Christmas In The Capital

A night time view of the London skyline.

The same view, the morning after the night before.

In the morning I walked past this traditional cobblers shop window, decked with tinsel in the back streets of Mayfair.

The shop Shepherds the bookbinders is my absolute favourite.  When I win the lottery, I will buy all my Christmas shopping from here.  Such beautifully tooled, handmade leather book covers. The paper chains in the window were made from a selection of their own hand made paper range, as lovely as the faded colours of the sugar paper chains of childhood.

Heywood Hill book shop, the antiquarian book shop where Nancy Mitford once worked, and the HH with whom Nancy regularly corresponded. 

There was also a fair bit of Christmas wreath competition in Mayfair.

This was my favourite door and wreath combination.

Thank you for stopping by this year, and for taking time to leave comments. Happy Christmas.

A Day Out

Last week I was lucky enough to spend the day exploring whilst in London for a couple of days.  First on my list was The British Library. The brutal modern building that squats next to the gothic spires of  St Pancras station.

To the left of the above photo you can just see Newton (below) cutting himself a slice of apple pie,
....or something.

inside was a hive of activity - books, computers and lucky students

this 3d artwork caught my eye, it messed with your mind as you walked past it

The shelves of books gave the appearance of stained glass windows in this temple of learning

I love this vintage printing block art installation

then it was time to leave, into the dark night

easy for you to say Marie Curie, physicist, chemist, pioneer, the first woman solo Nobel prize winner,  the only woman to win in 2 sciences and the only person to win in multiple sciences. 

More Blog, more flog!

Ab Fab have a Christmas special coming out, see sneaky peek below.

Have a great weekend.

Pride and Prejudice

In the British papers today, the tale of two women, both British, both mothers.

The first an ignorant, uncouth woman, sitting on a tram hurling foul mouth abuse at her fellow passengers.  Her lack of respect and uninformed opinions are not as shocking as the fact that she has a young child on her lap throughout the ugly tirade.

The second, a hard working mother of 4, winning an award at the British Fashion Awards.  Not so long ago Victoria Beckham was a (less than brilliant, by her own admission) singer, in the biggest British girl band of all time. She is now one half of Beckham Inc, has 4 young children and has her own highly successful fashion line.  She is keeping more balls in the air than David, no doubt.   

See VB's heartfelt acceptance speech here;

I know which one makes me proud to be British.

Unseasonal Treats

This weekend I enjoyed a long country walk, it blew away the cobwebs, and I was so glad I had taken my camera along. Most of the views were what you would expect; bright colourful berries, leaves carpeting the woodland floor and fungus sprouting on damp tree trunks.  But in amongst the usual Autumnal sights were others that I would not expect to see at this time of the year...

 Can you see the  pale trailing track of fungi snaking their way along the woodland floor?

I love the colour of these hardy Nasturtians

Then there they were, roses, in November, hung with a dew and web necklace.

Have a lovely week.

Lest We Forget

My Grandfather fought in the First World War.  He joined up with his brothers, he was just 15. Whilst fighting for Queen and country he was shot, but survived. When he was in his 80's he was taken ill, an X-Ray revealed the bullet, still there, buried deep within his body.  It wasn't just the bullet that was buried deeply, but also the terrible memories, of horror and loss.  Today, at 11pm we will remember and give thanks for the life we have today, and the sacrifices that made it possible.

*The above image is from a Christmas card sent out after the first World War.

The 19.57 from Euston

Warning: seriously romantic content, those of a cynical disposition look away now

A rakes progress

Some colour on a grey day - my lovely red Acer

Chinese Lanterns I grew from seed

A drive I saw whilst on a walk, I just loved the variations of pink

Raking, my new exercise of choice.  

The birds Autumn larder.

have a lovely, late Autumn day.

Victoria, Albert and Annie

I recently went to the V & A museum, I spotted something on the outside wall I haven't noticed before

I had gone to see the new photographic exhibition, but saw this as I climbed the staircase

which led to Annie's house

via Annie's door (apologies for photo quality)

with another, smaller house


and here is her desktop

and some of the books she has used for writing her lyrics

also dotted around were some little vignettes of her time in the music industry

Well worth a visit if like me, you are an Annie Lennox fan.

The photographic exhibition for the record was small, it was mostly early photographs from the museums own collection, with the odd contemporary piece - such as an iconic Ansel Adams image thrown in. A narrated link if you're interested;