Monday, 16 May 2011

ups and downs

The up is - I've been awarded a blog award by Amanda at eight by six.

I think it's called a Liebster and, obviously, I would copy the logo but Blogger doesn't seem to be very helpful these days.  It's an award for blogs with less than 100 followers.  After nearly 500 posts, I'm up to 42 followers!  I'm not built for speed - on so many levels.

So, thank you Amanda.  I shall pass this award to:

Lou at The Archers at the Larches who is at 96 whole followers
Sue at The G-Spot on 28
Hausfra at Hausfrau who has amassed 12 followers in the short time she has been blogging

Like Amanda, these bloggers are interested in all or some of the same things I'm interested in.  It's blog awards for the girls here, no manly nonsense in this corner of the blogosphere.

So, what's been happening?

I went to Paris.  A week ago today.  I had a fantastic time between 8pm on Monday and about 2pm on Thursday.  Then I discovered my camera had gone missing/been pinched (the down).  Not a great end to the trip, particularly as I had to make a mad dash with my suitcase and extra purchase bag back to where the incident occured and then up to Gare du Nord, arriving the colour of Kapoor's Leviathan at the Grand Palais - deep red/purple.

I was hoping for a more sophisticated journey home, a little light sketchbooking and some proper coffee from Pret a Manger on the coach home.  Not to worry.  At least it wasn't my purse or my phone that found themselves adrift in Paris.  That would have been much, much worse.

I walked miles - 22,546 steps on Tuesday according to K's ipod nano.  It was great to be in Paris in Spring.  I've been once before in high summer and then the other times have been in the autumn/winter.  I still want to live there someday.  Not forever.  Perhaps for a year.  How this little plan might be achieved I have no idea.  It might have to wait on the backburner for a very long time.

This is the view from upstairs at Chartieres - a very traditional Parisian restaurant, touristy but authentic and with much-improved steak from the piece I had last time I came with college.  I treated K&I to snails - I had to - I couldn't resist.  It was fascinating to be in a city I love so much with someone who's the same age as I was when I first visited.  They were pretty delicious too.

So, in total, I have about 15 photographs and 2 movie clips on my phone.  The sum total of my collection.  Fortunately, I picked up reference material and made some notes along the way.  I'm now busy collating sketchbooks and projects for our final assessments this week. 

If you happen to be going to Paris before 23 June, see Leviathan, Anish Kapoor's Monumenta installation at the Grand Palais.  I promise you won't be disappointed.  Here's my first blog video clip:


This takes an awfully long time.  Should it?  Perhaps I should do something clever with Youtube instead?  One of the things on my summer list is to explore a few of my technology blackspots - video being one, photoshop being another.  This is definitely taking a long time.  I can't leave though.  Blogger is instructing me to wait.  I must listen.

Well, on another matter....I saw a Chagall exhibition here which was stunning.  One of the most beautifully put together shows I've seen....ever.  It contains a set of illustrations for the Bible, for which Chagall was commissioned.  I've seen Chagall paintings before but the prints were breathtaking in their consistency and simplicity.  S brought me an article about an auction of Chagall drawings made after the death of his wife.  If I had £600K knocking about, perhaps I'd make a bid.

Ah....the clip seems to have found its way to the post.  Good luck with viewing it.  I hope it works!

Have a good week.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

as Toyah Wilcox sang...'s a mystery, it's a mystery, etc, etc....

I thought I'd have a little look at my stats before I go away for a couple of days. I do this every so often, just to marvel at how the internet works things out. I find, however, that since organising my recent car insurance quote, I'm now being visited by some weird insurance website and some other web-based wotnot I don't recognise.

Is this some kind of spam? I wish I knew. In fact, I wish I hadn't looked so I don't have to have thoughts about it in my head.

On another, infinitely more exciting, matter. I'm off to Paris for a few days with college. I've probably told you already as I've told everyone who crosses my path and forgets to keep moving. I love Paris. I love Paris more than London. I love the Eurostar and I love a trip.

On another, quite exciting and more agricultural matter, the allotment had a bit of attention today. I amused myself by listening to Kanye's 'Golddigga' whilst digging - I know it's very inappropriate music for a lady of my age and location but I couldn't help myself and it made me laugh for a very long time. Some of us have got to get our fun where we can find it you know....

Have a good week - au revoir pour maintenant!

Monday, 2 May 2011

that was the weekend that was.....

I'm struggling to know where to begin.

Here are the aunt-related happenings I shall cherish from our fun-packed Royal Wedding weekend:

- my aunts arriving just in time to finalise their entry into the great cake competition at my daughter's primary school

- running across the allotment with decorated cakes and a mini-bride and groom and arriving just before the judging

- one aunt having to stay behind to be interviewed on South African radio about her visit to England and the mood of the country

- aunts winning said cake competition and wearing their fascinators whilst accepting the prize

- the ladies of the house drawing their prediction of the wedding dress the night before (congratulations, J)

- one aunt sporting a replica of THE engagement ring

- aunts wearing wedding attire for the duration of the wedding on the telly

- our matching sparkly-crown t-shirts (a triumph!)

- one aunt taking photographs of the telly to 'prove' she was there

- same aunt throwing confetti when the newly weds emerged from the church

- visiting our local pub and the only street party in the village and having a bottle of babycham between us

- taking in a Saturday morning tour of Wiltshire taking photographs of cow parsley, gates, fields, hedges, the bollards outside Highgrove, flags, lilac, bluebells, horse chestnuts, laburnum, viburnum, window displays, Tetbury, hedgerows, postboxes, fingerpost signs

- making a new draught excluder from my new Royal Wedding fabric (thank you, S)

- making cupcakes today with E as it's obviously genetic

I miss them already and I'm quite sure it would have passed us all by almost un-noticed otherwise. Come back soon!