twice along the front, tea, twombly and In the Realms of Others………….

IMG_6881Bracing, crashing, brooding waves, a huge undulating swell and boiling, bubbling breaking high up on the beach.

Came out for a breath of fresh air, stretch my legs and walk off all the goodies I have been tucking away these last christmas days

Bexhill, De La Warr Pavillon  is exhibiting  Cy Twombly’s  four seasons, on loan from Tate,  I did see them way back 10 or more years and the  impact on me was just the same…………….  do they resonate with me, No.  Do they take my breath away, No.  Do I like them, Yes. They are large and impactful, you  can definitely see the elements.  Was I bowled over, No.

There was another exhibition here too, IN THE REALMS OF OTHERS, work produced by fourteen “makers “with profound intellectual impairment .  For me I found this really challenging, even the description of the people.   S really uncomfortable place watching a short film of a kind of day in the life of making the art.  In fact ART PROJECTS do not call the works produced “art “OR do they call the people involved “artists”.  All felt very voyeuristic like I was watching something very close and personal without their permission.  Yes the people involved appeared to enjoy the mark making, so yes this was very positive and clear to see.  Also the pieces were strong and colourful and graphic in feel. But try as I might the uncomfortableness would not shift and when I reached the end, there was a wall of questions, statements by the public to gather up subjects for further discussion, many felt what I had felt, and that made me feel I was not alone in these thoughts.

I realised today that the pavilion in its original design had a circular swimming pool and a long jetty out to sea where you would walk to the end and climb to the top of high platforms where you could dive elegantly into the english channel.  Another thing I learnt that Herbrand Edward Dundonald Brassey Sackville, 9th Earl De La Warr  , was the first hereditary peer to join the labour Party and the  youngest government minister at age 23.  If it wasn’t for his his socialist views we wouldn’t have this beautiful pavilion built for the people of Bexhill where he was Mayor

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Blue and green, sunshine and flowers

calming, tranquil, peaceful, my third time back in Cephalonia.  One week southwards in Spartia, beautiful countryside, vineyards, monasteries and such friendly people.  Now in the Northern tip of the island, magnificent vistas across to Ithaca and Lefkas, turquoise seas and the bluest of blue skies, forests, shady walks amongst the pines, birdsong around every corner…………

Larger than life

Watts

Interesting place Watts Gallery, visited recently on a lovely sunny afternoon……………  Left feeling very uplifted and inspired,  not only from his painting but overwhelmingly by his larger than life plaster maquettes in the sculpture gallery as seen here.   However looking at these images again, and of the gallery itself, thoughts filtered through of   Watts himself and what he built here.  A large arts and crafts country home away from London life, an art studio of enormous proportions, an art gallery specifically built to display his own works of art and a sculpture studio for his larger than life pieces.   An eminent artist of his time, and held in high esteem in his lifetime, did it perhaps swell his ego?    Look at the image of him putting the final touches to one of the largest “selfies”  I have ever seen.

Actually went to see the painting of Ellen Terry by various artists, but some really wonderful intimate pencil sketches from the time he was married to her.  She was one week off her 17th birthday, he 30 years her senior !  She was soon to elope with E.W Godwin the architect…………..  good for her I say !!

http://www.wattsgallery.org.uk/

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A day of contrasts

sunday a day to relax and put my feet up…………..  Well that is most Sundays, but yesterday it was full, very full ! and very diverse experiences.

BRASSERIE ZEDEL–  a lavishly decorated 1930;s space, a former grand ballroom, marble adorns the walls and columns , gold leaf acanthus leaves. In fact the whole lower level area contained the American Bar, a dark , warm and inviting space, and the Crazy Coqs, a cabaret venue.    First though  it was two Mr Hyde Cocktails, served up in old style champagne glasses, it was rich with creme de Cacao and light with whisked egg white, quite something actually……..  looking around, the bar certainly looked good with its 30’s style lighting, mirrored shelves and the pretty boy bartender doing a mean dance with his cocktail shaker.   Then moving on walked across the hallway and into the lavishly decorated French Brasserie, a bit brightly lit for my liking, but its a grand space alright, full to the brim with chattering heads.  Looking at the menu I can see why, it’s so cheap !  Anyhow sitting there with my spanish friend extolling the virtues of the spanish language and not allowing me to get a word in  edgeways, my thoughts drifted off to earlier in the day……….. a place so totally different in every way.

