Free access to Westminster Abbey cloister

27 Jul

Round the back of Westminster Abbey you can access the cloister without paying. Love the wonderful recycling of stained glass fragments into new windows:

And the monuments… Many are for young people because of the connection with Westminster school. How about this for lost promise…

And some great modern stone carving…


Public shelters in vaults under this street

27 Jul

En route to the Tate Britain for the Lowry exhibition our guide (Pink Sister’s sister!) pointed out these signs for WW2 bomb shelters. There’s another London under our feet. Nearby are the remnants of tunnels from the prison (I am told on the current Tate site) to the dock from which prisoners were transported to the colonies. Step forward several hundred years and we used the Tate to Tate boat to scoot down to the South Bank.



Bring the lavender up to nose level

22 Jul

Lovely idea just spotted outside Janey Mac cafe in Kinsale. The scent of lavender (at nose level!) made me turn my head. I want one!

Not to provoke jealousy, honestly

22 Jul

But Cafe Paradiso, Cork city, is as good as ever. Here was Saturday’s menu:


For the record, we had…
Black kale ravioli
Honey cardamom aubergine
Pea & ricotta stuffed squash flowers
Maple cider glazed oyster mushrooms with courgette fritters
Gooseberry tart
Chocolate mousse with cherries
With a bottle of Gavi di gavi

It’s summer but it’s winter

21 Jul

I know it’s hot. But the autumn winter fashion strand pulled from Game of Thrones’ medievalism is getting my juices going. Roll on nights with the bedroom window shut and more than a thin sheet on the bed. If Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel are anything to go by we’ll be going all manner of textured woollens furs and empress Theodora prints. Chanel are channelling Katherine Hepburn in Lion in Winter with the White Witch herself, Tilda Swinton. It can only work well with the trend for pearls off the back of the coming V&A show.




Seventies childhood

16 Jul

20130716-131654.jpgThanks to my mum, who saved seemingly everything, my kids are having a very seventies childhood. They know who the Flumps and Bagpuss are, and can sing the ‘Two little girls’ and ‘Three of these things belong together’ songs from early Sesame Street … Not only that… they wear all the clothes we did as kids (tartan skirts, Brierleys of Blackburn dresses, French jersey pedal pushers) and those that I have made are quite often upcycled from vintage pillowcases etc. Of course they have all the toys and books too. Tidying up just now we fell in love all over again with this illustrated fairy story book by Hutchings Studio (Gordon Hutchings?) for St Michael (as all M&S goods were then labelled). I love David Weidman and Hanna Barbera too and these are in the same general drift don’t you think?






Hey Spidey!

7 Jul

Happy birthday Number 2!

Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can.
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies.
Look out! Here comes the Spiderman.

Is he strong? Listen bud—
He’s got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread?
Take a look overhead.
Hey there! There goes the Spiderman.

In the chill of the night,
At the scene of the crime,
Like a streak of light,
He arrives just in time!

Spiderman, Spiderman,
Friendly neighborhood Spiderman.
Wealth and fame, he’s ignored—
Action is his reward.
To him,
Life is a great big bang-up—
Wherever there’s a hang-up,
You’ll find the Spiderman!

Why not? You can always paint over it…

5 Jul

Found this whilst trying to chase down an elusive strip cartoon (Falco Falconetti) and the Leake Street Classicist… Instead I arrive at this, new to me, though I was already an admirer of Mssrs Pentreath, Terry and Saumarez-Smith.

Apologies it took me so long… It’s from 2010.

Vintage breakfast encore

5 Jul

We had such a good experience of our last Vintage Breakfast that we are doing it again… See you on Sunday 14th July. (If you missed last time have a taste of what it was like… Will be much better at taking photos – eg of lovely ladies sporting our vintage scarves – this time.)






Life is short nature is long

4 Jul

For a quick hit of natura morta there’s the Fragile show at Chris Beetles
Photography on Swallow St off Picadilly. Paulette Tavormina’s
still lifes would not look out of place in the Prado or Riijksmuseum. (Re her image above: I have a twisted fascination with this being as how I have a fear of fish.) Lottie Davies delivers eerie willo’thewisp landscapes and Paul Kenny is for crystallography nuts or
those, like me, who only ever look down at the beach.