Monday, 30 June 2008

Andrew Edmunds

This photo is from here the whole road is a great big road work at the moment so I could not take one of the exterior myself. It has often been described as Hogarthian inside, for me it is lighter than that, but that is because we ate upstairs.

We ended up at Andrew Edmunds for lunch, it was late and most of London seemed shut. Here they serve all day, it is a beautiful restaurant, the food was delicious and the wine and sherry fabulous too. This rose was from the Lebanon, recommended by the waitress, it slipped down a treat.

Up town again

My sister bought a print from the Summer Show by Fiona Watson
Her work is so delicate and her website is a visual treat. I am jealous, but I do have a lovely collection of kids instead!

Upstairs at the Royal Academy is this beautiful exhibition of paintings by Vilhelm Hammershøi
They ooze a serene calm from every pore of the canvas. They evoke the atmosphere of those cool light airy Scandinavian interiors, a must see if you can.

I met my mother and sister at the Royal Academy on Sunday so they could see the Summer exhibition I sat and watched Leyla playing outside in the water fountains. Whilst I went round the Hammershøi with mother Leyla entertained my sister with a song and dance routine which elicited spontaneous applause!!. Next time I will make her walk round with a donation tin!


Lets go fly a kite

Running with the Au Pair

"Ready for my close up Mr De Mille"

Is it a shark? no it's Leyla's kite, as seen in Greenwich Park on Saturday. Such a beautiful day and Greenwich Park is without doubt the most beautiful park in London. Emin wanted to go to see the new Narnia film but how could anyone sit inside on a day like this?

Friday, 27 June 2008

Ruud Van Empel

I was looking/drooling over some wonderful photography books when this amazing picture caught my eye. The eyes look right through you, penetrating.
See more stunning images here

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Norman Beierle & Hester Keijser

Enough about me.
Some beautiful calm stills from here I love the colours and shapes.

Seven songs for Summer

The rules of the game as set by Simon Reynolds: “List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs.
disneyrollergirl tagged me for seven songs

Songs of Summer

#1 Read my mind (from Sam’s Town by the Killers)
I know it's old, but the whole album reminds me of last summers performance at Glastonbury. No, I was not there. I really could not 'do' a festival, but I watched it on the tele and thought they were magnificent.
#2 New Born (from Origins of Sympathy by Muse)
Please watch the brilliant Oxfam video on this link. Muse can do no wrong and I listen to them all the time without ever tiring of them.
#3 Insomnia ( Faithless)
They say that a form of torture is to play loud rock music over and over again. If they played me this I would be a very happy bunny. I will never tire of it, and so it is a permanent fixture on my MP3 player.
#4 Ash Tray Girl (from Once More with Feeling by Placebo)
The best band I have never seen, well them and The Pixies.
#5 Waltzing Along ( from Best of James)
I saw them when they first started out and I saw them last year and they were better than ever. I thinkdisneyrollergirl is right the time is ripe for a 90's revival and not just fashion.
#6 Low ( from step up 2 by Flo Rida, Travis Barker mix)
Both this and the next one are not on my MP3 player but have wormed there way into my brain because they are songs Daisy and Kitty have both put dances to. #6 I saw Daisy dance to in a show with a group of other girls. She is not a natural dancer but she had opted to do aerobics instead of PE. She had a very young teacher who managed to teach the group a brilliant routine, they were so good they were asked to participate in the dance show. So I endured the song over and over again, and now when I hear it, all I can think of is how wonderful Daisy looked when she was dancing.
#7 T-Pain (from step up 2 by Church, presidents mix)
This is a song Kitty is putting a routine to with her friend so she can enter a talent show at school. So once again another song worms its way in. funnily enough both songs were also popular at the Turkish show I went to on Sunday. Trust me these songs are everywhere, there is no escape.

