Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Surprised, terrified, and in awe.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Next time remember not to be too greedy, and cash in in 2017. And remember, however ghastly it seems today, it will be but a distant memory...in two or three years. (Well, I suppose anything would after that time lapse.)
But being nouveaux pauvre is much less worse than being nouveaux riche. Obviously. (See, there are some benefits.)
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thanks if you can help; and please pass it on.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
"What a bore," she'd drawl in her distinct New England/Bryn Mawr accent and then immediately move on to discuss or do something she deemed "really" important. Really important things to Kate were all do to with finding joy in the simple, basic elements of life. Chopping wood outside and then building a decent fire. Eating dark chocolate after dinner and drinking a strong whisky before. Always having three meals a day. Getting a good night's sleep. Having fresh flowers in the house because "you can't be miserable in a room full of flowers." Going to bed early and getting up at dawn – "Why waste the day? So much to see." Swimming every morning in the ocean, regardless of the weather. Taking cold showers – "Exhilarating!"
Friday, October 24, 2008
The excitement at Piccadilly Circus was tempered by this clever window display at the Lladro shop in Piccadilly, showing two sets of Thai dancers, on either side of a gilded frame, as if reflected in a looking glass, with the pair nearest to the street in white and silver and the opposite pair in full colour.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Is it a bird, is it a plane...? A leisurely stroll from Leicester Square to Piccadilly, past the statue of Eros was enlivened by the landing of an air ambulance helicopter right in the centre of Piccadilly Circus, (appropriately named once again, albeit with a different meaning), causing tourists to scurry from the steps around Eros, and traffic from Piccadilly, Regent Street and Shaftesbury Avenue to come to a complete standstill. And on a Friday afternoon.
Walking never seemed a better idea.
The London walking tour continued from Buckingham Palace, down Birdcage Walk to Parliament Square, past the Palace of Westminster, (Houses of Parliament), along Millbank, with the Thames on the left and government office buildings with decorative archways (above) to the right, on our way to Tate Britain, (formerly The Tate), with a little refreshment and sustenance, (it would be convenient to suggest an egg sandwich, but it wasn't) in Bessborough Gardens (top), whilst viewing the dappled light playing on the fountain in the centre.
The introduction from the Tate's brochure explains Francis Bacon much better than I could, so I reproduce it here, (click on the picture to read in larger font). The two lower pictures were in the exhibition. The first was based on Valazquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X (Head VI 1949), and he made a number of studies.
The second (triptych) is conveniently entitled Second Triptych 1944, painted in 1988.
A photograph of Bacon's studio is also reproduced from the Tate brochure, the state of which shouldn't surprise. It was a fascinating expose, and I learned a great deal from it, and enjoyed the experience. As I've said about other art, these are enjoyable to view in a gallery, but not something that I would hang on my own walls; there are other, less startling ways of waking up during the day.
There's also the very minor consideration of what used to be termed money, a commodity most of us have less of than we did twelve months ago.
But as we're learning, Art is the new investment of choice: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/10/21/basales121.xml
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The personal walking tour past Buckingham Palace began at Spencer House in St James's. Having read Peak of Chic's recommendation, I thought it was time to visit, as I had not done so before. However, I misread the opening times, and discovered that it was only open on a Sunday, hence the outside photograph with obliging greyhound, and less obliging Royal Mail van. The other pictures are reproduced from the Spencer House leaflet, the beauty of which pains me for what I missed.
I had every intention of going the following Sunday, but Saturday night's partying activities rather put a damper on that good intention. Next time perhaps.
The most ironic thing that occurred to me was the close proximity of Spencer House to St James's Palace, (the former home of the bachelor Prince of Wales), and the adjacent Clarence House, (the current home of the same remarried prince, aka The Duke of Cornwall). Whilst Diana never lived at Spencer House, this twist of history is one that amuses me.
I will not add to the very interesting descriptions that Peak of Chic made about the history of the house, its architects and interior designers.
London in fine weather is a fantastic city for walking, and the Queen's Walk in Green Park a pleasant stroll from Piccadilly to the Victoria Memorial. But our journey went much further on that day alone, about which more later. Good walking shoes are essential, but despite being appropriately shod, my shin splints are still aching after nearly two weeks.