Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Dire straighteners

If one thing other my terrible attitude has held me back in life it’s my messy hair. High on my list of 100 things that would make me happy is dead straight dead black Japanese hair. I want to look like the girl in The Grudge for now I just act like her!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Subversive Stitch

An interesting exhibtion by Susan P Healey of sexualised baby clothes is currently showing at the Window Gallery at St Martins College on Charing Cross Road. Check out the artists website http://susanphealey.com/ to see the clever collection of wedding dress straight jackets and big day accessories embroidered with the words ‘useless whore’. Nice nursery bedding aswell.

I'm not feeling this

A friend of mine with scant regard for his own well being or maybe just a large bill from the Inland Revenue, has just signed up for a drug trial at a central London hospital. He will be paid £3000 to take certain new drugs and to spend four days having tests over a month. Ermm .... I am all for a bit of easy money but its only two years since that terrible drug trial disaster at Northwick Park and remember what happened to Violet Beauregard in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory?

Back right off

Just back from the gym, unbelievably some idiot wanted to use the other half of a machine I was exercising on ( I was doing one arm at a time ) I had to stop what I was doing, pop out my in ear headphone to tell him NO. I can’t stand it! The whole massive gym was nearly empty and he came buzzing about my space like a wasp in cheap trainers. I admit I am someone who uses my MP3 as much to keep people away from me as to entertain myself but I like my own space. I exercise alone; I select my machines as far away from others as possible. I discourage any interaction with other members, especially smarmy personal trainers hoping to make a sale. I like to go the cinema alone during the day and sit as far away from everyone else as possible. I understand why rich people purchase whole rows of airplane seats and only occupy one; I applaud Madonna for hiring a row of cross trainers at her gym in NY so no one could chug along beside her. I hate being approached by sales staff seconds after I enter a store, I invariably spin around and walk right out again. I can’t stand waiters asking if everything is alright when I am in mid conversation with my friends or worse chewing a mouth full of food. Charity snipers drive me mad and don’t even get me started on those people in vulgar sweat shirts who push tacky free papers into your face on every street corner in central London from 4.30 onwards. I think city dwellers have enough to put up with, packed public transport, busy streets and queues for everything from cash points to coffee. My personal space is precious to me and if I could do more to discourage personal space invaders I would .

Sunday, 27 April 2008

The India Club

Not so much a review as a warning : Up two flights of filthy stairs above a Bukowski style flop house laughing called The Strand Continental Hotel. The India Club restaurant marries third rate food with fifth rate service. Ancient Formica tables, filthy stained purple velvet seating, yellow bug splattered walls and a few pictures of Ghandi under a fluorescent strip make for a startling ambience. The less than jovial staff insisted we have a set menu. The food when it finally arrived consisted of one poppadom for each guest, various chutneys, lime in battery acid, damp desiccated coconut, and mango sludge, followed by battered whole chilli’s - our host described seeing stars and flashing lights as he munched through a plate of these – after all it was his idea, and onion slices. The fire alarm went off a couple of times before the main course showed up. An unispired selection of curries and mountain of dull as dishwater white rice. Finally they dimmed the lights and brought the birthday boy a flaming Kulfi in place of birthday cake, the guests perked right up at the thought of sugar and cream ‘can we all have one of those?’ some would be Oliver ventured ‘No’ came the reply .

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Here comes the sun

Little darling its been a long cold lonely winter ...Well that’s Britain for you, one minute I am whining about the rain, 2 days later I am frightening the seagulls by sunbathing naked on my roof top over looking Leicester Square. Hurray for the sun long may it shine.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

I can’t stand the rain

As a UK resident it’s impossible to understand why the media refer to the destruction of the planet allegedly through toxic fumes, aerosols, industry and so on as Global Warming. It’s the end of April and spring has still not arrived, other than in the form of one bright afternoon and a bit of damp cherry blossom. America creates toxic gases and yet they still have seasons.

Monday, 21 April 2008

My heart belongs to little dog

16th April 2008 – 17th April 2008
The little dog who came to stay for just one day

Sunday, 20 April 2008

I see a bad moon arising

Full moon tonight ! A good time to cast spells or merely wish very very hard for love, creativity , abundance, attainment of goals, divinations, communication, beauty, health , psychic powers , shape shifting, transformation and wisdom . We'll all be with you on that Bertie!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

A scent like no other

The first time I smelt Fracas was in New York around 10 years ago when a friend of mine made me march all the way up Fifth Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman to purchase a tiny bottle of the pure perfume for around $100. Fracas was originally launched in 1948 by perfume house Robert Piguet. Then it was reformulated and re launched in 1996. This is a heavy white floral scent – predominately Tuberose with notes of Jasmin, Gardenia and Lily of the Valley. It is a strong scent that will herald your arrival and linger long after you have left. Worn by Marlene Dietrich and the late Isabella Blow – this is no scent for the faint hearted. For me this is a cold day or evening perfume – it’s a film noir, archly feminine aroma – too heavy for heat but a perfume classic for grown up woman with a view to a kill.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

