The phalaenopsis in the sitting room was in need of replacement, even if three of the buds from one of the original plants were still in bloom. So we dashed off to our favourite vendor and purchased this pretty little number. Encore une fois.
Whilst some of you in more northerly climes are battening down the hatches for winter storms, here we are welcoming the nicest season of the year - hardly any rain, plenty of sunshine and low humidity. Our weekend visitors from London have headed off to the beach,
the photo they sent me last night
and were it not for the fact that we've done that pastime to death, we would have joined them. Too much of the same thing can be rather tiresome. Unless of course it's having pretty flowers.
These two quite different lots were for sale at two different sales yesterday, and I had an interest in both. The two white ladies is unsigned and in a naive style by an C19th unknown English artist. It sold at Bonhams for GBP5,000.
A pair of Chinese School C19th pictures were sold at Doyle's in New York yesterday for a heady USD15,000.
I was quite taken with the two English ladies, but the interest was superseded by the Chinese ladies. I have been lamenting the runaway prices for art of this genre, and this lot was no exception. I was rather hoping for a bit of auctioneering luck, but their obvious beauty was acknowledged by the winner, and I was quite easily outbid. Spotting sleepers is becoming quite a task, so no sleeping beauties here, sadly.
I don't think I would object to Phil Collins's soundtrack, but flip-flops and "No problem" instead of "Yes sir" are a bit too casual and rather conflict with the other strictures imposed by the boss of Abercrombie & Fitch, as reported in The Guardian.
Whether we believe in a symbol being propitious or not, we are probably not averse to having references to that symbol if some cultures believe it to have that quality. Conversely, if we know a symbol represents something sinister, we are unlikely to enjoy seeing it.
Some years ago on one of our frequent visits to Bali, we bought two deer heads that were wall-mounted, rather like the taxidermy of the great hunters.
I noticed there was a pair of larger and full-bodied deer for sale at auction recently
at Leyland Little Auctions in North Carolina, so after further research, I have learned from Thomas Murray Asiatica - Ethnographia: ...the most ancient meaning goes back to the Animistic roots of Bali, where deer are revered as omen givers, known to whisper the secrets about the future. But deer also carry a likely "deep memory" association with the Deer Park in Sarnath, India where the Buddha gave his first sermons.
And then I thought about a number of deer, (and stags) that I have, including this candelabra in metal,
which like the two Balinese heads, reside on the balcony, and are therefore rather weather-beaten. The metal stag is reminiscent of a weather vane, and conveniently hides one of the uplights.
I rather like the idea of receiving secrets about the future, and this may account for why I am sometimes psychic, another new career I clearly need to explore, (even if I already know the chances of success).
Our condo in Bangkok is uniquely blessed with its own soi (lane), from one of the prime main roads in the city. It also provides access to one of Bangkok's 5 star hotels, The Metropolitan. As part of the renovation I was determined that we should be using this access to its full advantage. Accordingly, we added a considerable number of hedge-type plants, (on the left).
Then arrival at the canopied entrance to the building was in need of further planting, (on the other side of the drop-off point is the swimming pool, shown in a previous post), so the hedging had to be increased to provide the desired screening.
The additional landscaping has now largely been achieved, although not all to my taste. I tried in vain to remove the penchant for white and yellow, or red and yellow painting along curbs, but to no avail.
So from the condo's circular arrival area, there is now a rather pleasing view of the drive up to the main road. It seems silly not to use what is already there, and ours; borrow the view. Most people don't feel that common areas are of any interest to them, but it's a missed opportunity, if you ignore them.
Yesterday we had our shoot for the private jet company, and whilst I await the professional photographer's pictures, (which include those of the Columnist), I thought I might share with you a few that I took myself, (obviously when I wasn't being Mr Billionaire with his Gulfstream V (above)
or sitting where my female counterpart is (above), smiling sweetly at the hostess,
or alighting from my Bentley at the private jet terminal. The rather lanky and sparkly-shod lady is a former Miss Thailand, who has her own make-up company and was on hand for my female co-star. Making up is obviously quite hard to do. The ladies (these two, plus another assistant) began their endeavours at about 9 am. I arrived at about 11 am and did the first shoot with the car at about 11.30 am; an hour after that, the ladies were ready.
But it was a terrifically fun day, albeit a long one, thanks to the good production company, and the delightful people with whom I worked. The creative director was kind in his praise about how I looked the part quite effortlessly. Well, I'm certainly not a billionaire, but I have ridden in Bentleys, and flown on private jets, so it was elementary, my dear Watson.
Of course, as it's my secret life as a male model, it is quite unlikely that I will show you the finished product. Some of the hundreds of photographs taken will be given to me to start my Look Book, so who knows where this might lead, but when an upcoming post entitled "Fallen stars" appears on a screen near you, you might have your answer.
A rare German 1.25 inch miniature terrestrial globe. Carl Bauer, Nuremburg, early 19th century. The sphere applied with twelve printed gores with continents and principal landmasses outlined, coloured and annotated in German, the South Pacific near Cape Horn with printed monogram MCB, in original carved wood case modelled as a walnut, 6.5cm (2.5ins) high. Carl Johann Sigmund Bauer was born in 1780 to globe maker and engraver Johann Bernard; he had a brother, Peter, who was three years younger. Both Peter and Carl followed in their father's footsteps and perhaps became best known for producing the educational aid 'The World and its Inhabitants'. This usually comprised a 1.75 inch globe and a hand coloured series of portraits depicting people of different ethnic backgrounds bound as a concertina foldout. Carl died in 1857, outliving his younger brother by ten years. The current lot is notable in that still retains its original case which is carved to resemble a walnut. The current lot appears a photographic reproduction of the famous portrait engraved by John Smith after the original by Sir Godfrey Kneller circa 1710.
Estimated Price: £700 - £900
Auctioned at Dreweatts, Newbury, England. Information and images from this source.
This rather beautiful miniature terrestrial globe was sold recently at auction for £5,490 well above its top estimate of £900.
Although the case is carved in the shape of a walnut, collecting real walnuts has become a serious fad in China. Have people gone nuts?
The planting around the pool has begun to look more settled, (above), from its initial installment, (below) taken last December.
From the decking at the deep end of the pool, (below) the hedging at the shallow end has finally begun to be an effective screen from the dome shaped glass canopy drop off point.
Last year the effect was almost see through, (and the rather hideous but short-lived bright burnt orange of the changing room and sauna has been chocolate-coated).
The joy for gardeners in this country is that things grow quickly.
If only the landscape designer and contractor were quite so alacritous.
That notwithstanding, I am still making a complete nuisance of myself, trying to get the details of the landscape and various aspects of the interiors completed, (nearly one year after the "completion" of the project). I never give myself much credit for patience, but in this country there is really no option. I am however very persistent, and where others think the shortcomings in the finished project are merely minor details, attending to them and getting them corrected is a Churchillian characteristic that has dogged me (and rewarded me) in the long run.
I'm not quite sure what I will do next, but my new career as a male model may be about to take off. Literally. I was "talent spotted" for an ad campaign for a private jet company. Clearly being old and curmudgeonly is the look the company are going for, although I think they specified distinguished and chief executive-looking. Perhaps there is no difference.