If you're in the area, eager for bargains, come and visit our studio at Wallis Studios for Hackney Wicked this weekend.

Mare Street E8, 1986, from Chris Dorley-Brown's amazing Flickr photostream



The New River flowing past Sadler's Wells
Apparently, the New River was diverted from Herefordshire to supply London with clean water in 1613. Passing clear through to Islington, it filled tanks for Sadler's Wells' patriotic battle re-enactments and populist plays of the 1800s.
Parmex carrots on a paper bag
My allotment plot follows the riverbed of one section long since routed underground. I could make gargantuan mosaics with the variety and volume of broken pottery I find, but carrots just won't root straight in such craggy soil. Enter the Parmex; a cultivar that strives to regain in girth (and flavour) what it laughably lacks in length. And this is my first 'bumper' crop.


Shoreditch Festival

gerard hoffnung illustration of tuba player with beer

I'm hoping to catch the Royal Philharmonic and fireworks at the Shoreditch Festival this Friday, but there's plenty happening across the weekend too. Save your shrapnel for Lisa Jones Studio wares from the excellent Poundshop who'll be hawking everything cheap in the park on Saturday.

• Unrelated illustration: Gerard Hoffnung


Ups and Downs

Jelly Babies impaled on barbed wire on South Downs

We spent the best part of the week in Sussex and the best part of a day walking through the smallest fraction of the South Downs around Ditchling. Plenty of fauna and astonishing flora; through lichen covered woods, across open fields and over scarily steep banks rammed with wild flowers and teeming with bugs. I know it's wrong, but I was still tempted to take cuttings. Thankfully, when I got home the first of my Sweet Peas had bloomed.

Sweet Peas and small bust of Toscanini


Mr. Potts

David Gentleman is wonderful but whenever I come across his work I have to tell myself no; do I really need a copy of Richard III or an outdated Highway Code? A handful First Day Covers for his stamps recently broke my resolve and, while I was at it, I couldn't resist these either. Hope the irony wasn't lost on original recipient, Mr. Potts.

Philately got an extra stamp of approval in London's east end last night with a new exhibition project for a decommissioned post office. While Posted offers a mix of curios in an equally curious setting, you can't help but wonder if the locals wouldn't simply prefer their old post office back.