Thursday, 6 April 2017

April 2017 Miscellaneous

It is officially Spring in London and even Millie was admiring the cherry trees in the park.

It is amazing what you can plant without a terra firma garden.
Look at the cherry tree my friend planted on her balcony in a pot.

Although I wouldn't even know how to handle a real garden.

But that doesn't stop me to order some more roses.

They are local plants so roses are so easy to maintain here.
I got the Desdemona which I smelled a few years ago at a Chelsea flower show and 

Not really looking forward to Wills and Kate moving to London after summer due to their eldest son going to school. It is sweet and all but that helicopter that Wills uses more than I use the tube is always flying over the park.
I now have an idea what it would have been like to live in London during the blitz.

This is now a frequent sight.
Police going ahead of the car to stop traffic so the blacked out car can go seamlessly through London traffic.

Rolls Royce has designed a new ice cream car in the park.
Very cute.

Do you use RFID card protectors?
I do.
So many big stores are scanning cards for marketing material and most of us don't even realise it.
I don't want to get all Wikileaks on you but even back in 2005 this stuff was going on.
My father had arrived in Melbourne airport with his then latest Aussie passport after not having been to the city for more than a decade.
As he walked up to immigration and before he handed his passport, the officer said, "You haven't been back home in a while."
My dad asked if they knew each other from way back when and the officer said they his information reached his screen as he was walking.

If it weren't my father who told me in shock, I would have had a hard time believing it myself.

My mind is still in Seville.

I fell in love with the city and it was even better than I expected.

They had architecture,
proper flamenco,
She was amazing.

The Seville cathedral is the 3rd largest in the world and 
this altar is made from pure gold.
It was so over the top that I still can't register what I saw.
This item was a religious prop made from the first haul of Spanish gold in Latin America.
This gold - I could have been tainted by historical references - 
but this was the goldiest gold I had ever seen.

Convents used to have to earn their keep as the Vatican didn't really financially support nuns the way they do priests.
The nuns to this day sell pastries and other baked goods.
But the endless ripened orange trees and the fragrance in courtyards and streets along 
with endless arches was so soothing.

Plus the food was so delicious and so cheap.
The same amazing meal would have gotten me a sandwich at Pret and water.

It was easier to return to London because 
I met up with Blue Booby soon after.
We went and stared at the ceiling at Whitehall with her equally charming daughter.

Sotheby's has found a tried and tested formula for its posh house clearance auctions.
They just recreate the house with the items rather than displaying behind glass cabinets.
It really does wonders.
Makes the items come alive.
It saves on driving out to the country to see a grand home.
Stay well x


  1. Hello CSW, I think that many people like to go to the houses because they are as (or more) interested in the architecture than in the items for sale. Still, the Sotheby's settings are very appealing, and give a better idea of the objects in situ.

    I definitely am investigating those rfid-blocking card holders. If the government uses the scanners, just imagine how many others do. But we're still under universal surveillance--and new laws in the U.S. are about to make it worse!

    1. I always say I will go to a country house for a walk and a wander but with the traffic here I never do so these ad hoc make shift ones do the trick for the most part.

      Yes with the new tap and pay features they have here makes for a lot of other veins of ripping you off too Jim!

  2. Love this update so much. Millie is so adorable. That helicopter, what a commotion! But you were able to hang out with Blue Booby I'm so jealous! I need to scheme a way to get her to Toronto. Maybe I'll start sending her art gallery links or something.
    Happy Spring to you Naomi XX

    1. Thing is the helicopter flies lower than the other ones but who do you complain to? Although there was a daily mail article writing about his flying habits which didn't last very long on the website...BB was a delight and really one of the upsides to blogging xx

  3. I use one of those wallets. My card was "stolen" just before Christmas and someone made a new card and bought $4K worth of stuff at best buy. That ice cream truck is fabulous! How fun to have a blogger IRL encounter. Those are the best!

    1. As I don't carry my bags that much anymore I use the card sleeves but here the tap and pay is a regular thing now so there are some organised gangs that bump into you zapping £30 quid off you without having to ask for a pin so I am getting even more wary. That ice cream truck is a delight to even walk by.

  4. Hello Naomi,

    With my predilection for Seville orange marmalade, I think my favorite of all the images you posted was that orange tree laden with fruit. I can guarantee if I happened to be wondering by it, there would soon be no fruit to photograph!

    I was only just yesterday browsing the results of that splendid auction (yes, I adore the room-like settings) to see what that beautiful yellow-banded set of china sold for. I thought it went for a very reasonable price, at least as far as these things go.

    I feel for you having to deal with royal helicopters and all that comes with it. When I still lived in Kent and commuted to London, it was the mighty Concord I remember whizzing by.

