Wednesday, 29 December 2010

happy christmas!

no longer a white christmas but with wonderful moments, quiet as well as busy ones: midnight mass in westminster abbey and a drive through town on christmas eve (and some pressies already out as it is cusatomary in this mixed nationality family), more parcels to unwrap and an early pick up for diane and the boys from heathrow on christmas day, with a big turkey to come home to, a walk in greenwich park and more terrific food on boxing day kept everybody busy and happy. soo many things to look at and read and do (deac by now totally occupied with his kindle, rike trying out the new riding gear in the stables and me eating every pralinee in sight...)

Monday, 20 December 2010

HAHC christmas concert

rike sang and played in several concerts in the last few weeks with her school as well as her orchestra and the southwark concert band but also had to abandon one or two because of the snow. a formidable line up pictured here at the annual christmas concert at goldsmiths college which reportedly drew a big crowd. 

Sunday, 19 December 2010

snow, snow and snow again

views from various windows of our house into the garden and the street showing off that rare thing in london - clean snow!

after another day of travel misery we've now been told that slush is all we get for the next week, but yesterday we really had a winter wonderland. on my epic journey to highgate (to my beloved hairdresser tony) i ended up in hampstead instead and had to walk along the top end of the heath towards our old neighborhood - and even with slippery shoes and by then two and a half hours late it must have been one of the most magical moments in london ever... 

Sunday, 12 December 2010

and all things nice...

in my very first own apartment, a large 3 bedroom victorian flat, unmodernised and with no proper bathroom, which i started renting at the tender age of seventeen in hannover's albertstrasse, i painted all walls dark brown and furnidged the lot with my grandmother's unwanted and faded masterpieces. i remember that i took great care not to have a single modern item in the kitchen, and even all spices, sugar, flour and salt had their own old glass containers, labelled in old german letters and adorned with little embroidered hats. a year later i was over that period and re-did the place in new wave garish...

i don't remember how much mocking i had to endure because of this but i was fairly convinced not to find another human being to be quite so determined, particularly as for the last ten years every little herb container had to be rummaged for in a box in a dark corner of the basement pantry, which meant that few spices ever saw the light of day.
how surprised therefore was i when with the new kitchen this spring dear husband demanded a proper shelf for his new chilli collection. and then one day i opened the cabinet to find this - some fifty neat little glass jars all properly labelled! just pinch me that i did not do it myself...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

zoom in @ lambeth wide open

© franek strzeszewski

just missed the chance to see some of london's emerging photographer talents at the lambeth wide open exhibition for zoom in but i should not fail to report that the very talented franek strzeszewski is represented there and most certainly worth to study closer. check out his interesting work also on his website on our artists list!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

chinese ventures

oh dear - we are an envious lot...these pics from anke and marlies from china made us reach for the tour operator on speed dial - strange we got the bank manager instead....

very happy to see and hear though that our travellers had a teriffic time and saw more or less the whole country - wild!

thanks for sending the pics - gorgeous!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

cen jewellery

great discovery the other day when we were shown the beautiful necklaces hand-made by the very talented daughter of our friends. claire has a selection of pieces on her blog and much much more at home and i'd be surprised if you can't find one you like (my favourite is on the pic - hint hint) but i think she even offers custom made pieces as well. have a look at her art - i clearly do some of my christmas shopping there!

Monday, 15 November 2010

revenge for the fish!

you will not immediately see the connection between this fish commercial for mc-d and the need for revenge but believe me it is utterly necessary even though i wouldn't consider active violence - no, this is asking for more subtle methods...

the fish is just the last in the long list of objects my dear sister-in-law has employed with the help of our innocent child to torture her old brother and his poor wife.

it all started one easter many years ago when a large parcel arrived from the land of plenty, just the moment we were packing the car for a trip to the continent. oh well, it's from my sister, husband observed, probably for the child, throw it into the car so she's got something to do on the trip.

we did. and so did the child. the package contained a large teddy bear, one of those ugly creatures who make some dreadful noise when you push a button that the manufacturers call singing. rike pushed the button. eight hours long, from london to frankfurt. any attempt to grab the silly thing from her was met with vicious screams 'but it is from aunti niki'...

the bear was the first of many. not all worked. some failed to arrive. some were silenced with sheer brutal force. sometimes the 'no-batteries'-trick worked. but most succeded in their disarming stupidity...

where the fish comes in? well, after already giving rike a bear who trills that he loves chocolate in bennington this summer we somewhat hoped that the fish - rike had spotted him in a cvs-pharmacy in troy - was too big to travel, after all we had clearly demonstrated to niki that our suitcases were bursting already.

