Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Alicia rings in....

....'Lic is in Eindhoven and online, so we took advantage with a Skype call.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Alicia and out....

....I suppose we were counting down to this for the last 6 months, but the final week, (in reality an extension of our holiday), it really hit home that 'Lic was going to Eindhoven for 6 months. We squeezed in exhibitions, dinners, picnics, friends and family before she left with an over stuffed suitcase and an enormous bike bag.


Farewell picnic in Battersea Park


Peek-a-boo with Atl


Alicia shows Xochitl how it's done

Alicia also found time to set up a window display at No-One in Shoreditch - documented on her newly created blog. (Permanent link to the right of the page).


The Mary Poppins inspired, Infinite Drawers

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Mass Moonwalk....

....Not long after news of Michael Jackson's death reached the masses, social networking sites FaceBook and Twitter had already begun organising and spreading the work of a celebratory 'Mass Moonwalk'. London's was last night at Liverpool Street. They took place all over the world. It is a shame only now, after his sad demise, that the masses show their true appreciation of his pop genius.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Play me I'm yours....

....Alicia and I sat in the late evening sun in Soho Square yesterday and were accompanied by a pianist.......then another.....then another.



Thirty pianos have been placed at popular spots across the capital for the public to engage with. We didn't - it wasn't right to unleash Meat Loaf's 'I would do anything for love' on the unsuspecting! Click here for more.

MJ RIP....

....The king is dead.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Holiday....

....I'm not long back from my first holiday of the year. Alicia and I joined mum & dad, Ruth & Andy at a cottage in Coln Rogers, Cotswolds before the two of us went on to Oxford for a couple of days. It was our first time visiting both, and we were impressed, (more so that we lucked out with the weather!) Highlights followed by full photo reel to follow........

COTSWOLDS:


Alicia and I took our bikes and cycled the final stages, from Kemble to Coln Rogers.


The cottage and the crew.


Cirencester.


Late night board games by the fire.


The splendor of Cowley Manor.


BBQ al fresco.


Country walk.


OXFORD:


Christchurh College.


Punting. (A pointless exercise!)


Blenheim Palace.


THE FULL REEL:

Belated birthday bonus....

....Ruth and Andy treated me to a set of Keith Haring dominoes, (that I have lusted after for months) and a vintage Swiss Swatch watch, (the first of a collection I had promised to myself.)



Firsts....

....I suppose we experience less and less firsts as we get older. And those we do will probably be 'life changing' experiences, like other cultures and white knuckle adventures. My two firsts are neither of those - in fact they are both embarrassingly late in coming to me - they should have been done in my formative years. Yet here I am, blogging about eating corn on the cob and Salad Cream for the first time. (NOT together!).
I really have missed out with corn on the cob, (I had no option during my toothless hiatus), but I have had no excuses since. Yesterday was the day. Butter and salt were the garnish. Wonderful.



Heinz Salad Cream was a sauce I ridiculed and despised as a kid. The Brannen family regularly used it when I went to dinner and I thought it looked horrid, (and therefore never tried it!). I haven't thought to try it since, until we began working on a Salad Cream brief at work. 'It livens up dull food like potato and salads'. Well, I had 'tatties for lunch one day and decided to take the plunge. Less wonderful, but strangely appealing and deadly addictive.


Thursday, 18 June 2009

Rochelle Canteen....

....This restaurant, (it's more than a canteen), has been just around the corner from my house for a couple of years I think. But I have never found the time to go - largely as it is only open during the week for lunch. So today, taking advantage of a rare day off whilst still in the city, Alicia and I decided to pay a visit.



Situated in an old bicycle shed within the grounds of a former school, Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson provide lunch to anyone who 'may be passing through'. The menu changes daily, and if today was anything to go by, is superb. We both went straight to main course -Lamb Shoulder, Rocket & Bread Salad for myself and Bavette Steak, New Potato & Watercress for Alicia. They were both great - a good portion size, beautiful tender meat and incredible flavours. We shared dessert of cherry pie, (so pleased with himself was the chef, that he brought it out to show everyone, claiming the description on the menu didn't do it justice.) Indeed it didn't - it was excellent.



