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27 June 2013

Weekends in London

Last Saturday 22nd it was all about art and dance – I went to see Dion Salvador's selling exhibition at the Northcote Gallery (nice to finally meet him), followed by Sadler's Sampled, a two-week showcase of various styles of dance at Sadlers Wells #freeyourmind. But you know that cos I promoted it earlier this month.
On Sunday 23rd I did a market stall at Camden Lock. I have never seen the markets so empty. This was probably due to the closure of Northern Line over the weekend.

This weekend there's so much on that I have option anxiety...
Music.... Glastonbury will be in full flow and the BBC have lots of opportunities for us to watch it from the comfort of our sofas.
Tennis.... Wimbledon is in full swing again and if you haven't secured a ticket you can also watch this on TV. But if you prefer to watch your tennis surrounded by like-minded sports fans there are plenty of places in London with large outdoor screens, such as Bankside, Victoria and Holborn. The semis and finals can be watched in Chelsea where there will be strawberries and bubbly, or with Pimms and strawberries & cream on Potter's Park next to City Hall.
LGBT.... Have some Pride. Not the the lovely Fuller's beer, but the gay celebration. It's already in full flow – see the full events listing. The always colourful parade travels from Oxford Street (west) to Trafalgar Square from 1pm on Saturday.
Performance.... Saturday is the last day to catch some amazing free shows covering many different dance, circus and theatrical disciplines at various locations in and around Greenwich and the Docklands. I have only just discovered this event and am annoyed to have missed so many good things already.
Dragonboats.... On Sunday you can watch 40 teams compete in the London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at London Regatta Centre, E16.

So how can I fit all this in?
Well, I am not really bothered about the tennis, and the dragon boats might get shelved. Also, I'd planned to go on a guided walk in EC3 on Saturday.
Where is my parallel universe when I need it?
Answers please to
And as for doing a market stall on Sunday 30th... I don't think it's gonna be productive, do you?!

26 June 2013

Hitomi Hosono, Perrier-Jouët and The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

Earlier this week I spent a pleasant hour sipping champagne and admiring the work of Hitomi Hosono at the Chambers Club within the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
Hosono is the winner of this year's Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Award. Having seen her intricate work on line I was keen to go an view it in person. Also I love the building and its sympathetic renovation and rebirth (see here) and any excuse to get inside a room I have been in before is a bonus!
Hisono's work is amazing. Her work is inspired by botany and nature with titles such as Chysanthemum Bowl and Wisteria Tower and each piece takes about a month to make as each delicate flower or leaf has to be cut out and applied by hand. Some of them have hidden storage; barely visible horizontal cuts open up to reveal gem-like gold or silver leaf interiors.
I was also impressed how the pieces really suit the club's environment, as I noticed that the ceiling roses echo the same botanic shapes.
If you would like to see these for yourself, please note that the Chambers Club is a members only lounge so you cannot just wander in to have a look when you are passing. Appointments can be made by calling Caroline on 07590 262370, and you'll get a free glass of Perrier-Jouët bubbly when you visit.
Some of Hosono's work can also be found in Fortnum & Mason, the British Museum and the V&A, as well as in the homes of the rich and famous. I really do believe that these are treasures for the futures.

20 June 2013

Keeping abreast of things

Yesterday I went for my first breast screening. Or bap squashing session as it ought to be called. Ooh good, I thought, I have finally got a good reason to put together a collection of London breasts.
Have you noticed how many bare breasts are out there? Above our heads there are ladies who are scantily dressed in gauzy or loose fitting scraps of material,  some look like they've left the baby on the bus with one boob uncovered, and many are completely naked. One relief even makes it looks like she's in the process of having an imaging test done too.
Some of the women depicted are truly beautiful. But many others I have spotted are really bizarre with pneumatic nipples or deformed breasts placed way too high up the chest or too far apart. Perhaps the artists had never actually seen a woman's naked body before and just placed tea cups of plaster where they thought they might belong.
But I do find interesting is that most of these were created and put in place during the 'prudish' Victorian period – the Victoria memorial and statuary around the Albert Hall are tits agogo. I suppose they explained it away as 'art'.
Also included in this set of images is a rather well-endowed devil and a docker's mistress which, as you can see, looks very matronly from a certain angle and is probably why it is so named.
I have also noticed that many of Covent Garden's Mercers Maidens (not included here) are also rather perky – see here.
Very titillating!

12 June 2013

Horseguards Parade

Yesterday afternoon I found myself ambling down the Mall. There were railings in place all the way down from Queenie's house to Horseguards Parade where I found 100s of all kinds of soldiers and guards taking breaks between practising for tonight's Military Music Spectacular.
Well who knew? I certainly didn't!
Lots of stuff goes on in London of the spectacular and pomp variety that completely passes me by.
Anyway, I stood there for almost an hour admiring the amazing uniforms of the Massed Bands of the Army's Household Division (had to look this up!) with their tassels, pleats, plumes, piping and cords. And the horses too. Gorgeous animals.
It's raining as I write this... They are making a spectacle of themselves right now. Those lovely kilts and animal pelts will be sodden. And the bearskins will lose their fluffiness.
Here's some more info on what the event is all about.
Oh, and Trooping The Colour for The Queen's birthday is this Saturday (just discovered that too!).

Dance, dance wherever you may be!

Billed as a 'two-week taster festival of dance', Sadler’s Wells is hosting Sadler’s Sampled, a brand new pop-up festival for London featuring dance, live music, art, films and workshops. It offers audiences the opportunity to watch a range of dance styles including contemporary, hip hop, ballet and tango. The festival also features interactive art installations, pre-show discussions, live music, films, and post-show contemporary, tango and break dancing classes. 
Saturday 22 June until Sunday 7 July Tickets start from just £8.
Here’s a video taster. #freeyourmind
And here are some pics I have taken in the general vicinity of the theatre, including a ghostsign that I still cannot decipher except that most words end in ING. Ideas welcome:

10 June 2013

Kentish Town Carnival

It's carnival time, and this Sunday 16th from 11am until 7.30pm in Talacre Road and Gardens, next to Kentish Town West Station on Prince Of Wales Road, there will be a free cultural arts festival curated by the Many Cultures One Community.
As well as all the things you'd expect from an event like this, there will be a mini film festival, performances in the gardens, spoken words in the tents, craft stalls hosted by the Dandylion Market (find me there) and, live music from Erik Rutterford and, of course, the carnival parade which will feature colourful floats and samba bands.
More info here.
Pics above show some images taken around the Kentish Town area