Friday Links

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ” 
― Norman Vincent Peale

It’s the last link post of the year, kittens, so I made it an extra long one. This weekend we are packing up, deep cleaning the flat, and sending off the last of our (heinously late) Christmas presents. Then on Monday we fly out to the States for the holiday! Two of my three siblings will be there and I predict a lovely week and a half of board games, movies, and tromping about in the woods.

It’s been a hectic couple of months here, one that hopefully I’ll get the time to talk more about over the break. In the meantime, tell me what your Christmas plans are and if you’re traveling anywhere fun.

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This photo spread is everything.

Tumblr find of this week.

Tumblr find of next week. Possibly the year. (h/t Katarina)

And so it begins… (grips seat grimly and prepares for an ugly time of it until 2016).

Coming as I do from a culture that pedestal-s the role of women-as-mother, in ways I find really harmful, unhelpful, burdening, and damaging to women, this really resonated with me. Editor’s note: I do not degrade or demean motherhood in the slightest, after all I have a pretty kick-A one. But nor do I think it’s the essence of femaleness, and I find real  danger in those who try to make it such.

In women and religion this week, we’ve got two stories from opposite ends of the spectrum. In the HELL, NO corner we have this, and from the fist bump area we have this.

Oh for heaven’s sake….

Interesting short piece on how different types of relationships between men and women affected their attitudes on gender, particularly men’s.

People being fundamentally decent in the wake of tragedy.

Relevant to my holiday travel interests.

Less armored cars, more body cameras.”

NPR has been elfed!

NYT columnists share their favorite books of the year, a topic which needs a post here at SDS quite frankly because I’ve read a lot this year. Another good NYT book post is this list of notable books from the year.

Marie Antoinette has to be one of the most mis-attributed women in history, even her boobs aren’t safe

The thug life chose him.

Frightening, but important.

I’m genuinely curious (in the interest of being educated and a good ally wherever possible), are quirky takes on religious objects humorous or offensive? I know levels of orthdoxy and personal taste probably determine answers heavily, but I’d like to hear from anyone with thoughts on this one. I thought these were lighthearted and funny, but I’m prepared to revise.

Also h/t Katarina, the only ugly nail art I would ever allow.

An artist who “…realized the problem of sexual violence in India is not a legal issue but a cultural problem,” came up with an amazing graphic novel.

Striking gallery from the year in images.

Anagram anything you’d like! (Incidentally, my favorite for my own name is “Deacon, Dandle, Cow.”

I would not at all object to someone buying me this. Just saying.

A Very Belated Thanksgiving Post (with dreadful photos)

“There is no Thanksgiving back in the old country where I come from. You know why? Because being thankful is a sin.”
― Craig Ferguson

It’s almost hilarious to write this up since we’re heading to the States in a week for our Christmas holiday, but ’tis what it is. Jeff is studying for his next round of exams (that guy is a champ…if you add in kindergarten, he’s been taking tests of some kind now for 24 years…) and my work gig has kept me busier than I’ve been in months. Which is saying something!

It’s an odd thing to dash from work to Thanksgiving dinner, but that’s what happened perforce. After my plans last year to eat at The Mayflower were scuppered by Jeff’s Christmas do, we finally made it this year. The Mayflower is a charming pub that crams in and absolutely revels in every stereotype you can imagine. Obviously it’s proud of its history and plays up the connection to the ship Mayflower (which was moored near the site of the pub in the 17th century before heading off to the New World, and whose captain lies buried in the vault of St Mary’s across the street), but it also indulges its connections to other maritime history in the area and general Britishness. The walls are covered in quotes about food and drink from literature, sailing paraphernalia covers the walls, and paintings and photos of Rotherhithe through the last centuries abound.

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(It’s a bit silly how funny I found their wifi password.)

It was a very British way to celebrate the only real, genuine American holiday but we loved it. The place was full of Brits and expats celebrating the day, a few of my country were made patriotic by wine and at one point we were serenaded with an off key but heartfelt rendition of America the Beautiful, and the food (though miles short of home cooking) was surprisingly good.

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Friday Links

“The most poetical thing in the world is not being sick.”
― G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

I did it again, kittens. I worked myself sick with too many projects, not enough rest. But in my defense, I’ve been working on some really spectacular assignments–including attending an event put on by Ralph Lauren and Sotheby’s. Life is a funny thing. However I’m paying for it, my nose is clogged and my throat is scratchy and sore. Worth it.

Here are your links, a bit truncated but again I plead Ralph Lauren–and, no I will no get tired for that excuse. Share anything else worth reading in the comments!