rike shed a few tears and left 'her' fish on the shelf. that's that i thought but i had seen a sparkle in niki's eye. i should have known better. we flew to texas, forgot about the fish, through the mountains and valleys, no mc-donalds, no garstly noice, remember, 50 miles from the next village, just us, and peace and quite - "there is a large package for you" our host greated us. "arrived three days ago. we had to pick it up from the post station. must be something valuable..."

now frankie the fish lives in london, in rike's room. since he's been put on motion detection he sometimes startles me when i pick up something from rike's desk. sometimes he scares the cats. one day niki will come and i get my revenge. that day will come...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

checking on the competition

hadn't been to cambridge for some time - say, 15 years - but it hasn't lost any of it's charm and is still a place just too good to be true. clever young things paraded in the sunshine on their bicycles and balanced organic food in brown paper bags on their saddles while a few mums and dads watched approvingly and almost bursting with pride.

we walked around the colleges trying to imagine how it would feel to work here and say in hushed voices something like 'good morning pricipal' or 'well done, mr. porter'.

everybody was incredibly friendly, from the sweet shop owner to the bookstore lady (great find: cambridge by nicholas chrimes) but in the end we decided that our own slightly rougher environment suits us better and whereas cambridge has that feeling of a soft-lens picture with an eternal longing for completeness we probably prefer the unretouched reality check of our london base. maybe for the child one day....

Sunday, 7 November 2010

hotel dieselstrasse

some people are really lucky, wouldn't you agree? while mum and dad slave away in the first weeks of their term our darling rike packed her suitcase already for the next holidays. having persuaded one of her uncles to take her in for a week she actually boarded air berlin flight ab486 all by herself as if it was a short bus ride. having said that rike has probably been more often on a plane than on a bus in her life but it all worked out and she stayed in hotel dieselstrasse having a fantastic time and i'm sure she was spoiled left, right and centre by conny, ulla and the boys.

so, not only was she allowed to ride on nala, ulla's pretty mare, but - never knowingly outsmarted - uncle berni gave them tickets to the great german classics show and rike was just amazed by the star studded line up with riders and horses she only knows from the telly.

that and a visit to the zoo and school trips and restaurants etc. etc. - how much can you pack into one week? no wonder when we picked her up from stansted her face was still glowing. dear family: thank you so much! ein dickes, dickes DANKE!!!

Friday, 5 November 2010

deptford painters

30th October – 18th December
Open Monday – Saturday 10:00 to 5:00pm

ARCHgallery is pleased to present its winter group show of abstract paintings by
Anthony Daley, Arnold Dobbs, Paul Marks, Laurence Noga and Victoria Scott

ARCHgallery : 15 Resolution Way, Deptford, London SE8 4NT

Thursday, 4 November 2010

a slice of reality

photo by Chris J Dixon. the photo is copyrighted but also licensed for further reuse.

a wonderful surprise on a fine afternoon cycling along the thames path from greenwich to charlton with the family and richard wilson's  "a slice of reality" was not only open (i.e. accessible with a proper ladder) but the artist was present and happily talking about his work, life on the river and the rather wild story behind his piece.

ever since the oil room at saatchi gallery we've been smitten by wilson's work - yet another piece that totally appealed to our 'forbidden fruit' syndrom - to touch when you know you musn't, to feel the suspension of want, coupled with a great sense for industrial ghosts...

nice to find out that wilson is an incredibly friendly man who happily talks to people just by chance bumping into his art....

Thursday, 28 October 2010

back to business

so it is back to business on all fronts and maybe now that christmas and therefore the next round of holidays is only a few weeks away that's easier to accept...well, the first in the house to find out about it really was rike this time, as her summer holidays were shortened by almost a week when she changed from primary to secondary school (don't worry too much about her - she is just on a two week half term break in germany).

big excitement because now rike will wear a uniform and we had to make friends with that very british institution of buying clothes that don't fit at shops that don't want to sell to you and nobody really knows what's going on, but in the end and with some trial and error the results look good, don't they?? saves the eternal question of what to wear in the morning.

and so the first day came and went and both parents got soo emotional whereas the kids all had that great practical instinct of sorting out their mates and hiding from the new authorities...

but it really has been a great start for rike and she is just so lucky to have scored a place at her school as apparently the number of pupils applying was higher than ever . great first school report, too - well done, biene!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

we're hillbillies again!!!


while our current life in london couldn't be further away from the range it is great and somewhat unreal to remember that these pics were taken less that 6 weeks ago. meris, diana, harry, clinton and seth did the full programme: long riding days, mountains, canyons, wall lake, shoot 'em again, taylor creek, and lot's a loping up ant hill, our favourite next to the mesa gallops, the meadows and all the other favourites as well. what do you do when you really don't want to leave?

(check out the picasa album on the right for more)