Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The Oxford Somnambulist

It was off to Oxford to see my mother for the bank holiday weekend with all 3 children in tow… We go by coach as I have no car which is fine once you are on it but getting across Victoria station is not easy with luggage and a wandering 6 year old.
Leyla and Kitty are always spectacularly badly behaved when they go away together all competing for attention, put them in a small terrace house with 48 hours of rain and the result is a high stress count all round.
As usual I am transformed into a somnambulist unable to galvanise myself into doing anything.
My mothers house is small but pretty, full of clutter that Kitty and Leyla play with, all three of my children tend to treat her as a cash cow to be milked whilst she remains employed. Retirement looms like an unwelcome gift to be left unopened for as long as possible. Although dragging yourself from such a lovely view will be hard(the photo of a view through a window is the view from her desk at work.)
One bonus has been to collect some fresh collage material as my mother throws nothing away so I have some lovely tissue paper to play with next week.
Back home I have escaped to work as the house contains my bored and irritable partner who cant leave me alone for 5 minutes.

Friday, 25 May 2007

A Wonderful Day pt2

The show gardens were beautiful, the plants were stunning, my feet were tired, but it was a visual feast for the eyes. Needless to say I took loads of photographs the exotics and the orchids was amazing a nursery from Sri Lanka had some bizarre plants, oh for some time to paint. The deckchair sums it up a room of my own and a place to day

A Wonderful Day pt1

One of my favourite parts of Sex and the City is the episode S.J.P sits outside a cafe and orders a coffee with no book or sun glasses to hide behind. It is not easy but good to do sometimes, just sit and watch the world go by like I did yesterday at the Chelsea flower show. Suffering from flower overload I too sat with nothing to hide behind and watched the public walk past mesmerised by the sartorial car crash that is the English dress sense. Where would this country be without linen dresses, trousers, skirts, here it was in every permutation. So far so good as were the floral patterned skirts, as were the flat shoes. But can someone tell me what possess women of a certain age to embrace the Lycra T shirt two sizes too small? not a good look in any colour or style and one that should be issued an on the spot fine with an accompanying photo to place on the back fat wall of shame. Trust me I too need to lose the ubiquitous 10lbs but I do not squeeze myself sausage style into a tight fitting top. But hey the gardens were lovely and the flowers.....

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Chelsea Eve

The ticket has arrived, the sun is out and I am off to The Chelsea Flower Show for a whole day. Its been 6 long years since the last visit so I cant wait for tomorrow and will take lots of piccys.
The BBC has a fantastic dedicated area with virtual tours if you want to see the fun.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Devil in disguise

We love to squeeze bananas
We love to squeeze ripe plums
But when we are feeling really sad
We love to squeeze our mums....

A slice of perfection

I found this on an online Sotheby's catalogue but lost the name of the artist, but it is a painting of perfect beauty.

Dear Emin, 21 things I hate abut you

1. Never flushes the toilet or puts the seat down. Good thing here is the toilet seat in the new house won’t stay up so he has no choice.
2. Shaves his head in the bath and does not rinse it. Everyone else is shouted at if they so much as leave a partial strand in the sink.
3. Is rude to kitty and never has a good word to say to her or about her. This has made her strong and difficult to bully.
4. Favours his own daughter Leyla in every argument. He has created a monster.
5. Will drive to the ends of the earth to help friends and family but questions every journey I make in the car especially if it involves Daisy and Kitty.
6. Eats and leaves, never clears up any mess he makes, yet if anyone else forgets to put a plate in the sink he shouts.
7. Throws paper on the floor never uses a rubbish bin.
8. Has a dog but never walks it or feeds it despite having not worked for 3 months, so after a long day at work I still have to walk him and pick up s**t.
9. Never brings me tea when I am ill.
10. Mows the lawn and call it gardening.
11. Belittles any art work I do, any exhibition I see, my clothes, my music.
12. Uses the dining room table as a work shop so no one can eat together.
13. Shouts down the phone and gets over excited over the least little thing.
14. Thinks only of himself and his daughter.
15. Eats like a pig.
16. Drives badly yet criticises others.
17. Has allowed his sister to live rent free for 5 years whilst watching every penny I spend.
18. Constantly uses crude language and talks too much.
19. Filled the house with photos of Leyla and no one else.
20. Watches complete crap on tele and switches over no matter who is watching first.
21. Arrogant beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.

I could go on but felt 100% better after writing this. I am sure an appendix will be written before the year is out. Yes sadly I do love him, Leyla is the cement that binds us together. Despite his worship of her his expectations have only served to alienate her from him. He is now unemployed for the third time since I have known him with no sign of a job. Yet he insists on having an Au pair and making us all share the financial burden of his days of leisure.

