The last time I wrote to you it was halloween, and somehow, time has magicked its way in a forward motion, as is its wont, and I’ve just spent the morning decorating my Christmas tree (a little evergreen I keep outside all year in a pot, now abundant in wooden koala bears, red bells, glass stockings & topped with a cardboard angel I made aged 6-ish), with a blazing fire, radio 4 and a determination that everything will happen perfectly in its own sweet time…
Lots to mention in this bumper post, so moving swiftly to it:
LAST DATES FOR POSTING:
If you’re in the UK, you’ll want to etch these in your mind (I, for one, know I still have plenty of shopping to do and am loving supporting small, independent businesses!). So with no further delay (seriously), you’ll want to place your orders before these dates:
– For second class (standard) postage: Tuesday 18th December
– For first class postage: Thursday 20th December
The other day, I watched an outdoor performance of Romeo and Juliet set in the grounds of Oxford Castle (I don’t believe summer evenings can get more quintessentially English). They say (and by ‘they’ I mean Juliet) that a Rose is a rose by any other name (‘That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet). It’s true, and there’s no mistaking the rosy purity with which this email is unapologetically drenched. I’ll get straight to it:
There’s a new bottle on the block and I think you’re going to like it.
‘Monday Monday, so good to me’ …is a lyric embarrassingly (yet calendricularly-appropriately) stuck in my head today (The Mamas and Papas song is being sandwiched into my December choir group performance and I have an excessive number of ‘bah dah, bah, dah dah dah’s in my head post-rehearsal, alongside the more traditional O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Come All Ye Faithful and an alarmingly-intricate-yes-pleasingly-challenging alto part to We Wish You A Merry Christmas).
But you didn’t ask about any of that.
Instead I’ll tell you about 3 exciting updates on the wild and innocent world of Leafology.
May I present:
Yep, oceans were made for fish, not takeaway forks or plastic bottles (which will still be floating around in 450 years) and I am proud to say that Leafology is officially at war with the pervasive existence of one-use-only plastic.
Photo used with personal permission by artist & campaigner Von Wong.
See the end of this post to read about the ways in which Leafology is saying ‘nope’ to the epidemic.
I’ve seen the light; plastic is disgusting… What can we do?
As I mentioned to someone on tinder the other day (what?!), I occasionally try to draw parallels between my excessive number of interests in an attempt to feel like a more coherent human being.
There’s the part of me that goes for days on end with no make up on, walking in muddy fields in floaty summer trousers and snow boots without a care in the world, feeling the perfect blend of free and indifferent (and as I mentioned to the lady in the post office as we contemplated the seasonally transcendent world outside its doors, who on earth knows how to dress for the weather at the moment?) and the part that enjoys the play and artistry of using colour, sheen & enhancement to feel a little more ‘put together’ or, ya know, somewhat goodlookin’-ish.
Recipe/pout testing: Moroccan Rhassoul Clay Cleansing Mousse & Mask. Leaves skin stroke-able. Organic white tea AND coffee, plus sandalwood, hibiscus, neem, mandarin, apricot, aloe… and tons more that make snappy, succinct titles a challenge… COMING SOON!!
Things have been happening here in Leafology land.
Mermaid-inspired face masks have flown in jiffy bags, bright yellow cleansing balms have been placed on bathroom shelves, hair treatments are drenching lacklustre locks with the most luxurious of plant seed oils – and in the meantime I’ve been working hard, concocting brand new things and starting collaborations with stockists!
If you know of any shops, local to you or otherwise, that may be interested in a natural, cruelty-free, vegan skincare brand, do hit reply and let me know!
In the meantime, a few things need your urgent attention…
Hooray hooray!! It’s DAY ONE. After months of crazy behind-the-scenes obsession and hard work, Leafology is official and the online shop is OPEN. Ta da!!
Tell your friends, family & everyone you know!
It’s been just 9 months since I decided to officially combine my passion for natural skincare/beauty products & my tea addiction. In September/October I threw earl grey to the wind & announced that I was taking the plunge; I decided to make the products I’d been concocting for myself (and giving to friends and family) legally available for sale. The process of learning to be slightly business minded as well as creative has been eyelash-opening (and actually really fun); learning about which regulations apply and how to adhere to which rules in order to sell where (toxicologist assessment, certification, the mathematics of it all) plus the practical side of things like designing product labels (who knew how excited I would become about fonts?), how to create a website and also, um, how to occasionally delegate and hire professionals who know how to do the seemingly impossible. (It turns out it’s really hard to photograph products on a pure white background without a full array of lights; seriously, the precision this involves quite possibly rivals any photoshoot I’ve modelled for as an actual real-life human being. Thank goodness my rather surreal ‘day job’ meant I have a phone full of photographer contacts.)
When I was a teenager, I blue-tacked to the top of my walls a border made from stuck-together calendar pages. I almost never use calendars in a proper way (though am best friends with my scheduling diary – retro these days to have a physical one – we are halfway through 2017 and mine is already starting to fall apart from over-use). The images were all of nature themes – an insect on a dew-dropped leaf; a precise row of perfectly curved rocks leading out to an open ocean; a field of outrageously vibrant poppies (like in this photo I took the other day while out on a modelling shoot location), or an autumnal forest with a half-glow of light, a chaos of orange, reddened and chestnut coloured leaves, a soft bed in the forest. I used to look at them, one by one, and imagine myself inside their worlds. This was pre-instagram/meme-age, but each photograph had a quote superimposed over it for a casual bit of inspiration, and my all time favourite was this one:
‘Do not follow where the path may lead, but find your own way and lead a trail’.
When I was in Indonesia for the first time nearly two years ago, a healer asked me some questions, and one of them was ‘do you consider yourself a leader?’
I’m just back from a 2 month trip away (you’ll know all about this if you’ve been following my instagram account, which got a bit green and leafy and very very tropical – lucky me!) and am now deep in the throes of jetlag (generally feeling a bit upside down) and rushing off to things here there and everywhere… I’m excited to say I can now share a little travel-themed guest post I wrote during said jaunt for The Essential Life. In it, I detail 7 different go-to addictions of mine – natural beauty secrets, plant remedies and ingredients without which I simply would not be!
My friend has the ability to remember every detail of who ate what at which restaurant in which year; whether they liked it, who served us, who rode home in which car, which couple had a fight… I am continually amazed by her (and grateful, since she is the group’s keeper of history in technicolour detail) – it is dazzling!
When it comes to me, well, I’ve dabbled in useful/useless skill sets, but one thing is clear: I’ve always had a super-sensitive nose. Sometimes more of a curse than a blessing, I have fun with it anyway and I am realising now how much this sense of mine has begun to lead my life in new directions.
The sense of smell is deeply, deeply powerful; a host of both memory and small pleasures.
Dating sites are filled with flowery-dreamy ‘like’ lists which start so often with ‘I like how the grass smells after rain’. And clichés abound around wood-fires and salty sea air…