This is a shoe shop. A wee joke do you think?
My friend Eileen particularly liked the sign that said 'Ears pierced while you wait'....
Jane Brocket at www.yarnstorm.blogs.com/
has written a lively review of the Hockney exhibition which makes me want to jump on the train and go and look. (If it wasn't nearly 500 miles away, and then crowded when you do get there....)
When the electricity and phone were cut off earlier this month I wondered if I was being tested on 'living simply'. Today we have no water -
it's getting ridiculous!
Well, John Lewis, since you ask...
I'm getting ready for another marathon writing session.
Last February, I began to write a novel, with a target of 50,000 words, to be written in one month! I didn't meet the target - I wrote half a novel - but I had a great month.
Previously, the month of February had been the real low point of my year. I used to tell myself I hated February and dragged myself through it in a pretty miserable manner. I wouldn't have believed I could look forward to February arriving! But February 2011 was fabulous, and I expect February 2012 to be at least as much fun (am I really putting the words February and fun together? And meaning it? Wow!).
I will finish the novel this February.
....what are you getting ready for?
I'm still on about Edinburgh (we were only there for two days, but we packed a lot in!)
Our museums simply get better and better. The National Museum of Scotland has just had a major refurbishment and the results are excellent.
Why bother with Disneyland when you can have this? The place was full of happy children, and full of things for them to do. Theatrically lit, it got progressively more dramatic as the daylight faded.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
The facilities are extensive and wonderfully family friendly.
And its free!
Here are three of the small watercolour paintings I took to Roger Billcliffe Gallery in Glasgow yesterday, and the new banner is how the weather was looking as I was leaving home! It snowed some more throughout the day, and the moonlight on the mountains as I came home was so beautiful - inspiring more paintings....
From left to right they are Here Comes The Snow, Moonlight on Cold Water, and The Big Freeze. Price £185.
Please click on the images to enlarge.
The exhibition 'Postcards 2012' begins on Saturday 4th February, and you are invited to the private view from 11am - 2pm if you are anywhere near enough to come!
Enquiries and information : www.billcliffegallery.com
One 'legendary' Edinburgh establishment disappoints. It seems to me to be resting on its laurels and out of touch in the 21st century.
I'm an artist and a designer so I notice, and care, how a place looks. If I have the choice of eating good food in a dull and scruffy place or in attractive surroundings I'll choose the second any time. I'm not alone in this I'm sure (and you don't need to be a designer to care about it..I think most people would feel the same).
This wholefood bistro falls down in the decor. It has a touch of Indian with dark red walls and chandeliers, Country House in the unmatched, elaborate, gilded frames on the three blackboards, a bit of fish and chip shop style in the salt cellars, the bottle of salad dressing decidedly Italian, the tall drinks glasses with a Scandinavian look, quite elegant, which cannot be said of the sad, drab, unhygenic and very 60's look (but not in a nice way) carpet tiles! Arty crafty cushions featuring unravelling fabrics, Moroccan lanterns, without candles, and clumsy folksy lettering on the door to the loos add to the confusion.
Masses of clutter - extra chairs, brochures, collecting boxes, tatty posters for events long past, and vases of flowers which needed the water changing.
In short, a mess.
The food was good, but I won't be going back.
Rant over....but I get so annoyed when things are done so badly. Everywhere needs an overhaul after 50 years. You have to do better than this Hendersons!
About as far removed from the simplicity of Peter's Yard as you might get (see yesterday) is The Dome in George Street. First drawn through the door to wonder at the incredible over-the-top Christmas decorations, we decided to eat in The Club Room.
The Dome was built as bank in 1847. Opulent and ostentatious in the extreme, and designed to impress, it's a visual feast. The food was good too (a generous starter and a glass of wine made a nice light supper).
I plan to sit in their Garden Cafe in summer, and may skip lunch and do afternoon tea one day if I'm feeling a bit grand....
Simple it is not, and my first choice would always be Peter's Yard, but a bit of posh is fun once in a while, wouldn't you agree?
(And yes, the lighting really is this gaudy!)
Peter's Yard in the university area of Edinbirgh known as The Quarter Mile (close to The Meadows) was a lovely find recently.
A Swedish cafe, eco-friendly, fresh, clean, welcoming, delicious food and a swirl on your coffee to put a smile on your face.
See more here www.petersyard.com/gallery/
I will certainly go back, perhaps to try their 'no compromise' pizza.We like to keep things simple so that we can do them well,
they say, which just sums up all the things I like about Sweden and about trying to live more simply.
Urban Angel in Hanover Street do a pretty coffee too, and a very good almond croissant....
It's Making Winter Week for January and here is my design for a Bedtime Treasure Quilt, the idea being that part of baby's bedtime routine is wiping noses, reading the book, and tucking in Teddy (all in the pockets among the moon and stars).
I've lost count now of how many of these I've made!
I have a number of hand made quilts, knitted and faux fur throws which only come out in winter, and only get used in the really cold weather, but tucking up on the sofa with one on a wild or frosty night is one of winter's simple pleasures, don't you think?
Hop over to www.silverpebble-jewellery.blogspot.com
to see what others are doing to Make Winter cosier, or tastier, more creative or just more fun....
FIVE.. In his lecture The Beauty Of Life, given in 1880, William Morris said
Believe me....we must clear our houses of troublesome superfluities that are forever in our way..
If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it. Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful .
He continued: ..and if we apply that rule strictly....we shall surely have more money to pay for decent houses. (I like that last point, and I had not heard this part of the quotation before.)
So, is it useful? Is it beautiful?
If yes, keep it, if no, let it go. After all, why would you want to keep things which are useless and ugly!
In the same lecture Morris stated 'If I were to say what is at once the most important production of art and the thing most longed for, I should answer, a beautiful house.'
..tomorrow Making Winter again....
FOUR..Pick each item up, one at a time and ask -
Does it fill you with joy when you look at it?
Does it give you energy or drain your energy when you look at it and/or use it?
Pause a moment. You will know!
..tomorrow....ask the classic William Morris question..