o Winter 2011
Jade Cooper - Collins Amy Power
Contributors ♥ Laura Booth Flora Deborah Yvonne Dickson Siobhan Frew Antonia Hawken Claire Huish
Sarah Loven Estelle Morris Amy Peck Jazmine Rocks Danni Slater Rolinda Windhorst
Ed’s letter Hello! Welcome to this mini issue of Cellardoor. It may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still as jampacked with fantastic features for you to enjoy. We’ve got a guide to the best spots in London, a round-up of our favourite musicians and an interview with The City star Louise Roe. So off you trot!
Jade & Amy xxx
con tents Winter 2011
6. Cellardoor’s favourites
8. From Russia
22. Lavender girl 30. Ice maiden
38. From the woods
10. Little ol’ London
46. Winter menu
12. Girl on the front roe
50. Home sweet
16. Homemade handmade
58. Snow angel
18. What’s on our stereo
Vintage Floral Fabric Lampshade, £ 11.50, Oliver Bonas
Retro Kitchen Jam Making Set, £ 9 . 9 9 , Mollieandfred.co.uk
Keepsake laptop bag, £ 2 4 . 9 9 , notonthehighstreet.com
Tea and Cake by Emma Block
Bird a day shirt, Nadinoo
Collar necklace, £ 84.00, HannahZakari.co.uk
Fro m Ru s s i a w i th L o v e If you’re anything like us, then you’ll have fallen in love with these designs from Ulyana Sergeenko. The editor of Russian Glamour has turned her hand to fashion design and we’re impressed with the results. It’s not often that people are so talented, Sergeenko originally studied philology before becoming a journalist and now she’s carving her way as a successful fashion designer. Her collection was inspired by Soviet Vogue illustrations from the 1950s. Her designs are ultra-glamorous, with feminine silhouettes, floor-length skirts, chiffon gowns and fur coats. It’s vintage lady-like glamour at its very best. Her stunning look book hits every mark, it’s filled with dresses that would put fairytale princesses to shame, the hair, make-up and models suit the collection to a tee and the floral wallpaper alone is enough to make us drool over the images. With such a stunning debut collection, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sergeenko. Definitely one to keep an eye on!
Words Yvonne Dickson Illustrations Estelle Morris London is a great place to be a tourist. Centuries of culture, architecture, art and history mixed together with a vibrant, modern edge... Get beneath the surface of the obvious things to do in London and you’re suddenly in the middle of one of the biggest, most eclectic and exciting cities in the world... and where on earth do you start?! Here are a few tips to lead you off the beaten track and help you on an adventure that will keep getting better and better.
Hackney is known for being a little arty and ‘out there’ but a golden statue of Tutankhamen on a quiet residential road is a little bit unexpected to say the least. But don’t let that put you off, or you’ll never see the Sphinx... LMNT prides itself on being “the most eccentric dining room in London” and they aren’t exaggerating. Where else can you dine in a tree house at the top of a ladder while indoors? Or inside a huge urn? The modern European menu offers a good selection without being overwhelming, and the fact that all of the main courses are the same price should be enough to stop any bill-splitting squabbles. Our advice is to book a tree house seat and watch in amazement as the staff scuttle up and down ladders wielding huge platters without a moment’s hesitation. Oh, and check out the toilets... that’s all we’re saying.
Looking for a special little place to take a hot date? Somewhere cosy and intimate, somewhere that oozes warmth and character, somewhere that proves that you’re in the know? Well then book a table at Andrew Edmunds. Hidden off a little street and resembling a dusty bookshop from the outside, inside you find yourself in a tiny space with slightly wobbly tables, candles and flowers. With no background music to drown you out, the only noise is the hum of happy chatter from the other customers. A small daily selection of exciting, modern British/European courses are on offer, and the hard to read, hand-written menu just adds to the charm. Book in advance to ensure that you get a table at this little gem, and you’ll feel as though you’re part of a magical, dining club.
