I keep my blog as a personal record of what I'm up to, which might be seen as working towards "An elegant sufficiency, content, retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, ease and alternate labour, useful life"

I'm certainly not there yet.  There is quite some way to go!










Entries in London (3)


Happy Days


Having just posted a heap of photographs to my 365 collection, I’m sitting here thinking what a great time we’ve had this last week.  The best sort of time because it’s shared with family and friends, without a detailed agenda and punctuated frequently with good food, laughter and lively conversation.  Oh yes, sprinkled with a bit of culture too.




In three days we packed in One Man Two Guvnors which was hilarious, the superb Bronze exhibition at the Royal Academy and braved the crowds to see the Heatherwick Studio exhibition at the V&A. 




We sampled the cooking at Galvin La Chapelle, Campania, Allans, and Delaunay, and tried Eggs Drumkilbo for the first time last evening, in a dining room appropriately furnished with a collection of signed Dick Francis novels.




At last I got to check the Columbia Road Flower market off my London list, we ticked several items from our shopping list at Zara Home and added a few more books to my Amazon wishlist along the way.  My first gel manicure in Selfridges wasn’t 100% successful, though, and I’ll be canvassing a few friends for advice before the next one!




Our days were sprinkled with glitterati, observing Paul Smith and his party to our left and Brian Cox to the right in the same restaurant on Sunday, having already spotted one assorted Gallagher bro in Sloane Street earlier in the day.  We didn’t spend all our time hobnobbing though and added the 15, 23, 47 and the 19 bus routes to our repertoire – my favourite way to travel around the city by far.




Sadly, I didn’t charge my camera fully before leaving, so photographs of this lovely weekend are few.  It didn’t prevent me taking the obligatory photograph in a certain cloakroom for my Artful Dodger chums, though!




Best of all was a super-comfy hotel to return to each night, even if last night, for some reason, the duvet wasn’t big enough to cover the bed!  As we didn’t fall into it until well past midnight, we didn’t complain, but hmmm….perhaps it’ll be recorded in Trip Advisor later ;-)




So, did we have a great time?  We certainly did.  Is it good to be home?  Of course it is!


Come for another walk, part two

Refreshed?  Rested?  Off we go again.



The next part of our route takes us through Exchange Square, amongst the busy office workers to Liverpool Street Station, from where we could catch a bus and save our feet for another day.



I'm not sure if station buildings have always been so fascinating or whether the refurbished St Pancras has simply raised my awareness, but I thought Liverpool Street Station was looking particularly good this afternoon.  What do you think?



We were headed for the National Portrait Gallery, to see art we knew and loved and perhaps encounter one or two new people?

Sure enough, there was an interesting photographic portrait competition on show, with images to admire and to provoke conversation.  We also rather enjoyed the Twiggy portraits, admiring how beautiful she remains!



Feeling a little weary, we settled into the Portraits cafe on the top floor of the gallery, for  a restorative cup of tea and watched the sun go down over the city.  There, far in the distance, we could see Westminster, where, we hoped, Edward would be gathering his things together in preparation to meet us for dinner.



Down in the Square, we stood and listened for a short time to a somewhat dishevelled group sing a few carols by the Christmas tree, then set off, past the Bear in the Square to walk and build up our appetite for dinner. 



Window shopping around Jermyn Street and Bond Street wasn't quite in the same league as Fifth Avenue but we enjoyed the visual feast nevertheless.



We particularly liked the Christmas lights in the streets around here this year, all on a similar theme of white shapes.  Here in Albemarle Street, the icicles are fun in a drippy sort of way, whilst over in Oxford Street, there are umbrellas to deal with that.



Dinner at The Albemarle was terrific.  The food and the company were so good that we totally forgot to look at the artwork!  We'll just have to go again...


Come for another walk with me

this time, in London, where I've been spending a few days with my Californian friend, Mary.


Let's start in Whitechapel Road, near the surprisingly smart apartment we've called home for the last few days.  Here's an interesting archway to whet our artistic appetite.



with a map, to get our bearings.



First stop, The Womens Library, to visit a fascinating exhibition about Feminism in the '70s.  I take so much for granted but am grateful to those women who worked so hard to ensure that I am able to do what I do today.  Equally interesting for me is the styling and design of the exhibit itself as well as one or two particularly eye-catching pieces



"Setting a table is a form of Art to a Woman" - an embroidery by Berta Freistadt, c1975



Next stop, the somewhat apropriately named Petticoat Lane market area, looking a little forlorn today and highlighting the huge contrasts in this area, between the new and shiny and the faded, down at heel.



Working our way through the old streets in and around Aldgate, we pay particular attention to the walls



Let's turn down Fashion Street and head for Brick Lane.  As we walk along, we'll notice how the old facades hide altogether different structures behind them and how the old traditional buildings are accomodating new, technology-driven business.



Here, at the junction between Fournier Street and Brick Lane, the barriers around some roadworks provide a canvas for art.



All around us is evidence of the many layers of community history.  Does it provoke similar curiosity with you?  We want to learn more about the people who have lived and worked in the area, to find out about what they did and how they lived.



Let's step inside this shop full of marvellous things we are so happy to own - and yet more that we covet.  Polly George's ceramics, gorgeous letterpress cards and intriguing jewellery with hidden meanings.  A conversation about lovely things is a delight and it's hard to leave but we must move on.



Before we do, we'll spend a while admiring the shop next door, the Brick Lane Gallery.



then we'll offer a reminder to "look up!".  When art is all around, it's easy to miss all kinds of fascinating sights.



Crossing Commercial Street, towards Spitalfields Market, we're starting to feel a little hungry.  Shall we look for somewhere to eat lunch?



Something tells me that this is becoming quite a smart area now.



and yet around every corner, there's a surprise.  Once inside the market building however, we're spoiled for choice - pasta, noodles, wholefood, Spanish, Indian, Mexican or...





We'll sit and take a break over lunch.  Join me again in a while and we'll continue our journey.