Winter light

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Photo taken on the train to London, 2009

December 1990: A blizzard swept over the country, bringing down all the power lines and, to my great delight, closing my school. The world became an enormous playground where everything was an adventure. The garden was a place for snowball fights and building the craziest snow creatures and people. When my father and I drove out (what madness without snow chains or winter tyres) to collect my half-brother who was studying at university nearby, we stocked up with vast quantities of chocolate and biscuits for worst case scenarios, although these mysteriously  disappeared without trace later. Every day, we all ventured out for long walks to buy fresh supplies as our freezer was out of use. But best of all were the evenings when we toasted bread in front of the fire, lit the candles and read to each other from our favourite books. A particular highlight was my mother reading the classic section from George and Wheedon Grossmith’s ‘The Diary of a Nobody’ where Mr. Pooter paints his bath red and ends up looking like Marat in David’s painting after using it. She could never quite forgive my father for falling asleep at that part or for him using the antique bed warmer. An heirloom which had been in the family for some time, it proved to be disastrous and leaked water everywhere, forcing my parents to spend a miserable night in the living room until their bed had dried. Utterly worthless, it hangs on the wall today, superfluous but never failing to make me smile each time I see it.

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The sight of snow brings back memories of that winter and those quiet nights in the time before computers and smartphones. What that in mind, I’ve selected a few classic winter images which I hope you will enjoy, even if you consider snow more of a nuisance than a delight.

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A streetcar stuck in New York after a freak snowstorm in 1936

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Traffic chaos in New York, 1967

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A man walking through Montmartre cemetery, 1946, by Ed Clark

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The Eiffel Tower, 1948, by Dmitri Kessel

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The Paris Opéra in 1942 by Robert Doisneau

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On the Rhine, 1956, by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Washington Square, 1954, by André Kertész

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Car tracks in the snow by Bramham Gardens, London, 1940s, by Eileen Agar

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A snowball fight in Trafalgar Square, 1931

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Wrapped in plastic

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Twin Peaks haunted my imagination from the moment it aired in the UK. Not that I was allowed to watch it then – my parents rightly decided I was too young. But it gripped people in a way few shows had done before and in the days before social media, they would gather round the water cooler at work the morning after each new episode was shown to discuss what had happened. The famous image of Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic was everywhere and fascinated me – more enigmatic in death than she could ever be in life, I wondered who she really was. People talked about “damn fine coffee” and cherry pie like the kind they served in the Double RR diner and a gorgeous actress called Sherilyn Fenn who played Audrey Horne appeared on the cover of our Radio Times and became my new beauty icon with her dark retro waves and arched eyebrows. Occasionally, I could find a pretext to go into the living room while it was on and get to see a few minutes but that wasn’t really enough. I got my hopes up when my mother bought a copy of ‘Laura Palmer’s Secret Diary’ to give to my father but it was returned to the bookshop after he complained about the bad language and violence in it (why he watched the show, I’ll never understand) without me even managing to open it. It only took me 17 years to finally get around to watching it myself.

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Fast forward to winter in Berlin, 2012. I immediately regretted my choice of footwear the moment I stepped out of the door because it had started to snow. A white blanket covered the city, muffling the sounds of traffic and giving the streets a mysterious quality. Hurrying across Alexanderplatz to change U-Bahn lines, I slipped on a grate and landed flat on my back. This being Berlin though, nobody so much as batted an eyelid as I got up and dusted myself off. Outside the venue for the all night Twin Peaks event in Neukoelln, just one other person was there, a young performance artist who had just moved to Berlin and was working as a waitress to earn some extra money. When doors finally opened, inside I was amazed to find the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks faithfully recreated with its zigzag floor and red drapes and wondered how on earth the large numbers of people who were attending could fit into such a tiny space. I reserved two wooden chairs and was soon joined by my friend Gabi who had never seen the show before. As Angelo Badalamenti’s famous music began, coffee and cherry pie were served and later on red wine. People sat on the floor or crowded round at the back and soon the room was filled with cigarette smoke. Watching Twin Peaks there all night, I realised why I love it so much – part detective story, part teen drama, it manages to be in turn funny then scary in a way no other series has managed to and has a wonderful retro look and a quirky charm.

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I realise it isn’t a show for everyone and has its flaws – too weird or scary for some, it lost its way in the middle of second season which led to a fall in ratings and ultimately its cancellation – but whenever I watch it, I’m reminded of my childhood obsession with it and that wonderful snowy night in Berlin just before I returned to the UK and can still smell the freshly brewed coffee in the Black Lodge. For that reason, it’s like a comfort blanket I reach for whenever I’m ill or in need of cheering up.

Twin Peaks makeup inspiration

The women of Twin Peaks are fabulous and I love the fact that they all have their own looks. I’ve limited myself to focusing on just four – Audrey, Shelley, Donna and Josie.

Audrey

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The most iconic and popular character from Twin Peaks, Audrey has the most classic, retro makeup, harking back to the Old Hollywood actresses of the Fifties with a flawless base, a soft smoky eye and red lips. Strong brows are the key to this look.

BaseGuerlain Parure Gold Fluid Radiance Foundation, £55

EyesCharlotte Tilbury Sophisticate palette, £38

Guerlain Liquid Eyeliner in Noir Ebène, £23

BrowsAnastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, £15

LipsNars Audacious Lipstick in Rita, £24

Shelly

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Glamourous waitress Shelly is always groomed to perfection with her strong brows, full lips and thick wavy hair.

BaseCharlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, £32

EyesTom Ford Cocoa Mirage Eye Colour Quad, £64 (I know it’s expensive but this is my favourite nude palette ever)

BrowsAnastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, £15.50

LipsMac lipstick in Whirl, £15.50 (those with very pale skins might prefer Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Brownie, £21)

Donna

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Donna Hayward is always fresh faced and glowing. She doesn’t seem to wear much makeup so opt for a light base that lets your skin show through and subtle touches of colour to accentuate your natural features.

Base – Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser, £34

Cheeks and lips – Stila Convertible Colour Dual Lip and Cheek Cream in Peony, £16

Josie

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Described as the most beautiful woman in Twin Peaks, Josie has a gorgeous red lip and soft smoky eyes but is there a dark secret behind the exquisite face?

Base – Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, £42

Eyes – Topshop Smoky Eye Palette in Enigma, £12

Lips – Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinante, £26