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Old Essentials

Olivia Knight - Patchwork Present

Chris Roberts

Olivia-Knight.jpg

Striped top
Jigsaw have been doing these classic cotton tops for the last 10 years. I’ve got six of them. About a month ago I bought three more. Just in case.
Online here: jigsaw-online.com

Nail varnish
I forget to wear make up most days. But I do like nice nails. At least I like a nice bold colour to cover my very short and chipped gardener’s fingernails.
Online here: nailberry.co.uk

Wooden horse
When I was young all I really wanted was a horse. This was never going to happen so my lovely, skint Dad bought me a miniature horse every year for my birthday instead. It was a thoughtful but torturing gesture, made worse as a child because they weren’t even ‘proper’ horses but abstract, carved, ancient and/or a bit dirty. This one that I got at 14 sums my collection up perfectly. I used to hate it. Now I love it the best. It has pride of place on my desk and is a really precious reminder of my childhood – filled with love, dreams, disappointment, hope and horses.

Free range egg
We keep six chickens in our garden so I enjoy a South East London egg for breakfast every morning.

Cheese
My lovely husband does all the cooking in our house. When he’s out I cook the kids a proper dinner and then just eat a wheel of cheese once they’re in bed.

Jewellery
These are the bits of jewellery I never take off. My engagement and wedding rings, both given to us by our mothers, my feminist necklace and a gold bangle I found in Greenwich market when I was about 15.
Online here: thewarpaint.co.uk

Tea
Lots of it. All day.

Sandals
I’ve had these Salt Water sandals for four years. I pretty much wear them April till October. They are just so comfortable and go with everything. And they make me happy.
Online here: salt-watersandals.com

Handbag
I bought this handbag for £2.50 at Barnardos when I last dropped in a bag of charity stuff recently. When I got outside I found a £70 parking ticket which was a bit annoying. But it’s the best bag ever. And still a bargain at £72.50.
Online here: barnardos.org.uk

Little hands
The other thing on my desk at home is this little pair of hands. They belong to my two children Vera and Emmanuel and we made them out of plaster cast to go on the top of the cake at our wedding. They were supposed to be peace signs but when my aunt made our cake she put them on the wrong way so the kids were basically swearing at all our guests. Accidentally very rock ‘n’ roll.

Perfume
I’ve been wearing Amber and Lavender perfume by Jo Malone for 15 years. I tried to change it a couple of years back for something new but the kids got upset because they said I didn’t smell like me anymore so I went back to it. Scent is so important. I really remember those smells that comforted me as a kid. So, while I do sometimes wear other perfumes when I’m going out, during the day I pretty much stick with ‘eau de mum’.
Online here: jomalone.co.uk

Book
My mum lent me this book about Greenham Common and it has just been the most incredible inspiration. I remember being there vaguely as a kid but it’s fascinating to read all about the occupation 30 years on. It’s teaching me a lot about social networks, sharing ideas and mobilising collective action. In the real world.
Online here: feministlibrary.co.uk

Check out Olivia Knight at:
Web: patchworkpresent.com
Blog: projectpatchwork.tumblr.com
Twits: @projectpatchwrk | @PatchworkP |