And there you have it. Some handy hints to prove that there’s more to London than meets the eye, that there’s life away from The Slug and Lettuce, and that a night out in Central London doesn’t have to make you die a little death inside. Happy exploring!
Abney Park Cemetery
Creeped out by graveyards? You’ve seen nothing yet. Abney Park cemetery in Stoke Newington was the first cemetery in Europe to be combined with an arboretum, which increases the ‘spook factor’ by about 100. Huge overgrown trees, brambles and plants spring out in every direction, while worn footpaths lead you away from Church Street’s gentrified tea shops and bakeries and deep into a maze of graves stones and statues dating back almost 200 years. The winding paths are graced by joggers, dog walkers and locals but that doesn’t stop you feeling a bit jittery when you realise you’re lost... And it happens every time!
Primrose Hill is far from being a secret, but this gorgeous part of London is far enough out of Zone 1 to ensure that the beautiful people who spend their sunny days here are locals, not tourists, and perhaps the odd celeb. Situated at the Northern end of Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill is a gorgeous sprawling green that gives you, not only enough room to have a proper picnic without sitting in someone else’s sandwiches, but the most gorgeous view over London. Being a bit of a celebrity playground, the streets around Primrose Hill contain a huge selection of fashion, vintage and homeware shops, as well as slightly overpriced but completely scrumptious delis and cafes. A sunny day spent here is a sunny day spent well.
Gordon's Wine Bar
The Strand is one of those funny places... it’s on the Monopoly board so it must be worth visiting, right? Actually, no. Not really. In fact, I’d advise you to miss it completely if it wasn’t for Gordon’s Wine Bar. Easy to miss, hidden down a row of rickety stairs, lies London’s oldest wine bar. Cavernous, dark and cramped surroundings lit by candles and furnished with barrels and wobbly stools, Gordon’s is one of the most unique wine bars in London. An amazing and affordable wine list is complemented with an even better cheese selection and makes this bar well worth missing sunlight for.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
When is a fridge not a fridge? When it’s actually the entrance to one of London’s newest and coolest cocktail bars. Situated in Shoreditch, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is accessed by entering a fridge in the corner of the already-cooler-than-cool Breakfast Club cafe. Once inside, you find yourself in a bar that’s as perfect as their cocktails, a cosy and kitsch speakeasy with just a sprinkling of East London. Serving a range of classics as well as some home-grown signature creations such as the tasty ‘Pear and Cardamom Sidecar’ or refreshing and tangy ‘Yang Tao Smash’ there is definitely something for everyone, and even more surprising than a speakeasy behind a fridge, is that the prices are around a very reasonable £7.50... Want to prove to your friends that you’re the coolest barfly in town? Then introduce them to the Mayor. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
e h T girl on the front e o r Words By Amy Peck
There are some women who seem to have it all and fashion journalist-turneddesigner Louise Roe is one of them. Starting out as an intern at Elle, she went on to small presenting jobs, landing herself a role in hit reality show ‘The City’ and then went on to present the rather addictive ‘Plain Jane’. She really has got the career Midas touch - especially now that she’s working on her own fashion line. And whilst success may go to the head of many, Louise remains down to earth, warm and friendly. All this AND enviably good legs! Sigh….
there, and the lady running the Styling course asked me to go down and talk to the students. So I did, and loved it. I kept going back and they asked me to be an honorary fellow, which I was thrilled about. Do you enjoy the experience of lecturing? Yes, although I like to keep it more of a two-way conversation if I can. I like the students to ask and answer questions whenever they feel like it. I’m not that much older than them so I want to have fun, not feel like a teacher.
