Monday, December 31

10E2625: SKIDA

Commonly known for floral inspired shell hats perfectly weighted for Nordic skiing, Vermont's SKIDA has been a staple of bright eyed outdoors types for a decade. 

"As a ski racer, [Corinne] Prevot started Skida while at Burke Mountain Academy and Middlebury College, both in Vermont, making and selling the headwear to teammates and at ski races. In 2013, Prevot opened Skida headquarters in Burlington, Vermont’s south end arts district. The newly introduced Cashmere Collection is made exclusively for Skida in Nepal." - via SkiVermont
Anyhow - they also do triangular neckwarmers, in flannel/fleece (as well as SKIDA cloth microfiber), like a bandana tied round the neck but with velcro.  On a chilly day outside whether on the slopes or not, I am converted.

Get 'em online or if you are stopping by the fantastic JJHapgood store or WildWings X-C ski center in Peru, VT.

Chili on the stove at WWXC. Eeeesential stealth lunch stop.

Sunday, December 16

10E2624: In Praise of Hot Water Bottles

Hot-water bottles are never going to be fashionable. Even to talk about them is to invite a smirk from your audience. And yet would anyone turn down the offer of a hot-water bottle in this weather? Cheaper and greener than leaving the heating on all night, a bottle is a portable comfort. With a little planning, it heats up the bed before you clamber in. With an adequate cover (and would you seriously consider a naked rubber bottle?), it keeps you warm into the small hours. And then there is the attendant ritual of decanting a boiled kettle... ...a hot-water bottle is the kind of prosaic comfort that is easy to overlook and yet somehow makes life so much better. In fashion? Never. A must-have? Absolutely.  - via The Guardian.

100%. Can't really say more. De riguer during the winter months. Hot water bottle covers are the iPhone case of the 19th century too. Different sizes and types abound. Cashmere is good, flannel great. Tweed no. Protip - jam your pjs by the bottle too before you get changed so they are all heated up.  What's next- slippers?? Hell yes.

Friday, December 7

10E2623: Queen Victoria's "Journal of a life in the Highlands"

The Journal of a Life in the Highlands by Queen Victoria covers years 1862-1882 (the period of Victoria's ensconcement at Balmoral in Scotland after the death of her husband Prince Albert) - includes all day to day activities and the closeness with her Highland attendant Mr. Brown.  Better than most lifestyle blogs, probably because not aspirational...      You can read the whole thing courtesy of the InternetArchive.  Abbreviated versions are in print as well.

If you have not seen the fantastic film Mrs Brown (as Victoria became colloquially known due to this close relation with Mr Brown) starring Judy Dench as Victoria and Billy Connolly practically inhabiting the role of Brown... get it on your list. Anglophilia sure - but great stuff. The movie was directed by John Madden who immediately followed up with Shakespeare in Love - another 90s classic ("that woman - is A WOMAN!" etc...) where Dench reprises as a monarch this time with cameo as Elizabeth I and a knockout line.

The Mrs Brown trailers are horrendous... just go rent it.  Read some first though...

Wednesday, November 14

10E2622: Heavey | Concord MA 11/15/18

We just happen to live next to the painter Whitney Alexanderson Heavey who has a showing in Concord, MA (11 Main Street) with reception tomorrow (Thursday 11/15, 4-7pm).  Really dig the  drippy marsh series as well as rough seascapes. Heavey lives in Chatham, MA half the year so makes sense. Once a year she opens her studio to visitors in nearby Maynard - but a common gallery presence on the Cape and Portland, ME. (site)

What are you doing on a gross stick season evening? Come by tomorrow. Shot of culture and high fives. Essential. Going wire to wire myself...

The artist name checked in the last 2 House & Garden's for those following along at home. Looking forward to this.

Monday, November 12

10E2621: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs


Coen brothers, American filmmakers known for their stylish films that combine elements of comedy and drama and often centre [uk - ed.] on eccentric characters and convoluted plots.
- via Britannica

 In The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, they gleefully embrace the conventions and clich├ęs of the genre, but to strangely melancholy — even troubling — effect. 
- via NPR

On Netflix this Friday. File under "night in". 

Thursday, November 8

10E2620: Things I didnt win on eBay...

And absolute banger from SS18 Junya Watanabe pollocking stock chore coats in drill duck. Nails.

Monday, October 29

10E2619: Chester Grimes documentary 1971 PBS

A VTIFF archived version of a documentary shown by PBS in 1971 on Vermont logger Chester "Chet" Grimes who worked with horses almost exclusively.  Slow it down Monday...

Essential further reading;  Strickland, Ron. “Chester Chet Grimes Horse Logger and Storyteller.” Vermonters: Oral Histories from Down Country to the Northeast Kingdom. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1986. 58-64.
1985 interview with Vermonter Chet Grimes, former logger and teamster as he describes using horses for logging work, various other teamsters and their habits in the woods. At time of interview Grimes had no indoor plumbing but would still spend social security check on his two horses, knowingly dubbed "hayburners." Interview edited but generally left in the vernacular.

This monograph (fancy name for a book), Vermonters, by Ron Strickland is a pitch perfect collection of characters and amazingly available via google books; so read away. It features oral histories (not transcribed... cleaned up a bit) from Chet Grimes (horse team logger), Jay Craven (the interview is with a young Jay Craven, best remembered for Where the Rivers Flow North IMHO), and Fred Tuttle's father, Joseph Tuttle. Tons more... a must read for those interested in the vanishing ways of old timers. Worldcat tells me most library copies are in academic libraries, but you can read it as above or just go buy it.