I'd recommend it to anyone with a spare mid-week afternoon on the East side of the city......but you better be quick, it seems they are under threat of closure. Go and show your support!

Looking For Eric....

....I was always going to see this - regardless of it's critical acclaim. As a lover of football I was unashamedly lured by the presence of one Eric Cantona and intermittent clips of him playing the beautiful game. I even managed to get Alicia to join me after he impressed her during a Jonathan Ross interview! I'm pleased to say that Ken Loach, (and Cantona as Executive Producer and appearing in the film as himself), have made a brilliant film. Loach's style of direction means characters are easily warmed to, (and disliked in certain cases), whilst Cantona does a simple job well.



And the archive football footage? Well it quite honestly made my hair stand on end - particularly 'that pass'. (I've scoured the internet for footage of said pass and just can not find it). But it couldn't bring a tear to my as the final scene did - Loach pulling on our heart strings that may lead some critics to (wrongfully) label it as 'the feel good film of the century'. It is much more than that. A cracking film - go and see it.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Britain's got talent....

....And it is at the Design Museum. The current show, Super Contemporarycelebrates the best in British design since the 1950s and showcases fifteen new commissions from leading talent. On the back of the extraordinary Kuniyoshi show, this one failed to match those heights - a little information heavy and confusing at times. But of the 15 new works, 'Rain it in' by Paul Cocksedge, was the stand out piece. It explores objects using/creating static electricity to ward off rain.

Kuniyoshi so contemporary....

....With only a day to spare, Alicia and I squeezed in to a packed Royal Academy to see the Utagawa Kuniyoshi show. I wasn't au fait with Kuniyoshi's wood block prints at all - only attracted to the exhibition by the corresponding poster promoting it.



But I am so, so glad to have seen it. The prints are absolutely incredible, with colour and intricate detail belying the process in by which they are created. Another thing is how startlingly contemporary they remain, despite the majority of the work completed before 1850. Mostly inspired by Chinese mythology, Kuniyoshi also created landscapes and portraits of Geisha's and actors.





The show ends today, so I highly recommend you buy the book - the reproductions don't do the originals much justice, but it is a good record of a great artist.

Roll of thunder, hear my cry....

....Did everyone else hear that?! Last night 'Lic and I were woken by the loudest crack of thunder I have ever heard. The walls sshhooookk. The rain was teaming down, pounding the window as though we were sleeping outside. (Incidentally, the title of this post refers to a book that I read when at school).


Not last night.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

A Wapping 28th birthday....

....I have to admit that for the majority of the day, I had the Birthday Blues. I was at work and it was a rubbish day. But gradually it got better - then much better as Alicia and I prepared to go out for the evening to the Wapping Project. It was somewhere we had wanted to go for a while for several reasons - the fantastic industrial setting, a good restaurant and an art gallery. Rather than post several individual pictures, I have decided upon a slideshow - there were just too many. But, in short, we had a great dinner, in an incredible space. The food was of great quality and flavour, although my pork was perhaps slightly overdone. A miniscule blip in an otherwise perfect banquet. We followed it with a visit to the Guy Bourdin show which was superb - overtly fashion and sexually led photography, emphasised by the moody spot lighting and turf carpet. We popped to the roof terrace before walking over the road to the Prospect of Whitby. Right on the river, this pub has fantastic views, so this is where we saw in the night.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Pulse....

....'Lic and Louise had a stand at Pulse this weekend. Exhibiting as Knock Knock Design, they displayed existing work and new designs including origami patterned wallpaper and concertina paper drawers.





Sun stroked....

....As the abnormally good weather continues, a few of us decided to head to London Fields for a BBQ. It was almost festival-like in numbers, spirit and of course litter.


The masses


The minions


Quails make for a posh barbie


Debris