Tuesday, 30 September 2008



"The unobviuos subject matter of socks has triggered my attention for a long time. I realised that socks are not just socks but can be viewed as 'significant' things. They are pathetic and full of imperfections. They slip and they sometimes slip down into your shoe - which is so annoying. They look like graphic signs. In 1994 I laid them out to dry and realised they looked like chromosomes. They always lose their partner, however wise or old we get we always look for the matching sock. Then again it is a little delight of the day to find a clean matching pair."
A quote from Wolfgang Tillmans (my hero)

I have a basket full of odd socks, you can imagine how the 5 of us generates many lonely singles. I do struggle to wear odd socks they somehow feel different, if I have a precious pair of Falke I will loosely knot them before washing to help them on their way.
I have been mulling over what I would like to do with some of my photographs. It seems to me that I need to find a common thread, (all be it tenuous as you can see in Tillmans work.)
I have been trying to go through and put into a file my favourites, it is taking forever. It is one of those hideous stop start projects that I have made harder by storing my photos on 2 separate computers, sans back up!!
Note to self, Back up.

Mark Shaw

This one is for La Belette Rouge
Shot in a Paris courtyard, a model is seen wearing a red Chanel velvet gown, 1955.

Photographed in 1953 at the French country estate, Corbeville, Jane Sprague models a ball gown by Jacques Fath.

France1960'sCaptured here by famed Kennedy's photographer is a modelin the Paris living room of legendary interior designer Henri Samuel.

Original Limited Edition Mark Shaw fashion photograph. This is from a never published series taken by Shaw for LIFE magazine. Pictured here is a model in the 17th century house where Manon Lescaut once lived, then owned by Suzanne Luling, directrice of Dior in Paris, 1960.
Read more and see more here via The Paris Apartment
I was struck by the stunning room settings as much as the stunning clothes. I just ache to own a coat like this grey one. In fact I ache to live during this era full stop, (not sure my waist line agrees) The simplicity, the cut of the coats. My mother had a similar Dog Toothed check one. If only she still had it. As a child I was raised in very plain A line dresses with funnel collars. Of course I hated them, I wanted to wear full waisted dresses, ones you could twirl like the characters in the books I read.
Now I can appreciate the simplicity of cut and wish I had kept them.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Leeds Castle

The view from here. One happy bunny.

Leyla's school always gives their classes a name. Last year each class was named after a sportsperson. This year it is castles. Leyla's class got Leeds, I had half hoped they were named after football teams so that we could drive up to Elland Road, but it was not to be. She of course was then given a project on castles and needless to say she chose Leeds Castle. In a weak moment I promised a visit at the weekend.
So after lunch on Sunday off we podded down the M20. It was packed, we sauntered up to the entrance to discover that for the 3 of us it would cost £40! the ticket allowed numerous visits over a year, great for locals but we only had 3 hours, so we decided to let her loose in the shop to buy some postcards, and as it was such a glorious day I suggested a walk around the perimeter so she could take a few photos. Well Lady Luck was smiling on us because as we followed a public footpath it took us directly around the side of the grounds over a style into Leeds Castle!
So we wandered around waiting for security to spot us and escort us of the premises, but no we wandered with impunity. I had been to the castle many years ago but I forgotten how beautiful the apartments were, so I went a little snap happy.
We had a lovely day. Leyla can now do her project with a cherry on top.

Milan favourites

I love the colours and those tights might almost tempt me back away from my sandals...

I love the scarf, plus the combats, maybe I should not have given mine away!
This is my favourite profile, what a wonderful outfit.
All from The Sartorialist

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Marni Love

photos from here

I love the label Marni and this years collection is brilliant. Consuelo Castiglioni always pushes the boundaries, the jewellery is especially innovative and a constant source of inspiration.
I have noticed a lot of layering creeping in this year. Could it be a reaction to the miserable summer many European countries had?

Kew II

The final B&W images.
The camera struggled because the light was so poor yesterday. I really liked the last image not despite this, but because of this.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


With love to the incomparable Ms Cunningham.

I would love to solarize this one

I am back in one piece, sans a migraine so it could not have been too bad. It rained of course, but fortified with a latte and the most delicious lemon drizzle cake ever, I survived.
I once stood behind someone in M&S food hall who had in his basket freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon mousse, some fizzy lemon drink and some lemon cake. I should have dropped down on one knee and asked him to marry me. I LOVE the taste of lemon, in both savoury and sweet food. It top trumps chocolate any day and if I could, I would eschew my all be it delicious marmalade for lemon curd, but if you have ever seen the calories...
I managed to keep the brats under control. The gallery was huge, much bigger than I expected full of really beautiful botanical illustration. How wonderful to spend a life time collecting paintings and then build a gallery to house them all in.
The tree top walk was a little disappointing I thought it would be higher. However a colleague said it was quite high enough for her so maybe I am being churlish.
As you can probably see I forgot my effing Pentax. So bang went my macro photography session. instead I scrabbled around the bottom of my bag and dug out the Lumix, switched it to B/W mode and had some fun.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

I maybe gone for some time..

