Saturday, 21 October 2017

By Invitation Only is back on Monday. Old readers of my blog { if there are any left !!! } will remember it well.

For those who haven't a clue what I'm talking about, By Invitation was a group of women from around the world who wrote on a given subject once a month. 

Our subject on Monday is Halloween or Welcoming the Autumn season  ... I suspect I shall be frivolous !!!

See you on Monday.



Sunday, 15 October 2017


On Friday evening, we went to see Hiromi { pianist } and Edmar Castaneda { harpist } at  Shoreditch Town Hall. It was now safe for me to go out in public and not frighten anyone !!!

Built in 1866, Grade 11 listed Shoreditch Town Hall is the epitome of Victorian vision. Designed to be the grandest Town Hall in London, it doesn't disappoint. From the imposing exterior to the council chambers with it's cove ceiling, stained glass and chandeliers. Up to the first floor you are met by the Assembly Rooms where Hiromi was playing. A stereotypical Victorian Music Hall complete with a stage and gilding of trumpets and violins, it was also the setting for the inquest into the last Jack the Ripper murder !!

Here is Hiromi at The Royal Albert Hall this year .....

..... and, this was my favourite piece , Moonlight, Sunshine, a piece she wrote in 2011 after the big earthquake in Japan ...... this was the only video that I could find of it ..... someone in the audience must have filmed it so it's a bit wobbly !!!


image 1: via this is funky, image 2: via Ottawa jazz festival, videos from Youtube


Sunday, 24 September 2017

NIK and SICK !!! .....

Look what I've done !!!

A precis of events :

Arrived at friend's house to stay overnight, went to a pub for dinner { one small glass of wine }, on to venue to see Nik Kershaw { brilliant }, took small glass of wine into auditorium, put it on the floor and kicked it over !!, back to friend's house, stayed up until 4.30 a.m. chatting { no wine, just coffee }, went to bed, woke at 7.30 a.m. needing the toilet, sat on toilet knowing I was going to be sick {have not been sick for years} ..... next thing I know, I'm laying in sick on the floor, knickers and leggings round my ankles !!! Had passed out, smashed my head on the adjoining wall which woke friend, friend had to break into the bathroom, she called ambulance !!! After all checks, the paramedics said I had had food poisoning ... result: black and blue face, painful neck and shoulders !!!

Thinking I'm looking a lot like Frankenstein's monster ..... you've got to laugh !!!



Wednesday, 6 September 2017


We've just had a wonderful weekend in the City of London as we went to a wedding at St. Paul's Cathedral ...... our second St. Paul's wedding !!! Our first, a few years ago, was my cousin's daughter ... my cousin has the OBE which entitles your children to marry there. This time it was our friend's daughter who was married at St. Paul's ..... if there was ever a wedding venue to symbolise London greatness, it would have to be St. Paul's Cathedral. There has been a church at this site since AD 604 .....

The ceremony is held at the east end of the crypt in the OBE chapel, also known as St Faith's Chapel ..... only the official photographer is allowed to take a few photographs ..... if you are seen taking photographs, you would be ejected from the building, forth with !!!

Me in my hat !!!

The reception was held at The Banking Hall, which overlooks The Bank of England. 

The Grade 11 listed building was designed in the 1930's and has a unique Art Deco charm.

This is me, jumping up and down and making a right fool of myself to Lulu's ' Shout ' ..... well, if you don't join in, you don't have any fun do you ?!!!

images 1, 3, 4, 7 & 8 : via me, image 2: via wanderstories, image 5: via hitched, image 6: via location collective


Monday, 28 August 2017


We are very lucky to have acres and acres of lakes, the river and walks near us .....

There are large fields  and babbling brooks .....

..... and, many wood carvings along the way.

a slight deviation off of the main path takes you along water lily walk .....

and, after a few miles of lakes, locks and loveliness .....

one arrives at the White Water Centre that was the venue for the Olympics 2012.

You can sit and watch the British team and members of the public battle the rapids whilst drinking wine or coffee in the sunshine or enjoying a nice lunch. We've been walking here since it was first built, long before the Olympics ..... there was only a hole in the wall where you could get coffee then ..... it has grown a lot since those early days !!!

On the way back you can walk a different route along the river, past the barges and locks. 

all images via me bar image 11: via


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

FOOD, FUN and FLAMINGOS ..........

