Friday, 16 December 2011

The view from here

tomorrow morning will be this. Please, please,please. I just hope it continues to rain rather than snow. if the weather allows it we will take of tonight and land in warmer climes. And yes that is the sea.
I managed to make a bit of progress with my painting on Wednesday, so much so that when I got out some previous work I appreciated just how far I had come. Sadly I know from experience that the holiday will change me, and so instead of picking up where I left off I'm going to start afresh. So I have packed away the oil bars, it is watercolor time now and then I have to come back and try and paint with just my oils.
We are away for quite sometime and so I have books galore to keep me going, mostly on curating, as well as articles from back copies of Artreview. I also have a rather worthy tome on Caravaggio borrowed from mother and finally one of my all time favourite Christmas presents, a signed copy of The Incredible Human Journey by Dr Alice Roberts. She came to Daisy's college to lecture and so Daisy managed to get her to sign the book. I was SO touched, you can't believe how touched I was. So that too will be read. I think the woman is just amazing.

I have not left any post dated pieces, I've been just so busy, and have had little time to play around up town. I'm looking forward already to the New Year in terms of college. which moves to the Tate Modern, (hence my curating research) lots of plays. including Richard II and One Man Two Guvnors, a huge David Hockney retrospective, and Madrid. All this before Easter. so that should keep away the winter blues.

Oh and Kasabian? AMAZING really just AMAZING








Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Last Friday seems so, so far away,even as I sit here I have no recollection, oh, wait, slowly it is coming back to me.
The original plan was for Leyla and I to go and see Noises Off at the Old Vic. Then Lucy joined us, and then Leyla decided a school disco would be more fun, and so then Kitty said she would come, and then Lucy had to have an operation and then Kitty had to work her shift, and then Leyla was banned from the disco, and then Leyla came to see the play with me. Got that?

So we went up town and went to John Lewis, picked up the camera I had bought for Daisy, and got mother some perfume. We zipped in and out of COS, wallet still intact and grabbed some food from Vapiano, before running down to Waterstones to pick up a couple of books for Leyla. Then back to the Old Vic. Noises Off is just Brilliant. I laughed and laughed. Just as well really.

Saturday, up at the crack of dawn, as was Kitty, who was on a 7am shift. Got the train to Kings Cross. NO, stop. Got on the WRONG train to Kings Cross, not once, but twice. Seriously thick as pig shit sometimes. I have lived in this city for twenty effing five years how do I do it?
So got there in the end. I too needed a book but nowhere sells the ones I want, I gave up and bought a newspaper instead and then sat next to someone eating sunflower seeds. Moved.
Got to York on a glorious sunny day. Forgot my camera! Can you believe it? I went and sat in a church for half an hour as mother was busy. I know I'm a walking contradiction, but I might not believe in God but he does do great architecture and All Saints in York is one of the very best with outstandingly beautiful stained glass windows. So mustered up, I went forth and had a very relaxing weekend, it was over in the blink of an eye, I travelled back to London, got home and sat in the bathroom sobbing. I miss Daisy more than I knew. She is a lot happier and so a joy to be with again.
I am now so not packed for a holiday I begin Friday night. And in stark contrast to the highbrow culture I have participated in this month I am going to see Kasabian at the O2 tomorrow.
Oh, and I have spent today painting. This is a good thing, I have worked away my demons and my watercolors are packed if nothing else is! Sanity saved.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Sometimes it comes good in the end

Some time ago I wrote about how much better my purchasing had become. From my mistakes I made some rules and give or take a wobble or two they have come good. My rule to stick to buying jumpers not cardies has paid dividends, not least because a pair of Pegged Zara trousers form last year has suddenly become wearable. Last year I wore them once, I couldn't find thin enough socks to wear with them consequently they rode up around my fat calf muscles and became so irritating I gave up. For some reason now they are fine. Two narrow skirts too have become worn after languishing unloved for over a year which is why I'm not panicking too much about what to wear with this impulse buy. The skirt is very high waisted so a normal length cardie drowns it. The dress on it's own is lovely but the top is so pale and made of a very fine stretchy jersey, (clingy) so I become quite self conscious and feel the need to cover it up a little. I have decided to be patient, it will come good in the end. I may try a yellow cardie, with it as yellow and grey are one of my most favourite combinations.

