Thursday, 30 March 2017

Duchesses of Seville - Duchess of Alba and Duchess of Medinaceli

When one thinks of Seville, one thinks marmalade, tapas, and flamenco.

But one must note that this is also the capital of former formidable Spanish duchesses.
The Late Duchess of Alba and the 18th woman who held the title

The late Duchess of Alba, 
hereby referred to as Cayetana and 
the late Duchess of Medinaceli or Alcala
( there were many to choose from), 
hereby referred to as Mimi.
Duchess of Medinaceli when she was younger as she stayed away from the limelight in her later years

The two were the most titled aristocrats in the world and in that aristo-world outranked the Queen of England who was the Duchess of Alba's playmate as a child. Mimi actually held the title but when she found out she was going to be listed in the Guinness book of world records, she was horrified at the prospect and petitioned the King of Spain and gave away a few of her titles to her son and added that her cousin, Cayetana, would enjoy the limelight.

Spanish duchesses rarely get spoken about at length 
in our Anglo culture and 
gets outshined by the likes of the Mitford sisters 
( which did include an eventual Duchess ) and the Bouvier sisters.
Oddly, real life duchesses especially in the UK rarely get a look in.  
Of course, there was Princess Di whose nickname was "Duch".

Monday, 13 March 2017

Spring Mood 2017

While this may not be the height of garden design - 
in a public space, 
these things make all the difference to children and immediate tactile civic joy.

Pastel houses offset with cherry tree blooms are a joy to walk by.

But I also enjoy walking by utilitarian high street buildings in the east end of London with a pithy political statement.

'If we all spit together we can drown the bastards' by the late union boss Bob Crow

One thing that annoys me about London restaurants is they have an automatic service charge without the American 
- y'all have a nice day/want fries with that? service.  
They now include a cover charge when there isn't any olives or bread on the side. 
London is become a living edifice of a toll booth.

Maybe the cover charge was for the chinoiserie fabric covered loo doors?

The lit hotel in Park Lane looked very Miami.

I had a spa morning.

I took a picture under the real pearl chandelier/light fitting once but I wasn't in my bathrobe and it was on my wedding day.

The lighting is soothing and wish I could recreate it in my home but I am sure that it will need the lighting knowledge of a Broadway musical set designer or something.

While very nice and I would love it in my own home, 
this Ralph Lauren / orchidy / overly sleek look is decor saturation. 
My friend says she thinks it looks like the lobby of a high end bank.

I did like the literal version of rose water but then worried instantly after if there were pesticides on the petals.
Is it hard to source organic roses I wonder?
But a momentary question that I will never follow up on.

I do feel lucky to live near the park.
It is such a refuge.
There is always a beautiful and calming sight to distract oneself from being in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
This horse was doing some training.

My own plants are doing well.
The lemons which have been hanging on the tree have ripened and I might save it for a gin and tonic in warmer weather.

The nectarine blooms are divine.

Warms the heart because there is an isolation to winter.
There is a moment where I think - will it ever be spring again or is this going to be the second ice age that Europe went through in the Middle ages when it was cold for a few hundred years?

Bees must have been starving and of course I try and get plants in the limited space I have aimed for butterflies and bees.

So it really feels great to see them feasting on the flowers.
My brother tells me I am getting old when I start talking about my window boxes!

Have a good week x

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Overused Words of Late

I am fascinated by words and language.

I wrote in this post about some of my favorite words that aren't in English.

I love different accents when spoken in English and sayings from collection nations.

But there are a few words that have been grating like nails on chalkboard.


Paradigm shift



That's a lot of 'P' words!

Fake news - that is two but one rarely hears one without the other these days





despite Brexit

fashion trend



Millenial Instagrammer


live press conference



'So' - when starting a new train of thought or in the beginning of a sentence.  This is like starting a new conversation with - therefore.

I know it is an accepted form of vernacular presently but it still sounds like the beginning of a story that university girls will start with when they recount how they think their professor is hitting on them. Please don't use in professional setting.

Please feel free to vent!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Just when I was getting Decor Fatigue and a Hello

Hello!  I have so many unpublished and now defunct past its sell by date posts clogging up the world's internet data storage.  I shall do some digital spring clean because unlike many of you, I don't even have guilt that I haven't spring cleaned nor probably won't declutter like a born again, centre left aligning, 'this year will be my year' divorcee. 

But I am saying hello with a rather feeble attempt at a post.

Not that I need to, nor are you bothered, but I find editing on my new laptop really rather tedious.  I don't mind apple products but I do find their keyboards so feeble and anaemic.  I know some of you might get the old / new Nokia 3310 phone out of a ironic gesture but I may get it in earnest.

I have been in some sort of time vacuum and it is March already. I blame planning - I thought this year I would do what I normally do not do which is to plan.  I like spontaneity or so I said while I kept forgetting to plant bulbs or book a concert in the autumn season at the Royal Opera house. It is harder to do things on the spot in London especially as you will inevitably have to queue anyway.

Right - enough of this stream of chatting consciousness.

Please see the Ardmore collection by Cole & Son which I am tempted by.  And it has been a few seasons since I was taken by something decor related.

I blame Instagram.  

I know you are waiting for a padded out, wordy, sarcastic reason why but I know you know why.

Because I am becoming a middle aged old fart.

I called someone out who, with intent, left dog mess on the streets.  
In Britain, that is akin to a political movement few shades down from Brexit.

Have a lovely weekend x