Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Day

hans chu

There were streetparties up and down the country today (this is quite a tradition since the 50ies, I believe). We cycled around our area and soaked up the atmosphere. Luckily the rain held off and even the sun came out in the afternoon.

via Iphone

And then we saw them ... !?

via Iphone

which was a lovely coincidence! Congratulations!!

Thursday, 28 April 2011


Or cake on a stick!
This wave from America (check out the US Queen of Pops Bakerella), reached the British Isles one or two years ago, and will probably arrive on the continent soon. Starbucks sell a version in Germany already, but for me far to sweet and not very impressive - 

because impress they should, these creations, in a funny or elegant way, like these from the Popbakery of London based Clare O'Connell:

found here

found here

In her own words it's all about "flavour, texture and design" and if this still does not convince you, think of it as "portion control on a stick"! Oh, and they should taste good, too.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Miro at the Tate Modern

The curator of the exhibition, Matthew Gale, talks to the BBC about the significance of the show: click here:

Joan Miro Painting "Sonnens"

Hope to go soon myself, but we have till 11 September, luckily

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

How they celebrate

London is gearing up for the Royal Wedding. Anyone not interested has to either leave the country or bury themselves in a good book. Both our kids' schools are having a party this coming Thursday. I especially like this announcement: 

In case you cannot read it: the dress code is "patriotic Red, White and Blue, or Wedding Finery (tiaras optional)". The girls will have a celebration lunch, an official planting of a beech tree and burying of a time capsule and Royal-themed activities.
Our daughter has decided on a colour coded ensemble since she does not see herself as a tiara girl. I will now go and find a few Union Jack accessories. Will keep you posted.

Easter at Ham House

 HC for 

Monday, 25 April 2011


I had to share this. It is such a brilliant artistic and moving project!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Happy Easter

Dear All
Just wanting to wish you a very happy and sunny few Easter days. We will be spending Easter in the Capital but will try to avoid public transport and stay at the periphery since major rail works will hit some of London's busiest stations (check here).

Apart from looking forward to a visit of the Easter Bunny at our house we will go to Ham House for our traditional Easter Hunt at this National Trust property. The whole family loves this place, we go there in all seasons, enjoying the space, the gardens (they have a superb kitchen garden) and the secrets around the house itself. Walk to the river and you will find a little ferry which will get you across to a huge playground and more open space. The ride is only 2 min but the kids LOVE it. Ham House itself has a very good restaurant but if you want to spoil yourself, check out Petersham Nursery, 15 min walk away. You need to book a table for lunch but they also have a cafe with a now slightly extended menu. The setting and the food are superb but very, very expensive (more about this place in a later post, promise).

Kew Gardens offer chocolate on trees, but should you be suffering from hay fever or want to avoid the sun, pay a visit to German expat Haendel's House where the kids can hunt for eggs and everybody can enjoy music performances throughout the afternoon.


Happy Easter!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Green London

I am not always hunting for the colour green here in London, but today was gorgeous and our trip to the Wetland Centre, 10 min from Hammersmith and Putney (with bus connections) did transport us into another world. It will be busy during the holidays, but come early (we arrived at 10 am) and you have a fairly peaceful hour before it gets a bit busier. The walks and hides are lovely, the playground an absolute must for families (a Tip: bring towels for the kids). The restaurant is good value, with a lovely outdoor seating area (beware though, there is some building work still going on, but mainly inside) There is also a little kiosk at the playground in case you need a sugar high.

You don't need to be a bird watcher to enjoy this space and even without trying you will see some amazing flight manoeuvres.

The centre opened just before our daughter was born and we still love to go come rain or shine. They have an indoor viewing platform and infotainment for kids as well, so you do not necessarily have to get wet, but wellies on a rainy day are recommended.

But for now, enjoy the sun, the chicks and the Easter egg-stravaganza

I have to apologies for the quality of the pictures, I only had my iPhone, but I wanted to share.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The Royal Wedding

Here is the route of the Royal Procession in case you haven't left town:

And here a VERY subtle way of celebrating the Royal Wedding:

Union Jack Baker's Twine
found here

Now, this will be my only contribution to next week's festivities - but if you are interested you will find more here.
Have fun wherever you are!

Friday, 15 April 2011

This weekend - a visual note


It can happen, it will be one (not) for me, but, there is always a BUT! And the next celebrations just around the corner!!

found here

Oh, and the great Miro exhibition started yesterday at the Tate Modern (till 11 September). But I will probably wait till after the Easter and Wedding Holidays and go for a late night opening (Fridays and Saturdays till 22.00) for a chance to actually see the pictures (the advantage of being a 'Londoner'). So, more of this at a later date.

found here

Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Somerset House

There were quite a few reasons why I started this blog, one major one was that I needed to open my eyes and (re) discover this city again: Can you imagine, I have not yet been to Somerset House ....  a neo-classical building right in the centre of London, between the Strand and the river. There you can enjoy fountains in the summer and ice skating in the winter  and an amazing amount of art, music, fashion ... here is my very short selection for the coming days and weeks (so it won't feel too depressing if we won't manage all or more):

found here

Outdoor exhibition by artist and social activist Ai Weiwei , from 12 May -  26 June - his first outdoor public sculpture installation, a Circle of Animals / Zodiacs Heads in London.