There needs to be more real talk about women’s reproductive health, abilities, and the physical costs related thereto–as someone from the fabulous comment community on XOVain commented on this post, the stuff you see in pop  culture (five minutes of shouting and straining before walking out of the hospital with an “infant” that’s clearly a year old in your arms and size two jeans) isn’t going to cut it. Semi-related, the comment section a Vain is honestly one of the best I’ve found in all my years online and is well worth a look-in any day of the week.

For when you are unable to even.

Beautiful lines from literature.

Gender violence is so insidious precisely because that same violence is often immediately spread to encompass those who try and stand up to it. This woman did a brave thing and was killed for it. Though it’s a disheartening story, I also appreciated the links within it to other stories, especially of men, who have also been targeted for standing up on behalf of women.

Shameless self-promotion, my London City Guide is up at The Collaboreat. Come visit, I’ll show you the town!

I’ll be rocking out (or swaying melodically, or dancing awkwardly) to this all weekend.

Can shopping more (or at least better) improve your business? This guy thinks so. Let’s discuss further in the comments.

My pal Stephanie Lauritzen knocks it out of the park, as per usual.

Emails With Friends: Mental Decline

“Your editor and I are clearly too practical for psychoses. If ever I run mad, I shall do so quietly and with chilling dignity, I’ve decided. How boring. But imagine the possibilities!”
“Since we’re comparing notes, if I ever go crazy, I’ll probably be on the international news.”
– C. and Katarina

She’s…probably not wrong…

Friday Links

“There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time.”
― Coco Chanel

Better late than never, kittens. A slammed week ended with my first ever proper British holiday work party, the stuff of stereotypes and pop culture memes. It ended up being a lot of fun and quite festive. The company I’m working with is chock full of interesting and driven people with amazing stories–such as a managing director who nearly joined the Household Cavalry regiment at one point, and had to participate in a hazing event where he and other recruits were hunted…on horseback! Or a project manager who, as it turns out, is also an Olympian silver medalist for Australia. I have to be careful not to feel quite dinky in comparison!

This weekend it’s freelance reports, Christmas shopping, and general meandering with Jeff, trying to take in as much of the city during the holidays as we can. Let me know what you’re getting up to, and share anything else worth reading in the comments.

Interesting. Apparently I’m pretty resilient, though I could improve in some ways that I find useful to think about.

This is not a drill! Opinions, please?

Read fiction.

Er, thanks for clearing that up, legal system?

I see your Christmas jumpers and I raise you these!

Incredibly relevant to my current interests and obligations.

Learn about something new every day, darlings.

More things to read. My US library card recently expired leaving me in a terrible conundrum! I usually have about five books going at once and quite suddenly I shot down to zero on my kindle, and I still don’t have a London library card–due to the ongoing and deeply annoying problem of trying to get a bank account, and thus bills, information, and credit in my own name to open a library account. I cannot imagine how women lived without a legal identity, and in the not too distant past. I simply can’t.

Someday I shall open a business called…Bantam and Frost.

Minor warning for pearl clutchers, but this is a really fascinating article about what historically could be put on tiny photos.

Emails With Friends: Crushing

“I met Benedict Cumberbatch today.”
“In related news, I’m breaking up with you. Not really. Tell me everything.”
“He came in to tape for his new movie, and we filmed a promo.”
“You’ll forgive me if I purr a little?”
“Oh, of course.”
– X. and C.

I am by far the least impressive of my friends. But I’m fine with that because even the vicarious adventures are thrilling!

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Friday Links (Black Friday Edition)

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
-Oprah Winfrey

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, ducklings! Jeff and I finally made it to The Mayflower for Thanksgiving dinner, and it was about as charming a British pub as you could find anywhere. In less happy news, Black Friday has crossed the Atlantic in all its greedy glory. I like a deal as much as the next kid but I can’t say I like this development.

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Of all the things for us to export culturally, it had to be this thing

For my next gala event, I think I shall require tiaras. With bonus points for unusual ones.

Know your consumption, and it’s effects, I suppose.

One writer tells of their experience sending celebrities fan mail, and who wrote back. I wrote to President Clinton as a little girl and got a note back on White House stationary that was QUITE impressive at show and tell.

Interesting piece from Business Insider about the two traits found in successful relationships and why.

Our taxi drivers put those of any other metropolis to shame. I will fight anyone who says different.

Trigger warning, this story is about sexual brutality towards children. But it’s an important read to know what women and girls are up against in some corners of the world. And the last two sentences will get you right in the gut.

Simplistic, but more or less spot on, I think. (Can’t stop chortling over the, “Guys….”)

Long live English.

Step into a cookbook editor’s kitchen.

How do you not know that you have one of these?!