It was my last class of the term last night, a large cohort of students are unhappy with the teaching and during the group session last night we tentatively voiced the lack of direction. We of course were archly manipulated into seeing the small steps we had made as something grander. So I am pegging my hopes on some serious philosophical discussions when we are based in the Tate Modern next term. Of course after two weeks I will be bitching about that too!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Moomin Love

In the room euphemistically known as my studio, or resource room, I have photographs ripped from magazines pasted onto the wall. Half the room is devoted to art and all that inspires me, colour, shape and form all collide together. The other half is devoted to rooms I would love to live in. The wall of images sits behind the kettle, so as I wait to make a coffee I gaze longingly at the achingly beautiful spaces. I am ever ready for that sudden windfall of money, ready to shove a handful of clippings under the architects so they can conjure up my dream home. Pride of place now goes to this photo spread from this weeks Saturday Times supplement. What's not to love and covet?

I remember reading a Moomin book when I was young, I loved it so much I bought another, but for some reason it was impossible to read. It was like the first one was so perfect I couldn't move on. I had the same problem with C.S.Lewis. Still, I love the characters and now gaze longingly at this studio whilst the kettle boils.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The view from last night

I took these photographs 2 years ago at The Frieze Art Fair. I loved them then, I love them now, I love the controlled chaos of moving ink across a photograph. I love the colours and the strange juxtaposition of textures. Last night I finally made it to the Gerhard Richter retrospective.

I had almost forgotten that I had booked to go to a talk by one of the Gerhard Richter curators at the Tate Modern. I had wondered that despite loving his work if I would ever make it to the show. I am so glad I did. I used my student discount and managed to hear an excellent talk about how the show was curated, plus see the exhibition twice both before and after. I found that a perfect way of doing it. Once with no preconceived ideas and once with a lot more knowledge that forced me to look at work I had previously not really paid much attention to.

It was strange to go out on a Monday night, but the effort was rewarded with this stunning view over the Thames to St Paul's

Monday, 5 December 2011

The view from here

It is very rare that I plan something and then actually realise the plan. But here is the evidence that I indeed make it to Leadenhall market. rather too early though as the few stalls that were there were only just setting up. Being tucked away in the city it was very quiet, despite copious publicity, it seems shoppers still prefer the jostling melee of Oxford street to the calm environs of this beautiful arcade. Those of you more inclined to Harry Potter will recognise this place, Leyla did from this photograph.
Sadly it is full of the usual generic high street stores, with little in the way of individual boutiques, so I managed somehow to get to Bond street and grab a coffee before walking down to get the train home in time to collect Leyla for the concert. On the way I spied this very secluded passage, places like this are littered across the city, and I love them.

I did not have time for Selfridges windows, which having researched them is just as well as they would not yield much for me photography wise. Instead I snapped a few windows down Bond Street. I was hoping to find the Lowery exhibition on at Richard Green. I managed to walk straight past it!

But did find this at Hermes, now there is abox we all would like to find under the tree. Yes I am feeling quite festive for the moment. It is all very fresh and not as jarring as I normnally find it. Even the 'muzak' in the supermarket i am currently finding quite jolly.

Next a whistle stop tour of Cork Street.

Flowers Gallery always has a lovely show on at Christmas that focuses on the smaller canvases from a very wide range of artists. There was a superb Maggie Hambling and this one from Tai-Shan Schierenberg was lovely too.

But for me this beautiful painting by Johanna Melvin was my favourite. I can find very little about her luckily this was on the gallery website

Further along the ever reliable Kurt Jackson. he is one of those artists whose work does not translate very well on a larger scale. However his small mixed media pieces are really lovely, especially his most recent paintings of the Dordoigne. I think the new location has lifted his painting to a new level.

Walking down Bond Street I came across this group of people. three of them were in quilted jackets, they have become ubiquitous across town I tried to this of a collective noun for them but couldn't!

So the outcome of my research was neither Spitalfields or Leaden Hall would be worth the effort,the latter too quiet, the former is just another vehicle for Asian imports. Both Emin and I were smitten with the area despite going the wrong way twice! But having worked out a quick way to get there, I will return.