The second oldest profession

A waitress came over to our table in a Japanese cafe in Portobello, she lent in all sideways eyes and said “see that guy over there - he’s Richards Branson’s son and his card didn’t go through!” Yesterday a friend sat by Manson in the Admirals Lounge at LAX, he asked the waitress what he ordered and she told him “two shots of vodka and diet coke on the side.” Perhaps the food and beverage department should look into a Hippocratic oath type system for waiting and bar staff or maybe we should all just big up the tips.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Loving Laduree

The extraordinary Parisian cake shop Laduree did not exist in London until two years ago. I can’t imagine how I survived with out their delicious macaroons. My favourite flavours are rose, salted caramel, lemon and raspberry. My friend likes the black liquorice flavour but I don’t fancy that, nor would I waste my money on mint, vanilla or pistachio. Each season new flavours are created in limited edition , this year there is coconut, champagne, orange saffron and gingerbread. Laduree has a small golden outlet in the Burlington Arcade and a larger restaurant/shop in Harrods where they sell boring regular food like sandwiches and really interesting ice cream sundaes made with rose and violet ice cream.


Taken from the series of portraits of damaged youth, Tulsa by Larry Clark published in 1971, the above picture is one of my favourite photographs ever. Despite the gravity of the image, I doubt either of them made old bones – there is warmth and itimacy in the relationship of the couple that resonates regardless. Perhaps it’s the seventies sideburns on the man but it looks to me like a twisted outtake from that ‘joy of sex’ manual one used to find when ransacking the parents bedroom.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Thin on the ground

I noticed this picture of Keanu Reeves and it reminded me that there are some amazingly beautiful men in the world. I just don't see them about though , thousands of extremley attractive women but very few attractive men. Is it a London thing?

The fall of the house of Chloe

One must not be too resistant to change I suppose but in the case of the fashion house Chloe I do think ‘out with the new in with the old’. I loved the Karl Lagerfeld seventies Chloe vision – full length floral prints, fantastic models with long hair and huge eyes. Misty golden hued advertisements for the divine house fragrance with its notes of honeysuckle, Jasmin and Tuberose. Phoebe Philo did an amazing job creating the most desirable feminine looks season after season I wanted one of everything she ever designed, the company should never have let her go. The designs of her successor Paulo Melim Anderson do nothing for me and nothing for anyone who wears them either. The company ruined the clothing line the day they employed him and then not satisfied with that they ruined the perfume as well. The new re-launched Chloe perfume has none of the subtlety of the first. Made up of notes magnolia & rose over an amber and cedar wood base, the perfume seems to marketed women who shop in Debenhams and buy fake Chloe handbags from the street vendors outside. The aroma is common and over powering – eau de high street.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Does the taste of sugar on your lips remind you of a sweet sweet kiss?

Two years ago I was in New York at the height of the cup cake boom – I shared delightful buttery cakes from Magnolia with the pigeons in the park on Bleeker Street . I sat in Billy’s Bakery on 23rd and 9th snacking on cupcakes there. Each afternoon I counteracted jet lag with vanilla/vanilla cakes at The Sunshine Bakery on Rivington. I probably ate 15 cupcakes in 6 days –average price $1.20 or 65p each.

London finally caught on to the cupcake buzz and now they are available from the Primrose Bakery £1.75 for pretty average cup cake. The dreadful Hummingbird Bakery in Portbello Road for £1.55 for a teeny cake with hardy any topping that looks a packet made cake at a dodgy school fate. And if you really want to waste £3.95 then pop into Liberty and by a cupcake there, the cakes look cute but £4 for two bites!! On the brighter side Peyton & Byrne on Tottenham Court Road do spectacular cakes for £2.50 – still expensive but they are huge with a ton of topping and come in fancy boxes. John Lewis food hall have perfectly delicious cakes for only 99p each.

This woman's work

I live in a flat that conspires against me – I clean it and 2 days later it looks like it wasn’t cleaned in years. The results never do reflect the labour, the sense of achievement upon completion gives way to a sense of despair within 48 hours. I read that dust is skin ... I can’t be shedding that much skin I am still here ..... I could never hire a cleaner unless I could afford to pay her a bankers wage - some thing about hiring people to clean up after me doesn’t sit right in my heart, perhaps it because cleaners traditionally work so hard for so little...

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

And the promise that she is blessed among women

Land 250
Polaroid Photographs by Patti Smith
Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris, March 28 – June 22, 2008

"Sometimes, if I crave silence I turn to my Land 250. The experience of taking Polaroid’s connects me with the moment. They are souvenirs of a joyful solitude."

A retrospective of Patti Smith’s art created between 1967 and 2007, exhibition includes Polaroid’s, sketches collages, audio installations, referential objects, lyrics, films, music and poetry. The foundation book shop has been restocked by Patti to include works by Blake, Rimbaud and Virginia Woolf.