when the train reached London, I took cab to the  WALLACE COLLECTION in Manchester Square,  where I met my wonderful family of friends and spent 4 hours sharing our experiences of life, especially as we near the Solstice and the amazing planetary alignments that are taking shape.  The food was a little disappointing, no actually a LOT disappointing and not how I remembered it at all the last time I visited.  However the space is wonderful, a glass roofed courtyard in the centre of the museum, flooded with light, its airy and spacious. and quite a contrast from the lavishly decorated furniture galleries that surround it.   Although full it was quiet, relaxed and good place to be with friends.  I recommend it, but perhaps afternoon tea maybe more appropriate and then a stroll around the galleries.  This museum is home to many a famous painting, the wonderfully whimsical Fragonard – The Swing. and even The Laughing Cavalier ! !!

although a lovely day connecting with friends, it was oh so good to get home …………………

 

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Fragonard -  the swing

 

 

 

The Calm after the Storm

Home at last, back in the calm of my newly decorated bedroom!  Long story for another time, energy lines, changing bed around, dark blue !!

The last couple of weeks have been away installing a project in the Derbyshire Hills, extremely hectic, exhausting  but in the end quite exhilarating when you look around and see the vision I have been holding for such a long time come to fruition

Such a beautiful area Derbyshire,  this last weekend relaxed a little at the Riverside Hotel in Ashford in the Water, such a picturesque village, with its little stone bridge, church and cottages.

My work, courtesy of Yao photography

Ashford in the Water

 

 

absorbing the energy of the sea

The Secret Life of Waves – waves are not water they are pure energy passing through water and by the law of the universe, energy never dies……….

watch this documentary here on iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=the%20secret%20of%20waves

Port Eynon – Gower Peninsula.   a wonderful weekend walking by the sea, so invigorating, after watching the The Secret Life of Waves I now understand why I am so drawn to the sea.

Walking to the Worms Head, looking down onto Rossili Bay on a very wild and windy day.

The Gower Peninsula, Wales,  A wonderful weekend  with the ones I love

Open your heart………..

Breathtaking scenery does it for me, it opens my heart and I feel uplifted.  This past week I have been to two places in the UK that has some of the most of expansive views.  The Malvern Hills in Worcestershire was the first stop, where the high street is lit by gas lamps would you believe.  The area is synonymous with Elgar the composer and his famous Enigma Variations ( see clip below), he walked the hills often, and you can imagine the views here must have been a real inspiration to him.  Also of course its famous for the water, its bottled and sold throughout the uk and beyond today, but the hills are alive  with natural springs and wells, Holywell being the most important and possibly the oldest  recorded in Malvern,  dating back to the 12th century.  No time to explore the waters on this visit,  a return is imminent.

Next came Matlock, county town of the Peak District and its spectacular views.  this too is famous for its water, and in Victorian society this was the place to come for a “cure”.  Driving through this amazing scenery makes me wonder why in the uk people jet off to far-flung places of the world to be herded along with hordes of other brits when there is such beauty in our own landscapes.  These areas truly “open my heart” but there is one breathtaking view I have always wanted to see for myself, and that is of our planet earth, suspended in the cosmos………….. One day.  For now I have to make do with video clips, found one that travels through really heart expanding territory and set to NIMROD from Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Artwork by Fernando Vincente

Friday flowers

Another week has passed with no posts, busy at work, busy with my monthly newsletter,  It’s all good and everything as it should be.

Today I gave myself a beautiful little treat, passing by a little country cottage on my way out for a nice walk with a friend of mine, I came across these beautiful bunches of flowers, sweet peas, dahlias and asters, so perfectly bright, cheery and smelled so sweet, just perfect as you can see.  I adore sweet peas, when I had an allotment a few years back now, I always had sweet peas growing so I could have a jug full of  the  bright coloured stems next  to my bed.  Just looking at them brings a big smile to my face and lots of happy memories of  sowing and planting out, weeding and harvesting, always ending a stint on the allotment with a flask of tea sitting outside my shed with Brian, my allotment neighbour  and sharing his years of  experience growing veg, we would chatter away and laugh, drink the last drops from the flask, then I would gather a bunch of the heady perfumed sweet peas and drive of home.  Happy memories.

Ended up walking along  Ditchling Beacon, a little ways only as it was quite chilly and very blustery, but enough to blow the cobwebs away and  put my life back in to perspective.  The Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and one  can see for miles around.   I had hoped to have a nice drive in my new car with the top down, but it was too chilly.  Did for awhile though, with the heated seats on full blast !!