Monday, September 24


One of my last classes at Simmons (now Simmons University) library school was "History of the Book". Lot of latitude there for that professor but it centered on paper, and decorative paper such as marbled end papers. Dripping oil paint onto water and manipulating the designs, then laying down paper. Long/short the venerable FIELD NOTES have just shone a light on this process in their new release END PAPERS - good stuff.

The designs were inspired by the University of Washington Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection

For a primer - and really digestible - grab the Eyewitness reference book to the BOOK.

Monday, August 13

10E2617: Green Mountain Flag | The Old Try

Our down street neighbors at The Old Try have created a print depicting the Green Mountain flag flown by General Stark and later Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys during and post American Revolution.  The green field, blue canton, and white stars is one of the few known regimental flags from the American Revolution. The 13 stars referenced the 13 colonies at the time. VT would become the 14th 'state'.

These Vandercook letterpress prints, (13" x 20", 110lb Lettra Paper, made in MA) are on presale at $33 for early adopters; buy here.

In celebrating the US bi-centennial in 1977 it seems Nestle had a whole campaign of revolutionary wrappers - very neat and informative as below.

Monday, July 23

10E2616: New Bedford Whaling Panorama

Had never heard of these 19th century "panoramas" but it makes total sense...

Either housed in circular viewing building, or even live "scrolled" at a theater in front of an audience, these horizontal - and massive - travelogue paintings allowed viewers to be immersed in landscapes and stories.

Aquatint by Robert Mitchell, 1801 Cross-section of the rotunda in Leicester Square in which panoramas were exhibited.

"Though other panorama rotundas were built, the one in Leicester Square was thought to provide the most realistic displays. The building was designed to disorient people as they passed from the actual to the virtual world. Spectators had to walk down a long dark hallway and climb shadowy stairs before emerging onto the viewing platform. Some people felt sick as a result. More felt delighted..."
Panoramas: 19th-Century Virtual Reality

Now imagine an epic rollercoaster of a whaling voyage, painted across 1,275 feet of canvas, and you have The Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World by Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington, which is as long as the Empire State Building is high... this thing is no joke.

Image courtesy of Jessamyn West

Image courtesy of Jessamyn West

The full piece is now on view for FREE at the Kilburn Mill, in New Bedford (MA) - soon to be part of a larger experience as part of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Visiting info here.

The illusion of being “on the spot” was greatly enhanced by the authenticity of the artist’s first-hand knowledge and the quality of the narrative. The Purrington-Russell panorama’s authority would have been justified by Benjamin Russell’s personal experience as a whaleman and his attention to details that, at least in the ports of New England, would have been noted and appreciated, such as house flags of known vessels and architectural details of ports of call... As a skilled artist and detailed observer with a broad range of both practical and business experience, he and his partner, sign painter Caleb Purrington (1812 - 1876) captured details of the whaling voyage seldom encountered in any other visual representations of the industry.

You can click and zoom it all right now in this digital experience too but I think that hardly captures the scale...  the piece looks immense.


Thursday, July 5

10E2615: Universal Works | Concrete Birks

"Concrete" colorway Birkenstock via Universal Works in the UK.  £70squid...  Noice.

- leather uppers
- natural cork footbed
- regular fit

Friday, May 25

10E2614: France Footy Kit

While not quite capturing lightning in a bottle like the 11/12 kit - these French football jerseys are nae bad...

Tuesday, May 22

10E2613: Jean Jacket

Camden Market 1988 for a tenner, or Vermont thrift store for $2...  can't remember. Unearthed this barnscore unpacking some old boxes on a family visit last week.

Check underside of the tags on these old worn ones and you may get a surprise.  Summer uniform material...

Friday, April 13

10E2611: Tracksmith | Boston

I dont get jittery if I miss a run. Far from it... But great to see local TRACKSMITH continue to grow (un-official uni for the London Marathon this year...) and these tasty Boston marathon choices for Monday. 

My bruv once ran as a bandit many years ago, announcer called out "this guy doesnt have a number but he's lookin good!" as bruv hit the finish in 3 hours 1 minute. Hat tip. 1999.

Anyhow, performance gear by Tracksmith great and low key. Lots of old-timey stripes etc. Navy or crimson if you dont feel you have to drop the H-bomb...



Monday, April 9

10E2610: Outdoor Store | Maynard, MA

Image courtesy Russ Campbell

Couple towns west of Boston, past Concord and Walden Pond you'll find the Maynard Outdoor Store.

Essentially operating since 1893 as a dry goods store.

Image via Maynard Life 

Sporting goods (hats, gloves, sweats, skates, cleats), camping gear, hiking boots, mens/womens/kids. Scout supplies. Etc. GREAT WALL of jeans.  Some older stock if you are not 32/32, lucky you. Family-run and friendly - real world selection of Lee and Levis and rational pricing.   

Last of the Cone denim bought by Levis. Run don't walk... $59.

Pocket ballast. A must. $2.  Every visit get one more...

PLUS! You can then get an ice cream at Erikson's driving round the corner a mile... or a $7 movie at Fine Arts.