Friday, 31 August 2012


Brian! The firearms handler’s here. They guy with the guns for the Bond Girls shoot. He said he thought he’d gone to the wrong address – he was expecting some big, gated place with security and stuff. I’ve left him upstairs with Lotus. I don’t know! I s’pose it’s those two actresses from the new James Bond film. Make sure the limo don’t pull up over Jack’s drive.

JOE!! Are you ready?? Hurry up. Yes we have to leave now. I told you already - you have to come and drop Ed off at the theatre because there won’t be time to come back here and then get to Angel. You’ll have to eat it in the car. ED!! We have to go. NOW. How can we bring the dog?? Joe and I have to go straight to City and Islington and try to get him enrolled on this A level course. We can’t take a dog with us. If they say no coz he ain’t got C in English Language then we have to get over to Camden Road at top speed and enroll him in that art course before it’s too late. Stop arguing. We’re late. There’s no way they’ll let a puppy in the theatre. Be quiet! Ed can go in the front on the way to the theatre and Joe, you can go in the front after we’ve dropped him off. Brian! Have you seen how much lighting they’ve got? I know. I’ve told them about no gaffer tape but they’re all German. Well it’s German GQ innit. Duh. Byeeee

God, these bloody traffic lights. We’re really late. I’ll have to drop you here. Jump out quickly before I get a ticket. Mind the bikes! Byee Eddy – dance good.

Right lets go. We’ll park in Sainsbury’s car park at Angel. Stop moaning – it’s only across the road. Try to look, I don’t know, awake. You know what I mean. Try to look alert and interested and like you want to go to this college to do A levels and not just because Ian’s going there.

We’ve come to enroll. Yes, we’ve got the results slip. Yes, all good. Just English Language. He got a D – I guess you’ve had quite a few people with the same problem. Really? We’re the first? I know it’s a C minimum but what with all the fuss and everything and he’s having it remarked. It was less than 2% off a C. But he REALLY wants to do A levels. Don’t you Joe? Well, I don’t see why a child should be deprived of the opportunity to study A levels on the whim of some Tory MP. Yes, we’ll wait here. Thank you.
Hey Joe. Did you hear that? He said “I couldn’t agree more” and he’s gone off to find the principal. Stop texting and pay attention.

Bloody hell Joe. That was close. You’re in. You better bloody well work for the next two years after all this. OMG! What’s the time ? Shit! You only get two hours free parking in Sainsburys. Run! You go and sit in the car. I’ll have to dash in and spend £10.

Here hold these. Let’s get out of here. I didn’t have time to get crisps. I just grabbed two bottles of wine coz they were right there in the fridge. Shush. We’ll be home soon.

Hi, put the kettle on. I’ll have to go in a minute and pick Ed up.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Much excitement in Lordship Park this morning as the 5 Tenors, 7 stylists, 1 photographer, 3 assistants, 2 translators, 1 caterer and a bus driver showed up in an old route-master and parked right outside the house. They all loved Lotus and the 5 Tenors took it in turns to be photographed with her. EVERYONE loves Lotus, well almost everyone...
ENZO! Enzo, look at me. Enzo, listen! Listen to me. Are you listening? Right. PUGS ARE FRIENDS NOT FOOD, okay?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


I'm pretty sure there isn't a make of car called a Thumbelina so Thumbelina was rebranded Lotus to fall in line with Capri and Enzo. 
Then she had tea with Baby...

Read up on Bonsai care...

And practised being a statue...

