whitechapel gallery

haven’t been to the whitechapel gallery for a while and was pleasantly surprised to see that it has been extended;  there is a new exhibition on, ‘the end of love’ – with a variety of works, including a lovely print by man ray and a hauntingly beautiful sculpture by don brown.  i  particularly loved the piece titled ‘bread’.  the cafe is nice for a tea break too.  follow on with a short walk through the wonderfully atmospheric streets of old georgian london – fournier street and princelet street, leads you to  verde and co, selling teas and chocolate and available for lunch some days, its actually in a temporary pop up space for the next month. sadly soaring rates have forced this independent to move.  i bought a couple of lovely teacups from there.

along the estuary

always on the look out for interesting things to see and do to break the journey to suffolk, i have started to look more towards the suffolk/essex border. travelling home from the cottage, the furthest beach point of Aldeburgh then leads to the villages along the estuary – Orford being one of the prettiest, with its Georgian houses, village square and church – its also a spot for sailing, bird watching and good food.  there is the famous  Pump St bakery and simple seafood at Butley Oysterage – which i have yet to savour.  there is also the hotel and restaurant  the Crown and Castle that looked interesting.  orford also has a castle to explore too.  travelling towards the essex border you will find Manningtree, situated on the river Stour, with the village of Mistley a short walk away.  Mistley retains some of the grain mills by the quay – glorious victorian warehouses that tell stories of years gone by.  we had delicious lunch at Mistley Thorn – offering  a daily special menu that is very good value.  close by is the North House Gallery, set on the ground floor of a handsome georgian house, which has a beautiful curation of works, usually landscapes and in the back room wonderful letterpress machines used by the curator herself.   Mistley kitchen not only sells a selection of cookery utensils, but hosts a variety of cookery courses.  and less than 15 mins drive away is Flatford, the home of John Constable and the setting of one of his famous paintings, the Hay Wain.  Sadly we chose a rainy day to visit ,but it was still a beautiful place to visit and i will definitely return again.  i noticed that there are lots of residential courses there too.


plums are in season at the moment and are a good source of vitamin C and although they taste sweet, apparently dont spike your sugar levels; if you are lucky enough to have a plum tree, then this is the time to make plum jam,

Plum Jam

1.5 kilos plums
500 g   3:1 jam sugar (for 3 parts fruit to 1 part jam sugar)
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 cloves
1 vanilla bean
1 glug lemon juice. (ie 2 tablespoons)

Wash the plums. Take stones out and cut. (I cut every half in 2-3 pieces)
Mix fruit, juice, sugar and spices (vanilla bean scratched out but adding the outside too).

Slowly bring to a boil. Boil heavily for 3 minutes (according to sugar package).

Fill into sterilized jars – discarding vanilla bean and other spices.  (an easy way is to wrap in muslin so making it easy to remove)


going back to my post about churches – its so lovely that these grand places of worship that were once the centre of people’s lives in days gone by, have now become more modern and creative with their usage and unite the community again. last night we went to listen to Gregory Porter singing the beautiful lyrical songs of Nat King Cole with an orchestra in St Lukes Church in clerkenwell.  apparently the roof was missing for years, until the london symphony orchestra decided to use it as a rehearsal space and hence its now intact again.    some may criticise the point of religions and blame the divide in countries and the onset of war, but we wouldn’t have these wonderful buildings without religion.

i love the songs of nat king cole – so romantic  – they take you away from the stark realities of real life.  my favourite being unforgettable

we have seen numerous artists at the union chapel – what an amazing venue!    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 pancras old church, which has been a place of worship since the 4th century,  is another atmospheric church that holds concerts.

i first saw st barnabas church in soho recently and was taken back by this gem of a church right in the busy centre;  its attached to a member’s club now,  but non profit making aiding homeless people into work;  there is also the added benefit of a beautiful garden.

and here are the details of the beautiful church of blythburgh in suffolk, with its carved wooden angels, its simplicity really makes it one of my favourite interiors.

Unforgettable, that’s what you are
Unforgettable though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

Irving Gordon



every week i seem to have a favourite flower –  basically i think that i love all flowers – white irises remind me of the wings of a dove – apparently  the white iris symbolises purity and kindness; in Japan, it is believed that the Iris flower has the power to purify the body and protect the household from disease and evil.  for me, all flowers have the wonderful tool to change emotions, stir calm and emotion – they are natures w o n d e r.

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