letters live

had a really enjoyable evening at the freemason’s hall in covent garden with the final night of letters live – an evening of different artists reading letters – there were letters from Elvis Presley, Ted Hughes, the last letter from Kurt Cobain to his wife and charmingly a series of letters written by an english soldier, made a prisoner of war to his friend – which became a correspondence of love and getting to know someone – and in fact they did marry once he became free. there were letters that were inspiring, funny, poignant and sad – but a reminder of how letter writing was our only form of correspondence years ago and is sadly a dying art..  letters live was performed by a wonderful array of artists from Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliet Stephenson, Toby Jones  to Kylie Minogue and Tom Odell,   apparently each night was different, so next time its on, you must book tickets – its a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

what was really stunning was seeing inside the beautiful art deco interior of the freemason’s hall – if you dont manage to see it at an event, its sometimes open during open house week. 

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international womens’ day

today is officially named international women’s day to celebrate equality for women, from simply being more appreciated, respected and loved to acknowledging economic, social and political achievements – i think that every day should be like this whether you are female or not!

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street festivals

its lovely to see so many street festivals – yesterday we popped to the 65th year of bar italia in soho, and it was a lovely event, live music, great food, full of character, and i especially loved the vintage scooters parked up.   bar italia has always been a great stopping place at all times of the day – i always remember it even in my club going days as somewhere to go before making my way home.

next weekend is our albert street festival – when we bought the house 19 years ago, there was always a street festival, but then the lady who organised it moved away and its only just recently been revived.  traditionally there are 3 legged races, bouncy castles, bbq food – it should be fun!  i just hope that the weather stays warm and sunny.

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union chapel

we went to see the wonderfully entertaining nick lowe at the union chapel – what an amazing venue!  i had never been there before, but shall certainly look out for more evenings there.

churches now have to be very flexible with their uses  – with high maintenance costs, they are all opening their doors to help pay the bills.  the actors church, st paul’s church, in covent garden has its own theatre company, so look out for future productions. the garden is haven in the midst of the bustle of the market .

its lovely to walk around smithfields on a sunday when its quiet and explore – its strange how tranquil parts of london become on a weekend; but if you are there in the week, its good to visit st bartholomew the great – its a beautiful old church originating from the 12C – the cafe is open for breakfast and some evenings its open for cocktails – its very atmospheric! i saw a spectacular theatre performance there, so keep an eye out for events that go on there.

st lukes church in old street is a hawksmoor church that also holds lot of concerts and workshops, and its where the london symphony orchestra hold their rehearsals.  natalie (alfie’s girlfriend) actually sang a solo there recently with the camden youth jazz band.

st pancras old church, which has been a place of worship since the 4th century,  is another atmospheric church that holds concerts.

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feria

its the last day tomorrow for feria in seville – a wonderful and colourful experience – next year its from 21 – 26th April, a good time to  visit seville and see all the splendour.  my favourite shop in seville is antonio garcia for typical sombreros and andalusian wear – not forgetting the wonderful sombrereria maquedano, housed in a beautiful old store on the famous shopping street calle sierras.   which reminds me somebody directed me to the wonderful luton hats – a fascinating insight into the hat making industry in luton of all places – its one of the great things about blogging, people feed you even more information in return.

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last week we were lucky enough to catch the local vejer town feria – nothing like the scale of seville, but still a lovely experience;  the whole town takes part making the streets of vejer full of colour and excitement.

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hand of fatima

throughout andalucia, you can see the hand symbol on the doorknobs of houses – usually referred to as the hand of fatima, but also known as the hamsa. The hamsa is an ancient Middle Eastern amulet symbolizing the Hand of God. In all faiths it is a protective sign. It brings it’s owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.  we put one on our front door here in spain.

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easter eggs

love these eggs that talented artist Mary Mathieson,made for our ilovegorgeous shoot.

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Easter is a Christian festival and for Christians the custom of giving eggs at Easter celebrates new life. The first eggs given at Easter were birds eggs. These eggs were painted in bright colours to give them further meaning as a gift. We still paint bird eggs today but usually only chicken eggs.  my daughter loves to paint eggs, but you do have to be really gentle or they will easily break.    you need to pierce a hole at either end blow out all the liquid inside the egg, use for scrambled eggs, or bake a cake!  then perch your egg on a barbecue stick or on a chopstick and paint with acrylic paints.  you can always thread pretty ribbon through the holes and hang them – they look pretty cute.  i really like the tree that maude painted on this egg.

if you are in padstow, on easter sunday there is the annual easter egg rolling down the street – bring your own hard boiled egg – its fun to watch everyone dress up, roll their eggs and raise money for their favourite charity.