OK over to a couple of music fans
auntiegwensdiary & materfamilias writes

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


In five syllables, no more, no less, describe the worst movie you can think of. Bonus points if you have to show off your Google skills because you can’t remember the name of it and all you can come up with is that it features Roz Russell and Sandra Dee. Turns out it was some tripe called Rosie! Exclamation point the producers’ idea, not mine.“Auntie Mame leavings.”
In seven syllables, no more, no less, describe your worst date. Bonus points if it was sordid. Subtract points if it sounds too much like an overweight fifteen year old Goth girl.“He pushed my head down. I puked.”
In five syllables, no more, no less, describe the worst job you ever had. Extra bonus points if it consists of Grim. Taxi dancer. Miss Janey, I’m talking to you. I had a miserable spell where I sat all alone in an empty office, handing out the keys to various hell holes for rent around New Orleans. One Lady came back and complained there was no window in the kitchen, I pretended to sympathize and said something like “Yes it would be nasty to have no light and air in there.” She replied “No, hone, you don unnerstan. Dere’s a hole for de winna but ain’t no winna in it.”“Slum lord in training.”Put it all together and you have a haiku of life’s low points.

So it's Meme time again, I have two this week, my first is in Haiku

Slow Drama Unfolds

Unfulfilled Expectations

Relentless Boredom

Worst Movie
I actually really struggled with this one, the next two were easy peasy, this one is not, I tend to blank out bad movies. I chose ones to see at the cinema very carefully. The one's on the tele I switch off. So there is nothing that stands out. I have recently taken to borrowing random DVDs from the Library and this has provided me with some examples of dodgy french film making. This is a deep and rich unmined seem. What they class as a film would barely make it on to BBC4 here.
Slow Drama Unfolds

Worst Date; Tricky one this, it would be easier to list successful dates. There is throughout my history of dating a pattern that emerges. You meet someone at work or in a club, you hit it off, you meet many times in that environment, you think this is 'the one' So like an idiot you suggest a day out maybe a trip to the seaside, or to see a film and then it becomes painfully obvious this is so not 'the one'
Everything dries up, you struggle to find common ground, the comfort zone has gone.
I once really really loved some one and we finally got the chance to go out for the day, when we got there he wanted to spend the day in the pub, I wanted to eat in the rustic seaside cafe and walk hand in hand along the beach. I knew then we had no chance.
It is a source of constant entertainment to Emin that I once 'dumped' him after he took me to a Pizza Hut. I hate cheap food, I would rather not bother. Only once did a man tick all my boxes, except one. Finally, weekends away were a joy, Cinemas was great, meals out fabulous. He even took me to Paris, what was not to love? Yes you guessed it he was truly crap in bed. so you could say for enduring a meal out in Pizza hut the reward is....actually I have managed to get up to Pizza Express, progress indeed.
Unfulfilled Expectations

Worst Job Ever
My very first memory of work was waiting on the road side in my village, a van would pick us up and we would go to a bleak muddy field. It was always raining. We would pile out collect a hessian sack and fill it with peas. This was in the days before the Walkman or MP3 players and you were too far from anyone to talk. It was horrible I probably was not more than 14.
At 15 my friends and I formed a syndicate and worked shifts at petrol pump attendants I quickly developed a strong loathing for Alpha Romeos, they were just complete hell to fill. The pump would click off every 2 seconds, the pipe to the tank must have wound under the entire chassis creating a constant stream of air pockets. Minis were the best you just poured it straight into the tank in the corner. The worst customer was Mr Benson owner of a chain of estate agents. He would bitch and moan if so much as a dribble of petrol touched the paint work. I also remember sitting in a small very old fashioned shop with a wooden box till you had to hand write the receipts on, but all of this would have been tolerable if the octogenarian owner did not sit Buddha like on a chair trying to force a conversation out of me. When it was busy it was fine, but the quiet days were agony.
Relentless boredom

How depressing was that?