found here

In response to the news about the detainment and disappearance of Ai WeiweiGwyn Miles, Director of Somerset House Trust, said:
Like everyone who admires and respects the work of Ai Weiwei we are dismayed and aggrieved by the news that Ai Weiwei has been detained by Chinese authorities. The artist’s whereabouts are still unknown. We deplore these actions that threaten Ai Weiwei’s freedom and right to speak freely. We hope he is unharmed and will be released immediately. Ai Weiwei has chosen and approved the installation set up for 'Circle of Animals' at Somerset House and the works have already been shipped to the UK. The sculptures will be installed as planned and 'Circle of Animals' will open to the public on 12 May.

Take the kids to one of their holiday drop-in Workshops, the next one is this coming Saturday and all about Birds of Paradise.

And till Sunday you can still see the first solo exhibition by furniture maker John Makepeace
Zebras, a pair of cabinets, 2009 Oak and holly. Courtesy: John Makepeace Furniture
found here

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Visual Note

found here

Monday, 11 April 2011

The Idler


Opened in March the Idler Academy of Philosophy, Husbandry and Merriment is a bookshop and Cafe at 81 Westbourne Park Road. I popped in recently and the above picture captures exactly the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of this place. They now offer wireless connection and Monmouth Coffee - a definite place to idle away some hours.

The original Idler is, in their own words:
... an annual periodical that campaigns against the work ethic and promotes liberty, autonomy and responsibility. It is edited by Tom Hodgkinson. It was founded in 1993 by Tom and Gavin Pretor-Pinney. The Idler is now published as a high quality hardback book, which is typeset by Christian Brett and art directed by Alice Smith. Recent contributions come from Penny Rimbaud, Alain De Botton, Oliver James, Jay Griffiths and Paul Kingsnorth. The latest issue contains a long interview with David Hockney, and a conversation about idling and work with Class War editor Ian Bone, and long term unemployed loafer Ray Roughler-Jones.

I for one am looking forward to join some of their events with intriguing titles such as 'The No 9 Bus to Utopia' or 'What is Sanity?' at the Idler Academy to find out a bit more about the "Idle Concept". In the meantime I practise with a cup of coffee.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Italian Cinema London

Le Quattro Volte
found here 
The coming weekend promises sunshine! What about combining Italian culture with a lovely walk along the Thames? The Italian Cinema London Film Festival is on till Sunday and they show quite a few films at the Riverside Studio near Hammersmith.
Now, you could take the tube to Putney Bridge and walk along the river on the South side, crossing over at Hammersmith Bridge from where you will see the sign for the Studio on the other side already. It should take about a very leisurely hour, and although you won't be passing any ice cream parlours to get you into the mood there are pubs on both ends, next to the rowings clubs either on the Putney side at the beginning of the walk (maybe not such a good idea if you still want to make it to the festival) or when crossing Hammersmith Bridge turning West (just next to the bridge, you cannot miss them). Inbetween there is only beautiful Green! And the path is also good for cycling, by the way.
Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Recently? Visual note

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


The Butterfly House is back outside the Natural History Museum from 8. April - 26. September. We went to see it last year with the kids. The house is not huge but it is a lovely experience, and not only for children! 

And if you come in colourful clothes they might mistake you for a flower and settle.

Monday, 4 April 2011

'The Double Bass' at the New End Theatre, Hampstead

The German writer Patrick Suesskind is probably best known for his book 'Perfume' which was also made into a film, though he had his breakthrough in 1981 with the play Der Kontraba├č (The Double Bass).
The play is a highly amusing and entirely accurate monologue of a tragi-comical musician about the trials of playing the double-bass. He has however as many problems with his instrument as he has with his role in the orchestra and in his private life:

It's more of an obstacle than a musical instrument. [...] It stands around the whole time, you know ... there was this uncle of mine who was always ill, and he always complained there was no one looking after him. The double-bass is just like that. If you have friends round, it always hogs the limelight. No one will talk about anything else. And if you're wanting to be alone with a woman, it stands there, looming over you.

I saw the play first some time ago with a group of fellow musicians and afterwards we just could not stop telling each other how very well the author had described the orchestral world. It is probably even funnier if you are not a musician, because if you are, you will find yourself sadly agreeing with a lot of the (not always complementary) comments and observations on stage. This monodram offers comedy, social analysis and brilliant observations of a world not known to many, but which reflects our own social cosmos only too well.

The 'musician in crisis' with Christopher Hunter as the double bass player will be on stage at the New End Theatre from 6 to 24 April 2011. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

A London Encounter


One of these special London encounters ... This one happened today outside the Jerwood Space where they have the SHOW on till the 21. April with performances and artwork by Edwina Ashton, Jack Strange and Bedwyr Williams.  (We sadly missed a naughty lobster.)
Have a lovely weekend!

Chelsea Art Fair

The Chelsea Art Fair is on from today till Sunday. I came across Natasha Newton recently and like her dreamlike pictures. You will find her and many more emerging to already established talents at the Town Hall.