Sunday, 22 April 2012


....You may have noticed a lack of blogging of late. Our new house is time consuming, to say the least - in trying to turn it from a wreck, in to something worth calling home. There is much more to do, but when we're done, we look forward to having you over to dinner!

Lucian Freud, National Portrait Gallery....

....Within months of his untimely death, the National Portrait Gallery is exhibiting a retrospective of the British painter's oeuvre.

I was tremendously excited - having been fascinated and in awe of Lucian Freud's painting when at school, I desperately tried to copy his style and brush technique in my own work.

The brush strokes, the colours, the layers of paint. Beautiful. So, to see them up close was nothing short of exhilirating. The beauty of such a show, is to be able to see all his work together, from beginning to end. And actually to realise that his mid-career paintings that I thought were unbeatable, are.

Freud's earlier work, from the 50s, where his textures and technique were still more subtle - these are what I realised I liked most. Like, 'Girl with a white dog', 1951-52.

As his work developed, Freud's brush work became looser, (lazier?), sometimes to great effect, but arguably sometimes a little too muddied. I also came to learn that Freud was, well, a bit of a dog. Multiple partners, (all of whom he painted obviously), but an ability to come across a slightly arrogant and nasty man. An artisan, I suppose.

Freud's final painting, of his whippet, Eli and his assistant, David Dawson. It was unfinished.

None of this deterred from my over all affection toward his work. His life time achievement as a British painter and the influence he has had on so many - including myself in my youth. It is a worthy show that must be seen, if only to uncover to others, as it did to me, the Freud paintings you know much less well.

River Cafe treat....

....Kel & I dined out at River Cafe last night. Fortunately, the majority was paid for by a gift voucher from generous partners at work - and judging by the vehicles in the car park, it was needed!

We ate a wonderful meal, right on the Thames. Kel started with veal carpaccio, then monkfish for main. I plumped for scallops followed by veal shin. We shared a pannecotta for desert. Not your every day dining experience, but a superb and very much appreciated one.

Full reel:

Quoc's stag do....

....This had to be timed around Quoc's next visit to London, (as he now resides in Tapei), so that meant the unusual not-even-mid-week Tuesday night stag do.

Friends gathered for drinks at the Princess Louise, dinner at Union Jacks, then bowling & karaoke. Much fun had - certainly too much for a Tuesday!

Full reel:

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Lynn hits 30....

To celebrate her birthday, it was a little bit of what Lynn fancied, at a local restaurant with lots of friends.

The eaterie of (almost) the same name, closed it's doors to host only us - and it was a phemonemal dinner to see in the last of our 'gang' hit 30.