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....