we were really looking forward to this exhibition – its always a pleasure to see Picasso – and this exhibition concentrates on one year, 1932 of Picasso’s life when he really worked prolifically to produce an incredible amount of work – spurned on by the criticism that he was losing his superiority in the art world, but also by his new muse and lover.   definitely on your list – maybe go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

visited the lovely Garden Museum, which is housed in a church over looking the river – its not very big, but has interesting little displays of landscape designers, films and photos all celebrating British gardens and gardening.  there is a lovely cafe too, open for lunch and tea.


british museum

met my friend Amanda at the British museum, she is just here for a few days and wanted to see the exhibition ‘Living with gods peoples, places and world beyond.’   I have to admit, it hadn’t appealed to me, but in fact it was very interesting and the curation of objects from around the world and from many ethnicities is beautifully done.  ‘ seeing how people believe, rather than considering what they believe suggests that humans might be naturally inclined to believe in transcendent worlds and beings.  stories, objects, images, prayers, meditation and rituals can provide ways for people to cope with anxieties about the world and help from strong social bonds.  This in turn helps to make our lives well ordered and understandable.’

walking around the museum I was amazed at the wonderful collection of ceramics and artefacts all laid out in wood and glass cabinets around the museum, its a lovely inspiring space to just wander around.

these flags are light in weight and move gently in the wind, activating spirits which are carried away not the air.  anyone touched by this breeze is uplifted and happier.  the colours represent five elements:  sky-blue, wind- white, fire-red, water-green, and earth – yellow.  the balance of these elements is believed to bring health and harmony.

also did you know that there are regular free talks at Tate Britain on Monday and Wednesday at 1.15pm for half an hour about women artists and its free, how amazing  the culture on offer is in london?

getting the hankies out

oh my goodness – I didn’t expect that – so many tears, I won’t say in case some of you are going to catch up.  I thought that she might have lost her fingers and then resided to the country, but they have made everything so dramatic in recent episodes, that I should have guessed.   I have cried at most of this season’s episodes.  I love ‘Call the Midwife’, its a great piece of social history without all the terror and violence portrayed in Hollywood movies.

I also went to see Laydbird – a coming of age film that also reveals the trials and tribulations of a mother and daughter relationship.  I definitely saw myself in this depiction;  mothers and daughters have a very different balance to fathers and daughters, but there is also a very special love and bond that I think can never disappear, even if you think that the relationship is not great.  its an enjoyable film that really picks up on real life issues.  I think that Saoirse Ronan is a first class actor.

here are a couple of my latest cards.

two temple place

worth going to have a look at just for the extravagant interior – two temple place was originally built by William Waldorf Astor in the late 1800’s as his office – as Astor was incredibly rich there was no expense in building the architectural gem.   its only open when they have exhibitions and at the moment there is an exhibition that celebrates the Jazz Age. the exhibition, Rhythm and Reaction brings together painting, prints, cartoons, textiles and ceramics, moving film, instruments and the all-important jazz sound, to explicitly examine the influence of jazz on British art, design and wider society.  its free entry and there is a little cafe there to enjoy a cup of tea.

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cinema museum and phantom thread

its strange that I had never heard of the cinema museum before visiting this weekend;  tucked behind an estate the victorian building was formally a workhouse where Charlie Chaplin spent part of his childhood there;  its now home to a collection of old cinema signs and memorabilia.  the lofty chapel is used for events, such as talks and screenings.  there is also a 36 seat mini cinema room – the whole thing is run on a shoestring, manned by enthusiastic volunteers.  Robert and Jason (Solomons) hosted an evening of chatting and clips of Robert’s favourite New York and London films.  you can visit the space with its curious collection by appointment;  there is a cafe too for tea and cake.  sadly its under threat due to the building being sold by the council and at risk of being sold to the highest bidder – i.e. new developments – please sign the petition to keep it alive.

Robert and I went to see Phantom Thread and without spoiling the storyline – we both really enjoyed the film.    slowly paced, its a film about creative passion and the relationship between a couturier and his muse – beautifully shot, with 3 great actors, its definitely worth seeing. I have always loved Daniel Day Lewis and will be very sad if he never acts again…..

villages in Suffolk

when discovering Suffolk, I find that you usually explore all the coastal towns first – there is something about the sea that beckons you.  one you have visited them all, you start choosing the many inland villages and towns.  Framlingham is a market town inland from Aldeburgh, there is a central square, where  a Saturday market is held.  there are also a couple of quality antique shops, ‘dix sept ‘and ‘in da cottage‘,  there is also a castle, which I have yet to visit and a great pub, the station hotel which serves very good food.

Orford is actually not far from the sea, but is on the edge of an estuary and for a surprisingly small town has many good food options, including the butley Orford oystery, Pinneys shop selling all kinds of seafood delicacies, pump street bakery, crown and castle.     look out for the next slow living fair – which hosts an array of local artisans selling beautiful high quality wares – they usually happen in the autumn just before xmas.

Yoxford has a lovely art gallery, Rowe and Williams, that showcases a mix of local artists works from early 20C to contemporary artists now – the focus being about Suffolk, but also includes some hand made lamps, graphics and ceramics.  there’s a restaurant Mains which opens on fri and sat but apparently is very good and an antique centre, Yoxford Antiques that shows about 25 dealers – anything from mid century furniture to ceramics and trinkets – I actually picked up a lot of the furnishings and accessories for the cottage from here, including lamps, chairs and tableware – all very affordable.  I recently found this monogrammed linen runner that I couldn’t resist with my initial C embroidered on it – there was actually a big collection, but I just resisted and bought one piece.  I am such a glutton for collecting linen pieces, but hate to use them in case they stain.


getting to the cinema

I have managed to get my husband to the pictures twice this year already – first Paddington and now Three Billboards, outside Ebbing, Missouri which was enjoyable enough, but I did feel that it was a comedy that enjoyed the use of violence a bit too much centred around stereo typical characters.  I realise that its a dig at Americans and their culture but I didn’t feel emotionally caring about the 2 main characters – of course you felt for the mother and her loss, but see for yourself;  the acting is very good and the script very original and well written.

its also your last chance to see the art of Basquiat – an in depth exhibition of all his works, including early graffiti, paintings and films, it shows what a loss of great talent at an early age.  its a very busy show, but I noticed that its open til late most weekdays.   I finally bought myself a museums association card, that not only helps museums exist, but gets you into a wealth of galleries for free.  I have gifted this to a lot of student friends for birthdays, my son now just renews it himself , he loves it so much.

I love the barbican, if you are around on a Sunday go and walk round the conservatory garden – its just amazing.  I think you need to book for afternoon tea in there though.  if you are feeling really cultural, you can see the Basquiat, have tea in the conservatory and then watch a film in barbican cinema – what an amazing day that would be.