on the street: piccadilly circus

Once I've gotten over the jet lag and that flatness that my friend Sophia says is normal - when we're on holiday, is her theory, we have this sense that 'anything is possible' - coming home to London, really, isn't all that terrible. There are, I suppose, more challenging places to come home to.

They said it was meant to rain 'for a month' but whoever They are, They are wrong. It rained Sunday, which was bliss - great excuse, for once, to stay in ALL DAY LONG in pj's, hanging out with my husband and the cat, doing laundry and reading and watching films - but after a rainy Monday, Tuesday has emerged blindingly bright. Off to take the cat for his booster shot, and, for your viewing pleasure, some street shots in and around Piccadilly Circus. From top: Susie, dressed perfect for this transitional season, a girl in a red maxi, a window at Fortnum & Mason, and - how classic is this - happening to pass the Changing of the Guard.

Which is so apt: all part of my ongoing Transitional series. Yes, I feel a series coming up.


it's the end of the world as we know it

Joe: this one's for you.

Turn on the soundtrack, if you please.

So Joe and I were sitting on the deck of my parents' beach place, last summer, and he couldn't believe I didn't know about December 21st. Where have you been, Jill? he was asking. Hello? The Mayan Calender? The End of Days?

I remembered talking about it with my Egyptian (via Geneva) friend, Natalya, in Cafe Nero, about how all the religions are saying the same thing, and we were wondering if it wasn't going to one of those self fulfilling prophecies, where someone's gonna go and do something stupid, and I was asking Joe, 'So what are you saying, we're all going to die?' NOT NECESSARILY! he kept saying, and was telling me about how everyone's been existing on these opposing frequencies, which I get, but it's starting to get more intense - I get that, too. And then the next day, while we were swimming, I had an idea for a film - or another novel. December 21st comes along, and the world doesn't end. No one gets hurt. It just turns out there's this glitch in the system, and - the thing that no one could ever see coming - the internet goes down.

And stays down.

Everyone, at first, thinks it's just them. And they do what they usually do - reboot, restart, whatever, and then they get really pissed off.. and then they try to call someone. And they're on hold for hours, because everyone's calling someone.. and no one can help, because, uh, the internet is down.

I started imagining life without the internet. We wouldn't be having this conversation, for starts. I could only play the music on my collection of CD's, or sing the songs in my head. No one would know how much money they had, so we wouldn't be able to take cash from the machines. We'd still have food, and homes, but we'd have to either start some kind of barter system, or a few fights might break out. I was telling a friend that I wanted to write a book and he said 'well you'd better write fast.'

There was a great show on it, last night, on More4 - The Mayan Apocalypse 2012 - which, alas, I can't get On Demand. Which I might as well get used to. Because come December - if my prophecy is correct - we're not gonna get anything On Demand, now matter how much we demand it.

If the end of the world as we know it is coming in ten and a half weeks, we might as well shop.

Westfield East just celebrated their one year birthday. And the nice people who asked me to take part in the campaign last time, have asked again. And because I had such a great time there during the Olympics - and went again last week, to meet a friend, and I still love it there, the architecture, all my favourite shops and cafes - the good feeling still remains, just less hoards of huddled masses - I figured, why not. If you click here, you can do something to change the world. You can hand me 50p. That's 75 American copper pennies. That would buy me.. let's see.. wow, a fifth of a flat white at Cafe Nero. Which they have - a lovely branch - at Westfield. So please, please, click here: it won't cost you a think, you needn't sign up for anything and besides, I want them to know how popular I am.

All photos shot by me at Westfield East, during the Olympics. Apart from the top shot, which is by my friend Joseph Keller, who's been on both sides of the camera, as model (he's worked with Scavullo, among others) and now, photographer. Oh and the last shots of me, by my darling husband, who doesn't remotely claim to be a photographer - he's more like a human tripod.


no regrets, coyote

Back on the street again. And, for your listening pleasure, a song from one of my favourite musical style icons, to illustrate this post:


This is my kind of style: crisp men's shirt. Simple, slightly cropped trousers. Clean, cool, confident. Slightly androgynous. Bit of colour - red, in this case, for Danielle, who I met on Dover Street, Mayfair. And I suppose I should explain my absence, but as my friend Antonia's husband would say, 'Never apologise, never explain.'

I will say, however, that I didn't attend London, or any other, Fashion Week this season. There are various reasons why, and, while I had been asked to do my 'fast track' - and I did, in case I changed my mind - I listened to my gut, and my heart, and, in the end, was so busy with other things that I actually forgot it was going on. And then - because I do love life's little coincidences - my friend Mona, in Virginia, happened to send me an article in the NY Times, which pretty much clinched it for me. They quoted people I have almost worked with - and chose not to - and some who, let's just say, are not quite as nice in real life as they make themselves out to be online, and I realised that, when I set out to shoot street style, this whole hoo ha - this circus - was not what I was interested in joining. And the way I know I've made the right decision is that - by not going - I have no regrets.

Of course, that could all change. Especially if I found that someone wanted to pay me a nice hunk of cash. Who was it - was it Linda Evangelista? Ah, yes, here it is, under 'brainy quotes': I shall paraphrase. You won't get me into fashion week for less than $10,000. Or the pound equivalent, in today's market.

That said, I do like doing the odd street shoot. When something strikes my fancy. When it comes from my heart, or my soul. 

I will not be bought. 

No, I didn't mean that. I can be bought. Of course I can. But I will no longer sell myself short. 


ripple: sea of tranquility

My little end-of-summer gift: an old song, but a good one. Turn up the volume, and sing along:

Photos by me, and Maryann Kissane: our hostess at Tranquility Mills, designed, renovated, and built by her husband, architect James Kissane (with the help of Ben, his son). We had another magical visit, with daughter Julie and good friends, August 2012.

Reach out your hand, if your cup be empty. If your cup is full, let it be, again.

Let it be known: there is a fountain that was not made by the hands of men.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.