The family carol concert at St Martins-in-the-Fields was just beautiful, and so, so brilliantly sung very moving. Yes, Mater, I know at moments like these I am very, very blessed. After we went for sushi, I ate and drank far too much as usual and had stomach ache all the way home! that said Leyla matched me plate for plate and was fine, I think the food is too rich for me.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The view from here

Have you ever noticed that when times are tough at work, you find you can cope? Maybe only just, but books get marked, children get taught and paperwork is filed, worst of all data is compiled. All this and plus have staff who need suporting too. Then you go to a meeting and you talk the talk and bullshit with the best of them, then the person opposite suddenly says, "you're clearly under a lot of pressure with little support, it must be difficult" It was like being hit by a steam train. BANG, it dawned on me that yes, I was working hard with little support. My reaction at the tiniest skerrick of empathy is to blub. However I managed to suck it back up and soldiered on, but inside it can feel overwhelmingly hard sometimes.
As a result of the additional work I have struggled to go up to London, (especially Selfridges) to photograph the Christmas windows. I could have gone last Wednesday as strike action closed my after school class at college, however I realised too late and ended up spending a very fruitful couple of hours in the Library. I feel like I have paid to be a member of the most expensive library in the world since the tuition has been crap, so far it has been the only benefit. This weekend I was planning on going Christmas shopping with Kitty. She has shown a remarkable reluctance to enter into the gift giving fray, but after digging away at her for a week it transpires she is terrified of buying the wrong thing. Apparently for too long she has put on a brave face on receiving unwanted presents and thinks everyone will feel the same about whatever she buys. I told her that few people turn there noses up at posh chocolates or other food. I have often shopped in a lovely deli on Jermyn street for small but delicious edible gifts. She remains very unconvinced! I have to say I never had any qualms about the presents I bought, for me the pleasure was wholly in the purchase, once wrapped I didn't give it a seconds thought.
Anyhow she has blown me out for a cinema trip with her step mother, such is the dog eat dog world of parenting.
So I am shopping alone at the weekend. I am doing a reconnaissance on two markets. Ledenhall in the city and then Sunday I hope to go and see what there is in Spitalfields. I will take a camera as it has been far too long since I took photographs for pleasure.
I have just remembered I do have Christmas Carols at St Martins-in-the -Field on Saturday with Leyla, so looking forward to some sushi afterwards.
Finally I am wearing the jumper I swore I would return, the reason? It's much colder, in fact this time last year it snowed. I also realised I was trying to wear it with the wrong trousers. Instead of narrow, it needed wide legged ones of which fortuitously I had.
I am still at work with some year 11 girls desperately try to make a clay shoe! I'm crap with clay but I have done my best and now need a glass of wine before an early night. I am shattered.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Where Children Sleep

Risa, 15,Kyoto, Japan

Lamine, 12, Bounkiling village, Senegal

Rhiannon, 14, Darvel, Scotland

Nantio, 15, Lisamis, Northern Kenya

I love this idea, it is a real eye opener and beautifully photographed. See more on his website here

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Frivolous Fun

Black Fringe Ribbon Trim Necklace by Akong

Beautiful feather headdress by Rebecca Jewell

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Why I love Consuelo Castiglioni

The headline accompanying this photograph was enough to make my heart leapfrog into my mouth. Marne + H&M. Seriously, this has to be the one I pull my finger out for. Even if it's just to own a necklace or two.

But what really leapt off the page was what she is wearing herself. Could this be any better? The colour of the jumper, the patterned skirt, her hair. OK the earrings would drive me insane, and what I want to know is would she consider wearing this with tights? Or, is she granite like and goes bare legged? If so does that not look odd with a coat? Like a wool sleeveless polo neck. Of course the chances of her needing a coat as she runs for the 7am train on a sub zero morning, before climbing 4 flights of stairs into an over heated classes room are zero. I often think the life of a fashionista is totally climate controlled and not subject to the extreme vagaries we lower down the food chain are.
I have to say the best decision I ever made was to switch to jumpers, from an almost pathological need to buy cardigans, and after a recent wobbly moment last week I am back on top form currently wearing jumpers over skirts, but mostly black.
Now I've seen this I may have to get back out some patterned skirts just to have my own Marni moment.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Failure to launch

Well, I could argue that the economic climate is not the best time to suddenly launch a career as an artist. But I was not prepared for the brutality that was to come. Despite the hoards walking round, little money exchanged hands, I'd spent the whole of Saturday night cutting out paper doves to make cards. I'd other designs too, but in the end ran out of time. Thankfully, as no one was buying cards, not just mine, but anywhere. I had completely misjudged the Christmas Craft Fair, it was mostly jewellery and commercially imported merchandise. The only thing selling was cupcake candles, soap and lavender bags. Maybe some scarves but that was all. Neither stall either side of me made enough to cover costs. Luckily I did. What was laughable was how many stopped ooh ed and aah ed but didn't even buy a card.
My sister was stoic, she came with food and stood with me for 4 hours. Emin drove me and helped price things up, which was nice since the previous night I had called him a thoughtless prick. Both Kitty and Leyla called me to see how it was going, which was sweet. The main shock was that it was not a craft fair for people who make things, it was just a cash cow for the organisers. lesson learnt.