Thanks for the tag

I think this is one for
The thoughtful dresser

Monday, 23 June 2008

This weekend

I saw

This was taken at Leyla's Turkish school Summer Festival. They are very big on folk dancing, what is particularly lovely is it's not just girls who love dancing, the boys do too. Leyla goes to Turkish school every Saturday morning, it is a real struggle for her as the rest of her class speak Turkish as their first language. Between the school and the constant stream of Au pairs, she has become quite fluent. Needless to say E has always spoken to her in English. which has not helped.
It is said that since 1973 more Turkish Cypriots live in London than Cyprus. These schools are everywhere and keep the culture alive. Sadly many of the first generation to come over want to return but are unable to because health care is so basic in Northern Cyprus and so they get to spend a cold old age here instead, but a medicated one one!

I read

I read this book last week. Chevalier tends to write to a formula mixing history with the narrative/view point of a child. Its like going to see a Ben Nicholson exhibition. No surprises but enjoyable nevertheless

This book however was full of surprises. I love books set in London and this group of short stories was brilliant, many of them were quite unsettling. Many of the authors are new, some well known. The stories are also rich in cultural diversity and I found it difficult to put down.

I tried a wardrobe remix
I have few spaces to store clothes. The first is the small sliver of space left by E in my wardrobe upstairs. Because obviously his clothes are far more important, (being a collection of rags most people would barely see fit to clean a car with) The second place is a small wardrobe in Leyla's bedroom. I have tried to seasonally rotate but eventually more ends upstairs than should and the clothes end up squashed, not hung and in need of a good iron, and since I do not iron...So I went for a cull this weekend and did a random move around, based on a cursory look at the weather forecast. The colours of what remained looked similar to something most people dunk in their tea. I had no idea I had so much taupe. I am like a walking Ben Nicholson painting. I decided to try and recycle some older clothes and mix with the new, but NOT a good idea. tiered skirts and tops sprinkled with sequins have got to go. It is sad really because in many other ways the clothes are great, They still fit they are cut well, but they are just the wrong style. So next weekend many items will have to go and I will have to start again. But isn't that half the fun?

Saturday, 21 June 2008

I heart Chanel

So right

Sadly, so wrong

Last week in a hurry to get back to work, I rushed into John Lewis and asked by name for a refill for my Chanel compact. I asked for the wrong one, but needless to say tried it before I realised. The obvious sign it was the wrong one was the shape. It was a rectangle not round. That did not warn me and so smearing a dry powder across my face I then finally realised that it was the wrong product and it was NOT going to be any good. Panic set in when I realised I had extracted the last skerrick of colour from the compact. So I was faced with going to work 'naked.' Then I remembered that on a previous visit I had blagged some samples, one of which was a creamy foundation. I scrabbled around my bathroom basket and found them. Bingo, I initially put far too much on, a little went a very long way. I eeked it out until Friday when I would get the chance to replenish my trusted compact with the correct refill. But guess what? by the time Friday came I was so in love with it I bought a bottle of it instead of the compact. I think its called Mat Lumiere. The girl in House of Frasier was sooo nice when I told her what I had done, she gave me another handful of samples. The eye cream is looking very promising!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Jen Altman

"We believe in magic. For the Love of Light: a Tribute to the Art of Polaroid was conceived out of love and loss; an opportunity for 25 photographers to bid farewell to a true love. They represent ten countries and visions so varying that the journey through this book becomes a rather intimate one; each of them engage you on a personal level as if quietly whispering, "hold my hand for a moment in time and see the world anew with me."
I love Polaroids and Jen's web site is a joy. Buy the book here


Beautiful photographs, to cleanse the palate from here

NOT The Sartorialist


I cannot imagine The Sartorialist stopping and whipping out his camera for this model of style and grooming. Thankfully someone else did.
Last weekend, when Flavio Briatore, Renault F1boss, and co-owner of QPR, married former bra model Elisabetta Gregoraci, the groom chose to wear a pair of rather bizarre-looking slippers, each bearing the initials "FE", reported to stand for "Flavio" and "Elisabetta." How sweet. From here
Did Briatore, perhaps have them embroidered as a sort of emergency crib sheet, so that he wouldn't forget the name of his bride as he knelt at the altar and took his vows? It's a possibility. After all, he has dated some of the world's most beautiful women - including models Naomi Campbell, Adriana Volpe and Heidi Klum (with whom he had a child) - and it would be easy to get confused.
He must have the wittiest, most sparkling personality ever. He must be a wonderful tender lover, for how else do you explain the attraction of a man who is happy to look like this in public? Oh, there is the money of course, but what woman would be that shallow?
However even wealth cannot stop the age old problem of wearing 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time as he explains.
"You have 50 pair of jeans, but you wear only two of them. You have 200 suits but you wear only five."