    1. I only realised why it is Seville orange marmalade. There were orange trees everywhere. i can only imagine an orange farm in florida would have more. And the blossoms CD...

      There weren't as many people for this preview as the more famous people's houses plus the past few weeks have been rather busy and people are distracted by other things so I think now is a good time for bargains. I can't tell you how low the helicopter flies though!

  5. Our 15 year old agrees with you about Seville and she'd include Córdoba, Granada & Toledo. Actually, she wants to go back to revisit in detail all the cities they visited on her school trip. She rattled off so much about Seville and all we could do was listen, amazed about her passion and enthusiasm.
    I feel for you regarding helicopter noise. We don't have royalty in Sydney but we have the anti- terrorism preparations & being close to the river we hear all the drills that the black hawk or whatever they are flying up & down the river. Sometimes I swear they are going to land on our roof or take the roof with them! Invariably, these drills are at 3 or 4am, except there's one happening now. The synchronicity of life at 6.50am Sydney time.
    On a totally different tangent, one of our neighbours is an IT whizz & she told us a while ago, never to use tap & pay & that they'd just completed a multi million dollar project for retailers regarding security issues with tap & go, but that banks would have difficulties withdrawing such technology as it is so easy for users and retailers alike.
    Thanks for posting as so much to enjoy, especially Springtime. Den xx

    1. Spain doesn't have the same PR that France and Italy have but I adore it - except Barcelona. But I need to go to Cordoba and the Galicia region next. But I now feel I must go to Seville every spring just bc it was so stimulating and relaxing at the same time. I said I wouldn't use tap and pay but it really is so easy - in fact - too easy! xx

    2. Why don't you like Barcelona? I love Spain, including Barcelona!

    3. Think it is a dirty, dingy, dump once you aren't in the main boulevard or by the port. But rest of Spain I adore.

  6. Good ol Millie! Oh the traveling you do. I will have to look into the card protector, I didn't know about this kind of thieving at all. Thank you for the PSA. Re Will and Kate, I feel very bad for saying this, but I am so over them. I cannot believe she showed up for an event the day after the terrorist attack in London, not wearing black, and smiling like everything was just fine. Just my opinion of course, pay no mind to it if it offends you. You know I love you and your blog! xx

    1. Re W and K - agreed. Many were but couldn't say publicly for a bit but then his not working and doing less than his grandfather who is ill and in his 90's swayed a lot of people! She needs an external council other than her mother and sister. But I heard the US doesn't really do tap and pay but do think about these as technology seems to get more evolved! xx

  7. I am a tad bit jealous of your trip to SPAIN.
    SORRY about Wills flying wheels.............
    I would want everything at AUCTION.
    LOVE that you keep buying roses!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I think it would be out of control if I had a proper patch of garden!

  8. Thank goodness Em didn't give you the picture of me in the bean bag chair. We need to meet up again in six months just so we can discuss our politics once again. Hunter was a bit devastated about Kate since he is quite smitten. Maybe it's that "fake news" we have in TN but she is still loved over here.

    1. Oh she has her fans of course but the PR campaign hasn't really lasted the literal and figurative honeymoon period. Yes please come again and there are so many restaurants we can eat and chat in!!

  9. I really like the auction display. So clever, and yes, makes you want to buy it all for your own place.
    That Altar in Seville is like some sort of Dolce and Gabanna set for their fashion shows. It's so ornate and OTT, but stunning!!
    I did not know that about cards, but will look into the sleeve thingy. That is really pretty scary that they already knew your Dad as he arrived!!! I always get nervous about the entry card thingy where they ask you to write all the dates you were last in the country. I can never remember and know that they just look it up on their screen anyway, so are they trying to trip you up? No wonder people get so paranoid.
    Sorry about the neighbours. It's always hard in an urban environment and noisy neighbours. Especially when they block traffic and you can't actually complain about them. Must be nice to be assured of a speedy passage through congested London traffic in that car though! xx

    1. That altar was really hard to digest and the whole thing is solid gold - not plated!
      Did you see the movie Snowden? It is pretty mind-blowing. the older i get i see why people move to the country but apparently those who move to the country say that there are issues over hedges and trees so unless you live out alone it seems there will always be niggles all around! xx

    2. Well i have to say that the country has its own problems, it's true. Dad's place is hardly peaceful on weekends as the hills echoes with the neighbours using their chainsaws as weekend warriors.
      I didn't watch Snowden... maybe I will, but I find the whole Assange thing and movie just so annoying for a bunch of reasons I won't go into here!

  10. i'm hopelessly drawn to novels of WW 2 - bombings, rationing, not knowing... this must portend something awful.


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