You live in LA, is there anything you miss about England? And what’s it like being a Brit in the States? Baked beans and Marmite (although I just found We first saw you on ‘The City’ how did you a supermarket that sells them!) I also miss the feel about being involved? sense of humour, the stunning architecture, It was great fun! I was at fashion week in New York history and culture of London. Of course most of and got asked to film some scenes. I already knew all, my family and friends. LA is very cosmopolitan Joe, Erin and Whitney a little bit so it was all very so there are plenty of other nationalities organic and relaxed. everywhere. I went to Texas recently though and the locals certainly made more of my accent Are you still in touch with any of the girls? there! Yes. I saw Whitney recently in Miami, I did a shoot with Olivia for Hogan a few months back, and Conducting live interviews can sometimes I catch up with Erin whenever I’m in New York. be unpredictable. Have you ever been She’s an awesome chick. caught off-guard or put in an awkward situation whilst interviewing? You’re an honorary fellow at Southampton Well, Pitbull tried to dry hump my leg at the VMAs, Solent University. How did that come which was interesting! I tend to just laugh it off about? and 99% of the time it turns into a really funny I wrote about them for Vogue.co.uk when I worked moment.
Have you got a dream interviewee? Julia Roberts.
Any advice for people wanting to break into the fashion industry? Persevere! You will have to intern, probably for What has been the highlight of your free, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Stay late, make career? the coffee, and try to keep smiling. People will Interviewing George Clooney, Giorgio Armani, remember you if you’re keen and happy. Martin Scorcese and Leo DiCaprio in the same night. It was at a party the night before the Oscars Can you tell us any more about your new five years ago and my first time in LA. I could not clothing line? believe my eyes and ears. It is a dream come true. It’s launched on HSN and it’s inspired by three elements: the 1970’s, Are there any ambitions you would still (my favourite era for fashion), dressing women like to fulfil? to flatter their shape and curves, and London’s Lots! I want to learn to surf, to ski in California, to unique sense of style. I wanted to create versatile, write a book. classic staples for every woman’s wardrobe like a trench coat, a bright printed scarf, black trousers What three things couldn’t you live and a flattering dress but at the same time add without? a sense of my own style into the mix, through a My family, my friends and my high heels. modern and boho silhouette to each design. In my mind, they’re a stylish go-to for busy women Which designers do you find most inspiring who love fashion, but don’t necessarily have the at the moment? time for it. Marchesa, Hannah Marshall and Pamela Roland jewellery. And lastly as this is our Autumn/Winter issue, what’s your favourite thing about What are your top style tips for A/W? this time of year? Buy something orange. It’s this season’s hottest Leaves crunching under your feet and the pop of colour to add to a simple dark outfit. Try watery-yellow colour in the sky as the sun sets. a cape instead of a big coat, it looks way more Then snuggling up inside with a chunky cardie, elegant and chic. Top of my list for accessories a glass of red wine and Audrey Hepburn on my are a cloche hat and shearling boots. DVD player.
