Tuesday, 10 April 2012

David Hockney At The Royal Academy

By Leluu
A friend called from Zurich and said, The David Hockney exhibition at The Royal Academy Of Arts ends this Monday 9th April. I am on my way, can I invite you to come with me?

The suggested waiting time to buy a ticket was 3- 4 hours so we booked to have Afternoon Tea at the restaurant which comes with a ticket. Not a bad idea for queue swerving!

Hockney was approached by The Academy to create and exhibit a new series of paintings a few years ago for 2011 but he said, with what he had in mind, he could only do it for 2012 because he needed four springs and summers to paint what he had to paint.

Despite the huge crowds at the show, the experience of seeing David Hockney's new works was spectacular. Hockney's impressionistic style, the masses of his prolific works displayed next to one another and the enormous scale of some paintings was a sensory journey of the seasons. So beautiful,
even his paintings made with an App on the iPad, printed out onto large canvas (5ish feet).

I was naughty and caught some pictures with my phone at the show here:

Monday, 2 April 2012

Roux At The Landau

By Leluu


It had been three years and a bit since The Guitarist and I had met for lunch. Since then he got married and I changed my career from fashion maker to a writing photographing cook. And so the time was due and he asked me out for lunch. Where shall we go? (Always a question on the lips of friends).

I suggested, The Roux At The Landau - at the Langham Hotel - Albert Roux & Michel Roux Jnr's first collaboration in 19 years. Michel Roux's protégé, Chris King, Head Chef would be cooking our lunch.
READ MORE AT Leluu's site

Monday, 26 March 2012

Feist At The Royal Albert Hall - 25th Mar.12

By Leluu
Never tired of my heroine's melodies, my heart almost broke as I watched Feist perform at the magical  Royal Albert Hall - she was mesmerising, captivating a full audience to a silent stand still. All eyes were on this elegantly beautiful fracture of a soul - Leslie Feist who woed every heart and soul with the essence and ranges of her voice. We journeyed through the epic, Metals, after learning every chord in the last six months of its release, it was a true pleasure to hear her perform with her fantastic band, live!
Feist remains unpolluted by her fame, her bigness/ greatness which is one of the things I love about her. There are no thrills on stage, it is all about the music, the instruments, the song and what the messages are. Her voice, her music and charisma is intoxicating and send shivers to the core of the place where feelings and things are kept deep inside you.

Feist generated new songs and rhythm out of old loved tunes such as Sea Lion, I Feel It All, Limit To Your Love and it was hard to choose a favourite when a capella rendition of Cicadas and Gulls is on the list. The ironic Feist asks lovers to join her on stage as she sings, Let It Die, a song about the saddest part of a broken heart was swamped by members of the audience doing the slow waltz and "crowding my spot light."
The set was over two hours and any Feist fan would have the feeling of sitting in a pool of love being in The Royal Albert Hall that night. The concert was truly and outstanding experience.
You can read more about my love for Feist here : Feisty
"Did I? Did I?"

With thanks to Chris Hendrie for the tickets.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Bicycle Travel Journal

By Leluu
Journals! Abandoned. They are everywhere in my home, brought with the romantic notion of keeping a journal, a diary of thoughts, a scrap book of cinema tickets and air travels. Always been keen to have a collection of me in different times but also in great fear that someone will pick it up and read it.

I found a great journal in Magma's gift shop in Earlham Street, Covent Garden called Bicycle Travel Journal, with illustrations by Nigel Peake to make the plain pages more exciting, like a picture book with your own -to-be-written writing and pages with envelopes so you can keep those memories of gallery openings and restaurant bills because there is never glue when you need it.

Some pages are brown, some are lined or dotted, plain or semi plain with coloured drawings of patterns and bicycle parts. The journal wants you to write in it - it yells it because it is already a semi finished piece of work. It just needs you in it. 

There is nothing better for a writer than to write with hand, pen and paper.
Here, I have started a journal about my journey with an old man called George.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Lana Del Ray Redux

This blog likes Lana Del Ray. This author also like Joris Voorn. Match made in heaven.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Looking for a Man(ifesto)?

