Leave A Light On For Me…

I was browsing through my general clever clogs emails this week and came across a bit of a gem from Springwise.com.  

Placelamp is a desk lamp which changes colour according to the owner’s status.

Image source: http://www.pixelonomics.com

You link the lamp with an app on your phone and you can program it to do all sorts of things – colour intensifies when you are closer and becomes a ‘reading’ lamp while at your desk. You can also set it to change to various colours according to your status eg. out of the office or even to reflect incoming emails or messages. Cool huh?

Anyway I got a bit excited and started looking at all of these other lamps and there’s some pretty amazing stuff out there.

This is the Titanic lamp from Viable London…


It was designed by Charles Trevelyan in 2005 and while it doesn’t seem like it’s for sale any more, it was such a great design that I just had to share it.

This next one’s the Martyr, a playful energy saver designed by UK design studio The Play Coalition in 2008…its sense of fun made me giggle.

And for the slightly morbid, here’s Hung – he (or she?) has been created by enPieza! and will set you back about €185…gulp! Game of Hangman anyone?

At the opposite end of the spectrum I found this cute cottontail on that most excellent of inspired-gift-giving websites, not on the high street. The Bunny lamp is available from All Things Brighton Beautiful for £69.95.

I meandered further and discovered an illuminating and spirited trio.

First, I found Whoopsy from Lumisource which reminded me of that deliciously intoxicating flow from cocktail shaker to glass – available in four fab flavours colours for just $24.95.

Next it was this upcycled Beefeater London Gin lamp from AfterGlowsbyStacey. She makes all sorts of spirit brands light up but I loved the mix of vibrant colour and London tradition combined with the whole upcycling vibe best. It caught my eye on Etsy for the bargain price of £20.

And the last in this alcohol-fuelled triumvariate was San Remo, an oriental inspired shade made from a whole load of paper cocktail umbrellas. It’s bottoms up from Zipper8Lighting and Etsy again for £72.34

This whole upcycling thing intrigued me so I mosey-ed around a bit further on this and got a bit excited about this recycled book lamp shade from the ‘make-it-yourself’ website, Instructables – you can download the instructions here for making this little beauty.

I wasn’t really sure how I could do that with my Kindle though so the last one I found was absolutely perfect. The Andrew Lang NOD has a slot for Audrey (that’s the Kindle for the Gidday uninitiated), a nook for my glasses and a third cranny for…well something else. It’s available from Emmo Home for $220. Yikes!

Strangely enough, all of this inspiration just reminded of an old favourite. 

I saw it in a store about 18 years ago in Melbourne, the store lights glinting invitingly off the glass beads. Struck by its classically elegant shape, I paid and took it home and it stood on the table near my purple reading chair for more than seven years before I lugged it across the world, added an adapter and found it a new home.  

It is the first thing I see when I open the front door. There’s a place for my bag on the table beside it and, when I turn it on, the beads tinkle gently as my hand brushes past before the room is suffused in a soft glow. 


But best of all? 

It tells me I am home. 

Of Hearts And Minds…

As long term readers of Gidday from the UK will know, about 16 months ago I crossed to ‘the dark side’ and got a Kindle. Audrey quickly became an integral part of my daily commute and bedtime ritual and it wasn’t long before I wondered what I had ever done without her.

In short, I fell in love.

But even the best and most faithful of companions needs a little TLC so I am pleased to report that my stalwart commuting friend has a gorgeous new red frock.

Audrey’s new duds – given it was a Christmas gift from Mum, it seems rather appropriate that ‘melbourne’ appears front and centre.

Doesn’t she look fab?

This amazing cover is actually designed by artist Sharyn Sowell, a relentless traveller and blogger who is fascinated by the juxtaposition of the very old and the very new.

Just like me.

So it would appear that this meeting of hearts and minds continues…

…mine and Audrey’s that is.

The Good Book…

Lately, the e-book has come in for a bit of schtick.