Words Antonia Hawken
In each and every one of us lies a wicked side eating that last biscuit because otherwise it’ll be lonely, purchasing a jumper even though the money should be spent elsewhere or mindlessly using ‘StumbleUpon’ rather than completing essays due in the next day. It’s a mark of remembrance to those days which were filled with innocence, careless laughter and a wonder at every new discovery. With the arrival of autumn it appears that little children act at their naughtiest, racing towards piles of neatly collected leaves, throwing handfuls and falling into their crisp, golden embrace. You can see their eyes fill with excitement as they watch the turning of the leaves, the blurring of their colours as each one eventually falls to the ground, performing a tumbling dance on a breeze. Not only are toddlers enjoying the freedom of youth in nature’s clasp, they’re dressed in the most wonderful array of waterproofs and wellingtons. The coming of the dreary season causes us to reach for our comforting gloves, hats, scarves and an umbrella, just in case. We wrap our Macs tightly around us, fighting the oncoming breeze, hoping our makeup manages to remain in place as we head to another monotonous lecture. We skip over and avoid puddles whilst children enthusiastically charge into water as their plastic covered feet are protected. Muddy, deep, shallow, small or large, kids will investigate all sorts and never care for the consequences. As I’m sure we can all remember, there’s nothing quite like hearing the splash which accompanies a well timed leap, and the sense of satisfaction at just how much mess you could make. When in bright red wellies, anything is possible. A sense of adventure walks hand in hand with wearing a waterproof coat, reinforcing just how thoroughly each and every rock must be searched to discover just what lies beneath. Eyes fill with wonder as toddlers can’t fully comprehend just how these brightly coloured, spotty, striped, flowery patterned items can keep them dry, as they touch the strangely textured material, usually rubbing their grubby hands as they go. The items protect and envelop, filled with love, personality and warmth; like the comforting hug of a mother, something that can’t be duplicated. There seems to be so much variation and style
available today in patterns and colours far bolder than anything available to us when we were tottering around in playgrounds. Little girls appear to waltz up and down paths, being kept at a safe distance by reins as their mother’s equally walk with pride. As with many females, pink appears to be the colour of choice and each step is delicate in matching boots, as if they’re imagining themselves as royalty. In contrast, little boys make no apology for their outbursts of energy, shouts and leaf fights, rubbing mud from their hands down navy blue coats: their outfits are those of soldiers, explorers and heroes. When wearing those wonderful waterproof items of clothing the possibilities are endless, as little girls and boys are surrounded by a world of red and amber, enjoying the last of the day’s sunlight as it filters through the trees. I can’t fully express how much I miss jumping into the piles of leaves my Dad used to make in the garden, knowing full well how annoyed he would be. It seems to be a rite of passage to hide in a pile, jumping out at the appropriate moment. Extra points can especially be awarded if that moment involves you’re Mum bringing out a cup of tea to her hardworking husband. When did that innocence with which we viewed the world disappear? Maybe it was put aside when the animal styled wellingtons became too small, or the all in one waterproofs became a little bit creepy, rather that cute. Though we’ve all passed the stage of our carefree childhoods and find ourselves riddled with nostalgia, a small piece of the past will always remain with us. Despite refraining from picking up worms and collecting snail shells in our pockets, or no longer having our Mum’s calling us from the park to return home for tea, none of us can banish the buzz experienced by children at this time of year. We may have replaced our green, froggy wellies for Hunters, or all in one duck waterproof coats for Barbour’s, but as Roy Olsen once said, “my childhood may be over, but that doesn’t mean my playtime is”. So, if you suddenly feel overcome to kick some leaves, collect conkers or jump in puddles, just do it. It’s what the duck suited, frog footed three year old would have wanted.w
WHAT’S ON OUR STEREO Words By Siobhan Frew
Michael Kiwanuka This North London soul singer began his career as a session guitarist for the likes of R’n’B star chipmunk, as well as Bashy, before his talent was spotted and he was offered a record deal as a solo artist. Michael began the year by winning the BBC’s Sound of 2012, (last year’s winner being Jessie J) and with the build up to his debut album release in March, it looks like he will be having a busy year! After supporting Adele last year, Michael, who has been compared to the mighty van Morrison, is set to be doing it for the boys. Until the album release, look up ‘Tell Me a Tall Tale’ which is bound to win him a multitude of fans and accolades to match.
Lana del Ray Lana Del Rey is the name on everyone’s lips, much in part to her debut music video for ‘Video Games’, where Sofia Coppola-esque scenes cut to the New York natives sultry pout and dominated the airwaves for the last part of 2011. But 2012 will undoubtedly be her year. The highly anticipated album ‘Born To Die’ has just been released, and is dividing opinion on both sides of the Atlantic. Lana’s look on the other hand, is a definite winner; she works old Hollywood glamour as if she has stepped gracefully out of the golden era. The album is a collection of haunting and wistful songs, Lana’s voice sounding older than her years. Stand out tracks to listen out for are ‘blue jeans’, and the retrospective ‘this is why we’re girls’.
