My great friend Harriet Reuter Hapgood writes more beautifully than you can possibly imagine. She recently produced both a book and a baby into the world in the space of one week, that’s the kind of casual over-achiever she is.
Usually, if I read a book and wish I’d written it myself to the point of jealousy, it’s because it has a clever, twisty plot that would be far beyond the limitations of my small brain. However, Harriet could write a book in which nothing happened whatsoever – full of sighs, meaningful glances, no dialogue and solely descriptions of beautiful rooms and outfits – and I would happily spend the rest of my life reading it. I honestly don’t know anyone else on the face of this planet who has her gift for unusual description, unexpected detail and sighingly gorgeous lycricism.
Her new book, HOW TO BE LUMINOUS, tells the story of the three teenage sloe sisters. Their famous artist mother has disappeared and Minnie, the middle sister, has lost her ability to see colour. There are gorgeous boys, even more gorgeous settings, outfits I wish were real and in my wardrobe, fictional artworks that I can see right in front of me, and a rabbit called Salvador Dali. There are roses and sequinned platform shoes and secrets and wild swimming and a thousand shades of bright pink and existential angst.
Her first book, THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER, is also wonderful but I think I love this one even more. I highly recommend reading both. She is frequently compared to Jandy Nelson – company of the highest order and very aptly deserved.
In short. I do not even have the linguistic skills to convey how beautiful Harriet’s writing is. It makes me feel like Georgia O’Keeffe and PJ Harvey and Sylvia Plath do, but about teenage girls in South London. I can’t wait for all the things she’s going to do next. The word ‘humbled’ is overused and I hate it but… yeah, that.
As well as being a very proud friend, I also really like this sensible and wise article on being single by Garance Dore. I think she’s a pretty cool woman.
I also bought some tiny Ivy Park shorts on Depop (I only buy second-hand clothes now). I bought them from a cool teenage girl and now totally feel like one when I’m out running. It’s a great feeling.
I have been drinking a lot of kombucha. Fun. Today I’m 42 days sober (the longest since I was 14 years old) and I’m told this is where it gets really good. Incidentally, I have now not smoked in 9 months. This almost passed me by, and it feels normal now, most of the time.
I presume you already do Yoga With Adriene, but stepping up to doing at least one of her (usually short) videos every day has changed my life for the better.
Last night, we ate pasta sauce made with olives from the garden and few things have ever made me happier.
Things are really not too bad on this humid, London, sleepy, wearing my boyfriend’s shirt to work Monday morning.