Sarah Moon

Is coming to town in October, I love her work so will be counting the days. It will be showing at the fantastic Michael Hoppen Gallery which always has interesting shows.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly is coming to town and I have been reading some of the reviews, they do not make pleasant reading. Not for the squeamish. I had no idea his work was so feral. There I am thinking it was all about beautiful textures, marrying with text and colour and in fact its all about bums, breasts, sweat, faeces, sperm, saliva and thick scabs! Seriously, am I missing something here? Why does art have to be so over evaluated? Can’t we just enjoy the visual image, just occasionally? I’m with Ellsworth Kelly on this one, who said “I want my paintings to be headless. Not thought, but felt” Three cheers and a gold star for him, because these reviews have really left a sour taste in my mouth, and no before you ask it’s is not ….
Read more here and here

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

T Shirts the holy grail

Metalicus. The Australian label is launching in the United States this fall….who will appreciate the brand's singular two-way "Bodytight" knit both for its infinite scrunchability and the fact that it never looks wrinkled on the body. (Via
As a woman of a certain age I have finally called it a day on the strappy camisole top and cardie combo, (unless the temperatures go very high) I have started to collect a more modest series of T shirts, or to be more accurate tops made of jersey. The traditional high necked T shirt is not a good look on me. I am better with some breast bone exposed. But trying to fine well cut jersey tops that are not 25% elastaine is a nightmare. Last week I went into H&M and tried on 6 T shirts, I am approx a size 16 on top, as I have a very broad back, but even a size 20 hugged every single roll and dimple. What was especially sad was that the colours were lovely, as was the cut and style. So why do they put so much elastaine in? Is it so that they can eek out some very cheap jersey? I do not think the sausage in a skin look is good on any one of any age. Yet if you go to shops for ladies of a certain size their T shirts end up looking like a shroud. I have finally found salvation in Jigsaw, as usual, lovely colours cut on the loose side, but hang beautifully. Zara too very occasionally does them sans Lycra, but I feel I have become a one shop woman. The above piece came via I wonder if the "two way" thing would stop the jersey clinging limpet like to my curves. Sadly I can not find a stockist in the UK although they are here somewhere. And so the search will go on.

Monday, 16 June 2008

The view from here

Tate Cafe
I wanted to also post about The Laurie Anderson pieces I saw.
Performance artist Laurie Anderson's 1973 photography project, "Fully Automated Nikon," during which she realized the vengeful joys of taking pictures of street harassers. She also found that it renewed her confidence and sense of safety: "As I walked along Houston Street with my fully automated Nikon, I felt armed, ready."
What I particularly liked about the photos was the written explanation that gave the pieces are narrative. Interestingly I then found this blog whilst trying to find images to post.
Holla Back NYC empowers New Yorkers to Holla Back at street harassers. Whether you're commuting, lunching, partying, dancing, walking, chilling, drinking, or sunning, you have the right to feel safe, confident, and sexy, without being the object of some turd's fantasy. So stop walkin' on and Holla Back: Send us pics of street harassers!

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman’s Bus Riders 1976/2000 are a series of photographs that feature the artist as a variety of meticulously observed characters. The photographs were shot in 1976 but not printed or exhibited until 2000 and are among the artist’s earliest work. Sherman uses elaborate costumes and make up to transform her identity for each image, but is photographed in a sparse, obviously staged setting with a wooden chair standing in for the bus seat.
Cindy Sherman is photography teacher gold, a real inspiration to students. This body of work was new to me and I enjoyed the images very much, I wonder however whether in this more politically correct/sensitive climate whether she would still do them in quite such a crude fashion.