Twin Atlantic The boys in Twin Atlantic all hail from Glasgow and have had a stellar 2011 by all accounts, yet we’re guessing that 2012 is going to be their year. After all, the New Year began with them being invited to support Blink 182 on their comeback tour later in the year. That and the momentum growing about their latest album Ffree’, released last May. The album is, in its entirety, outstanding! It can be rare to find an album where you struggle to choose a favourite song, but thanks to lead singer Sam McTrusty’s soulful Glasgow lilt, it is easy to get lost in the album. It also helps that the boys are easy on the eye!
lavender girl Photographer: Claire Huish Stylist: Chloe Mansell Model: Jenny @ Profile Photographer's Assistant: Louis Eguchi
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MAIDEN Photography Rolinda Windhorst Styling Lyida van Tilburg Make-up Saskia Wagenvoort Model Jaimy Boeve
CARDIGAN Guess BLOUSE Creme Brulee TROUSERS Marco Polo RING cK
Necklace TOV Blouse Edwin Oudshoorn Couture
TUTU Stylistâ€™s own
BLOUSE Claudia Strater
JACKET Edwin Oudshoorn
SHORTS and BLOUSE Edwin Oudshoorn Couture TIGHTS Emilio Cavallini NECKLACE TOV SHOES River Island
from the woods Photography Flora Deborah Styling Olivia Wright Set Design Yui Mikami Make-up and Hair Michelle Dacillo Model Stina Tranberg @ M & P Models Special thanks to The Royal Parks, Augusto and Pedro Da Rocha, Kota Suizu and Emily Young.
winter menu Recipes and photography Dani Slater
What with this ever rejuvenating recession and an unhealthy looking post-Christmas bank balance, it’s the time of year when we, as a nation, tighten our belts and prepare to save those all important pennies. But one thing we will never give up? Tea. Naturally. And so, it’s with this in mind that this season’s recipes all follow the form of tea-time treats. Perfect served together for a cheap and cheerful alternative to that expensive lunch out or served separately as a delicious snack. Whatever winter brings this year, there’s always time for tea. And cake of course.
Ingredients 7 tbsp sunflower oil 1 onion 1 skinless chicken breast 280g plain flour 1tbsp baking powder
Chicken and Sweetcorn Muffins
2 eggs 250ml buttermilk 75g frozen sweetcorn paprika Pinch of salt+pepper
Preheat oven to 200C and thoroughly grease a muffin tin (or line with paper cases if using).
Heat 1 tbsp of the sunflower oil in a frying pan and cook the chopped onion for 2 minutes. Dice the chicken breast and add to the onion, frying for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl and mix gently.
Crack the eggs into a jug and beat lightly along with the buttermilk and remaining oil. Pour this into the dry ingredients and add to this the fried onion and chicken. Stir well to gradually incorporate all of the ingredients, taking care not to over mix (as this could cause an overly dense muffin).
Pour the mixture into the greased muffin tray (or paper cases) and bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Once cooled for a few minutes, sprinkle with the paprika and serve. These are best enjoyed warm!
Chocolate Lime Scones
180g plain flour 50g unsalted butter 40g granulated sugar 75g dark chocolate 75ml milk
1 egg yolk 1 ¼ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp bicarbonate of 100g icing sugar soda and 1 lime
Method Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 220C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead again lightly, before rolling into a thick, rectangular slab.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Grate in the zest of the whole lime (you will need the juice later on) and mix lightly.
Divide this into six equal parts and place on the pre-lined baking tray. If you want to, brushing them with milk at this point will give them a lovely golden colour once baked.
Cube the butter and rub into the flour using the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Beat the egg yolk into the milk and pour over the flour mixture. Stir well to combine.
Pop into the oven for 12-15 minutes. Once they’re cooked, allow them to cool for a good half an hour to an hour before preparing the icing.
