Blog

Welcome to the Bookshelf Boyfriend blog, your place for the latest news, thoughts and idle ramblings from the Bookshelf Boyfriend crew. We even include the odd competition and giveaway too.

Alternative Valentine’s Weekend Ideas

Gurinder Chadha

Looking for a way to spend your Valentines day that doesn't involve romance with your "special other"? Well, we've got a couple of quite different options for you. Women in Film night at the Trash Cannes Festival For those of you in want of a higher brow option, open yourself up to some lively and informative debate and film screenings at this weekend's Trash Cannes Film … [Read more...]

Bay Gallery London’s Alternative Christmas Party

Bush Potato Dreaming

If you have read our recent article about independently owned Bay Gallery in West London, you’ll be excited to hear that the gallery’s owner Alexandra O’Brienwill be hosting an ‘Alternative Christmas Party’ on Dec 2nd. With the subtitle “There’s no Christmas without Spirit,” the party will be featuring works by British artist Nick Taylor and artists of the Central Australian … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Bitching

Modern Miss Bennet

  It is a truth universally acknowledged that women bitch. About their family, people off the television, even their best friends. It seems to be built into the female psyche as a defence mechanism against our evolutionary competition.   Girls bitch. Get over it. We all know we should present a united front of female solidarity, which we generally do. But … [Read more...]

Sleeping Under the Northern Lights

Igloo Village

  I have been sulking pretty much relentlessly since realising that I was wearing a cardigan and that the window was closed, so circa 20th September. Not a fan of it not being summer. At all. While I did start to melt (metaphorically, it's practically bloody winter) a little bit upon smelling some boiled sweets called 'Winter Warmers' (cinnamon, cloves, other spices … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Romance

Modern Miss Bennet

  Inherent in our goal to be Miss Bennett is the search for Mr Darcy. Who doesn't want to be be-leagued by the arduous affection of some hot-blooded bloke? But romance has changed - it used to be romantic. Women are empowered! We have jobs and independence and can do the asking out! In the immortal words of Beyoncé, ‘All the single ladies, put your hands up.’ … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Family

Modern Miss Bennet

  Family. Mums, dads, siblings, cousins, partners, steps and those people your granny refers to as “aunty”, even though they’re not actually related (why?!). Veritable forests of family trees. But every tree needs pruning once in a while. We love them, of course we do, but it’s always the ones you love that are the biggest pain in the arse.   The Bennets … [Read more...]

Comment: The Political Parties of Westminster (a Sweary User-Guide)

Westminster

Whether it’s our ruling coalition,  the National Front, the Church of The Militant Elvis or the Teddy Bear Alliance, British political parties are as abundant as they are absurd. That said, there are only three that have had power across the UK, and popular opinion (and most notably the Yes campaign for Scottish independence) has it that ‘Westminster politics’ – by which is … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: More Socialising

Modern Miss Bennet

We've all been to a party and upon looking around wondered if it wasn't a big, hideous joke. When going out as a young single woman, you may find your main objective is not to get too pissed, fall over and make a general arse of yourself. Elizabeth Bennet wouldn't fail parlously and wish she'd stayed at home with a bottle of red wine and a family-sized Galaxy. Going out should … [Read more...]

The Voyeuse: Vintage Travel

Vintage Travel First-Class Lounge

Happy August Bank Holiday! If you've been abroad this summer there's a good chance you're well versed in the headaches of budget airline travel - my personal 'favourite' (favourite thing to rant about, obviously) is those dreadful orange-coloured men that yell up and down the aisle, trying to sell you some sort of crappy lottery tickets. Does anyone ever buy those? Surely … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Socialising

Modern Miss Bennet

Elizabeth Bennet handles social occasions with grace and dignity and can hold an interesting conversation with ease. If in the past you have struggled with the timing of misguided comments or ill-informed opinions, keeping your mouth shut might be your go-to approach for socialising - but this also makes you look incredibly boring. So how should one handle people in the style … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Health and Beauty

Modern Miss Bennet

An apple a day keeps the doctor away; your health’s your wealth and don’t sneer at your smear (all right, might have made the last one up) but all otherwise familiar platitudes reminding you to basically look after yourself. Elizabeth Bennet knew how to look after herself by doing things she liked to do: walking, reading, daydreaming about Mr Darcy. But then she wasn’t … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: At Home

Modern Miss Bennet Home

Whilst Austen heroines, like the Miss Bennets (minus Elizabeth, of course), waited out their youth for a wealthy gentleman to provide them with their next home, the Modern Miss Bennet is proud to go it alone in creating her own private sanctuary-cum-disco-cum-sex cave. Living alone is to some the ultimate luxury, to others the idea is a nightmare. In fact, some people feel so … [Read more...]

Reinvent Your Old Caravan

Camper

Interior Ideas For Transforming Your Old Caravan or Motorhome Typically, caravans conjure up images of wet and windy weekends away in dingy old caravan parks, with a distinct lack of showers and an abundance of power shortages. This needn’t be the case, however. If you happen to have an old caravan sitting forlornly in the garden, it might be time to brush away the cobwebs … [Read more...]