I have learnt 2 other important lessons.
1. I must have a website, this is a no brainer and Emin has offered to build one after the new year, he is surprisingly keen to launch my art career, so I know he will do it.
2. Everything is now packed and ready to go, this took hours but has now made me realise it can be done. I have through numerous conversations found 3 more venues that would work better for my work. I'm going to do some research this coming weekend and then after the website is up and running go for it.

Friday was a triumph of sorts. A great meal at Les Deux Salons, even Kitty agreed. I treated my sister and I to a glass of Champagne which was what I had looked forward to all week. She was more deserving having lost £8000 of business in one day. I think she will be schmoozing a client this week to make up for it, poor soul.
The play (Comedy of Errors) I have mixed feeling about. 3/5 is a fair I think. The stage as always was great, just brilliantly done. The acting was either 'very good' or 'not great', but it rolled along nicely. After 5 min's Kitty leaned across and said "are they going to talk like this all night?" I panicked but then she relaxed and just let it wash over her. Despite the lack of understanding she really enjoyed herself, and may join us again, but only if they talk in English!!
My biggest concern about the play was one scene that they had set in a brothel, this is fine, kids need to know they exist, (and there were a lot of children there that night.) What was disconcerting was the man in the 'gimp mask' seriously was that necessary? Luckily Leyla didn't see it so I was let off that very interesting conversation!

Friday, 25 November 2011

The view from here

I'm running late, this is a good thing. I have driven to work, which takes less than 20 minutes, as opposed to train and walk which takes over 40 minutes. I woke up to hear the 5.30am train moving off. I am so tuned into the trains that leave the station that backs onto our garden it's quite scary.
I reach for my phone and decide to treat myself to a lie in, so I reset the alarm for 6.30am. Yes, that's what constitutes a lie in! And indeed I do go back to sleep. A deep precious sleep that can only be achieved and appreciated after waking early. In fact I slept like a log most of the night having had an astonishingly stressful day, the details are boring, but after taking Leyla to her violin lesson I bought a bottle of white wine and a pizza, and kicked back in front of the television. Fuck making Christmas cards, I needed a break.

So drinking my coffee looking at the view from my classroom window rather than reading the papers online I see the sun streaming through onto my Ficus, with my fake orchids behind. I love the colours so grab my camera.
The fake orchids are stuck into a real orchid, the flowers of which I have only been seen twice, and they were quite grim. I'm too afraid to re-pot it, despite the fact it's one large root ball, in case I kill it. So it sits, sulking on my cupboard and so to teach it a lesson I stuck some silk flowers in it!
I have driven in so I can take home my boxes of stuff to sell at the craft fair. Lucy has tried to drum up trade by posting it on Facebook. If it all works out I will pay off my MA fees, if not it may just be enough to buy me a sausage sandwich. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Tim Walker

Tim Walker goes to Mongolia.

When I saw this photograph my jaw dropped, it's just so beautiful. I bought Vogue because it's choc full of the most amazing images. The story behind them is remarkable too. They travelled to Mongolia, to go so far with so much luggage and get these photograph is a triumph.
I have wondered if Tim Walker wasn't running on empty recently as he does seem to rely on props to create a story. These photographs prove he should get out more as they are so much better than some of his previous work.

Whilst we were in Istanbul Emin asked why I bother taking photographs, when I do so little with them. He's right, I should make more effort to at least make a blurb book. I'm hoping the MA may help give me a direction, we shall see.

I am still frantically wrapping up old collages, some over 8 years old. I have so far found and wrapped 120 pieces, plus made some ginky cards. I would've liked to have packed up more peices, including some oils, but I'm running out of time and part of me, the negative fatalistic part thinks what's the point.

Looking back over my old work has made me realise how much I miss watercolour painting, so I think I will try and do some in Cyprus, (snow and fog willing) The early dark nights should focus my mind, no distractions I hope, that's what I am looking forward to the most right now. Oh, and Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre on Friday night with the girls. I have booked Les Deux Salons as it's Leyla's favourite for the burgers, which she has declared the best in the world.

My sister has had a rough week so I think I may have to treat her to a champagne cocktail.

Finally my favourite bit so far from my new book by A.C.Grayling is, do you believe in the tooth fairy? No? Then why do you believe in God?

