Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2015

I  look forward to the Summer Exhibition at the RA, but to be honest the last two years just haven’t been as exciting.  But this years is wonderful.  I don’t think they have rammed as much in, which makes it less is definitely more and the artwork itself seems much more intense or/and finished. I really have enjoyed my first visit, its been an absolute pleasure and I’m looking forward to tripping around again with hubby.  Here are just a few photo’s to wet your appetite.

Streatham Common Annual kite Day.

Having seen this advertised on the Londonist, I just knew we had to go,  we caught the Victoria line and stayed onto Brixton deep in the south of London and then caught the bus to Streatham Common, we knew when we were getting near as kites lit up the sky line.  My excitement was such that I was willing the bus to stop so that I could jump off and get a proper look. Kites 1

Batman patrolling the London skies looking for crime.

Kites 2 Catwoman was by his side, eager to help should the need arise. Kites 3

Parrots squawking supportive squawks.

Kites 12 I think Long John Silver must have skedaddled on seeing Batman, but we still have Tick Tock the crocodile. (it might not be that!)

Kites 17 Smorg the dragon was coming up the rear. Kites 24

And Super Ted ? This crowd cheers.Kites 23

And a rather cute frog.

Kites 4 Last but not least a family of very cute pigs.

And then we had a rather death defying feat, I’m not sure if he was meant to go this high…  I’ll let you be the judge, I think he was a bit concerned and when the commentator asked if he was going to repeat the performance he replied with a definite No.

Kites 6 Starting off, he’s going pretty fast by the way.

Kites 7 And a little bit higher, we can still see the trees.

Kites 9 And still just see the tree’s.

Kites 10 We’ve lost the tree’s but he’s still going higher. Kites 11

And higher.  It was quite crazy. Kites 22

There were kite performances Kites 21

and lots of lovely shaped kites. Kites 18

Including brightly coloured spinning kites.

Kites 19 And everybody had bought a kite to fly, kites as far as the eye could see. Kites 13

And there was wonderful food, Jerk chicken and goat curry .

Kites 14 Along with pick your own fish Kites 15

and have it cooked for you,

Kites 16 served with fresh bread, olives and other tasty treats.  I saw other peoples it looked delicious, I opted for the curried goat, beans and rice, salad and plantain which was very good.

And if the day could not get any more perfect, just occasionally and out the corner of your eye, Kites 20 bubbles floated across the common.


Liberty, how we love thee. It had been ages since I’d made the turn left and left again detour from Oxford Circus, I probably could use the exit named Argyll Street, but I still love the buzz of walking slap bang into the middle of Oxford Street and being nearly overwhelmed (in a good way) with whats going on.  And I needed to go, because I needed to spend my ten pounds voucher that had come months ago before it went out of date or I stuffed it in a draw and forgot about it. Liberty 1

I really love the way they use their ships mast, which if you enter the store from Great Marlborough Street lets you see right up to the 4th floor.  It is always wonderfully decorated and today we were met with lengths of Liberty fabric festooned around it. Liberty 15

We had hardly made it more than a few feet into the building when hubby – and this is unusual for hubby – squawked ‘look at that hat’.  So I looked, Liberty 2

and it was indeed a thing of beauty, and you all know how I like a hat.  It was considerably more than my ten pounds voucher, but hubby looked very keen and I tried it on and unusually for me what with my large head for a lady, it fitted a treat.  The rest, they say, is history…  something to look forward to for the autumn.  (although it has been to knitting and everybody love it!)

Liberty is such a pretty store. Liberty 3

that occasionally I get carried away Liberty 4

and ask the price.  I can’t remember whether the chap said twelve or fourteen thousand…  It’s made of silk, isn’t it gorgeous.  If anyone wants to become a benefactor to the ‘wouldn’t Mandy love this rug’ cause, I wouldn’t say no.   And my ‘of course I knew that’ walk as I glide away trying to hide sheer embarrassment is getting better.

But you just can’t help yourself in Liberty, Liberty 5

their items are just Liberty 6

gorgeous. Liberty 7

I always think its a little bit like going into a museum, its quite like the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, but you can buy stuff.  Liberty 8

Antiquities galore. Liberty 9

I loved this horse so much. Liberty 10

TLiberty 11hese mirrors are pretty.

And what’Liberty 12s not to love about Rowan.

Not such a sunny SundayLiberty 13, but we are very happy inside.

This poodle, with a perfect pompom haircut. Liberty 14

And Look, its our lurcher PiP !!!!  How did he get there?  Paisley really suits him.



Portobello Road Market – Wednesday.

