Sword and helmet – William Morris Gallery

Find out more about the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement in England, William Morris, from the story of a sword and helmet he had made for one of his first artistic projects. On display at the William Morris Gallery, these items reveal lots about Morris’ early life, his influences and are even linked to his love story with his wife.

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“One in five regional museums have closed”: so how can cities protect them?

“Imagine you are in London’s South Kensington district. You pass the glorious Romanesque architecture of the Natural History Museum on Cromwell Road, before turning onto Exhibition Road where you encounter not one but two more museums, the V&A and the Science Museum. Now imagine that, instead of being open to the public and bursting with tourists, they were closed and dilapidated, Dippy the dinosaur outside with a “for sale” sign around his neck.  Read More

The Venus thigh trap

Despite the fact that women are harbingers of life into this world, men, and Hollywood, love the idea of the femme fatale. And nowhere is this fascination more physically embodied than in Hollywood film directors’ predilection for female fighting stunts to involve a woman wrapping her thighs around the neck of a man and snapping it. Or strangling him. Or just bringing him down to land the killing blow. Read More

Rules of attraction – or have I turned into a sexist myself?

Objectification. An ugly sounding word about an ugly issue that feminists rightly campaign about. Women have suffered hugely over the centuries from the reduction of their worth to just how good their body looks and the problem rages on.

Just look at the recent Protein World ads effectively body shaming women into thinking only those with unrealistically skinny bodies should be allowed to go to the beach. Because of course, the only reason women might want to go to the beach is to spice up the view for some sleazy men. Read More

Things being single in London has taught me

Experience is the best teacher. It’s also the shittiest, so sometimes I wish I were better at listening to other people’s words of wisdom. As someone who is not infrequently found in bed alone before 9pm in mismatching pyjamas demolishing a tub of Pringles, I clearly still have a lot to learn about leading a fulfilling life. However, here are some pearls (ok more like some cheap precious stones) of wisdom about dating that I have picked up along the way: Read More

A mixed-race muddle

I am one of those people who gets to tick the box on forms that says ‘White-Asian’ or something thereabouts when describing my ethnic origin. I’m a mixture of Thai and English with some Burmese, Scottish and Irish thrown in there too.

I am also incredibly fortunate in my life that the instances of racism I have encountered have been few and far between. Being told by the local kids, when I was of primary school age, that my skin was “poo coloured” or “dirty” stung a bit at the time. But, all terrible, racist things that happen in this world considered I’ve got off very easily. Read More

Lesser known sequels to childhood classics

In various best books lists, certain childhood classics keep springing up again and again. What are very rarely ever mentioned though are the sequels to these, and often there are many. Some good, some not so good.

There are a number of reasons I suspect these books very rarely get a mention in best books lists:

a)      They don’t quite live up to the charm of the first one.

b)      They are awful.

c)       Putting them in would take up a lot of space in a ‘Top [insert number here]’ list so list-makers just put in the first book.

d)      A combination of a) and c).

As someone who always hates saying goodbye to characters at the end of a book, especially in books such as ‘Little Women’ and ‘Anne of Green Gables’ which don’t have a single plot and rather follow the lives of their protagonist (a trend in books that is noticeably 19th century American/Canadian – although I would love to hear of any children’s books doing that now?), I’m always dying to hear more about them and gobble up sequels. Read on for my guide to these lesser known sequels and some notes on interesting recurring motifs. Read More