There isn't time - time is too precious to me, right now - to spend indoors, online. I am out there, in the real world now. But I'm gathering images, like nuts, burrowing them in secret hideaway spots, to take out later on, in winter. Images which I will then share with you all.

Hope wherever you are, it's real. And that you're not even finding the time to read this.

Photo by Joseph Keller, as before.


wish you were here

A friend - Veshoevious, actually - sent me a link to a piece about 'is social media making you crazy'. I read it and thought, yeah, sometimes. And instead of posting that day, I went for a swim.

Sending this from the East End of Long Island, on the North Fork. My friend Joseph Keller, a brilliant photographer based in NY (but really, a citizen of the world), took this shot of me on the most magic, private beach, below our family's summer home. He and I used to do these great photography sessions together, decades ago, and we were losing the light - this was shot in deepest twilight - and had the most magic experience. Just as we were shooting this, two swans appeared in the twilight. But that's for another post.

The dress, by the way, is old. Very old, like me. I think I even posted old shots from Joshua Tree, in this dress on this blog, somewhere. Wow, that's weird. I was going to call this post 'boats against the current', because of something I was talking about with Joe, that night, on the beach - at the moment when the swans appeared - and then, would you look at this. Same dress, but all my cells have long died and been replaced. I am - literally - not the same woman I was then. And yet the threads that make up this dress - by a brand long gone, along with the tag - are still the same.

Haven't swam all day and it's nearly 1:00, but I just wanted to say hi, and wish you all well, wherever you are. I send my love to my friends, including the blog friends I haven't yet met, and wish you were here.



Is it just me but - if you happen to be finding yourself in London now, during the Olympic Games - it's this drawing in, this compulsion to watch, to be present, to not miss anything - sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and think, I've got to turn on the TV, the BBC site, what events are I missing? As if they're still going on while I sleep.

But there's more to life than just the Olympics, and I've been falling behind on posting all the street style I've been doing. This is Irina, who I met at the V&A on the first sunny warm day in what felt like forever - just before the start of the Olympics. She is interning with her friend Laetitia (who's getting her own post next), at Sublime Magazine ('the first international sustainable lifestyle magazine'), which sounds like EXACTLY my kind of publication. They both are gorgeous, and I love their very different styles - and they both were so sweet and modest and surprised that I'd want to photograph them.

I've been giving a lot of thought - because of the Games - to the idea of photography. EVERYTHING is about the camera. We were there, early, in Hyde Park, cheering on all the amazing women at the triahlon, and everything is about the photo. There seems to be some kind of energy that boosts humans on, lifts their spirit, when we are cheered, when we are praised, when someone wants to take our picture. I can't explain it, but I see over and over and over, each time someone wins a gold, they say 'it's the crowds, cheering us on', and that somehow seems to include wanting to record, to bear witness, to events.

It's like- even though we can get the images from the professionals - we simply want to say I WAS HERE.

There's another competition going on, between Westfield East and Westfield West, which piqued my interest, because I live West (South Kensington) and the games are mostly East. So I'm entering in both categories. Which, I suppose, will cancel myself out. Today's post - being shot at the V&A - falls goest to Team West. Please vote, if you'd like. But frankly, I feel that people have great style in the East or the West. Both deserve, in my book, the Gold.


hello, sailor!

It was the end of my first day at the Olympics - not inside the Park itself, but my first time at Westfield East, which was in itself simply amazing: it's such a buzz there, it's basically the Olympics, with food and great clothes. And I was standing there, thinking, wow, for the rest of my life, I can say I WAS THERE - one of those glorious moments when you're so glad to be alive - and suddenly, this man appeared, like a ray of sunshine.

Just as he passed, he noticed me shooting, and it was that moment of: isn't it wonderful. This whole thing. WE'RE ALL HERE. And everyone photographing each other, posing in front of the entrance to the park.. it's all about the same thing. We want to record this moment: to bear witness. WE WERE ALL HERE.

What feels so glorious about this.. I know the women competing are just as amazing, more so, in so many ways, but there's something eternally MALE about the Olympics. Something that goes back so deep in our memories. There's such a great male presence: the soldiers and sailors and athletes - real men. Real stars. Something so primitive: We will protect you, it feels like they're saying. You womenfolk, and children, and elderly, sick and infirm. You don't have to worry about a thing. We're here.

And besides, let's face it: what girl can resist a man in a uniform.

