James and Marcus

In 1955, around the time they filmed Giant together, Elizabeth Taylor gave James Dean a cat. They had developed a close friendship and the kitten was her gift to the boy whose life was shortly end in a fatal car crash. He named the cat Marcus.



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Ida Lupino does Surrealism


Photograph by Scotty Welbourne, 1941.


Photograph by Scotty Welbourne, 1941.


Photograph by Scotty Welbourne, 1941.

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The Return of #TCMKnittingClub

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 09.44.20

It’s almost time for #TCMFF, which means the return of #TCMKnittingClub! After a small hiatus, we (‘we’ being my friend Nora aka Nitrate Diva and I) are back with out yarn and calling all Classic Film Fans and/or knitters out there. This club materialised from a conversation we had a while ago: how much fun it would be to combine our love of yarn with classic movies, especially as so many film goddesses were knitters themselves.

Hope you enjoy out latest offering! And please sign up for bimonthly treats in your inbox!

TCM Knitting Club – March Newsletter  

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Happy Birthday, Anaïs

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”

Happy Birthday, Anaïs 💜

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Elsa Schiaparelli by Cecil Beaton, 1931.

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Ok I’m back.


Hello. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? There I was with plans at the start of the year and proclamations of posting on a regular basis and I guess I got lazy. Sorry, but I’m a bad blogger. As one of my favourite ever people Mae West said, “Too much of a good thing can be taxing”. She also said “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful” so I am inclined to agree with her on both counts.

It’s been ‘a year’ hasn’t it? So, as December approaches, let’s strive for more of the wonderful part, ok?

(ps. If anyone has a spare £500K and wishes to buy Dali’s Mae West Sofa as my Christmas gift – and to prevent it from leaving the UK, but more for me – I am not going to stop you. It’s what Mae would have wanted. I’m only half joking).

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2017 – Planning, Plotting, Doing


Emmy Bridgwater

2016 was the year events culminated and I decided to return to academia.

I had recently moved back to Birmingham (my hometown and the city where I completed both my MA and PhD) and needed to (re)establish my academic presence. I reconnected with old acquaintances – some I had kept in touch with, some who I had not seen for years – and made some new ones. I asked advice, made enquires, talked to people. The academic and moral support I have received is tremendous and I really could not have kept going without these wonderful, encouraging people.

Good things occurred and plans were set in motion:

I will be giving two lectures in March. The first will be part of Birmingham School of Jewellery’s ‘Talking Practice’ series (2 March) and is titled Intimate Jewels: Surrealism, Fetish and Fairytales. This will be a fun and informative exploration of the overlaps between Surrealist objects and fairytales. It will be dark, at times salacious, and I am very excited to work on the paper.

The second will be on 17 March and is to be held at the Birmingham and Midland Institute (BMI). In keeping with the building’s heritage, the talk is titled Emmy Bridgwater and the Birmingham Surrealists. In this lunchtime lecture I will give a brief overview of Surrealism’s Birmingham branch and explore Emmy’s artwork. Not enough has been written or said on Emmy, and I intend to give her a well deserved place in the spotlight.

It is a small, modest start but I am very grateful for these opportunities. More information will be available here – and on Twitter – closer to the time. (Unfortunately I’ll be missing the AAH Conference due to a pre-booked holiday, but have other papers, projects and plans cooking as I type). As an aside (but still connected) I would like to take more art trips (much neglected in 2016) and spend some time in Paris.

I approach everything with an open mind, excited for new possibilities, and keen to see what this year brings.

Thank you for reading!




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