Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Creative day

I ran a course for Gifted and Talented children today - 11 girls and one brave boy, who wasn't at all fazed by all the female company, and was very creative. We made mosaic frames (from china kindly donated by a lady in Forest Hill on Sunday, worth the 4 hour round trip to drag it home and back to school today) corsages, keyrings, phone charms and other things, with the emphasis on recycling. Here are the best of the fruits of our labours:

                                                          Alice                            Daniel




                                                                    more by Marisol

                                 Great fun was had by all - they all wanted another day!        

Monday, 30 May 2011

More spring colour

I came across a beautiful town house, faded grandeur, on my way to Hounslow station on Saturday, with this wonderful floral display in the front garden. I'm tempted to go back when I'm not in a hurry to catch a train, and ask for a poppy head for the seeds - the colour is marvellous! It's spread to next door's garden, too. It was a very windy day, and my little phone camera struggled with the focus, but you get the idea.

Happy Bank Holiday!

Sunday, 29 May 2011


The adventures of Aleksandr Orlov the Meerkat have been turned into an Autobiography, ghost-written by my friend Valerie Hudson, my desk partner in the Thorington Players. She has an honourable mention through Aleksandr's mother, Valeria, but typed the manuscript as Sergei, his best friend and sidekick. Val works for the publishing company Hachette, and hadn't written fiction before, but approached comparethemarket.com with her idea, and they jumped at it. Mummie bought me the book for Christmas, (incidentally it was the Christmas bestseller!!) We played in a concert together  last weekend, and she duly signed my copy (She has been practising his signature!)

Friday, 27 May 2011

concerts: one to play, one to listen

So busy, with reports and exams and a planning weekend for next academic year; it's so long since I blogged!

 I had a lovely musical weekend! On Saturday I played in a concert at St Mary's, Putney with the Thorington Players. Always a pleasure to play beautiful music in good company. The programme was Wagner Siegfried Idyll (I think the best Wagner is without the singing!) Brahms Piano concerto No.1 and Haydn Symphony No.93. It was a charity concert for Spires, which helps the homeless, and the Shooting Star children's hospice.

On Sunday I was in the audience for a change. Lorna gave a recital in the Music Room at Burgh House, a very handsome Queen Anne house on Hampstead Heath. She sang Shakespeare settings by Purcell and Finzi, Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben and three songs by Richard Strauss. Wonderful! And all this on top of arranging her wedding in two weeks' time.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Spring colour

Beautiful spring colours in the plants and flowers. It's a shame I can't capture the blackbird's song to go with it (the less lovely songs of the  crows and magpies are better on silent!)

Enjoy the sunshine!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Royal wedding, and Lorna's Hen party weekend

Nuptials actual and upcoming! I really enjoyed watching the Royal wedding - beautiful dress (-es, as well as a couple of fashion disasters!) and a wonderful Parry-fest, with all my favourite anthems bringing back fond memories of festive Evensongs. I was up in town earlier in the week for a lunchtime concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and walked up the Mall and in St James' Park and saw all the prep going on. I still prefer St Paul's - it's my favourite building in London, especially on the inside with all the amazing decoration and my favourite psalm around the roof - but Westminster Abbey is lovely too.

Teatime souvenirs

Something for the fridge

Then off to Devon in the afternoon to Lorna's girls' weekend; 20 of us, from 8 year old nieces to 15 grown-ups. We stayed in a big house called Acorn Park, in the countryside, near Exeter, with lovely grounds and big entertaining rooms. Friday night was for settling in, meeting new friends and a relaxing dinner and chat.

Saturday morning we got creative! Vicky Rowe from clarabows.co.uk led a workshop making fascinators! Fantastic! We had lots of lovely things to play with - beads, feathers, crystals - and had a wonderful morning! The idea was we will be wearing them with our wedding outfits. Here's the stage-by-stage

Saturday afternoon we went to Budleigh Salterton, the nearest seaside, and had a bracing walk along the front. Saturday evening we were catered for by a chef and waitresses! Delicious food, and the dishwasher did all the hard work afterwards.

Sunday was a leisurely day, Sally, Georgia and I went to Otterton, where there was a nature reserve, a farm shop, and craft studios. Found some pretty presents, and lots of inspiration! We managed to dodge the showers.

Back to London today, after a lovely weekend - thanks Lorna, Julia and Stella for all the organising! Here's to the big day on June 4th!