Window Shopping – Jimbobart, E2.

I was having a wander around Brick Lane when I thought I would meander into Cheshire Street, there were some lovely cute independent shops but Jimbobart really caught my eye.  jimbobart5

Such a pretty shop, but what was that in the window, jimbobart1

a very good likeness of Pip our lurcher.  I stared at it and laughed out loud and knew that I had to go in. jimbobart2

And I was not disappointed, the plates are magnificent, I loved them all. Although I think the cheese and sandwich defender along with (Pip) the biscuit nibbler would be my three main choices.
























There are equally amusing mugs to enjoy with your tea party and if that was not enough. jimbobart4























There is a very big bear to share your honey and bread with,  but I don’t think he is for sale.










Carrot, coriander and lentil soup.

There comes a point in the Christmas festivities when you simply long for simple dining.  I’d reached my peak the day after Boxing day and jumped on my sledge to do a fast run back down to my normal with a big bowl of home made soup. Carrot soup 1

Using the ham stock carefully saved in the freezer, onions, carrots, lentils and coriander it was devine with many levels of flavouring, salty yes, but oh so delicious. Carrot soup 2

And plenty left for the following day.

On this occasion the recipe was,

2 onions, sweated in butter.

2 heaped teaspoons of ground coriander.

1 lb of carrots (approx)

1 mug of dahl lentils.

1 1/2 pints of ham stock

1 1/2 pints of water.

Add all the ingredients to the golden brown fried onions and simmer until the lentils are soft and then blitz.

Gingerbread men.

A couple of days before Christmas I made a batch of Gingerbread men, women and hearts. Gingerbreadmen 2

And popped them into a biscuit tin so that my evil plan could unfold on Christmas Eve.

Unfortunately, although in London, hubby was a tad busy helping son no.2 with some revision, but at 6.00 p.m. I called time and ushered him into the living room.  Gingerbreadmen 1

Where he was met with a myriad of coloured icing, sparkly balls and multicoloured chocolate treats.Gingerbreadmen 3

We filled the icing bags, popped the cork of a bottle of bubbles and then the fun began. Gingerbreadmen 4

We did have fun, hubby working on a Hipster! Gingerbreadmen 5

And I do love stripey socks in all mediums. (as well as very flamboyant waistcoats!)Gingerbreadmen 6

I especially love the ginger jazz player with the white jazz hands and blue hair, Toile and hubby’s hipster. Gingerbreadmen 7

And in these I think the reindeer is inspired and I love the rainbow dress with gold sparkly shoes. Gingerbreadmen 8And on occasion, there was a little 3d experimentation. Gingerbreadmen 9

Tucked away ready for Christmas.  I must say the amount of icing we used did make the Gingerbread go a tad soggy!  But we didn’t care. I think this is going to be one of our new to us traditions, it really was the best of times.

Ai Weiwei, Royal Academy of Art.

I must apologise for the delay in the writing up of this post, Christmas kind of got in the way.  I managed to get to see this on the last day of the exhibition and it completely blew me away.  The energy in his work combined with his political stance and sense of powerful emotion was clear for all to see.  Sadly it was a very quick visit, I would gladly have gone back to see it again and absorb the finer details of his work.

This first piece is in memory of 5000 children that lost their lives in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, mainly due to shoddy workmanship and cost cutting from the construction of the school houses. The Chinese government refused to investigate so Ai Weiwei launched a citizen’s investigation to create a list of the victims, which he did, the Chinese government promptly put him in jail for 81 days. Next Ai gathered together 150 tons of steel rebar from the sites of the collapsed schools in Sichuan and straightened them to make an installation which along with the names, ages, dates of birth and address of the children that died make a very powerful image.  Ai Weiwei 2Ai Weiwei 1

Ai Weiwei’s trees are simply beautiful and created a tangible presence in the courtyard of the RA.Ai Weiwei 3Ai Weiwei 4 Ai Weiwei 5

These are the pieces that I most wanted to take home – but you knew that!

Window Shopping – Barber & Parlour, E2.

Whilst wandering around Shoreditch I found this wonderful looking building,Barber & Parlour 1

What could be in here? Well after having coffee at Counter Albion  I was game on to try and find out. Barber & Parlour 2

How interesting. Barber & Parlour 3

And then as you walked into the foyer area you found them selling fresh fruit and vegetables. So cute!  Barber & Parlour 4

There were two bars serving gorgeous looking food, cakes and drinks and in every direction there was something different. This is the nail bar, Barber & Parlour 5

and this is the corner for purchasing beautiful things for the home. Barber & Parlour 7

Another corner to relax in with a drink. Barber & Parlour 6

And beauty products to buy. Barber & Parlour 8

Upstairs was a beauty parlour and hairdressers.  And I thought that was all, but on the way out I saw this, Barber & Parlour 9

and the manager asked me if I’d like to have a look, I replied I would love to quite enthusiastically. Barber & Parlour 10

And low and behold there was a beautifully appointed cinema downstairs. Comfy chairs with a blanket each with charming tables and scattered with lights, it was gorgeous, what a wonderful place to watch a film with friends.  I think Barber & Parlour would be the perfect place  for a bit of pampering, a tasty lunch, a gorgeous cocktail or two and to spend a few hours catching up with friends, whilst snuggling under a blanket watching the latest blockbuster – the new Star Wars film perhaps.