Wednesday, May 30, 2012

For Unbearable Banishment

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More Cricket St Thomas

 The walk to the Barn

 The mysterious house.
 Fenocchi's excellent Italian Restaurant.  we had a glam night out.
 Garden decor.

 Our friendly neighbours.  Very nosey horses:)Past Imperfect
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Back Home to good News.

Some of you may remember that last year, on the advice of Daphne I entered my story in the Saga magazine Life story competition.  After a few months I checked if it was OK to use it elsewhere and was asked to be patient a little longer as I had been short listed.  I then heard the results would be out in July and decided that I would have heard by now if I had got anywhere.  I determined – after the holiday – rather than sit around like tripe at four pence I would put one last big effort into getting it published.

Back home the phone was flashing madly - it was – D – one of the judges, to say he had emailed me, I was a runner up and was I happy about my details being in the July issue of Saga and could I get in touch for a chat; that it was out of 5000 entries and I had reason to celebrate.  The bubbly was open before you could say knife.

I don’t know how many runners up there are but am content in the knowledge that D liked it and would like to talk further when things have quietened down, which probably means a trip to London but as MTL says – ‘You’ll regret it if you don’t go.’

Back to the holiday at Cricket St. Thomas: - designed in the Regency manner by Sir John Soane, Cricket House is noted for its glorious Grade II- listed gardens of mature cedars, maples and yews.  In c1328 the manor was bought by Sir Walter de Rodney, ancestor of Admiral, Lord Rodney.  Then in 1775 the estate was acquired by Alexander Hood, second- in- command of the Channel fleet during the Napoleonic Wars.  The vice- admiral’s heir Samuel Hood, married Horatio Nelson’s niece Charlotte, whose uncle and Lady Hamilton were frequent guests in the house.  Do you remember that old film with Laurence Olivier as Nelson and Vivien Leigh as an unforgettable Lady Hamilton?

Cricket House was Grantleigh Manor in that much loved TV series ‘To the Manor Born.’  The estate is 1,000 acres and there is a twelfth century parish Church of St Thomas which features the brocade cloth which adorned the altar at the Queen’s Coro9nation in 1953.

The estate includes lakes and gardens, farms, wild life and a sweet little puffer to view the sights.  At the end of each day, as we returned from some outing MTL would drop me inside the gates and I would walk the mile back to the barn we were staying in – up hill and down dale, stopping to chat to the llamas and berate the naughty lambs for sneaking out under the gate.  It was bliss.

Trouble posting photos so can't label them at present but if you read the above it should make sense.
More later.

Cricket St Thomas
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The nearest we have to Billie Holliday.
Probably the last post before we leave for a short break.  Back soon - keep the faith.
P.S. If you dry your used tea bags on the AGA to avoid a wet mess in the compost bin don't be surprised if your friends think you have fallen on hard time:)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hats off to Pudsey and his Mum

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Today's garden

 The lawn hasn't been mown - too much rain.  There's the church.

 Last glimpse of the sea before the leaves come out.  Yes you can see it- in the centre just below the headland
 A thing of beauty IMO.
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Today's Garden

 My much loved jasmine was hacked down as it had reached the balcony but it lives on and I rejoice.

 The first rose bud
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Vidal Sassoon 1928-2012

Posted by PicasaRIP Vidal Sassoon 1928 -2012

This is Vidal as I remember him and his wife Beverly who was his receptionist . 
An old post about when I firstmet Vidal.

Hair today!

Story contd.

Mum came down to stay and I really wanted to get her to do something about her hair. It was soft and silky – a strawberry blonde colour – that’s titian in my book - but she wore it in a long plait which she wrapped round her head like a hairy Alice band. I had my own hair done regularly by the top stylists, when they used me, but my personal choice was a Mr Ralph, who was employed by a new, up and coming hair dresser.  This was Vidal Sassoon

Although hairdressers were keen to use me, they found my hair (soft, fine and fly away) difficult until they got used to it. I would tell them the best way to cope with it, but hairdressers never listen to clients – it’s in their DNA. Once a whole session was ruined when the stylist put brilliantine on my hair in spite of my warning her what would happen. Not only did I look as if I had jumped in the pool; the sticky goo had to be thoroughly washed out again.

Mr Ralph was different – quiet and unassuming and a gifted stylist. Mum was doubtful about having her hair cut so I suggested she watched him do mine and then see how she felt. Thoroughly reassured she decided to go ahead. I rejoiced as I saw her lose the dreaded plait and at least fifteen years in the process. She now had a soft pretty style which allowed her natural curl the freedom it had been denied for years. Everybody was delighted – I just hoped Dad would feel the same.

I had chosen this particular salon as my regular salon, because it was a fun place – with rocking music, a real buzz, and discounts for the modelling profession. Some of the Mayfair salons were full of ladies dripping in mink and diamonds, which weren’t my scene. I had met the owner - Vidal -when he was just a young apprentice and he had been given the unenviable task of attaching a solid rubber ring-like a giant pessary- to my hair to represent a ‘Juliet’ hair style. It was an impossible task and the brushing got more and more violent until finally he flung down the brush, said he was a hair stylist not a (censored) genius.

Later he became world famous for his geometric hair styles – closely associated with the fashion icon Mary Quant. My type of hair was anathema to him and we had a friendly agreement for the rest of my modelling days that I would never ask him to cope with my hair again. My favourites of the many famous stylists were Steiner; who did wonderfully romantic styles, and French of London.

During Mum’s stay we had lots of chats but I didn’t talk about my marriage – I remembered her retort when Maddie’s was in trouble:

“You’ve made your bed – you must lie on it.”