Monday, 27 August 2012

School Holidays Day 53

Friday Evening 5pm

Ed: I'm SOO bored.
Me: Well do something.
Ed: There's nothing to do. I'm SO bored. I've been in all day.
Me: Watch a movie.
Ed: Didn't you hear me - I've been IN ALL DAY.
Me: Ed, I've got to work. I need to get these invoices done.
Ed: But I'm really bored. I want a Bonsai tree.
Me: Really? They always die.
Ed: That one you threw in the bin wasn't dead. All it's leaves fell off coz it was autumn.
Me: Fine, we'll go up to those garden centres at Crews Hill tomorrow. They have a Bonsai specialist shop up there with goldfish and everything: it'll be a nice day out, now let me get on.
Ed: But I want a Bonsai tree now.
Me: The shops will be shut now Ed, it's gone five. 
Ed: This one says it's open 'till seven on the website.
Me: What one?
Ed: This one, this one in Notting Hill.
Me: Oh, that won't stay open that late tonight, not with the Carnival this weekend.
Ed: Ring them.
Me: Okay, they're open 'till seven... 
Ed: Lets go. PLEASE, I'll pay for it.
Me: Ed, it's raining and it's rush hour and I haven't made dinner... okay then, write down the postcode.

"You have reached your destination on the right"

Ed: There it is, quick park, it's 6.50, we've only got ten minutes.
Me: I'll have to park round the corner, it's all suspended here for Carnival.
Ed: What's that sat outside the shop?
Me: A cat.
Ed: It's a dog.
Me. Whatever. Quick, choose a Bonsai then. That one's nice.
Ed: That dog's cute. Look that guy out the back's holding a puppy.
Me: Let's get this one: it has little flowers on. Get your card out.
Ed: Wait, let me see that puppy.
Guy in Flower Shop: This is Margot's puppy. Do you want to hold her?
Me: How many puppies did she have? Put your credit card in the machine Ed, they want to go home.
Guy in Flower Shop: Seven. We're keeping this one, my sister has one, all the others have gone to our friends, there's just one little girl left downstairs, Thumbelina...

The following morning...

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Dr No Thanks

Designing 007 - 50 years of Bond Style at The Barbican

I can't think of a more inspired combination! The Barbican and 007 - the stuff my dreams are made of and after a spell in the country just the kind of urban outing that I fancied. The Barbican never disappoints and after dozens of visits I am still moved by the scale and drama of the place - lusting after a flat on the 27th floor with a curved concrete balcony and quietly sighing at every carefully considered period detail.
Sadly the 007 exhibit was padded with the kind of fakery and gimmicks geared to impress children and blokes. Alongside golden guns, diamonds filled briefcases and model cars that turn into submarines, Ken Adam's elegant, dried-up-felt-pen sketches stand out as the most beautiful and desirable objects in the exhibition. 

Opulent costumes were inadequately modelled by shapeless grey mannequins made of the kind of bri-nylon used to make Miss Piggy and Kermit. The gold waistcoat worn by Pussy Galore was tantalisingly displayed in a bullet-proof glass case but it turned out to be only a copy of the original. Clips of the best bits of the Bond movies over the last 50 years shown on big screens were popular but with Goldfinger priced at £1.49 on Amazon it seemed like a cheap and easy crowd-pleaser. Still, we had a nice time. Shunning the Bond bar (rigged up indoors and selling only Martini's to 007/Jeremy Clarkson wannabes and their dates) we sat out on the terrace and admired the architecture some more before heading to Mayfair for a spot of window shopping. 
Pay £12 to shuffle past these dummies or...

Stroll past these Bond Street girls for free.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

50 Shades of Pink (again)

 Lordship Park is the setting for September's Living Etc Modern Pretty story. 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Cloak-and-Dagger in a Jacobean Manor

Ed and I have just returned from a top-secret mission to deepest Dorset. A portrait of Ed is to be used as a prop in a forthcoming Hollywood movie and the backdrop for the painting is the magnificent Jacobean Hanford School. In term-time it's teeming with 120 girls between the ages of 7 and 13 but because it's the summer holidays we were free to wander through the empty corridors, spook ourselves in the deserted dormitories and eat our sandwiches in the splendour of the vast refectory.    
A souvenir of our visit - a bunch of crazy dahlias bought from a roadside table.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Week Spots

It's been the week that...
The conkers suddenly got huge,
Ed started a dancing course at Urdang Academy - situated in the splendid Old Finsbury Town Hall on Rosebery Avenue..
and I got annoyed about this not so splendid pile next door to it...
... as well as being annoyed with...
... so cheered myself up with these...
£20 from Rokit.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Capri, photographed at Lordship Park for the Autumn 2012 Asiana Wedding Magazine