The Spike

Clothes, recipes, kids, interiors, London…


October 2017

Two top tips

I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before – a karabiner to anchor together the monstrous shuffle of book bags and discarded coats and other bags of shite I need to cart around on the school run!

I have got two smallish ones so I have been using those to stop coats from falling into  puddles, (guaranteed a child will then clumsily step on coat, forcing further into puddle), or book bags from bloody sliding and slithering around. WHAT IS WRONG WITH A RUCKSACK? Book bags are the devil’s doing.

But I am so in love with this idea that I went on Amazon and bought the largest karabiner I could find in the hope that if it’s big enough, I can just hook my children on there, too.

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The second thing I’ve discovered is on recommendation from my sister, which is Spice Tailor curry sauces, which you can get off Ocado or in Waitrose. When my husband is away the temptation in the evening to have not dinner just do vodka shots and eat cashew nuts while watching Ray Donovan and texting my friends is really tempting. And some nights that is exactly what I do BUT it’s also, I think, quite important to actually eat dinner sometimes.

I used these sauces twice to make myself dinner but they both looked so genuinely revolting in the photo as I am no food stylist, (though very tasty, promise), that I haven’t included a picture here, just a screen grab of the actual thing. Plus I interviewed Anjum Anand for a thing a few years ago and she is adorable.

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Also handy to give to my husband. I’m no good at making curry sauces myself- they always come out all tasting the same – but Giles is a massive fusspot about everything pre-bought sauces, says they leave a funny taste in his mouth – I mean I guess I know what he means but these really don’t and won’t.

AW event dress

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I saw this and thought of you – if you need to go to any event this AW be it a wedding or a big party or whatever. I absolutely love this dress and am seriously considering getting it even though I’ve got nowhere to wear it.

It really reminds me of an Alexander McQueen dress I saw Nicola Formby wearing at a party about 8 years ago. He (then later Sarah Burton) did a lot of that sort of Rorschach test/mirror image embroidery a while ago – and it still looks very beautiful.

Ignore the face that this is technically a Tall dress – if you get it and like it and it’s a bit long you can have it taken up.


****NB a reader – below – ordered the dress and it arrived and she hated it so proceed with caution. But, I do think that this style of dress is really lovely for a autumn or winter event, so keep an eye out for others like it and I will too ***



High-waisted jeans

I have been blobbing about on Instagram talking about high-waisted jeans on my Stories, (which are my new obsession because I can just empty out my brain through my mouth on there without having to type anything or speak in complete sentences), but I realise now that I really ought to be following up on here.

Because a) it’s a legit subject and b) not everyone is on Instagram, watching Stories, or watching every single one. WTF NOT???

So a goodly proportion of you will not know that I am in favour of moving onto high-waisted jeans. This is not for everyone, of course. It’s not a massively forgiving trend, although I don’t think you technically need a waist in order to wear them. I think the whole point is that high waisted jeans will create a waist for you where there isn’t quite one.

I’ve got a bit too much waist and left unchecked I look like a blow-up doll, which I don’t want, so I have for the last few years swathed myself in clothes that miss it my waist completely. But recently I have noted a slightly new aesthetic – brought to us mainly by French It girls – where the high-waisted jean can look good but also not ludicrously LOOK AT MY TITS AND ARSE.

Here are a few inspirational photos:

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This is basically the new way to wear a pair of high waisted jeans – with a slightly oversized T-shirt and trainers. I love this photo.

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This is slightly more gaggy Pinterest twattery but you get the idea – I mean NONE of us is going to look like this, but just gaze at it for a bit, get the idea of a new shape in your mind.

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You could even do it like this – I have a pair of similar jeans from TopShop, just called “Straight” jeans – these – which I wear as nonchalantly as possible to cover up for the fact that they might just be monstrously unflattering. My husband certainly loathes them with a passion and has requested that maybe perhaps I wear them only when he is away filming?

I have these, too, which are more wearable, from H&M 

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If you’re willing to take a risk on something that might be fabulous or might just be a massive fucking waste of time, have a look at these Sezane Mom Jeans. I ordered a pair that I thought looked promising called Le Brut Sexy, which were nightmarish – possibly actually just too big but I just flung them back in the box and sent them back.

Anyway I’m not arsed about trying these Mom Jeans because I’m happy now with my high waisters now but if you feel like going on a bit of a journey, go for it.

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I mean LOOK at the tittays on this girl


I  mean the best thing to do, always, is get yourself to bloody Selfridges one day – make a trip of it – go to their massive denim hall, (not on the weekend), collar some girl and just try on 40 different pairs.

But do have a crack at this if you think you might even vaguely like it. Because this is firmly a direction in which we’re going now so you might as well get used to it. Like all new jean phenomenon (skinnies, boyfriends) they take a lot of getting used to – and it’s a numbers game, you just have to try on as many as you can stand until you find something you like.

Dinny Hall

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HERE IT IS: your 15% discount code for Dinny Hall. Ready? SPIKE15. Valid one week from today.

But wait!!! Don’t go yet. Let’s talk about what to buy before you go rushing off like children into a funfair where everything is made of sweets.

My necklace on Instagram is in fact a charm necklace, the elements can be slipped on or off just as you fancy.

So you can have long sun and a moon. Or a sun and a locket. Or a sun and a circle. Or a moon and a locket – or whatever you like. I am totally in love with the celestial element to this collection – sun, moon, stars – I’m just really feeling all that at the moment.

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Personally I think if you’re going to go for anything, get a sun charm, (above), which is very unusual and beautiful and will go with absolutely everything. The chains come with a jump link so you can lengthen or shorten as you want. Or my other favourite is the locket, which you can actually open and close. I soaked a small piece of cotton wool in perfume and clipped it inside and now it smells delicious.

If you love this collection but now is not a good time budget-wise then do not fear as I’m sure I will be able to get another code closer to Christmas and you can just email this page directly to your husband (or wife or pimp or whatever).

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Above is the locket and moon charm together.


I have been holding off talking about sweaters because usually every year J Crew bring out some stunners – I have two from last year in grey and camel, big cosy thick roll necks.

But this year they haven’t done them – or haven’t done them yet I suppose, I’m still hoping that they will do something.

And because I worry about you guys being cold, I have been on the hunt for something similar, which I found in that temporary mystery, Arket, a sort of Scandi concept/superstore, which has opened on Regent Street in London, but also does a roaring online trade.

They have these sweaters, for £69, which is insanely good value. It is pretty much identical to the J Crew sweater I have, and it comes in sort of browny beige and also in navy.

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They have some other sweaters, too – really beautiful slightly shorter swing knits kind of like a fisherman’s sweater. I got that lurch in my stomach when I saw them, like the same one that I sometimes got as a teenager when I saw a really hot boy. How times have changed. But the sweaters are still nice.

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If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted much recently it’s because I’ve had some actual paid work on, which always takes precedence over this and other things (not alcohol) and also I’ve been having too much fun messing about on Instagram which is a damn sight easier than writing actual words down. And if I think that then WE’RE ALL DOOMED!

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