Monday, 21 November 2011

The post where I have to admit I have lost any sense of self control

These I will keep.

It all started inauspiciously enough, I was on my way to the NPG to look at the recently opened Taylor Wessing Portrait prize exhibition as well as listen to two of the photographers discuss their work. This exhibition has become a double edged sword for me on the one hand I love looking at the photographs, on the other should one of mine not be there? I did enter this year, but did not submit the image because it just looked crap on a larger scale. I am aiming for next year all guns blazing, or not.

I digress.

Because I never read anything properly, I'd made some stupid assumption the tour started at 5.30pm, which would be logical since most teachers have a long way to commute into London. Sadly, it started at 5.00pm. So I ran in only to not find anyone, no one knew where they were, and I was told to go in and wait inside the exhibition. I waited for half an hour but no tour appeared. I decided they must be in the lecture theatre and since I was hot and very stressed and had for some reason a crippling stomach ache, I limped home, tail between my legs and walked the dog, smarting from having wasted £7 on travel and even more money in COS.

What made it worse was I was outside the gallery at 4.45pm, but then decided to run up to the London Graphic Center to buy some spray varnish for some work I am attempting to sell. I shot through Waterstones and bought a book and of course was then lulled by poisonous sirens into COS. In the heat of the moment I bought a tunic dress and a knitted dress. Impulse. So I was both poorer and missed the talk.

I put the irritation to the back of mind, but then this morning I woke up and stood frozen like a rabbit in the headlights in front of my wardrobe. It's not that I do not have anything to wear. I have felt 100% positive about all my sartorial style until today, but this morning something cracked under the strain, and the reason is.... Historically I have always felt cold, I'm only comfortable in warmer climes, but it has been my misfortune to spend the last 7 years in a classroom with no heating. I am therefore programed to buy wool anything really. Dresses, jumpers, skirts, even Nora batty tights all worn over up to two thermal layers.

So what has changed?

For a start weather has not got much colder, balmy climes most days, second, I have a feeling they may have fixed the heating but worse of all I feel like I am going to combust most days, so I feel it has all gone horribly wrong. I am hot, so hot I can now only wear 40 denier tights, plus I have to fling my cardie off every 5 minutes. I no longer wear a vest let alone two, and I often have to open a window at work. YES it's the menopause. But how do I know this will last? Do I buy the wool just in case? But then I feel like I have wasted my money. I itch to wear the new stuff, but I feel like I'm going to explode the minute it goes on, so I get ready, then get ready again. I was so pissed off this morning, I stand there looking at all the clothes I have bought yet cannot wear and having been fine for weeks now I feel it has all fallen apart.

On top of this I have started to wake up in the night and then lie in bed raging against the lack of self control I have, and then I think does it really matter? Then I start to think what am I doing with my life? Why am I even here? ON and ON it goes.

So I have written it all down, it's now in a box and I just have to get ready for Sundays craft fair. because lets face it, that is my problem, the though that I will stand and sell nothing and then have to lug home all the stuff I have spent hours wrapping and wonder why I am even bothering, why don't I just read a book and give it all up.

Oh and yes, I did get dressed eventually, I think I will return one jumper and one dress, please, please pray I can find the receipt and return them, and more importantly walk past Eileen Fisher, because those clothes are gorgeous especially for a menopausal woman!!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Istanbul .....the locals

Those two dogs were enjoying a game of tug of war!

Fishing, fishing fishing, everywhere.

It was still alive!!

That is all the photographs I am posting, there were more, but I think it gets a bit boring after a while.

Having almost thought I was on top of the paperwork another list appeared pretty much at the same time the books needed marking, so posty light again.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Robert Motherwell

Sometimes I think I am close to realising a goal and then I walk into a room and see this, and I realise I am still at the bottom of the stairs looking up.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery

Another gallery close by that is exhibiting an astonishingly brilliant exhibition is Ordovas, the current Francis Bacon show is just brilliant, don't let the doorman put you off the staff are lovely.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The view from here