Helmar Lerski

All the photos are from here
Helmar Lerski is renowned for his singular approach to portraiture. Instead of attempting to reveal the unique characteristics of his subject. Lerski translated the physiogonomy of the face into a sculptural surface onto which he projected lights and shadows to dramatic effect.
From here
I discovered a number of amazing photographers that were new to me, at the Street & Studio exhibition. This one really stood out, the images in the gallery are approx 10 inces by 8 inches and pack a tremendous punch.

Jaques Henri Lartigue

He wrote in his diary.
Far off, amongst the walkers she stands out like a golden pheasant in a hen house. She approaches I’m shy trembling a little. Twenty meters ten meters eight six and Click! The shutter of my big camera makes so much noise that the lady jumps almost as much as I do. It doesn’t matter a bit, except to the man with a loud voice accompanying her, who with a furious look starts to get hold of me. What does it matter though, all that counts is having the pleasure of a new photo.
The original Sartorialist!
Street photography can never be simple, but it is an invaluable tool for giving us a glimpse into the past. What may seem mundane today, can take on a whole new meaning tomorrow.
The Street & Studio exhibition on at the Tate Modern was a joy. To see photographs by Lartigue and many many other in the flesh is always an education. Sadly the catalogue was not and so I left disappointed.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Rachel t Robertson

green landscape detail, originally uploaded by display lady.

Via Dear Ada. It is when I see this that I wish the ENORMOUS mountain of paper work and report writing was over so I could just for once get on with my own work.. Beautiful.

The cost of youth

It has taken a very long time, but I have finally settled into a beauty routine that although may not visually work it certainly feels like it works which is as important.
Night time
I am not a fan of soap and water, in fact I struggle to clean my face with any product that needs washing off. I have tried the Liz Earle cleanse and polish but I never feel truly clean. My favourite product is a strange one. It is called Liquid Gold by Alpha H. I found it via a QVC TSV. The other products it came with were truly awful, and I only realised how incredibly good the Liquid Gold was when I finished the bottle and stopped using it. It is a very strange liquid it act like a tone but the smell is quite grim It feels like it almost burns off a layer of skin, but this is a good thing as then my skin feels truly clean. To put this in context the skin on my face is a tough as a Rhino hide. I have very olive skin that is really open pored great for aging well but not an attractive look with out make up. Sadly after children my skin has become quite patchy it does not tan evenly and without a hefty sun block I can look like a pie bald pony. So Alpha H really does minimise the pores and evens out the blotches. It cost £32 for 200mls and I managed to tip the entire contents of a new bottle all over my wash bag when I last went to Mums, I could have wept.
After this I wipe the Liz Earle Super skin concentrate over my face, which is a blend of oils. It is really lovely and my skin when I wake up is soft as a baby’s bottom ish!
Is Liz Earle Eye Repair then currently some Chanel moisturiser which cost an absolute fortune but it is lovely and light for the summer leaving shiny patches. None of it is cheap but if you have the face of an orange it works.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


I have always loved meadows and roadside verges. This beautiful mix is totally random. having sprung up next to some blue hoardings where the new school is being built.
Nature at its best.

The view from here Pt2

I have not mentioned the loft conversion recently. My advice is, if you can, you should. It was a very painful process, but the rewards are far in excess of the emotional and financial outlay. Despite the fact that 'he' hijacked it for his office cum playroom, at this time of year the pleasure to be gained from the light is immense. In the morning you can lie in bed watching the planes crisscross their vapour trails across the sky. You can watch the House Martins darting high above. The view from the french windows is a continual joy, as these photos testify. At this time of year the tress are beautiful and being so high up give me a whole new perspective. At night we can currently peek through the Dorma windows and watch the sun set over canary wharf. Finally the short walk from shower to bed is such a luxury, as I said, if you can you should.