Wednesday 15 November 2023

I haven't been to a Nutcracker in years - I think I was Nutcrackered-out - but this jazzed-up performance at the toasty-warm and cosy Tuff Nutt Jazz Club last night was great fun, brilliantly colourful and very inventive. So close to the dancers you can see their plastered toes and bunions - ouch!

Monday 13 November 2023

Happened on this Pauline Boty self-portrait when strolling through the National Portrait Gallery last week - the only stained glass work in the collection, and she was 19 when she made it. In real life, it glows.

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Get there while it's still fresh! Though I imagine that only crumbs will be left by the end of the week. The quirkiest afternoon-tea experience in London (and it's free!) has to be An Edible Family in a Mobile Home outside Tate Britain ... just follow the scent of vanilla and knock on the door of the pre-fab. (Well, by tomorrow there will probably be a long queue!) Yes, it really is an edible family - lifesize mother, father and three children made out of real cake, and visitors get to nibble them with a doll-size cup of tea. (Actually, the mother is a mannequin with a teapot on her head who serves biscuits from a flap in her tum.)
This is the coconut sponge baby in her cot. Artist Bobby Baker created the original edible family back in 1976, when she was 25; the figures are based on her real life family, and she was the youngest. She is 73 now and was pouring tea in the pre-fab kitchen, wallpapered with pages from 1970s' Woman's Owns and Good Housekeepings and Woman's Journals ... well, that took me back!
This is her father - a very nice rich fruit cake, slumped in front of the telly, watching Charlie Drake. Sadly someone (not me!) had already trodden on one of his fruit cake feet because it is a bit cramped inside the pre-fab. (A reconstruction of Baker's 1970s home.) There is also her older brother, made of Garibaldi biscuits, sitting in a bathtub of dirty vegan chocolate cake water, and a teenage sister made of meringues. Strangely poignant, reading the old newspapers pasted on the walls with headlines picked out in icing - Austerity Britain was a front page splash in 1976, so nothing changes. And I can't imagine how it would feel to see strangers nibbling your family. If you don't make it before the cake goes stale (it's on until December 3), the exhibit returns freshly-baked in March/April next year.