Part of the fun of being a granny is returning to those days of dress up on Sunday afternoons when assisted by my loyal spaniel I would rummage through my mother’s sartorial past. Parading around in Mummy’s wedding dress, petticoats & ball gowns from the 1930‘s & 40’s all still redolent with the scents and romance of her youth remains my most vivid and intoxicating memory. read more
Regretfully, as an aspirant punk in my teens, I eschewed white tie balls, choosing instead to spend my evenings embroidering safety pins in elaborate gold and silver crewel stitching across my jeans. You can take the girl out of finishing school, but not even anarchy can wrestle her needlework off her. My daughter Cordelia however, like her grandmother before her, adores balls. They are, quite simply, her idea of heaven. read more
Like many mothers bringing up young children I used to dream of escaping the chaos of family life with its school runs, fractious children and meal time madness by escaping to a hotel. When my children left home heading to Oxford, gap years and jobs I began to hibernate a plan for a gap year of my own. Though unlike my gap year in 1980, this time I would be living in hotels rather than hostels. read more
From the latin “jocale” meaning plaything there is no doubt jewels give more value than their financial cost.
Girls and jewels history together goes back as far as time itself. They have formed our dowries our personal transportable wealth and aided our beauty and our je ne sais quoi.
In desperate times a girls knows she can exchange a bauble for an airline ticket or a weekend of pampering. They are a powerful healer and stress deterrent. Whenever I receive upsetting news I swathe myself in pearls and furs and plonk my diamond tiara on my head and take to my bed. Nothing seems quite so ghastly when I am wearing a tiara. read more
Every time my taxi pulls up at the historic Randolph Hotel in Oxford I am struck by the distinctive style of the city’s students.
I’ve spent a great deal of time here in the past eight years as first my son and then my daughter took four year degrees here
A common misconception is that the Dandy originated in London’s St James’s but the birthplace of the Dandy is actually the United Kingdom’s oldest university town: Oxford. It is no coincidence that both Beau Brummell & Oscar Wilde were students here. Brummell boasted that in his time at Oxford he made cotton stockings for men and what he called “stingy cravats” a thing of the past!” read more
By ©Tyne O’Connell
How often does one look at an otherwise breathtaking chap or chappess and think, “shame, that such an otherwise pretty girl or boy should be bereft of a muff”.
The Muff and the fan have inextricably been linked to fashion since Ancient times and it remains the essential item of every wardrobe. Life without a collection of intricately jet beaded, velvet or ermine muffs is cauchemar. read more
Oscar Wilde said that “in married life three is company, and two is none.” Yet more than one hundred years later when I mention that I live with my partners – as in plural – even the most sophisticated jaws drop.
By ©Tyne O’Connell
I live with two men, the fathers of my children. No, I am not a spin doctor with a utopian philosophy to sell, nor are we a liaison dangereuse for the nineties. Basically, I am just like thousands of women who have remarried – the exception being that I decided not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Or in this case, the first husband out with the marriage. read more
By © Tyne O’Connell
London Chick-Lit defined the 1990’s as much as Brit Art, Spice Girls & Philip Treacy hats & the End of The Cold War.
If you feel nostalgic for an era when people still fell in love on the Tube or in a bar and not online, when eccentrics like Izzy Blow were still celebrated, social media didn’t define us and Brazilian waxes weren’t compulsory, you’ll get a thrill out of my first 5 books written between 1995-1999. read more
By ©Tyne O’Connell
My mother had an enormous presence for such a little lady. The flame of her integrity and dynamic determination shone so brightly it seemed impossible that she could ever die.
Her optimistic pragmatism didn’t leave room for selfishness, fear or doubt. She believed in my goodness and bravery with the expectation that it would be summoned. read more