To put him in context he is a Turkish/Cypriot and wears his religion and politics on his sleeve like a badge of honour. We tend to feel a lot of pity for him and spend our lives trying to make him a better, kinder more sensitive person…..we can but dream

A riot of colour

I must be feeling better because when this dropped into my in tray it filled me with cheer. Check out the web site oh to have lots of money to spend on such beautiful clothes

Monday, 21 May 2007

Feeling Blue

Thursday night my youngest nearly killed herself by falling asleep holding the bedside table lamp this had burnt through a feather duvet and was well into the second before she was discovered. Thank god for fire retardant bed linen needless to say it was all my fault as I will insist on having a reading lamp.
On top of this I caught the bug both Daisy and kitty had earlier in the week so whilst I languished in bed the house managed to disintegrate into chaos despite having an Au pair and an unemployed partner in the house. This meant I still had to cook and collect Kitty from swimming.
On Saturday morning I was asked " how much longer I was going to lie in bed" so I doubled the dose of drugs and got up to do my daughters chores and regain some control. Apparently I am ungrateful as I was delivered a bowl of soup even though I asked for a cup of tea and so the Gaza strip which is our relationship struggles on.
I am compiling a list of everything I hate about the man I live with it wont change anything but I know I will feel better
The dark stripes reflect my mood, I am struggling to get lighter.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

These beautiful rugs can be found at contemporary artists have done some lovely designs. How lovely it would be to see some of my stripes woven up. One day..

Artist's Studio's

The June issue of World of Interiors delivered some gems this month, the RCA has combined their degree shows so finally I can get to see all the work, even now I would like to go back to college I was too young the first time. Another temptation to see is the opening of Hogsend Henry Moore's house in Perry Green. The house has been restored to its original 1970s look, a favourite era of mine. The studio and grounds have been open for some time and I took some students to see them last year it is the most inspiring place I love seeing artists studios and watching them work almost as much as seeing their work. Other favourites include Babara Hepworth's studio in St Ives.

Finally in this issue was Mary Fedden's house on the banks of the Thames what a perfect place to live. Although she is not in my top 20 I always look forward to seeing her work in the Royal Academy summer exhibition. She makes the simple look effortless which as we know isn't always so.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

LOT 31

I have often wondered that if I was given the chance to steal just one painting from a gallery which one would I take. 20 years ago a small Van Gogh painting of a garden made my stomach flip and remained on my wish list for years. More recently a visit to Hamburgs Kunsthalle left me wanting a beautiful Much painting of a woodland scene at night. But last night in New Yorks Sotheby's one of my all time favourite paintings sold for over $72 million Rothko's White center is for me perfection. The colours shapes, depth, mood are utterly lovely and for a brief moment could have been any ones. Some good will come of such extravagance as the Rockerfella's will donate the Money to charity.

Rothko like so many artists does seem to prove Anthoney Storr's theory from the Dynamics of Creation that creativity represents the successful resolution of internal conflicts. Maybe it drives us all.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Re Mix

Spent the weekend mixing up some new music combinations for the mp3 player. I have a tendency to listen to the same song over and over so I deleted my favourites and introduce some new tunes from the past inc Moby, Massive Attack, Faithless, anything to get my legs moving down the gym. I also added James who I saw live recently, a birthday treat from my sister. They were fantastic, the last time I saw them live I was pregnant with Daisy so they had aged very well. The bonus being their logo is my daughters namesake so she wants a t shirt. I was a bit of a gig pig before children, now I am lucky to go once a year.

Now the girls are older they have just started to go out alone it is a strange feeling watching them grow into such independent girls.

I have 3 whole days stuck in a room with my A level students whilst they sit their photography exam so I will be developing my adobe skills to catch up with them..

Monday, 14 May 2007

Two missing hours

What I love about blogging are the links that open up to other sites. This snowballs until 2 hours have disappeared, but what a visual treat the 2 hours have provided. I loved the dear ada blog, so many interesting images so little time..I really wish I could own these by Kenna Moser and Michelle Haghund from the

Itchy labels

On a recent trip to TKMaxx i picked up these lovely labels.

I spend far too many hours trying to unpick the labels that shops put on the collar of any and every garment, not soft labels easily detached but prickly cheap labels welded in, causing maximum irritation. I wish the CEO of these clothing manufacturers had to wear their own produce they might makes some changes. Zara is the worst and I have put holes in so many clothes trying to pick them out.