Having been tied up with this and that I’ve hardly been out of the house of late, apart from a meal out for my birthday and a quick trip out last Sunday, so feeling like I was suffering from cabin fever I set forth to discover what Portobello Road Market was like on a Wednesday. Portobello Road Wednesday 1

Bit quiet isn’t it?  Compared to the throngs of crowds on a Saturday. Portobello Road Wednesday 2

There are many lovely shops to discover, even though I spent a solid five hours exploring I’ve only scratched the surface.  This shop was cute, Biscuiteers iced biscuits from Beatrix Potter’s childhood characters. Portobello Road Wednesday 3

And a wonderful seaside display. Portobello Road Wednesday 5

Down a side street I discovered Books for Cooks,  Portobello Road Wednesday 7

A treasure trove of just cookery books, absolutely incredible. And, they test recipes from the cookery books  in their little cafe at the back and three courses is £7.00, I didn’t try but it all looked and smelt lovely. Portobello Road Wednesday 8

There was the ribbon shop to admire Portobello Road Wednesday 9

and fresh flowers. Portobello Road Wednesday 10

Lovely peaches and apricotsPortobello Road Wednesday 11

and cherriesPortobello Road Wednesday 12

and huge globe artichokes. Portobello Road Wednesday 13

The colour and size of these radishes just blew me away.  Portobello Road Wednesday 14

There were enchanting headdresses Portobello Road Wednesday 15

and beautiful scarves. Portobello Road Wednesday 16

A wander into Cath Kidston revealed this bus stop sign, it did make me giggle. Portobello Road Wednesday 17

And I have several friends who would love these pretty aprons whilst baking their bread. Portobello Road Wednesday 18

La Cava a Fromage  this cheese shop was simply mind bogglingly excellent, absolutely extraordinary.Portobello Road Wednesday 19

To illustrate, this is just the selection of the goats cheeses. Portobello Road Wednesday 20

And if I’d thought I could have got this extremely ripe Gorgonzola home without it completely dissolving in the heat, I would have bought it, either that or asked for a spoon and some good bread, it would have made the most perfect of impromptu picnics.  Portobello Road Wednesday 21

And then I found Hummingbird Bakery, and this time I managed to get into the shop, last time the queue was a mile long. Portobello Road Wednesday 22

And then there was the import decision making process of which piece to take home.  Should it be the Red Velvet cake. Portobello Road Wednesday 23

Or the Rainbow cake. Portobello Road Wednesday 24

Or perhaps the Lemon and Raspberry Ripple cake. Portobello Road Wednesday 25

But then I found my one true love, the Chocolate and Malt cake, you should have seen the slice that she cut, it was huge. Portobello Road Wednesday 26

All Saints have a very impressive selection of old Singer sewing machines. Portobello Road Wednesday 27

There were some lovely old signs, who wouldn’t want a children’s stop sign for their children to play with. Portobello Road Wednesday 28

I loved this pig, Portobello Road Wednesday 29

Just wonderful bric a brac. Portobello Road Wednesday 30

at every turn. Portobello Road Wednesday 31

I do think Clarabelle was a very fine pig.  Wouldn’t that look lovely in your kitchen, I’d love it. Portobello Road Wednesday 32

The cherries are just starting to ripen, I’m sure the blackbirds will love them. Portobello Road Wednesday 33

This almost unseen Portobello Road Wednesday 34sign is a real treat.

A shop selling sneakers, Portobello Road Wednesday 35

that goes on and Portobello Road Wednesday 36

on. Portobello Road Wednesday 37

That huge piece of cake made it home and I ate it for my supper, Portobello Road Wednesday 39

and to add balance tempered it with some bright spears of asparagusPortobello Road Wednesday 38

and fresh cherries. Portobello Road Wednesday 40

And now to stretch out with a new cookery book and a new to me food magazine.  Such a lovely, lovely, blissful day.


Birthday Weekend.

Birthday 5

There was lovely homemade sourdough toast, fresh butter and marmalade accompanied by good coffee to start the weekend mornings. Birthday 14

This really was the best loaf I’ve baked to date, it was the first cold oven sourdough bake and has been patiently waiting in my freezer for this very weekend, the flavour was just wonderful.  I’m loving the structure of the loaf, you can really see the wild yeasts at work. Birthday 6

Hubby and I decided it might be quite nice to trot around Marylebone for my birthday treat and it was wonderful. I hardly took any photographs and hubby has wandered off with his, so I’ll have to see what he has later in the week. Birthday 7

I loved this loaf of bread, somehow saying ‘loaf’ doesn’t quite convey the meaning of this giant magical beast, I would have loved to have bought it, it probably would have made me giggle all week. Birthday 8

Even the charity shops have a certain glamour. Birthday 9

We found one of my favourite shops, Anthropologie, I could spend serious amounts of money playing with their pottery, nick nacksBirthday 11 and soft furnishings. Birthday 10

And then… We found this… and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Birthday 12

Is this not the most beautiful book shop you have ever seen?  It was at the end of the day when we found it, we were tired, we are so going back to spend a couple of hours just browsing. Its called Daunts Bookshop and if you are passing whilst in Marylebone, you must pop in, you really must. Birthday 13

So for my birthday presents it will come as no great surprise to find some lovely cups from Anthropologie, they just make me want to drink good coffee and fine tea all day, and a spanking brand new reading book from Daunts.  So happy.

Then hubby took me out for a lovely Italian meal and I got to wear my gorgeous new party dress from the January sales. Birthday 1


Birthday 2


And then I just need to twirl and twirl and twirl whilst singing “The Hills are Alive  from The Sound of Music”.   Completely Bonkers!Birthday 3

Laughing my head off. Birthday 4

And my lovely hubby, who knows I am bonkers anyway.

It was a great birthday, I feel very blessed.