Lunched in THE WHITE HORSE at Ditching village, a nice simple pub, with nice simple food, totally unpretentious, warm and welcoming…………. http://www.whitehorseditchling.com/index.html

All I want to do now is sleep…………………..

Little old me

Little old me at Mitchell’s Fold, shopshire, taken by Yao http://www.flickr.com/photos/36583577@N06/

The Bronze Age  stone circle here is far from complete, I read there may have been up to 60 stones altogether.  The tallest stone stands a the south eastern side of the major axis of the circle, in line with the  rising moon…………..  What a setting, so beautiful and expansive.  It was a cold and very windy day but oh so very exhillerating.  However when back in the car all our ears were really painful as they began to warm up!!

At this size I look like one of the stones !!

the wild masculine

Mmmm he stands proud, a jaguar draped across his shoulders.  Its no surprise I felt the need to surround him by horses, they respresent Power, grace, beauty, strength, wildness and freedom.  He represents the masculine energy in us all.  The bronze statue ‘Orpheus’ by Astrid Zydower,  is larger than life and stands in the grounds of Harewood House just outside Leeds, Yorkshire.  Orpheus was the greatest musician and poet of Greek myth, whose songs could charm wild beasts and coax even rocks and trees into movement.  His magnificence radiates from this image.  I put together the image with sky recently taken in malta, the land of the divine feminine, there are so many temples to the goddess here, it compelled me to produce a “balancing” image

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A taste of Granville island-Vancouver

IMG_2199I eat with my eyes ……..     what do you eat with?  This has to be the best farmers market I have visited.  Row upon row of fresh green salad leaves, so many varieties I lost count, bright red lush tomatoes of all sizes, tiny pearls to big butch meaty globes.  Huge piles of soft fruit, some artfuly displayed in huge pyramid shapes,juicy red and yellow cherries, raspberries, cape gooseberries, strawberries, rambutans, lychees, paw paw, papaya and mangoes.  Then theres the artisan bakers, beautifully worked bread in a myriad of shapes,  pastires, cakes, biscuits, all lined up in their mouthwateringly showiness. 

Huge piles of crushed ice closely conceal the jewel like flesh of super fresh salmon, its orange red flesh just seen below its frozen overcoat.  Here and their a huge crab pincer has broken its icy crust along with the silvery toughened overcoats of the huge spotted prawns.  

Cheeses, fresh pasta, pates, herbs and spices, oriental good, speciality teas and of course the flowers, rows of brightly coloured bloms, heady with perfume, dewy fresh, and screaming out for my camera to capture their magnificense.  

I wondered out among the people, music of pan pipes drifted over, a young man flame thrower was going about his business in the square, people watching, sitting on benches reading, chatting, children laughing.  Strolling along looking in the windows, a dye shop caught my eye, on entering all I could see was basket upon basket of  warm hued wools in every concievable colour and texture, soft mohair, the crispeness of hemp, silk and wool, alpaca, skeins hanging on walls and suspended from the ceiling.  A real sight to behold…….

this place is an experience not to be missed, if you ever find yourself in downtown vancouver its a must see!!

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soho moho

MMmm friday I found my sitting in the Soho Hotel (click to see location) sipping my favourite drink MOJITO.  I have drunk this drink in various places around the world but never in its birthplace, Cuba. I have to say Fridays drink took some beating, it was long, packed with crushed mint , sour sweet taste of the lime and  sugar cane juice, and the deep tang or rum, delicious and oh so potent. My friend and I sipped, and sipped, giggled a little, laughed and chatted, until we then decided to travel to Brazil !! and try their lime infused cocktail, a Caipirinha.  Yummy, laughed a lot, by that time feeling a little wobbly!  delicous though, we had another…………………

mojito

Mojito recipe

good amount of mint leaves

a lime cut into quarters, save one for decoration

sugar cane juice or sugar syrup

Havana Club 3 yr rum

Crushed ice

Club soda

Put 3 wedges of lime and and 12-14 fresh mint into the bottom of a tall glass, and crush with a wooden muddle (wooden stick) and pulverise the lime and mint together, releasing the lime essential oils and bruising the mint leaves to give off a rich aroma.  

Fill the glass 3/4 full with crushed ice, add 2 tbspns sugar cane juice of sugar syrup and 2 ozs rum.  then top up the glass with soda water…………..  put on some good cuban dance beats and sip away !!≈