Then chop the chocolate into chunks and tip into the dough, kneading it lightly to ensure all the pieces are incorporated.
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and squeeze in the juice of the whole lime. Stir into a thick paste (adding water if required) and dip each scone’s surface into the drizzle. Devour them as quickly as you like!
250g plain flour 1tsp bicarbonate of soda 1tsp cinnamon 115g unsalted butter 115g dark brown, soft
sugar 2 beaten eggs 3 large bananas, mashed 75g dried fruit 50g nuts
Method Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Sift the flour and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl soften the butter by beating and continue to cream whilst adding the sugar. Mix until well combined. Stir the mashed banana into the butter mixture, gradually mixing in the beaten eggs when incorporated. Tip the combined wet ingredients into the dry and mix well to form a
thick batter. Now simply add your additional ingredients (we love using dried fruit but chocolate chips or buts make great alternatives) and pour into the lined tin. Smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until risen and golden brown. A skewer when inserted should come out clean. Allow to cool for 20 mins before removing and serving, preferably with a piping hot cup of tea and a good slather of chocolate spread or honey.
Home sweet home You must be well aware by now that we at Cellardoor love to have a nosy around people’s spaces, so when blogger Jazmine Rocks – writer of Jazzabelle’s Diary - invited us to take a peek at her space, we couldn’t resist! Where did the influence come from? The influence for my room has been built up over time, gaining inspiration from magazines, secondhand shops and exhibitions, but my room finally started to come together after attending the Cult of Beauty exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum last year. I’ve always loved the aesthetic movement and adore the work of William Morris, so after I left the exhibition I decided to base my room around that style, to create a beautiful room full of beautiful objects. Do you think it reflects your personality? I definitely feel my room reflects my personality, and my personal style for that matter. Every time somebody looks at my room they say the same thing, so it must be true! My room is slightly chaotic but in an organised and detailed way, with many trinkets and books dotted about, much like a jumble sale. I feel this
shows that I’m a little bit of an over-thinker and adore the little things in life. Regarding my style, I tend wear mainly second-hand clothes as I adore shopping in charity shops and car boot sales, which is also where the majority of the items in my bedroom come from. I also wear an awful lot of neutral and rich colours, so my room’s colour palette is full of brown, black, green and burgundy.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? There’s always been three places I would just love to live - one being staying living in South West London, though in a larger house as my mother and I currently live in a one bedroom flat, or perhaps in a lovely apartment in South Kensington so I can be in walking distance of the Victoria and Albert Museum. I’ve also thought about moving down to Bournemouth, so I can be closer to some of my family and the beautiful beaches. What’s your favourite item? My favourite items in my bedroom change so often as I’m always redecorating and buying new pieces, though right now I just adore my William Morris curtains and secondhand chest of drawers.
Jazmine buys fresh flowers most weeks, usually dark pink roses, to brighten up her room a little.
below: Jazmine loves her room to be dimly lit, so uses candles in little glass jars and on floral plates. We also love the quirky old Jack Daniels and Coke glass bottle to hold candlesticks which adds a lovely touch.
My room features many William Morris pieces and patterns, as I just adore his designs. I have curtains, cushion covers, and postcards with his prints, along with many books on his work.
below: Jazmineâ€™s dressing table holds some of her favourite things, including perfumes and creams, along with some pretty little tins containing her lipsticks, two beautiful secondhand mirrors and candles.
