>Have a fun Saturday

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I am feeling completely homesick, so we are having a bowl of oats and then cycling to Borough Market near London Bridge to buy fresh veg and have a cup of coffee with family from Stamford…otherwise I might catch a tube to Heathrow terminal. When homesick, look to have fun…and stay away from the westbound Picadilly line.

>Tower of London

>Yesterday we queued in the baking sun [oh yes] for tickets to see the Tower of London, along with throngs of other tourists…it is really spectacular and strange to think your feet are walking on the same ground as Anne Boleyn or Katherine of Arragon. My favourties were the chapel of St John [I actually just stood in absolute awe], the sparkles of the Crown jewels and a walk along the walls looking on to the glittering Thames. We spent four hours within the walls, then sat on a bench below Tower Bridge and watched people walk on by in the afternoon sun…punks, an Asian couple in love, corporate women who walked barefoot with heels in hand. Then we walked the North Bank, lay in Hyde Park, browsed through Harrods and caught a long bus home, eating chocolate digestive cookies and watching everyone buzz about.

>I love Tate Modern

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Yesterday we had meetings in central London and were on a day mission: OPERATION OBTAIN VISAS. The absolute worst part about travelling is obtaining the elusive visa, or so it seems…with so much fine print and hours spent listening to automated voice messages, then giving up, making your way into the city to visit the embassies in person, only to be faced with queues, the information that the visa department is actually only open between 8am and 9am on Thursdays and every second Friday [or some such bizarrre information], and being given another phone number to call. This done in drizzle can only lead you to a strong, burnt coffee in a tiny Italian shop called “Bon Gusto”…to make you warm and buzzing with caffeine and full of gusto. We abandoned mission, headed to the TATE Modern, and simply immersed ourselves in art, took in the view of St Pauls from the top for a good amount of the afternoon, and had a fun walk back to Waterloo Station taking self photos, giggling, being silly, and feeling like we were on honeymoon…even on a grey day when we were supposed to get Shengan and Korean visa applications and information…

Some of my favourites at TATE Modern:

“Thirty pieces of silver” by Cornelia Parker, is an installation of thirty discs suspended just above the ground, made up of individual pieces of silver, which she found at markets and in antique shops [cutlery, silver plates, tobacco holders, eyeglass rims, trumpets…]. The artist laid them out on a street and organised for a steam roller to flatten every item. She then arranged them into coin-like circles, and every single item is hung individually to create thirty seeming discs hanging from the ceiling. It echoes Julias Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus for just thirty pieces of silver. Phenomenal.

Picasso’s “The Kiss”…simple pencil on paper…but it reminds me of the passionate and desperate first kiss of couples in love…which usually isn’t smooth and neat and ordered like on the screen, but usually messy, disheveled and rather grotesque in a wonderful kind of way. I had puffed up, natural cherry red lips for an hour after my first kiss…

“Red Room” is an artist’s room belonging to Robert Thierrien…and is exquisite to look in to! He started collecting red items years and years ago…until people cottoned on and started adding to his collection too. This room is full of the most unusual objects, all red obviously, not one dash of white ot any other colour…wool, ribbon, red plastic swans, red rainboots, candy, watering can, anything you could think of really! Such fun.

Two walls with framed photos of artist Roni Horn’s niece, Georgia, entitled “This is me, this is you.” It is made up of 96 chromogenic prints showing the little girl off in different settings, with glasses, without glasses, with different facial expressions, and different clothes. So simple, and so effective.

The artist’s room belonging to Andy Warhol, covered in his famous cow wallpaper and some of his effective lithographic-like works standing in strong contrast.

A room full of Soviet Union street posters, framed, from floor to ceiling was invigorating, overwhelming and awful. The propaganda seemed to reach out from the walls…but what awesome design. Our election posters seem dull and wimpish in comparison.

>Reminders

>By the time I am this old, I want to have certain attributes. I want to be able to bake a kick-ass, triple layer cake and ice it amazingly, I want to have children and grandchildren lying on the lawn and playing bouile in my garden surrounded by roses, I want to have travelled a lot, I want to still be waking up to my love every morning. I want to have lived a full life and spent a most of it walking with God. I want to be gentle, fun, peaceful, patient, joyful, kind, creative, thoughtful and still have a good laugh up my sleeve. I received one of those forwarded mails with tips on how to live life which I usually delete before opening. It had about 30 points in it, but I love these seven, probably because I am still trying to get them right. I especially, ESPECIALLY love #2
1. Pray.
2. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
3. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places [this is one of my biggest faults!]
4. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.
5. Live within your budget [yeah, baby].
6. Slow down.
7. Every day, find time to be alone.
Maybe these would make good post-its to pluck around the city. Philosophical and slightly mushy, but true.

>Thank heavens

>One of the things my love and I lay chatting about this morning is the remaking of my wedding ring…and I was once again saying that I would love Skermunkil to play a part in it with her enamel or Karoo ceramics…just one peek at these enamel hearts and you must know what I mean. I was just saying this morning how I wish Marietjie, the brain and creative behind Skermunkil would have a website…and then tonight I found out that she has a blog called Eendag op ‘n Reendag with some images on. I am so happy to be able to keep up with this talented woman!

>Post it across the city

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This is so clever and cool. These little illustrated post-its are plastered all over singapore, they are part of a project called ‘Things We Forget’ and the author puts up one post-it every day in random places with sweet and meaningful messages on them. To see these ones in their natural habitiat, visit Things We Forget. What would yours say and where would you put them?