By Azzz
One of the things that's been on my mind lately is living a good life, and what that means. For some, this means going to Africa to work in refugee camps, or for others it's about creating beautiful, pretty things to share with the world. For entrepreneurial types it can be about building companies that create jobs and wealth, and there are quite a few people for whom it can be as simple as caring for our families and friends. All of these are equally valid ways of living a good, happy, productive life, and finding the right path for yourself is, I believe, a lifelong search.

So as I was starting to think more about these ideas I came across "How and Why to Write Your Own Personal Manifesto" on The Art of Manliness. It got me thinking: perhaps I should take a second away from all the other writing I do and focus specifically in on this question of how I want to live my life and set that down in a manifesto. As someone who does a bit with words from time to time, for me, if it's not written down then it isn't real.

But time went by. One week. Two. Three. A month. And I never made the time to write that manifesto. Life got in the way.

All that changed this morning, when I had some sad news from home that one of my University Professors had just lost a nine month battle with cancer.

He was a great man. He supervised my undergraduate thesis and a decade later helped me get into a great University for my post-graduate study. His research was based on helping others. He lived a principled, full, creative and committed life, and built a great community of people around himself. He had access to some great medical professionals and researchers, and the way he spoke in his blog he was sure he was going to beat it.

Like a lot of people, I was scared by the C-word, as I've lost too many family members to it myself. But, I believed in his optimism, so I put off writing to him to offer words of encouragement, or thanks, or to even chip into the fund that had been set up to help pay for his treatment. Although perhaps I should be more honest and say that my belief in his optimism was a convenient excuse, covering what was really behind my procrastination: my fear of confronting cancer (again).

When I got the bad news this morning, the first thing I thought was:

"I thought I had more time."

I deeply regret not reaching out to him sooner. Now it's too late. I missed my chance to do something good for someone who had bought so much good to my life.

So how does all this relate to the idea of writing a manifesto and what on earth does the death of someone I deeply respect have to do with Pretty Things?

For me, it was a stark reminder of how short and fragile life can be and how we must fill this life with beauty and love and care for one another. We can't put off sharing the important things with the important people, even if sometimes this means we have to be braver than we've ever been in our lives before.

If you recognised the picture at the top of this post you'll already know where this is going and what is tying these thoughts together - the Holstee Manifesto. Different words inspire people in different ways, but Holstee have captured something truly beautiful with their manifesto. It is a call to thoughtful action that recognises we do not have time to waste before pursuing a life well-lived, and that while we make our own choices about that life we necessarily live in community with others and so share our lives with them. It begins and ends:
This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often.
Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them so go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.
So, go out there and create, and laugh, and love, you pretty things you. Life is short. Live your dream, and share your passion.

This post is in loving memory of all those who battled cancer and lost, and for all those who survive them.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Finding An Unknown New York Artist

By Leluu
Joachim Friedrich
The most beautiful thing about New York City is its people, sings Joachim "YoYo" Friedrich, an artist I met on my first night in Manhattan, they make an effort to get along with one another despite color of skin and origin.

A splendid moment of serendipity, or fate, or destiny happened as I got turned away from The Mercer Kitchen. It was the first place I found once a yellow cab driver screeched his brakes and stopped me off mid Soho in fury of me not knowing where I was going. Being a singleton, there is no room for one, I'm sorry, sweetened the third waitress I was passed upon, as I look at the empty table and chairs. I headed aimlessly into the night in Soho, amongst closed galleries and boutiques in the bitter wind that clutched my face and snatched my head.

I gushed through the next watering hole, Barolo, ordered some wine at the bar and started to read my book, shaking off the bitter cold that had nearly reached my bones. A good fifteen minutes passed, when I paused between chapters, raised my head and immediately, YoYo took the opportunity to intervene. He was an old European man at the corner of the bar and from that moment on, YoYo stepped into my life. READ MORE