The Honeywell 316 – A Computer Just For Her

Honeywell 316

Ladies! Put down that smartphone! We've found something far more appropriate for our fair sex. In 1969, Neiman Marcus helpfully spotted a gap in the market for the modern woman - a kitchen computer, complete with built-in chopping board. The Honeywell 316 Kitchen Computer sold for $10,000 (or $63,730 (!!!) in 2013 dollars) and was pitched as a great way for the '60s … [Read more...]

“Hey Girl!” The Trouble With Tinder

Kirstie and her Melons

“Hey girl.” Quite the conversation starter isn’t it? No, love. No it isn’t. Unless you’re Ryan Gosling, and you happen to be carrying a Golden Retriever. Despite this, research says (or rather, my friends do) that this is how 9 out of 10 men start conversations with them on Tinder. I have only been on one Tinder date and it was with a bearded man who told me he was in a love … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Fashion

Modern Miss Bennet Fashion

Fashion. One of the most important social signifiers of our culture. For some, the foundation of friendship, and the basis for others that never get off the ground. As Bowie said: ‘Aahhhh, fashion.’ 'She has a sustainability without fashion' is a criticism (in a list of many that Caroline Bingley, #Bitchley) makes about Elizabeth Bennet. The modern equivalent of this diagnosis … [Read more...]

The Voyeuse: Jayne Mansfield’s Bathroom

Jane Mansfield Pink Place 2

Jayne Mansfield allegedly chose pink as her signature colour in a sort of proto-self-branding move in 1954. "It must have been the right decision," she said, "because I got more column space from pink than Kim Novak ever did from lavender." Hmmmm. Okay. Ignoring the baffling inanity of all this for a moment, you certainly can't criticise her commitment to it. Her entire LA … [Read more...]

The Steal List: Floral Cocktails

Hibiscus Ginger Cocktail

Using flowers in cocktails is very summery and pretty decadent. Round here, though, we're more decadent than pretty, so here's a little steal list of floral cocktails from the more... lascivious end of the spectrum. These are pretty sexy and not too girly, and the ginger gives a nice warming kick. Ginger and hibiscus flower champagne cocktail, full recipe found on Spoon Fork … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Fat

Modern Miss Bennet

Television, magazines - even our best friends - have all surely been created to make us feel fat. We're forever being harangued by weight-loss adverts or nutritional advice, compounding to add about three stone and makes us reach for the chocolate and cheese straws. I don’t think Elizabeth Bennet would have shared our modern day dilemma when it comes to being “body beautiful” … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Hobbies

Miss Bennet Hobbies

Even though we are, at times, the last one to get to the greatest party ever (and the last to leave the absolute worst), we all want to make the most of our leisure time. If for no other reason than to avoid the paranoid flashbacks as your co-workers ask what you did on Saturday night and you think back to that second, solo bottle of wine and 3am Dominos. Miss Bennet wouldn’t … [Read more...]

The Steal List: Cold Summer Drinks

Refreshment Station

The other week one of our Steal Lists featured a mojito jello shot; after that, warm beer on a sunny day started to seem a little passé. Always up for a gruelling challenge, we've been sniffing around for other ways to, erm, drink in the sun. Here is our steal list of summer drinks, rigorously researched and expertly tested.   1) Liquid isn't always best. Try … [Read more...]

The Art List: Drawing On Style

Barbara Hulanicki BIBA Wedding II 55x43cms

Drawing On Style, at GRAY M.C.A, will be an exhibition of original fashion illustrations from Post War 1940s through to the 1970s coinciding with London Fashion Week SS15. The exhibition will include more than 40 original works by some of the leading illustrators of the time from Britain, Europe and America, including René Bouché, René Gruau and Carl ‘Eric’ Erickson, for … [Read more...]

The Musings of a Modern Miss Bennet: Work

Gold Typewriter

Work is where you spend the majority of your non-sleeping time. Obviously Elizabeth Bennet would never have worked, apart from the odd bit of embroidery, but these days us independent women have to make our own money so we can spend drunken Saturday nights singing Destiny's Child's 'Independent' at Chicagos*. And adding yet more pressure to the melting pot that is being a … [Read more...]

Win! A be.ez LE Littoral Folio for iPad Air

Le Littoral Folio cover for iPad Air

This is a lovely thing with a lovely story. Le Littoral translates as 'the seashore', and this iPad Air case features the same rust-coloured, thick cotton canvas as the traditional blouse worn by seamen in Normandy, France. It's very beautiful but also strong, and perfect for protecting your favourite gadget. To be in with a chance to win, we want to hear your productivity … [Read more...]

The Art List: The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

Gustav Holst statue, Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham Literature Festival 2010-10-16_104006

Exciting Modern Line-Up at England's Oldest Literary Festival Running from Friday 3rd till Sunday 12th October in the beautiful Georgian spa town, this year's Cheltenham Literature Festival boasts a really excellent line-up of some of Bookshelf Boyfriend's favourite writers and thinkers. Notable appearances include Caitlin Moran, who will be presenting her new book How to … [Read more...]