|Zigzag sequin dress, Louise Gray for Topshop, £200|
1) The book - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
After totally eavesdropping on literary goddesses Jill Mansell and Isobel Akenhead's Twitter conversation, I bought this as something to possibly read on the train. Sorry train. I started reading it on the bus to my screening yesterday, then stayed up when I got home until I finished it. A story about teenagers with cancer, it's INCREDIBLY funny, exploding with snark and very moving too. Tricky subject matter beautifully handled, simply by not being 'handled' at all. Easily the best book I've read all year and another triumph for YA fiction.
|Flash Face sequin dress, £175|
Louise Gray for Topshop
I thought this collab was only for make-up - gorgeous, super sparkly make-up with marvellous names like Pinch Punch (pink, super sparkly nail varnish, £6.50) or There and Black (mascara, £10) but no. There is also the most colourful, gorgeous clothing, all at prices well out of my range but just so, so lovely to look at. Crossref: totally bonkers. Thanks to Helen on Twitter for the tip-off!
|Dwell Gherkin Table Lamp, £69|
3) The lamp - Dwell's Gherkin Table Lamp
The couple who owned Twee Flat before me had ever such a tasteful sofa. My sofa is totally not tasteful, to the extent that I have called it the Earl of Rochester due to its extreme bordello qualities. As a result of their tasteful sofa, I keep getting Dwell catalogues, which I mostly ignore due to the fact their shops always seem to be filled with extremely tasteful sofas and extremely WTF expensive skulls. This lamp though - love. I adore the Gherkin, and this ceramic, metal-coated lamp is not only a lovely nod to it, but a significantly cheaper alternative to my beloved Graham + Green pineapple lamp base which I long realised was never to be mine. For one thing, this lamp at least comes with its own shade.
4) The world's best fudge recipe
Growing up, it was a source of constant misery to my brother and I that the only time my mum made her incredible fudge was for my brother's school bazaars. Every last granulated, heavenly crumb would be put into a neat little bag and tied up with ribbon to sell...except for one or two pieces, which my brother and I would be allowed to have. Pure wonderment in a treat.
You will need:
- 225g slightly salted butter
- 453g castor sugar
- 397g tin condensed milk
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the sugar and mix over gentle heat. Use a straight-bottomed wooden spatula to keep stirring, and scraping the bits (and there will be bits) off the bottom of the pan.
Remove and add the milk, then stir continuously and bring gently to the boil (this will take about 10 minutes). When it reaches boiling and bubbles continue to stir for exactly 10 minutes, turning the heat down a little. Pour into a well-greased tray and cut into squares when cold.
One of those straight bottomed wooden spatulas is perfect to stop the fudge sticking as you are stirring.