In mid July, my sister celebrated her 70th birthday. Amongst many other things that she did, she took the female relatives of the family out for lunch in London.

We went to Babylon Restaurant at the Roof Gardens in South Kensington. High up on the 7th floor, 100 feet above the hustle and bustle of Kensington High Street and with amazing views over London ..... it's not often that you can enter a building at street level, take the lift to the 7th floor and emerge in a leafy garden in the centre of London.

I started with Truffle Risotto ..... AMAZING !!!

Then I had a fillet of Hake with Jersey royal potatoes, wild garlic, samphire, poached leeks and a seaweed tartar hollandaise sauce ..... AMAZING !!! 

..... and finished off with Lemon Posset, poppy seed ice cream, gin and tonic jelly with juniper meringue ..... AMAZING !!!

Now, if there isn't an event going on, you can take a tour of the famous and oldest spectacular Roof Gardens so that's what we did ..... the Roof Gardens were the brainchild of  the chairman of Derry and Toms Department Store, Trevor Bowen and were constructed by Ralph Hancock between 1936 - 1938. Bowen wanted to outdo the gardens of Selfridges and Barkers department stores so he created three themed gardens including fully grown oak trees, a running stream and flamingos !!! 
The restaurant and gardens are now part of Sir Richard Branson's empire !!!

The gardens cover 1.5 acres. It has ponds, bridges, walks, trees, shrubs and sitting areas. There is an English Woodland garden with nearly 100 species of trees, a Spanish Garden with fountains and a walled Tudor garden.

Derry and Toms closed in 1971 but was taken over by my favourite shop at the time Biba. Above is Barbara Hulanicki, owner and creator of Biba, in the rooftop gardens with the flamingos !!!  I was always in Biba so, it was lovely to go back all of these years later.  After it's move from Kensington Church Street to the Derry and Toms building, Biba immediately attracted up to one million customers a week and was one of the most visited tourist attractions in London. After disagreements with the board, Big Biba closed in 1975. I used to like it best when it was in Kensington Church Street ...... it was never the same when it moved and became too big ..... anyway, I digress  .....

Here's my photograph of the Spanish Garden .....

..... and here it is in the 1930's.

2017 .....

1940's !!!

It is well worth a visit ..... lunch was very reasonable and, the guy who took us round the gardens said anyone can visit the gardens and sit with a drink as long as there isn't an event on ..... you don't even have to have lunch !!!

Afterwards, we went to see Diana's white garden at Kensington Palace ..... I was going to show the photographs but I thought that you had probably had enough for today ! I'll show you them next time .


images 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 & 12: via me, images 2 & 14: via babylon, image 7: via garden visit, image 9: via mike, image 11: via riba, image 13: via rbkclocalstudies


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

MEXICAN FLEABANE ..... and my MEXICAN wedding dress circa 1976 !!! ..........

Mexican Fleabane ..... Erigeron Karvinskianus !!!!

Such a good little plant ..... doesn't seem to mind where you put it ..... sun or shade it seems to thrive which is great in our North facing garden !!!

I stuck this left over bit in the wall this year .....

We have some steps like this SO, I'm going to plant some in our steps today and hope they will start to look like the above !!!

All of this talk about Mexican Fleabane reminded me about my wedding dress. We got married in 1976 ..... that hot, hot, dry Summer ..... I was working in Mount Street in Mayfair, London at the time .....

In Lower Sloane Street was a shop called Mexicana { I couldn't find a photograph of the shop anywhere on the Internet } It was run by Alfredo Bouret who had previously worked as a fashion illustrator for Coco Chanel, Dior, Pierre Balmain, Valentino and Balenciaga. His inspiration was Mexican fashion and culture. NOW ..... before I show you my wedding dress just remember it was 41 years ago so don't laugh !!!!! .........

TA DAH !!!!

I bought it with my own money ..... I think it cost about £90 which was a fair bit in 1976..... I just looked it up ..... it would be £700 now ..... that's not that expensive is it, considering the average that someone spends on a wedding dress is £1,000.

What on earth would Donald Trump think of me ?!!!!

UPDATE for Cro !!! 


images 1, 2, 3 & 6: via me, image 4: via flickr, image 5: via margot and hesse