Enjoy!
Love, Cecil Documentary
I have long wanted to watch this documentary and its turn came a couple of weeks ago. Cecil Beaton is a household name in the world of photography, stage design, illustration… and aesthetics in general. He was a truly original character and led a multi-faceted life.
Watching this documentary about his career and life I learned a great deal about his ups and downs and the moments that defined him. I particularly liked the closing remarks, one of the guests saying that Beaton’s life was about living for beauty, rejecting the banal, rejecting the commonplace, and believing that you can create a life, you can create a personality, you can create a world for yourself and for those around you…
I strongly believe that is the case too, I absolutely loved the energy he put into his work, his relentless desire to explore more and stay current. That seems to me the key to his everlasting legacy. I hope I will have his drive into my old age.
Prado’s Olfactory Exhibition
It’s no secret how much I love museums, but in recent years I have become more and more interested in the way these colossal institutions are repositioning themselves as open spaces for cultural experiences beyond the classic definition of a museum visit.
When I read about the olfactory exhibition at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, starring Jan Brueghel the Elder’s 17th-century painting The Sense of Smell, I instantly thought this is something that I would love to experience. I think that if we make art and culture obvious ‘entertainment’ options, we will watch the world become a better place.
The Stendhal Syndrome
Speaking of art and culture, have you heard of the Stendhal Syndrome before? This is apparently a condition involving rapid heartbeat, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations, when exposed to objects, artworks, or phenomena of great beauty and antiquity.
I find it fascinating that the body can react in such a way to the sense of awe inspired by beauty and art and I enjoyed reading more about the history of this unofficial condition. The name is inspired by a diary entry of the famous writer where he describes experiencing an ‘attack of the nerves’ while visiting the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, where Michelangelo, Machiavelli and Galileo Galilei are all buried.
I can’t say I have experienced this before and it doesn’t sound very desirable, but I am deeply curious as to what, if any, work of art could actually inspire such a profound emotion in me…
Tights with a Message
I have written about tights before because this is an accessory I use frequently and I am always curious to discover new or new-to-me out of the ordinary options. That is why I found the Feels and Heels customised tights to be a beautiful idea. Not only are these inspired by poetry, but the text chosen to personalize your pair is handwritten on them and I just think it adds a touch of je ne sais quoi to an otherwise basic, if not quite unappealing everyday sartorial item.
Now I am thinking what verse I want to ‘write’ on my leg, so I can order my first pair. What would you choose?
The Little High-Street
This is one of those delightful little treats Instagram can offer which makes it one of my prime sources of exquisite finds. If you are a fan of the trend of the miniature houses, which I am definitely admiring, albeit from afar still, The Little High Street will definitely charm you away.
Miniature shops and boutiques, all looking marvellous, like little treasure chests. It made me think that I would love to have my favourite spots on my current local high street recreated and accompanying me in my old age in whatever house, city or country I happen to live in. Like a model village helping me trace back precisely how I spent some of my most content weekends.
It’s amazing how much attention to detail is given when creating these miniatures in general. I would love to live in some of those interiors. Follow and enjoy a break from a banal energy-sucking feed, to one that can, on the contrary, feed you with inspiration and beauty.
Hot Lips Flower
Known under a few different names, some of which are too rude to be mentioned on my exquisite finds letter, I thought the most kissable flower in the world deserves to be treated with more respect and keep better company, as it is certainly a prime example of nature art.
Psychotria elata looks like the perfect pouting mouth and I know women who would pay good money to imitate its plump red lips. What do you think?
Bisous, bon weekend!
- Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds – No 88
- Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds – No 87
- Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds – No 86
- Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds – No 85
- Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds – No 84
- Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds – No 83
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.