Snow Angel by Laura Booth
The snow had started to clear leaving slush and ice in its wake. There was no pleasant crunching underfoot, just extremely careful footsteps in an attempt to stay standing. It was a constant battle, especially in five-inch clogs, but they were her favourite. Millie never was one for practicalities and today was her day. We met when we were five, tobogganing with our families in the forest. I was sat in my red coat with the fur hood pushing my blonde hair over my pale cheeks. I willed myself to go down the hill but didn’t move an inch. Millie bounded up next to me, chucked herself onto her toboggan, grabbed my hand and yelled ‘come on’ before sending us flying down the slope. At the end of the afternoon we were best friends. Lying making snow angels Millie turned to me, her red curls spread around her rosy cheeks, and said, ‘I love the snow Lucy. I’m going to get married on a lovely snowy day. Just like my mummy did.’ ‘I want to get married in a castle, with lots of twinkly lights. In the summer though, the cold gives me sniffles.’ ‘Oh I love winter. It’s when magic happens.’ I stopped moving my arms and legs and sat up, ruining my snow angel with my shuffling. ‘Magic?’ ‘Each little snowflake is a wish. If you catch one and wish something enough then once the snow has melted it will come true. But only if you squeeze your eyes shut really tightly and make sure not to tell anyone your wish.’ ‘Wow,’ I said. ‘Can we try that now?’ I had scrunched up my eyes and wished that Millie would be my friend forever. In the winter when we were eleven we built a snow owl at Millie’s house. We were disappointed there wasn’t enough to snow to make a snowman but our owl was the best. We moulded wings and cut up a potato to make a beak. Whilst we leant on his head and pulled funny faces, Millie’s mom stood grinning with the camera. ‘Hang on a second girls, I just need to get some more film,’ she said turning back to the house. I turned to Millie as she rolled her eyes at her forgetful mother. ‘Film would be helpful, unless you’re planning on taking a mental picture.’ She lifted an imaginary camera, clicked, and fell to the ground. Her mom dropped the camera and it smashed into a million pieces across the snow. ‘Lucy, call 999, now. We need an ambulance.’ She knelt on the ground with Millie’s limp body lying across her knees. ‘Come on baby, wake up, wake up for mummy,’ she cried.
I watched through the window, scared into silence as I dialled the ambulance. Everything was laboured and for once I wished Millie’s mom had replaced her ancient phone. I usually loved putting my fingers in the numbered holes and slowly spinning them round but today it was too slow. By the time the ambulance arrived Millie had come round and was laughing at us for being so silly. ‘Look at me I’m fine,’ she said as stood up from the snow, ‘just a little slip.’ Her brain tumour was benign but it was in a dangerous place and needed treatment straight away. When your best friend is ill, really ill, it’s surprising how comfortable you become with hospitals. We held hands and gossiped about the boys at school whilst she went through chemotherapy, watched Clueless whilst she waited to go into surgery and dressed up in wigs and flamboyant outfits whilst her hair grew back. ‘Really,’ Millie commented, ‘I don’t know why people worry about losing their hair. I love being a new person every day. I won’t exactly be able to wear a pink feather boa when my hair grows back. Red and pink would just clash!’ When we were 19 Millie arrived at my university halls in Leeds and threw herself on top of me in a flurry of snow and fur. ‘I’ve met him.’ ‘Who?’ ‘The one. His name is Connor and he is beautiful. We’re going to get married,’ she swooned. ‘He’s proposed?! Isn’t that a little sudden?’ ‘Well no, he hasn’t proposed. We’ve only been on two dates but he’ll be in love with me before you know it. Just wait and see.’ When we were 23 Connor finally proposed. We picked out her dress from a posh wedding shop, where we drank champagne and laughed until we cried. Millie had picked out flowers, bridesmaids and the church. Now, two years later, I took tentative steps towards the church. The skirt of my berry coloured maxi dress hovered about the last of the snow. As I pushed open the heavy wooden door I looked over the orchids that hung at the sides of the pews. Connor stood up from the front pew, saw me and promptly burst into tears. The funeral was more than I could bear. The priest talked about the girl he never knew, that last year her tumour had grown back and this time it was cancerous. I stood up and walked purposefully out of the church whilst he read out a list of things she would be remembered for, a list someone else had written, and found that the world wasn’t icy and horrible any more. It was beautiful.
Photography: Sarah Loven