another year gone in a blink, today is 6 years since eilleen passed away and we miss her even more. she came to spain with us whilst in her 70’s and loved the street life, the fact that old and young sat in the streets all night long. i recently discovered federico garcia lorca’s sketches of spain and am taken by his evocative words, his poetic prose magically expresses the spirit of the landscape – romantic gardens, splendid plains – its a beautiful book, that you can pick up and read sections at any time.
A romantic garden.
” Spanish gardens are disappearing. Tidy, symmetrical English parks are replacing them….Only very infrequently, walking along a deserted path leading to humble places, do we come across a shadowy deserted garden.
The romantic gallant soul of the eighteenth century beats along its avenue. The garden loves pallid ladies and gentleman poets. Twilight gardens from an age of sentimental dramas. Misty gardens that made Juan Ramon Jimenez, the great poet of mists, suffer so ……
The garden was alone. Pink and white hollyhocks flourish their flowering staffs among green waves of myrtles that run riot. The green dome of a pergola overgrown by a tea rose rises in the centre of the garden. Inside dry leaves cover a black stone table. The benches have sunk into the wet ground and a cascade of ivy does its best to hide them……”
this print of andalucian fields is in my book stolen glimpses and is also available to buy framed at tidy street store, brighton.
i have just finished reading Isabel Allende’s ‘ The Japanese Lover’ – i have to admit, it was the first novel of hers that i have read and although i found the ending somewhat unbelievable and rushed to reach a conclusion – i thoroughly enjoyed it – its romantic, informative and unpredictable. i wish that i could have read it in spanish, because i am sure that some of the translation lost some of her subtly and meaning. its a love story, quite like, Gabriel Garcia Marques’ love in the time of cholera and is an easy read, especially if you have a long train or plane journey ahead of you.
i loved this corner book stall in mumbai – english books piled high!
so we are always looking for stylish independent shops with great choices for gifts and to just treat yourself – and now i have found it tidy street store in brighton has just opened by my lovely friends Florence and Grace – both are THE most stylish females on the planet, mother and daughter team , so their choices encompasses both age groups, so there is definitely something for you. with their amazing eye they have both discovered a range of individual and mainly artisan products – its worth the trip to brighton. they are also now selling copies of my book.
a few other good shops worth visiting, 42 cold pressed juice, workshop with its beautifully simple home wears, igigi – clothes and general homestore with cafe upstairs, quince beautiful flower shop, utility – another shop similar to labour and wait; magazine has an amazing choice of journals and magazines – you can spend hours in there. there are definitely a lot of gifts to buy in brighton and its worth the trip just for a change of scene and some fresh sea air!
i was also introduced to gustamps – an old collection of stamps stored in boxes and boxes – choose a range of vintage picture 1st class stamps at only 45p each, much nicer than the plain 1st class stamp that now costs 64p. as long as it says 1st and is not franked, then its still valid to use. i bought some really cute beatrix potter and bird stamps.
you can still find a lot of vintage dress shops; i loved hope and harlequin in sydney street in brighton – lots of unusual dresses , especially for parties and special occasions; next door is wolf and gypsy , with a lot more affordable clothes, both for men and women. starfish vintage clothing has more daywear, and is also a bit more affordable.
we had lunch at silo, a restaurant wholly concerned with the environment and how to nourish our bodies respectfully. it was a very unusual menu, but tasty. apparently good for breakfast and tea and cakes.
i heard this track by james brown the other day……..
its been a strange time and an unpredictable world – i can’t guess what is going to happen next……
i have been bemused to hear comments about my book being very feminine – but why does this matter and does it make my book less important or worthy? in a world that is striving to bring equality to both genders, it still feels a struggle to make your mark as a woman. i stand up and accept that i am unashamedly feminine !
you can now buy my book from Paul Smith Mayfair, Circus Brixton Village and Society Club soho. read more about me in this week’s Ham and High and amazing to be on a what to buy reading list by Beauty Mart.
so I finally made my dream come true – a book that actually is all me! not one that someone has commissioned, or used a few of my photos, or have edited and sells their stuff, but one that actually reflects me and my eye view, my outlook on life, my desire to live each day as best as you can regardless of the roughs and downs that we all have to face with everyday life in this ever demanding world. of course, there are a few of my favourite photos that didn’t make the edit, but its an insightful story that glimpses the everyday, making the ordinary extra ordinary – together with the evocative words of my partner, Robert.
you can now buy the book from The Society Club or from myself; but there are only 200 copies, all stitched and traditionally bound in linen cover, embossed title and wrapped in translucent trace. there are 20 framed prints, mainly still life and landscape hanging in the society club for the next few weeks, so pop in for coffee into this suitably apt surrounding with its beautiful art and vintage books and enjoy the serene in what is a busy part of soho.
cannot believe the changes to kings cross, each month that i visit there are more and more buildings going up and events happening. today we walked along the canal banks, watching life on the banks – fishing, sunbathing, boats cruising back and forwards, runners, cyclists – its all happening down there. I still haven’t been to the new pond club – a temporary art installation that you can swim in! its open in the day and i am pondering whether i am daring enough to brave the cold! you can climb up to the nearby viewing point and take a peak! there is also the wonderful skip garden – a portable garden that uses the available land between the building sites and cranes of kings cross -it produces fruit and vegetables that are used in the skip kitchen cafe – definitely on my list of things to do. there are so many new restaurants around granary square, caravan, the greek larder, the grain store, dishoom and the newly opened Ligherman. I love the bookshop on the boat, word on the water with a saxophonist playing on top.
my super talented brother has spent most of this year helping me design my new book – which comes out 20th October 2016 . This has required not only patience but skill in juxtaposing so many varying images to work together.
Robert and I decided to collaborate on a beautiful art book to celebrate the time we have been living and travelling together. It will include more than 150 of my most striking pictures from the last decade, as well as a series of accompanying and specially written atmospheric pieces by Robert.
Stolen Glimpses has been made as a hardback edition limited to just 200 copies. Each book is numbered and signed by both Robert and myself and features a selection of images from all around the world; linked by a sense of serenity, sensitivity and place. Faithfully reproduced in full colour and printed on high quality art paper, the book is traditionally sewn in sections and is fully bound in cloth. The first 50 copies also have enclosed a special print exclusive to the book – this is an archival print signed and editioned. The book will be available to pre order in the next couple of weeks from the society book club in soho.
So a big thank you to Paul and hope you had a lovely birthday.