... and a very wet Bankholiday weekend ahead of us. So maybe we should stay indoors for a while longer?
You could go to V&A late night today (from 18.30-22.00) and discover the quirky side of Yohi Yamamoto's design.
Finally gave in and bought the first cherries of (well, not quite our) season. I have to admit, they come from pretty far away. We therefore will honour them with "Amandines aux cerises", a recipe by La Tartine Gourmande, a lovely blog with inspiring recipes and glorious pictures. Will let you know the result.
I love the school uniform concept - don't get me wrong. Ever since our daughter started agonising over what to where to kindergarten (and she was not a fashion victim by any standard), I saw the wisdom. It was, though, a bit of a learning curve for me, but Pre Prep looks easy in comparison to what is ahead of us, now that our son will be joining an all-boys Prep School.
The every-day uniform will hopefully be relatively easy, although there is a tie involved. The different sport outfits for Rugby, Cricket etc. I am dreading a bit, since these are sports I have either never played nor watched and so has our son (so no help there, at least for a while). So both of us have no idea what and how to wear what and when. We will need a crash course from Daddy, who will probably have to look it up himself again!
The other major part of his new uniform will be The Blazer. I now understand why most schoolboys run around in oversized or very faded looking pieces - they are seriously expensive!! And since 2nd hand is not an option (because they are worn for years and look the part) we will have to splash out and our son will probably run around in a lovely but HUGE blazer for at least a couple of years.
Apparently you don't have to book .... which does mean, we need a plan B. So we could take outdoor dining one step further and venture to Peckham, where every evening till June 1 a different food van will set up shop at The Rye pub. (It does sound a bit like an outdoor/indoor kind of set up)
A Jasper Conran dress was the first ever piece my husband bought for me, so I am a bit bias here but I do like his style a lot. He is very much a classic British designer but with a slight irreverent touch.
Designed by Norman Foster and Partners, the Gherkin is 180 m tall and at the moment the 2nd tallest building in the city and the 6th tallest in London. It has over 24,000 square metres of glass cladding and 40 floors. It also has a restaurant at the the top which is sadly only open to tenants of the building (I think at one point the plan was to open it to the public, but sadly they seem do have changed their mind - in the evening one can hire parts of the venue); the view must be amazing, judging by this photo taken from a few floors down:
all by hans chu
And whilst the black building in front looks rather sinister, I love the contrast of the old and the new in this picture. The St Helen's Church is slightly dwarfed but still holding its own, I think.
We recently went on the London Olympics Tickets website (4 hours before the deadline - told you I am terribly organised) and bid for some tickets, mixing major events with lesser known ones to have a good chance of getting a few, we hope. Yesterday we were informed that our credit card will be debited this week, if we are lucky in the ballot, but we will not know which events we will get tickets for till around the end of June. That seems to me a rather weird system ... there is just not enough information about the chances of applicants like us winning (if you can call it that, we are still paying after all).
But still - the excitement is sloooowly building up. There even is a dedicated website about how London prepares, starting this summer with a lot of sports events. Check it out here. The setting for beach volleyball - at Horse Guard Parade- is especially spectacular. And the London - Surrey Cycle Classic will basically test the route for the Olympic event and will pass down the road from us. The only downside is that we have probably left the country for our holidays by then.
P.S. Tickest for these test events will go on sale from May 26 and are available through Ticketmaster.
Can't wait for the cherry season! Though they don't have them here in London in abundance as where I grew up. Living in London one can miss out a bit when it comes to seasonal berries and fruits - they just don't show up that often and on time - even in the better supermarkets.
One way around is to go to a farmers market that have been popping up more and more since I moved to London 10 odd years ago.
I used to work very close to the now famous Borough Market (near to London Bridge) and go to have lunch there quite often on a Friday- I loved Brindisa's Chorizo Sandwich.
The market has a lovely atmosphere, lots of stands to get inspired by for the weekend, but cheap it ain't. Restaurant Chefs tour it with special clients, cooking schools can be found drooling over vegetables and spices ....
On a Saturday you can also find us cycling to Barnes Market, which is not very big, but has a good variety of stands including a fish monger and is situated opposite Barnes Pond, a lovely spot to have a sandwich, feed the ducks and kick a ball (and there is also a nice climbing tree!)
Here you can find a wide choice of London markets and organic markets you will find here. Enjoy and happy hunting!
And we will definitely try to get tickets for Eoin Colfer's one-man show at the Southbank on 2 June. He is the author of the Artemis Fowl spy/agent/fairy/criminal/very-bright-kid/gnome series, and if he is only half as witty as his books, it should be a very funny evening for all of us (suitable for ages nine and over).
The weekend looks rather rainy, our BBQ will have to wait and we will cuddle up with a few good reads instead.
There might be a flower theme going for the next few posts. I just tackled our garden, or shall I say jungle, to be ready for the warmer season (because I try not to believe that this warmest April on record was our summer), resulting in a much barer look. So I looked up the Chelsea Flower Show which will start on the 24 May for 5 days . But, alas, all tickets seemed to have sold out.
That is the tricky thing about these major dates on the British Social Calendar - when you finally realise that spring has arrived and you put away your gloves and bed socks to get ready and organised for spring and summer .. others (with probably much better central heating and organisational skills) have planned ahead well before you have even let go of the last snowball.
Well, you can always try to get an invitation from one of the sponsors or resort to the new Chelsea iPhone app which actually looks quite interesting (there will also be extensive TV couverage).
Or ... you wait for the next flower show which will be at Hampton Court from 5 - 10 July (and there are still tickets available).
Or ... you get inspired by checking out my latest discovery, The Society of Botanical Artists, where I found all these amazing paintings. I had thought that this art form had all but died out with artists like Maria Sibylla Merian who was a naturalist and scientific illustrator. But it luckily seems very much alive!
We wandered around Spitalsfield Market on a quiet Bank holiday Monday, there were hardly any stalls (you find more Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays), but we made some lovely discoveries and had some good food. What more do you need on a slow and sunny day.
all photos by Hans Chu
Here you find more information about the market itself and its history, but do visit the Spitalsfield Blog to get a feel for the area. The author, living in its midst, writes about places and people of Spitalfield, about its Culinary Life, Literary Life, Criminal Life and much more. Enjoy!
After another lovely long weekend we finished last night celebrating with a movie at the Curzon, the Arthouse Cinema, on the Kings Road.
If you have a chance, try to catch the dance and documentary film in 3D Pina, by Wim Wenders. Pina Bausch was a German Modern Dance Pioneer, Wenders is the acclaimed film director of films such as Buena Vista Social Club and Wings of Desires.
The film features Pina Bausch's vision through some of her famous pieces such as Cafe Mueller, Kontakthof and Vollmond and impressions in dance and words by her ensemble, all supported by 3D technology that draws the viewer in at times while at others exaggerates a distance and observing position. It is a mesmerising, intense and joyful film that takes the possibilities of 3D one step further.
I am sorry to say it is only on till Wednesday at these cinemas, but here is a short clip
If you miss it or want to see more by Wim Wenders, the gallery Haunch of Venison is presently showing 'Places, strange and quiet', with photographs by the artist, till the 14 May.