A couple of weeks ago, Jian Wei and I went to visit the home that John Keats and Fanny Brawne shared in Hampstead. As fans of the film Bright Star, one of the most heart-wrenchingly depressing and exquisitely beautiful films ever made, it was lovely to visit the London home of the Romantic poet and to explore the house in which the tragic sweethearts had met. (I am not sure quite how historically accurate the film is but it is certainly enchanting.)
I wore a 1950s silk blouse I recently discovered in a charity shop for £1 (score!) along with an old favourite vintage skirt you have probably seen many times on this blog. The vintage wicker and leather bag is another great charity shop find and it holds a camera and picnic ingredients, with room to spare, whilst preventing the contents from being squashed. An absolute steal at £5.50 considering its generous size. The belt is American Apparel, the necklace Alex Monroe and the shoes are Ferragamo. Ther cardigan, featured later, is from Orla Kiely.
The weather couldn’t make up its mind and careered between blazing sunshine, showers and thundery grey skies. However, it didn’t stop us from enjoying some of the final blooms of the summer, or from a bracing walk across the Heath, where we spotted Ricky Gervais out jogging. Or rather, Jian Wei did, whilst I was trying to disentangle myself from a bramble bush that had clawed onto my cardigan.
BY JOHN KEATS
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.