I am for my sins, (and they are many) taking 46 students to Kew Gardens tomorrow, and yes it will be a nice day out, but the stress migraine is already knocking. I will take the macro lens and do some work whilst wondering if they have been garroted by a rogue vine, speared by a cactus . or have fallen in one of the many, many water features.
For some of these students it will be their first time out of their local environment. I took a trip 2 years ago and when they saw the palm House they were gobsmacked at the sheer size of it and of the the plants inside.
I will also finally get to the Shirley Shirwood gallery, so that will tick another small box.
My sixth form students were recently mulling over what nationality a Dutch person would be, they tried a number of countries and finally settled on Denmark. I put them right, and so one sweet child asked what someone from her hometown would be, I replied "A Chav" They were all quite taken aback at first, then nodded in agreement that they may not be one but that is what they were known as. Poor souls. So you can see why the good people of Kew maybe somewhat taken aback as they run shrieking through the gardens.
I recently marked some year 8 test papers where one student apparently had spent a great deal of time studying an artist by the name of 'Whorehole' I hope to God she did not Google Image him, can you imagine the shock? I am planning on writing a small book that lists the various misspelt artists names, Van Goth being one of the most popular
This is just a small taster of life at the chalk front or whiteboard now,and why I may be gone for sometime.

Cecil Touchon

I am having a bit of a collage moment here. More of where these came from here via Something to Say


uploaded by junipertrail.

I was trying to find some Indian inspired work to show my students how to collage using warm spicy colours when i found this amazing set of collages on Flickr.

Monday, 22 September 2008


Christ Church Gallery.
This is a very beautiful tranquil location in which to see some superb paintings. I however preferred the drawings, I got to see one of my all time favourites. The head of a young woman by Andrea del Verrocchio and this amazing drawing by his pupil Leonardo da Vinci. My years nine students are drawing it all this week.

I went to Oxford because when Daisy returned home she dragged a case heavier than she was, but it was not full of clothes and shoes, all the stuff she needed. No, it was full of books. Daisy had ransacked my mothers extensive classical library and left all that was useful behind. So I went to collect the rest, as well as see mother who has now retired, she is keen to see as us as often as she can to ease the boredom. As she said, she has lots to do, but misses the everyday conversation that come with working in a college . Unless she makes the effort, she could go for days without a conversation. We have tried to suggest ways to avoid this, but bloody hell is she picky.
So we ( I took Kitty) arrived Friday evening at eight to a roast chicken dinner and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Delicious.
Saturday we spent meandering round galleries and shops. I went to my favourite shoe shop which had THE MOST gorgeous pair of black sling backs. I try not to taunt myself by trying on heels but these were so classic and looked divine, sadly whilst my right foot said yes, I did not even bother with the left and slunk away. I was half tempted to buy them just to look at them occasionally. Life living in Birkenstocks maybe comfortable but it is also a little dull.
The blue sky mixed with the beautiful architecture of the Oxford Colleges was very uplifting.
I returned home on Sunday to a pile of dirty laundry, dirty dishes and hungry children. Hey ho!

The view from here

The Bus to Oxford takes you past Hyde Park, which at the end of a beautiful sunny September day looks beautiful. I have walked the length and breadth of this wonderful park since I could in fact, walk. My father worked at the back of the Science museum, and as a very small child, I remember walking across the park with my mother toward Harrods and then onto the museum to meet my father. It never feels busy and goes on forever, straddling two London Boroughs.
I love the view from the top of the bus, people watching and gazing into the Holland Park palaces, before hitting the car park that is the A4 out of London.

Sunday, 21 September 2008


A truly beautiful city.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Nanette Lepore

It is a little girly for me, but I love the colour combinations and I would love to get a closer look at the jewellery which looks beautiful.

Kettles Yard

I often get invitations to private views at Kettles Yard because I am a member, sadly it is just too far to make any of them and it is getting to be a long time since I last visited. The latest exhibition which finishes this week was particularly high on my wish list. Sadly it was not to be. These photos unusually for a gallery show the exhibition as a whole which I like a lot as you get a feel for the scale of the pieces. I have been here many times so I am able to just, imagine what it would be like.
My consolation prize will be to book tickets for the Frieze Art fair. I have never been and I have decided to try some of these fairs as a change to my normal Bond St run.