Saturday, 29 April 2017

Street Fashion: Bank Station

I love people watching. Both these women spotted in Bank tube station. Bold colour combos sported here.  The purple suede thigh boots are a frequent fashion item I see a lot, What do you think, fabulous or tarty? The other in orange leather ankle boots. I love boots. Another great pair I hankered after were red suede knee boots with gold metallic cube heels. Amazing. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Out of the Box

One of the things about living in, rather than visiting London is that you can go to obscure places. When I visited I never got much beyond the centre and it's famous and crammed attractions.
Here are some recommends from further out:

Dulwich is a lovely area with gorgeous parks, visit the tiny Dulwich Art Gallery with wonderful collection and posh glassy modern cafe, then go on to the Horniman Museum to see natural history, musical instruments and an aquarium.

Highgate is a delightful village with a village green and pretty shops, head towards the famous Cemetery for a tour or to see the graves of Douglas Adams and Karl Marx. Houses in Highgate below.

Hampstead is a very old spot with fascinating buildings. Wander the lanes of the town for a bit and pop into the little museum and cafe then get the bus up the hill to the heath and Kenwood House with its art and landscaped grounds.

Chelsea is vibrant, glamorous area a bit closer into London. Start at Sloane Square and visit the Saatchi Gallery for controversial modern art then head towards the river for Carlyle's House, a small evocative and thought provoking home with a perfect walled garden.

Chiswick, biased because I live there, makes a great day out. Head along the high street lined with bookshops and delis, to Chiswick House with its classical gardens, next door is the house of the painter Hogarth, now a small gallery and down to the old village by the waterside. There are historic pubs and a brewery too. 

And my final spot is Kensington High Street. Explore the giant church and back lanes with boutiques, the Design Museum and ruins of Holland Park House then head on to the magical Leighton House, the exotic art studios of a famous victorian painter.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Cutaway Architecture

Obsessive cutaway in pen and watercolour. Can you guess where it is?

Weird Fern

The fern on my balcony is growing new fronds for spring and they are really weird. Hairy, spirally, fractally, stems. Ferns are apparently very ancient plants. They have no flowers because flowers came later and the seeds grow underneath the leaves instead.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tube fashions

Seen from the tube. I love people watching and like to see what people wear. This gent was very smart but in hugely eccentric colours! Love it.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Summer in April

Yes, this week summer arrived. Or maybe this is spring in London, but by Aberdeen standards it is summer with 20C heat and sun. It's fantastic.
I also discovered I don't have many summer clothes, as this is not a thing we enjoy in Aberdeen. I got a bit big for all my old summer dresses and buzzed them out, leaving me with one self made one in polycotton and several jersey dresses which are more all season. 
So I bought some pink and blue madras fabric to make a dress. Also stocking up on light cardis and tshirts. We have fantastic oxfam shops here which takes you out of your comfort zone. You have to buy what they have. In Chiswick women like a slightly bohemian look with embellished tops, unusual fabrics and patterns. There are lots of boutiques selling scandinavian type fashions with loose shapes and arty jewellery.
Stylewise I am evolving too into darker or subtler variants of my fabourite colours, such as navy, burgundy, dull pink, aqua, khaki greens. I have been on several shopping trips with my stepmum Ying, it is interesting to see what other people like. She loves red and a more blingy modern casual look than me. 
I love the sudden summer although I got sunburn through my tights! The tights are off today which feels good. 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Carlyle in Chelsea

This is another picture for my backs of houses series. This is the back of the C18th Carlyle's House in Chelsea, which I visited with Leen. The house is unchanged since he lived there and so peaceful with a small walled garden. 
I had not really heard of Thomas Carlyle before so found out more in the excellent book Thomas and Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage by Rosemary Ashton. 
Thomas came from Dumfriesshire and went to the same school as Alistair! He was an extremely famous literary personality, historian and social commentator in the C19th. He was a critic of modern capitalist, industrial life but as he grew older became more reactionary with some very conservative and racist writings which have tarnished his reputation. 
Jane and he had a long and tumultous marriage. He was self obsessed and grumpy and she was self pitying and a hypochondriac, but they both had brilliant minds and somehow it mostly worked. Together they entertained all the great minds of the Victorian age in their modest house from Charlotte Bronte to Darwin.