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Andrew
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This is Pom-Pom. He is a massive, handsome Breton draft horse who makes the ground shake when he comes lumbering up to meet me or, more accurately, my big bag of carrots. He loves this vegetable and apples as well, but quite rightly rejects lettuce and anything salad-ey. His picture... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2016 at ADD on
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My friend Andy's garden in Brittany is a constant source of inspiration for me. And this week his acre of hard worked land revealed a new wonder for me. It's called a dead hedge and as you can see from my photo, it's a carefully stacked and woven line of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2016 at ADD on
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Quite a few years back, I had a wonderful moment of insight. It happened in a brainstorming session for a beer brand. I was leading the discussion, felt tip in hand, flip chart crisp and white – and unfortunately empty. After about thirty minutes what little conversation dried up and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2016 at ADD on
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I saw a wonderful piece of innovation in action this morning in my public library in Lewes. It made me instantly pull out my phone and take a picture – which you can see above. What a clever idea. Instead of walking into the library and just picking out a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2016 at ADD on
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Last year I spent a week in Tuscany and noticed that little Pinocchio figures were just about the most popular tourist souvenirs on offer. I took some pictures like the one above as I thought they might come in handy for a visual in a presentation. Well dear little Pinocchio,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2015 at ADD on
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I was strolling up to the station the other day when I spotted a thirtyish, well-dressed blonde in very high heels coming towards me. What caught my eye in particular was the gruesome face she was pulling as she tried to bite open a packet of peanuts she'd just bought.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2015 at ADD on
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Why are flowers and plants so different from each other? They may look beautiful and decorous but behind their unique shapes, scents and colours lies a battle - a battle to attract pollinating insects. And over millions of years each individual species has evolved a way of getting those insects... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2015 at ADD on
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I was lucky enough to get invited to ‘Taste of London’ a few weeks ago. It’s a sprawling temporary camp of tented pop up restaurants in Regents Park that appears every June. Armed with the currency of the event, you can eat your way around the menus of forty or... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at ADD on
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Just before Christmas I helped a friend run a stall at a Christmas market held in the community centre of a little village in the middle of Brittany. Our table was one of about thirty selling a variety of Christmassy things and manned by a mixture of expats and locals.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at ADD on
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When we lived in Brussels the house, three doors up, had a sycamore tree in its garden. Every year around about now it would carpet bomb the neighbourhood with its helicopter seeds and every Spring I had to spend days yanking up the thousands of baby trees it maliciously left... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at ADD on
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I have been growing a beard this summer. Not for any aesthetic, health or philosophical reasons but to be really honest, just to get an extra few minutes in bed in the morning. And looking at my grey stubbly face in the mirror today, I was reminded of a much... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at ADD on
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When I was a lot younger, I got a life lesson from one of my best bosses. It happened like this: I was sitting in a meeting with about fifteen people and really struggling to keep my temper, as one of the participants reacted to all my proposals in a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at ADD on
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There has been a lot of moaning recently about the sound of F1 cars this season. Apparently they sound more like vacuum cleaners than roaring mechanised monsters. And that means, for those who care, part of their brand appeal has disappeared. This got me thinking - and listening. Just about... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2014 at ADD on
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I’m pretty certain I am going to teach you a new word. Have you ever heard of a ‘gabion’? I thought not. Let me explain, first of all, why I came to know this term and then I’ll tell you a bit about its origins. I am always on the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2013 at ADD on
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Last night I slept badly and woke this morning with a thumping headache. Fresh air seemed to be the best solution and so I set off northwards from Lewes alongside the river Ouse. I was immediately struck by how weird the river seemed and it looked like I was not... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2013 at ADD on
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I’ve got sick to death this summer with friends talking about Lidl. No matter what country you’re in, there’ll be a Lidl fanatic who’ll sidle up to you and bore you rigid about this German retailer. What I’ve found fascinating is that these Lidl-lovers don’t talk about the stores’ low... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2013 at ADD on
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I took this picture at the entrance to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, just west of Wakefield, in the south of this English county. And as I walked up to the main building, I knew immediately I was in safe and creative hands. Let me explain why. Most museums these days... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2013 at ADD on
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We don’t get lost anymore, do we? If we’re in the car, there’s Tom Tom. If we’re walking then most of our phones have some kind of smart map app. And, as you can see from the picture above, there are now really clever ways of not getting lost in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2013 at ADD on
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When my Dad was coming up to his eightieth birthday, I struggled to think of an appropriate present. He didn’t need things. His golf bag over-flowed. There was no space left on his walls for paintings. What on earth could I get to commemorate such a significant anniversary? I finally... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2013 at ADD on
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Clapham Junction was once supposed to be the busiest train station in the world. It certainly seemed pretty hectic when I left its subterranean walkways the other day, heading for a meeting alongside the Thames in Battersea. My walk took me along Battersea high street, which was poor but interesting... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2013 at ADD on
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I know I should write ‘up’ blogs. And provide inspiration to my readers, but sometimes the grumpy old man inside me just wells up and swamps my more generous nature. Take trends. You can’t move for so-called trend experts. People happy to direct us innocent bystanders towards what they perceive... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2013 at ADD on
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I had lunch this week in a recently done-up pub near London. On the surface it appeared the designers had a done a good job. Loads of Farrow and Ball paint everywhere, leather sofas, solid-looking oak tables and a slick menu. Of course there’s a ‘but’. As I sat chatting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2013 at ADD on
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I remember about 18 years ago starting a project to redesign a Polish cookie brand and worrying we were about to impose a western European aesthetic on a country with its own highly developed design style. My worries have grown over the years, as all forms of design seem to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2013 at ADD on
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Step back for a moment from your Christmas shopping and look objectively at the window displays. I’ve noticed that the Point of Sale business is beginning to show signs of renewal. Yes admittedly the majority of shops and supermarkets still seem to employ clueless functionaries to produce their material but... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2012 at ADD on
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Do you know the rest of the quote? Or whom it’s by? The full aphorism is ‘A room without books is like a body without a soul’ and was one of Cicero's many observations. I was thinking about this today as I read a new book by Robert Mighall (advance... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2012 at ADD on