Monday, January 25, 2016

Saul Leiter - Finding Beauty

Helllllooooooooooo.....!  I'm loving these Saul Leiter photos

that I found in the Guardian over the

weekend.  How was yours?  Snowy?

Funny how these photos look so utterly modern with their

strong graphic qualities, pops of color and wash of neutrals.

"No Great Hurry" a documentary about this photographer came out in 2014 and shows of his work have recently been mounted in Paris, Austria, and now London.  See more here.  And see where I found these photos here.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Little Things That Please My Heart - Dim Sum at Jia, South Kensington, London

Jia!  Happy Weekend!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Notting Hill - Part Two - Your Personal Style Here!

ALERT: On a completely other subject:  Please have a look at Gesbi's post about the Lyon Textile Museum and adjoining Decorative Arts Museum in Lyon, France, that are under threat of closure this March due to budget cuts.  A petition has been started to keep it open but your signature must be received SOON!   The cutoff date is January 22, 2016.  

I suppose that Portobello Road is the "main event" when one is talking about Notting Hill.  And there certainly is a sort of excitement and thrill of the chase about making your way

down the hill on a Saturday morning with hundreds of enthusiastic shoppers.  It's a spectacle, really

when you consider the people watching to be had and the variety of goodies on offer.  Old, new, beautiful and rubbishy......But can I suggest that you also make time for Notting Hill on a quieter

day.  And that you get off the main streets and away from the crowds.

Along Westbourne Grove, it has pretty much gone over to the chain stores you can find on Regent Street and elsewhere in London.  But on the quiet side streets, a very stylish life is being lived...Notting Hill still being made home by entertainment, arty, and fashion types and a renegade

spirit persists amidst bohemian gentility.

Little shops to cater to your quality of life

and appeal to your love of history.

Reminders that life is for living and for laughing

a little.

That there is a big world of adventure out there.

And that sometimes, the world comes to you.  If you're clever enough to make your home in Notting Hill.  "What is the reason that legions of Italian tourists are thronging the Portobello Road?" you might ask yourself as you elbow past handsome well-dressed families on the cobbled roads.  It might not always be because of their love of British bric-a-brac, but due to the many, many Italian restaurants in the 'hood.  (That's a pizza oven above.)  And the word must have gotten out that they're pretty darn good.  

Don't forget to bring oodles of personal style with you.  Everybody else does!

Friday, January 15, 2016

How Was Your Second Full Week of 2016?

I have been tippy-toe-ing into the New Year.  What about you?  Any plans for the weekend?

I hope they are very good ones.  HAPPY WEEKEND!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Kensington Church Street to Notting Hill, Part One - Gawking, Greenery, and Glam at Christmas

In fact, they weren't all open 24/7 because, as you might know

some people are still rather sensible (IMHO)

and take the week after Xmas off to relax and spend with their friends and families.

In any case, if you're interested in honing your tastes at small expense to your pocketbook....

and possibly encountering legends while you're at it (no I don't actually mean the flesh and blood

Mr. Churchill but I have run into David Hockney once or twice on Kensington High St.)

 - when it's not Christmas week -

I AM recommending this walk up the steep Kensington Church Street to Notting Hill.

(Could that rather be the origin of the pub's name?  "Church" - "Hill"?  Hmmmmmm)

Many of the old antiques shops have now given way to chain stores but still, still, there is beauty

and you top the crest at Notting Hill

and descend again to Portobello Road.  It's a bit of a cliche on the tourist "musts" lists

but Portobello Road doesn't much disappoint.

You can just look.  And. is usually my habit because.....

HOW TO CHOOSE?!  But......

if you are any inveterate shopper with a fancy credit card...there will be suitcases for all your loot.

Next week:  Notting Hill, Part Two.  You might like it.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Ludlow Hunt 2015 - No Foxes Were Harmed in the Making of this Post

We were told to get there by "half ten" or it would not be possible to find a place in front of the

castle.  In a light drizzle they began to arrive, leaving their horseboxes parked on the outskirts

of town.

Oddly.  It was mostly young women in the saddles.

I don't know very much about horses but they did seem to me an outstanding bunch.

I adore a white speckled horse.  And leggy, furry dogs too.

The riders were very relaxed, unlike those at a previous hunt gathering that I've witnessed (near

Mr. Paradis' hometown) there was none of the tension of strict discipline and anticipation of a "kill".

Instead it seemed a friendly group of neighbors gathering for a bracing ride.

Father Christmas was there.

As were quite a few young riders from the local pony club.

The horses were gorgeously groomed and shaved.  (Tho' I can't tell you what the purpose of the shaving is.)

And no two looked the same.  Perhaps a way of "I.D.-ing" in the chaos of the hunt?

This dark beauty was letting it all hang out with her fountain of tail and fringy fetlocks.

In this hunt it only seems to be the Master of the Hunt and the Master of Hounds in "pink" coats.

But some wore tinsel on their hats and plaited into their horse's manes and tails.  For color and cheer.

Instead of the hounds being kept in a tight pack in the center of the town square.

They were allowed to run a bit free in the little park in front of the castle.

Accepting pets and cuddles from some that they already knew and some not so familiar.

I cannot tell you who owns them and where they are all kept.  Only that we did not receive curious and welcoming sniffs and offers to be petted.  Apparently the Paradis family did not smell "local" enough.

For an hour or so there was milling about and chatting and much admiring done.

Everyone was very friendly and still in the glow of the Christmas spirit.

Mlle Paradis should have been chattier and asked more questions but she was too busy trying to get a good shot, and staying well out from under foot and ominously lifted tail........

As a prolonged wait for stragglers carried became time to turn the camera to the shorter-legged

parties.  Who no doubt were a bit jealous that they weren't going hunting too.

And seriously, I cancelled all my Westminster and Cruft's dog show reservations after this.  Who needs 'em?  I've seen every sort of lovely dog now!

Oh, and as time went on it was necessary to also avoid a fair amount of this.  Although a nice man told me it would be "good luck" to step in it.  I told him:  "Better it be your luck - than mine!"

And then suddenly, a signal.  I never heard a horn....or a whistle.

But the stillness and calm was transformed into

a RUSH and a flurry.  And then they were away.  Out to the hills and fields.

And the Paradis family were in the wrong place to wave off the galloping powerful receding hoofs.

So it was back to dog-shopping.  (And time to find a pub!)  We were very well satisfied with the hunt. For lazier onlookers with our feet on the ground, it was a very nice way to usher in a New Year.

More here and here on the Ludlow Hunt.