Wednesday, 17 November 2010


AC and I had our first day 'together' in London today and chose to spend it on a trip down Father Thames to Tate Modern to see the Gauguin exhibition, and something that moved me far more, the Sunflower Seeds.

Here are some photographs just to jog our memories in years to come.

I am going to use my blog more as a diary for Little Jude than saying anything of earth-shattering importance!

Tate Modern is such a stark and imposing building that one is immediately put in the mind-set to enjoy whatever they throw at you.

Well, not Gauguin for me. We both took one of those audio machines for explanation but I had to agree with a lady who was leaving the final room who said that if she hadn't had to fight to understand where she was and what the machine was telling her then she might have enjoyed the pictures more.

I did have a fight with the machine but more of a disagreement with Gaughin. I just think he was mad and that Van Gogh and he should have cut each others' ears off, smacked each other over the head with their respective chairs, caught syphillus and died much sooner than they did.

Dreary, dark, brooding, badly painted pictures of dark ladies and even worse pictures of horses carrying him off across the river to oblivion.

Loved his ceramics! Has anyone ever heard of Gauguin's ceramics? They are mad but brilliant.

Bit like the Sunflower Seeds.

Mr. Wei Wei Whatever, made twenty thousand million single ceramic sunflower seeds, employed a whole town of thousands to work on this one work of art, shipped them to London to be laid as a carpet for people to walk on and make patterns, pick them up in handfuls, suck them, put them in their pockets as a lasting memory of his art-piece, and guess what?

Health and Safety has forbidden anyone to go near them because of the danger of dust!!!!!!!!

Poor Mr. Wei Wei. Buggered by beurocracy! Still a strangely moving mountain of Chinese porcelaine.


Friday, 12 November 2010



A sad visit to London to attend our friend Pat Amy Tudor's Memorial service at Chelsea Old Church. 17th March 1942 - 10th July 2010. Wednesday, 10th November, 2010.

After days of rain the sun came out and we were treated to the most beautiful weather for Pat's farewell. Lunched with Gina and Tommy Sopwith at Frantoio and then sobbed throughout a beautiful service.

I think singing All Things Bright and Beautiful and looking at photographs in the service sheet of Pat suddenly brought home how close we all are to death. Tears welled and after running down my cheeks, dripped off my chin. I had to summon every fibre of my body not to climb over the back of my pew and escape such emotion.

An old friend of Pats' and pianist John Lill played Chopin's Nocturne in C Minor, Op 48/1 and Alexander Scriabin's Study in D Sharp Minor Op 8/12 and a wonderful young man Roberto Abate, sang Franz Schubert's Ave Maria which brought the house down!

Met up with a lot of our old, (and I mean old!), friends at the reception following the service and caught up with Pat's sister Barbara and brother in law, Jim Higgins. They had both spoken tributes during the ceremony in memory of Pat and although full of grief, somehow held on to their dignity and Jim even spoke for ten minutes without a note in his hand!

I still think that William Blake's, "Jerusalem", is one of the best hymns ever written and one of the most moving.

We walked home down the King's Road and the rain started. It hasn't stopped for three days now! Even the heaven's are sad at the loss of such a dear friend.

Yesterday AC took me to an exhibition at The Barbican. Thirty years of Japanese Fashion.
A beautifully executed history of designs by Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto.

On our way home we walked down Conduit Street and dropped into Issey Miyake's beautiful shop. His designs are still ground-breaking and I long to own one of his overcoats.

Lunch at a fabulous Italian (!!!!!) restaurant in Soho, Boca de Lupo. Why on earth can't all Italian restaurants provide such a menu? Unusual recipes and hardly any of the rubbish that our local restaurants in Tuscany serve for the tourists. Must learn how to make Espresso Zabaglione!!! Bang went the diet but we did walk home in the rain!!!!

Today I have my Little Boy for the day. James and Lisa are dropping Jude off to his Nona and Babu for a little hard earned R and R. I expect they will just go home and sleep as they both sound totally worn out.

Tomorrow lunch for the family and for AC's parents. Better go have my bath and then to Waitrose! How life goes on.