on my way to work

How I love it when I walk to work, sometimes I am in a rush and drive down in my car, but when I make the effort to walk I always thoroughly enjoy it,

Today was especially nice, everywhere was fresh and green after the nights downpour, the birds were singing ( hear my video clip, i phone takes v clips portrait as default, why cant I turn it landscape?  Oh well at least you can hear the birds singing)

Looking all around me, the greenness was overwhelmingly cheery,  the elderflowers are just beginning to bloom, how I love that very distinctive flavour, it tastes green to me, that wonderfull, gooseberry sharpeness, elederflowr cordial so summery and a delightful drink with a handful of basil leaves, all chilled with ice cubes in  a huge glass jug.  Summer in a glass……..

The lime flowers too just beginning to unfurl and nesteled at the base of a fallen tree (leftover from the great storm of 1987) a small crop of wild alpine strawberries, some already beginning to form.

How wonderful it is to have this all around me, I am so fortunate to be able to walk amongst nature like this.  I perhaps need to remind myself of this when I daydream of livng elswehere, why would I want to, the town is a stones throw away, the common just across the road, the flat large and spacious.  Why do I think of moving? because I dont have a garden or or somewhere to sit out and have a coffee and read a book. Yes I can walk across to the common with a deckchair, but its not the same.     I am decorating with the view of perhaps renting or selling later in the year, who knows If I will?   Selling all my furniture, sorting through books and all my belongings so that I can feel freer, more streamline and start to find pieces that really mean something to me.  Most of the items came from my business as in interior designer, things left over, etc etc.  I want to create a space that lives and breathes me, simple, creative, functional, easy and comfortable, and above all a space where my creative outpourings can be displayed.

Bird song

I have been working this evening on humming bird energy for a forthcoming workshop I am preparing………..  my thought were on flight, about the lovely sound of a bird chirping, the colours and the charm they hold.  Watching little birds hopping about, fluttering in puddles, there totally in the present, just happy and getting on with life.  When opening my emails, I had one from the Barbican announcing this artist and the video clip on you tube.  Low and behold these charming little birds having great fun………….

Mr Ford, double life? congenital control freak cutting loose, there’s a message here, a really positive one

Initially I couldn’t work out why I was drawn to this piece in the Independent.  Guess the name Tom Ford,  an extremely creative man, synonymous with great style and fashion, and the fact it was set in 1962………   Tom Ford, A teen actor, a fashion designer and now maybe an oscar for his film debut , The Single Man, originally a book by Christopher Isherwood.  The stills are wonderfully stylish, set in the 60’s it has great attention to detail, even down to eye makeup but it had to be more than that.

This following words leapt of the page to me , Mr Ford is writing about himself, the creative psyche can be excruiatingly painful. ” Ford acknowledges that Falconer’s fastidiousness is his own, but below the surface, as I read it, the meticulous ritual of George’s life is also Ford’s acknowledgement of the supreme effort it has taken to keep order in his own life. He’s had his own battles with excess, occasionally waged in public, where the bad behaviour seems reasonably typical of the congenital control freak cutting loose. When order fails, that way lies madness, which Ford contemplates in the scenes when Falconer finally falls apart. “There’s a lot about me that people don’t know,” he has said. A Single Man hints at a double life”.  Then researching interviews with Tom I came across the following, these say it all.

Hearing the word “isolation”  and new then why I was drawn.  Its not just another  vehicle for him to excel but a vehicle to tell a very important story, one that in this time in history is extremely important for us all.  In his words, a book written by the false self, from a great distance observing the true self. learning to live in the present and not the future”

We have lost the enjoyment in the small things of life, the golden sun glinting in the snow, the sunrise everyday, a walk by the sea, instead we make make huge complex plans for future times, living in the future, then one day looking back and realising “what happened, where did all that time go?  Losing our connection to the planet, to each other has lead to generations of isolated people, this sounds like a film with a real spiritual message we can all learn from.

Brilliant animation


Live Dulcima peformance combined with a whimsical and beautiful 1926 Animation, a  wonderful evening spent at the De la Warr Pavillion last Frida. . The Adventures of Prince Achmed was the first feature length animation film in the history of the cinema. It is a ‘silhouette film’. Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981) was the inventor of this genre. Work on The Adventures of Prince Achmed began in 1923. It was released in 1926. This wonderful animation film is full of adventure, lyrical sensuality, magic and romance, playful humour, strong female characters, exciting bat- tles and sinister evil. The story was inspired by elements taken from the Tale of the 1001 Arabian Nights.  The Adventures of Prince Achmed is one of those rare and timeless films that appeal across the complete age range. The beauty and intricate detail of Reiniger’s exquisite filigree artwork is of the highest quality. She was inspired by Chinese and Indonesian shadow plays and adapted this ancient art for the cinema. The distinctive combination of silhouette characters, colour tinted landscapes and backgrounds is unique and profoundly evocative and seductive. Moreover, the use of silhouette characters leaves the imagination free to soar in response to the sensuality and magic of the story.  We are treated to a splendid cast: Prince Achmed,  Princess Peri Banu, the Witch of the Fiery Mountain, the Evil Sorcerer, The Magic Horse, Aladdin,xPrincess Dinarzade and The Caliph.  The fact that all the characters are silhouettes is fundamental to the essence and power of the film.  The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a captivat ing and beautiful work of art. It is a magnificent example of stop frame animation and consists of three hundred thousand separate frames. It is undoubtedly one of the shining gems in the history of cinema and is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece. It is the ‘haute couture’ of animation. Lotte Reiniger was a pioneer who dedicated her life to creating silhouettes. She made more than eighty animation films. The original prints of The Adventures of Prince Achmed featured colour-tinted backgrounds. Working from surviving nitrate prints, German and British archivists restored the film and managed to incorporate the original tinted backgrounds, which in their dynamic interaction with the silhouette characters are crucial to the aesthetic of the film. Prints available just prior to the restoration had only been in black and white.  Geoff Smith’s new score for The Adventures of Prince Achmed has been inspired and led by Lotte Reiniger’s genius. He has attempted to do justice to her achievement. For the performance of the soundtrack Geoff uses numerous prototype Hammered dulcimers, one being the first ‘Fluid dulcimer’ incorporating his revolutionary ‘microtonal fluid tuning mechanism’ patent, without which it would have been impossible to compose and perform the soundtrack. For further information regarding this invention and some of its historic implications please refer to the Guardian newspa- per article ‘Composer reinvents the piano’.

Geoff Smith’s pioneering score for The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a revelation in the composition and performance of live music for animation. He has dedicated himself to exploring the wider spectrum of musical choices that his invention offers, so that in the composition of the score it has been possible to respond in more intimate, expressive and expanded detail to this unique and uplifting film. His immensely dynamic score illuminates and emphasises Lotte Reiniger’s aesthetic obsession, consummate artistry and passionate commitment to story telling.

David Carradine, memories



I just heard today of the death of David Carradine.  My thoughts took me back to the 70’s and the brilliant TV series Kung Fu, I was young, not long married and my daughter had just had her first birthday.  So long ago…………..

A decade later, I had the opportunity of dancing with him,  it was Boxing Day, we had gone to the Ritz with friends for a 30’s dinner dance.  Remember him being very charismatic, very charming and  a wonderful dancer.  

This is how I shall remember him.