I WAS THERE (almost)

My new obsession: getting into the Olympic Park. Once inside, I plan to buy one of those £5.00 tickets when someone leaves. But first, I have to get IN.

I was laughing - these girls, my new friends, are working outside the entrance between Westfield East and the park itself. 'I should just make a recording,' the girl with the red curls said to her friend, 'you can't buy tickets at the ticket office, ONLY ONLINE.'

They were trying to give me the tips ('Wait til everyone's asleep', basically) but I couldn't stay up late enough. So I'm going back - sans pass - because I really just love being at Westfield East. I only discovered it yesterday, and had the best lunch at Busaba, in front of the glass watching people come in and out of the Olympics - and honestly, between that and the BBC online thingy, what more do you want.

Either way, for the rest of my days, when anyone asks, I can say, hand on heart, I WAS THERE. Almost. (Please click thru: I want to win something, even if it's not an Olympic gold medal!).

a lovely couple

Noticed this couple yesterday, outside the entrance to the Olympic Park. I loved her cardigan. But I was inside Busaba, eating the most delicious Pad Thai. Then I spotted them again later. I have no idea who they are or where they're from, and when I moved towards them, I lost them in the crowd.

This girl was nearby, calling out fun things on her megaphone - all the music and noise and crowds - put here because.. I don't know, I just felt like it!

BTW: I've just discovered Westfield East - I'm going back there in a minute - because a), it's really an incredible place (they have every favourite store and restaurant chain - and it's beautiful), and b), it's the best way to be part of the Olympics short of actually, you know, having a ticket to the park. I've coincidentally been invited to be part of the brilliant I WAS THERE campaign - so please click here and take a look - it's a competition and I never win anything, and the more clicks I get, the more chances I have of winning. And you can enter, too, btw. One more person to compete against! ; )


'Wicked,' I heard this girl say as I passed, 'She just took my picture!' but we were both long gone in the crowd outside the Olympic Park.

I am having the most incredible time - everyone is - it's like we're all waking from a dream and in this world, people from all nationalities are at peace.. except we're playing a game, many games, and we all want to win, win for our team, our country, and yet at the end, everyone hugs each other. People are actually displaying sportsmanship. The principles and ideals of the Greeks all that time ago are being respected. While in Syria and parts of the world brave men, women, and children, fight for survival and a hope of freedom, here in London, and around the UK, I am seeing people - old, young, babies - of every walk of life, from every nationality, being together, in harmony.

I'm really sorry to get so soppy about this, but yesterday, my American friend Maralee texted that they were at Eton Ronay, and a race was about to start, to I watched it on the BBC on my laptop before leaving for Stratford. Now Maralee, for years, has been on a rowing team, their daughters row - one quite competitively - and they watched as Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won Britian's first Gold. And I watched too, with tears of happiness. And it didn't matter that we're all Americans: we live in London, we can own this victory, too.

And yet I'm rooting for the USA. And the French girls I saw in South Ken who are competing in fencing. And sweet Ding Ling, of China, who didn't win, but was so winning, in table tennis. I'm rooting for everyone. Go Team Planet Earth!

I really never expected to feel this way about sport. I never got it about competition. About winning. But I'm realising now, this week, that it's - cliche as it sounds - not about winning or losing. It's about playing the game, and giving it all you've got. And then some.

Shot these, and the following images, at Westfield East. I WAS THERE. It's the best kept secret to being part of the Olympics, without actually purchasing a ticket. To find out more, click here.


head of culture

Stephen Jones was quoted in Grazia, while talking about hats, that Kate (I mean Middleton, not Moss, I mean the Princess - I can't call her Katherine yet, sorry!) tends to wear small hats to show off her gorgeous hair. But I don't know if she's quite got the whimsical scale down the way Justine Simons, shown here, has pulled off. I love this look: a teeny tiny men's bowler on one very pretty head.

Justine's title is Head of Culture for the Mayor of London. Now THAT's a great job. She's a delight, lovely girl. Amanda, you're next! Just giving you a Head's Up.

Still so buzzed about the Olympics: thinking of trying to get into the park today (the ticket thing is such a confusing mess), but first, bringing camera to continue more of my own little project: shooting as much of the Hatwalk series as I can find on the map. If you're in London and want to see it before Friday, go to  Grazia (Hatwalk) or the Mayor of London site for the map. Hope you're all having a lovely summer, wherever you are.