At the end of February, Stylist columnist Lucy Mangan said said ‘E-readers are representative of our mindless embrace of all that purports to be ‘progress”. Then a month later fellow blogger Russell Ward described the Kindle as ‘cold and calculating in its determination to deliver the electronic word seamlessly to you’.

Ouch!

Admittedly I was a slow convert, clinging on to both the physical and the ritual around my serious book habit. And I still love a good book shop browse. In fact last week I had an hour to kill before meeting A-used-to-be-down-the-hill and I spent it wandering through Foyles at St Pancras Station, perusing the latest dust jackets, dipping into travel guides (I’m off to Rome for a little city break soon) and flicking through the pages of Titanic-themed tomes in the special event section. Lovely stuff.

But the thought of finding more space in my already full bookshelf, packed with old theatre programs, illustrated coffee table books – for which I have no coffee table – and those volumes dubbed with ‘re-read me status’ or acquired in youthful nostalgia (my hard back Jane Austen set and the 7-book Chronicles of Narnia being a couple of these) before my Kindle conversion, holds little allure.

On the other hand my Kindle – christened Audrey for her stylish simplicity – goes everywhere with me. There is nothing cool or calculating about immersing myself in a few quick chapters while on the bus, waiting for a friend, in the boarding lounge and even before lights out at night. Audrey is always at the ready and the Kindle shop only a few clicks away. Apart from my favourites, both old and new, I’ve discovered authors I would never have come across and been able to support the burgeoning efforts of a couple of budding writers in my blogging circle – just check out 2011’s Book Nook numbers 51, 55a and 57.

Granted a Kindle is not the be all and end all. After all, there is nothing like a travel book for sitting on the plane, standing on a street corner in a new city or sipping espresso in a funky cafe, marking the places to be seen with folded corners and scribbled annotations and plotting my next adventure(s).

And I haven’t quite managed the conversion of my magazine or Saturday Times newspaper habit yet but let’s face it, the only way to conquer the Samurai Sudoku or the cryptic version of the Jumbo Crossword is curled up on my couch, pen in hand, steaming coffee at my elbow.

But villifying the Kindle and all its counterparts seems a little extreme. Like laptops, smartphones and iPods, the e-reader is just another symbol of our increasingly mobile lives and to my mind, something that encourages the consumption of the written word in every place or space. And that can only be a good thing.

Books still have their place in my life. But for me the power lies in the storytelling.

And I get to take that everywhere.

Book, Cover, Judging And All Of That…

For those of you who have been living under a rock lately (most likely hiding from the horrible, horrible rioters if you are in the UK), I recently had a birthday. And joy of joys, I got a Kindle.

I finally succumbed to Kindle lust somtime in May and so it went on the birthday wishlist in the hope that some vouchers would help me edge a little closer to its purchase. But there was no edging required.  On the first of August I opened the box from Mum/Amazon to uncover what might become the best commuting gem ever. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet…Audrey!

Isn’t she pretty???!!!!

So I got on the blower straight away to organise a free wi-fi router from my broadband provider and got a parcel-to-be-signed-for-and-collected card from the postman last Saturday.  Thinking I wouldn’t be able to get to the post office before yesterday and would therefore have to be patient (not my strong suit), I was all gee’d up to be waxing lyrical about Audrey today.

But no cigar.

The customer service person who answered the phone at my broadband provider couldn’t find the file note from my previous call which was supposed to ensure said router was sent to me…taking a deeeeeeeep breath, I managed to order another one (to be despatched to my work address) without reaching through the phone and strangling the person-not-responsible at the other end in disappointment and frustration. 

Breathing, breathing…

So the lovely Audrey is still download-less…and we will all have to be patient just a little while longer.

But you gotta admit – in her Diane von Furstenberg cover, she looks mighty good!

ps…oh the parcel that I collected?  It was a belated birthday present from half-sis, S (she of Fawlty Towers fame) – a fab pair of earrings that I can’t wait to show-off wear – I am a lucky, lucky girl.