Saturday, 12 May 2007


A very Alice in Wonderland experience on the way to the gym today I spied a very large mushroom that had emerged through 3 inches of tarmac I should have picked and fried it but you never can tell with mushrooms.
Saturday has brought no news on the job front so I am still hopeful. Kitty as usual was up and out to see her dad by 9 o/clock, in stark contrast Daisy had a leisurely breakfast did her chores and went after lunch.
They are so different in every way mental and physical people often struggle to see them as sisters. Daisy is curvy auburn haired very very intelligent, witty, reads all the time, is writing a book, religious, untidy, spends all her money and can be very lazy. Kitty is petite, blond, hyperactive, chatty, dyslexic, sporty, obsessed with time, O.C.D, very tidy, very organised and saves all her money for big things. They share a room and they hate it. Throw into this mix a spoilt 6 year old and its no wonder they high tail it to their dads every weekend.
So all is quiet

Friday, 11 May 2007


I love this woman's paintings check out her web site her press cuttings show a lifestyle I envy and would love to emulate one day....My Chelsea flower show ticket arrived today so cue heavy downpours of torrential rain. I do not understand how this country ever has a drought all they need to do is organise a big out door event and the rain clouds roll in.

Hawaiian Memories

Reading the Paper Scissors blog yesterday brought back memories of our Hawaiian Holiday 5 years ago. It has the perfect climate and a lovely laid back life style, we did not want to come home. My favourite trees were the ones pictured here, they are not so clear as they are photos of photos but I am sure you will get the flavour. The volcano was amazing and I loved to see the tenacity of plant life struggling to regrow. We would love to go back but it took soooo long just think of the carbon footprint. If you do get the chance stay at the Dolphin Bay Hotel, Hilo it has the best coffee and fresh muffins for breakfast ever.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Old and the new

Recently found on my office wall which has more layers than a lasagne were these fragments of paper with patterns drawn they must be many years old and were a welcome surprise. The painting is a test strip for some new paintings I will paint when I find the time.

The ritual humiliation that is the job interview came and went. the extreme stress of preparing for the teaching observation was intense. The problem is that when you really want the job the wait to hear whether the job is yours seems forever and disappointment is never nice. I have a back up plan which is to spend lots of my budget on treats to oil the path of teaching next year.
What did not help was that in an effort to create space and raise much needed funds I placed various pieces of my wardrobe on eBay. I have at least 64 camisoles so a cull was in order but what hard work it was for so little reward... Taking photos, loading photos, filling in copious amounts of information, sorting out the money, standing in long queues at the post office, it was not worth it.
What little money I made will be frittered away quicker than it was made.
Interestingly some of the cami's did not sell so I re hung them on the coat hanger of shame but to my surprise I was glad to have them back, sometimes the thought of not having something makes you see it with fresh eyes it was like having new clothes.

It was my youngest of 2 middle of 3 daughters parents evening last night. She is dyslexic and really struggles with punctuation, grammar and paragraphing at least she has an excuse what is mine?

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

The usual Sunday tantrum

I was woken far too early with this ditty ringing in my ears..

I'm telling

I'm telling

Because you licked my lolly

and you didn't say sorry

and you went to the pond

and kissed James Bond

I'm telling

I'm telling

you went to Batman's wedding

you kissed him

you hugged him

you really really love him

The singer of this witty ditty then managed to conjure out of nowhere no less than three tantrums

Q1. I want to wear Rollerblades to the park

A No they are not yours, they are too big, and it is too dangerous

Q2. Help me get dressed

A No you are 6 years old and more than capable of getting dressed and undressed 20 times a day when the mood suits you

Q3. I want an ice cream from the shop after the park

A No you need to eat lunch and have an ice cream from the freezer at home its cheaper

The grand finale was that there would be no one to play with.. wrong again so I sat and drew whilst dog and child played.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Essential plants for the garden

The sun came out late today and warmed the backs of the tadpoles, spawn of no less than 8 frogs. This means that the 3 Hosta's next to the pond have not a single hole. I have never seen such a slug free garden what the frogs don't eat the blackbirds polish off.

This is a new house and a new garden, every day has been a pleasure and my list of wants grows longer
1. Ribes
2. Cistus
3. Clematis Montana/Armandi
4. Lavender
5. Hellebore
6. Daphne
7. Ceanothus
8. Buddleia
9. Roses
10. and some Daisy's of course
The ground is dry so a Beth Chatto dry garden will be more appropriate.

The main bug in the garden is Leyla my youngest. Her older half sisters decamp to their dads most weekends so she goes from being the youngest of 3 to an only child. A real handful but a joy too. I have the luxury of having an au pair to look after her, so I am spoilt but that brings its own problems tears and tantrums. I should make her translate the article in the Guardian today so she can appreciate that life could be worse.

Still the bank holiday stretches ahead and I have an interview for one of the impossibly glamorous jobs I applied for so my head is full of smart answers and intelligent questions..I wish.

I shall just enjoy the day.

Friday, 4 May 2007


Like most artists I have a compulsion to collect, my cupboard has piles of "treasure" waiting for use in a collage or composition in a photograph. Smooth glass on a beach, pebbles with holes, autumn leaves are all fair game for collection and unlike many things I covet they are free. They represent time and make me slow down,

More expensive collections include 65 camisole tops..... 15 pairs of combat trousers...flip flops

Collections I wish I could afford include Japanese wood block prints, houses by the sea, Victorian pressed glass.