Tuesday, 23 April 2019



I suppose there's no way I was going to miss a ballet film, no matter how lukewarm the reviews - but sadly The White Crow really is just a plodding bio-pic. Quite an achievement to make the thrilling Cold War story of Nureyev's defection so very ... flat.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Tuesday, 16 April 2019



Photographs can't do it justice - but the Anish Kapoor exhibition at newly-restored Pitzhanger Manor (Sir John Soane's country house in Ealing) is quite magical in an Alice in Wonderland kind of way.
It would be entrancing for children who can be trusted not to touch!

Monday, 15 April 2019


Gorgeous day at Kew last week seeing these lovely Chihuly glass sculptures that always make me smile. Vermilion and cherry blossom ... why not! 










Cheered up my Monday morning by booking one of the last remaining seats to see Maggie Smith in this. I'll be perched on a restricted view stool ... but how many more chances will we have? It's her first time time on the London stage in 12 years.

Monday, 25 March 2019



Always a treat to revisit Starry Night. The town under gaslight and reflected in the blue river with the starry sky above. Think Whistler's Nocturnes.
Fascinating Van Gogh exhibition at Tate Britain made me look at many paintings afresh this morning (and book lovers will love it!).



Suddenly, everybody is painting sunflowers (or similar). 

Yellow Chrysanthemums, Christopher Wood, 1925

























Autumn Landscape at Dusk, Van Gogh















Van Gogh channelling Atkinson Grimshaw? (I've no idea whether Vincent ever saw his work but I'm sure he'd have liked it!)

Chill October, Millais



















But this autumnal Millais was one of his favourites. He saw it once at Christie's and never forgot it.  It's lovely - it hasn't reproduced very well here - and I don't recall ever seeing it before. 

Saturday, 9 March 2019



Really enjoyed this film last night about women chefs (and gasped at the misogyny of the men!) -
and I was fascinated to learn about the women who were winning three Michelin stars back in the 1930s. (Here and here.) So much more interesting than tales of men behaving badly.
The cinema was packed, many there seemed to be professionals (recognised Lord Bradford who owned the late-lamented Porters in Covent Garden).
I got chatting to two lovely young women who run a Ghanaian restaurant. Their £10 lunch at the old BBC studios is on my list of things to do very soon.