We did talk about starting a family – she was just eighteen and Maddie not much older when they started their’s. I suddenly realised the next birthday I would be twenty –six; the bookings were pouring in and unless I made a stand, another year would fly by. But how would I break it to Paula? A fait accompli seemed the only answer; so my New Year’s resolution was to start a family. It was a wonderful release to discard all the family planning paraphernalia and by the end of January I was preggers.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Tyler James

The Voice UK

I’m a fan and particularly enjoy watching and listening to the panel:, Jessie j, Danny o’ Donoghue and the great Tom Jones.  Mind you only one of them can I completely understand (no prizes for guessing which one) but they are fun to watch.

I’ve been surprised at how ‘pitchy’ some of the singers are.  That’s Voice Speak for being what we used to call flat.
Each of the panel coaches a team of singers and they gradually get whittled down by both the viewers and the panel.  It gets emotional as the singers form a bond with their mentors and it must be awful having to choose between equally talented singers.

 On the whole I prefer the quieter ones.  Too much shouting is wearisome especially if there isn’t perfect pitch.

Two of the singers I particularly like are Tyler James who was a friend of Amy Whitehouse and used to sing with her – he’s a little like a young Bob Dylan, and Bo Bruce whose soulful eyes reveal her sadness at her mother’s serious illness.

There are a few serious contenders but no obvious outright winner so far.

 I was going to play both of them but they won’t embed on my post.  Is it to do with Windows 7 or new Blogger?  Your guess is as good as mine!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Passing thoughts

I’m reading a charming (so far) book just now.  Not on kindle –it was a birthday present from our French son: Agatha Christie – An Autobiography.
One day her mother was reading Dickens to her and kept falling asleep.
She said the following which resonated with me and I thought I would share it:

I remember how ridiculous she looked with her spectacles slipping off her nose and how much I loved her at that moment.
It is a curious thought but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realise just how much you love them!  Anyone can admire somebody for being handsome or amusing or charming, but that bubble is soon pricked when a trace of ridicule comes in.  I should give as my advice to any girl about to get married:
‘Well now, just imagine he had a terrible cold in his head, speaking through his nose all full of b’s and d’s, sneezing, eyes watering.  What would you feel about him?’
It’s a good test really.  What one needs to feel for a husband, I think is the love that is tenderness, that comprises affection, that will take colds in the head and little mannerisms in its stride.  Passion one can take for granted.
But marriage means more than a lover- I take an old-fashioned view that respect is necessary.  Respect- which is not to be confused with admiration.  To feel admiration for a man all through one’s married life, would, I think, be excessively tedious.  You would get, as it were, a mental crick in the neck.
But respect is a thing you don’t have to think about, that thankfully is there.  As the old Irish woman said of her husband, “Himself is a good head to me.”
That I think is what a woman needs.  She wants to feel that in her mate there is integrity, that she can depend on him and respect his judgement, and that when there is a difficult decision to be made it can safely lie in his hands.

I googled Greenway – Agatha’s Devon Home and there are some lovely videos.  I tried to download one to show you but it wouldn’t work.  For anyone contemplating a trip to Devon I should think
Greenway would be a must to visit.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Bridge- Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia

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Another Nordic Winner

Britain may have talent – but not enough to make me miss the first part of The Bridge – a Swedish-Danish TV production following in the hallowed footsteps of Wallander, The Killing et al.  It is shot in that curious grey gloom – neither colour nor black and white - which heralds dark doings.

There are two main protagonists Saga Noren a Swedish detective and Martin Rohde
her Danish counterpart.  Because the first killing leaves a body precisely in the middle of the Oresund Bridge which separates Denmark and Sweden, both countries are involved.

Saga is a strange colourless blonde completely devoid of vanity, self consciousness or empathy; her tee shirts look grubby – she will occasionally change them – regardless of any audience and her hair has the fluffy top layer that has gone beyond the greasy stage.  Clearly there is something amiss but she is good at her job, her colleagues are used to her and slowly Martin begins to appreciate her.

Martin is a large, likeable, bearded hunk - on his second marriage with small children and an older son from his first marriage.  He is painfully recovering from a vasectomy although his wife was already pregnant (unbeknownst to them) before he had it.

The killer is a politically driven murderer who thinks that killing the drop-outs from society will prove his point and he uses a journalist to get his message over. Apart from the killings there are interesting threads – the wealthy wife who is desperate to find a heart for her dying husband, the young girl who resorts to shop lifting when her mother ignores her and her father is occupied with his new family.

Martin, although happily married, has a difficult relationship with his elder son who lives with him.  Saga who lives alone appears to be self sufficient – when she feels hungry she eats and if she feels a sexual urge she goes to a club and asks anyone she likes the look of if they would like to go back to her flat and have sex with her. That out of the way she switches on her lap–top to examine the latest corpse with her new friend goggling beside her.

BBC4 are showing two episodes at a time on Saturday night from 9pm to11pm.  As I have said before I welcome the subtitles – no inaudible mumbling and no endless fiddling with the sound.  Just recently I have been watching a new DVD with the sound higher than we ever have it and still with a muted reception.  In the end I resorted to hearing aids.

Quite apart from bringing the killer to justice a great fascination of this series is the relationship between the two detectives; he finds her quite odd – who wouldn’t - and she is curious about him and his relationship with his wife.  In the last episode Martin courageously chases the disguised killer and ends up prostrate with a gun to his head.   The killer doesn’t shoot but kicks him – bursting his stitches and causing Martin to scream with pain.  The thought occurs – did the killer know about his recent op?

Later on when Martin is asleep in bed with his wife the phone rings.  It is Saga:

 ‘How is your scrotum?