I had one of those weekends that made me wonder if I would ever get to sit down. In my fantasy world I would go to the gym before pootling in the kitchen and then watching crap TV all evening. This weekend involved none of that. Instead I volunteered my services to Emin helping cut back a vine. Comedy moments galore, because think about it, when is it quite frankly the very worst time of year to cut back a vine laden I tell you with red grapes? Yes, this weekend is the correct answer.
I am not talking a carefully nurtured and pruned vine, I am talking Sleeping fucking Beauty's Castle vine, It had spread EVERYWHERE and some, taking no prisoners. I donned wellies and a cagoule, because directly afterwards I was going to the theatre.
I was thoroughly juiced for 2 hours, it mattered not how carefully I clipped the stuff. it just kept on splashing. Plus of course the grapes were riddled with mould and flies and wasps. The joy!
I did skulk off for a bacon butty before passing the baton to his niece and collecting Leyla to go and see a rather saucy production at The Royal Court, called Jumpy. The premise was the relationship between a rattled mother turning 50 and a dysfunctional teenage daughter. Throw into this mix a childless friend in need of a relationship and the usual sprinkling of feckless men all on a pure white stage and you pretty much have the premise.
There was much that was good, there were however too many opportunities missed. There was way too many swear words for Leyla nudity and a rather risque burlesque routine. But she loved it. She on a couple of occasions nodded like a wise sage at the dialogue, but overall I felt the daughter was too hammy and over written. Teenagers are far more subtle than this one was and I came away feeling it was a missed opportunity.
I then persuaded Leyla to get the bus to Knightsbridge so I could indulge in my favourite pastime, COS. There is a new store open near Harrods and it has been a while...I tired on various bits and pieces, much was lovely, more was laughable, and I purchased another jumper. So you see I have stuck to my rules with considerable success, sadly the weather is not playing ball and the climate remains a little balmy for a wool jumper. But my day will come.
Now having poured scorn on Mary Portas recently it has been her turn to pour a little back on COS, I now realise she does not get it at all. The whole grey thing maybe a metaphor for dull, be that metaphor is beautifully cut and produced in some of the best quality fabrics on the high street. Can you for instance go into her outlet and pick up a jersey dress 80% Silk 20% Angora? Does she use the finest Merino Wool, machine washable? The clothes she so damns with feint praise are classics, we wear them year in year out with minor updates very little dates. I know where my money is spent, I wonder if women are still spending in her shop?Bitch over .

Supper at Kulu Kulu was amazing, really, I could have eaten that sushi until me belly exploded! It nearly did
The rest of my weekend was shop, clean, walk dog, boring, boring, boring. No gym...again.

I returned to work to a very magnanimous email from Mother, who was hurt by my comment written for last weeks Identity post. I am guilty as charged and as always have tried to gloss over the elephant in the room ( my deep seated rage) and put it down to artistic license for a drama queen.
Yes I know I am papering over the cracks, I am too old for anything else.

Finally, I am pleased to report that due to a small unexpected weight loss* I am wearing two items from my wardrobe that have languished unloved and forgotten, a long slate grey jumper from GAP sale last year over a ling tube jersey skirt. A year ago this would = sausage, now it looks quite sleek and very classic. The downside is that a once favourite combo from last year now drowns me and can no longer be worn.

* Yes I too loathe smug cows who, with little effort drop a dress size. That has not happened, rather a few skipped meals have shrunk my back fat that's all.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Istanbul, it's all about the food

The first time we stayed in Istanbul we struggled to feed ourselves anything remotely edible, this time it was hard to stop eating. The difference was all in the area we stayed in. If you stay in the old part near the mosques you will be subjected to tourist pap and little else, unless you are on an unlimited budget. This time we were located away from the tourist attraction, more centrally where local people lived and worked. The difference was immense, with amazing cake shops and copious cafes selling a far broader range of traditional foods, not just kebabs but casseroles and soups and salads.
We were spoilt for choice.
We also discovered that in the smaller cafes you could order small plates like tapas and have them brought to the table and top up as and when, until you were full, the most expensive plate came in at around £3.50 so hardly busting the budget. In fact we spent very little by using public transport and eating this way.
My favourite cafes were out of the main fray down side streets, where the locals eat, and the locals all seemed to eat out, there appeared to be no such thing as a packed lunch. My favourite time to photograph was just as they were getting ready for lunch, the calm for the storm.

I started to seek out the smaller cafes, with their slightly retro air and hotch potch interior design

The really urban cafes would have bags of bread on each table to help yourself to, and best of all a sink or hygiene wipes to clean your hands before and after you've eaten, real Turks only use a fork plus bread to eat with! Looking back at the photographs this is something I would like to have spent longer on photographing.

Everything is washed down with tea, copious bucket loads of tea, it's consumed throughout the day, I missed more than anything the chance to have my food with a glass of wine, not a single drop passed my lips all holiday, I can live without it, but I must confess I find life a little duller.