Monday, 23 November 2015


Our By Invitation subject is that old chestnut ' The Fantasy Dinner Party ' !!
I think that I've done this about three times now but, onwards and upwards ..... here's my fourth go at it !!!

Ten people, living or dead, fictional or not, but not Jesus or family !!!!

She's coming ..... she seems to know where to get the good drinks .....

We will need music .....

Marilyn is an obvious choice but, I would really like to know what happened to her ...... was it suicide or what ?

I don't know who she is but she seems like fun .....

Self explanatory !!!!! .....

She's definitely not coming !!!!! .....

He can bring the flowers .....

Pete and Dud can come ..... laughter is the most important 
ingredient of a dinner party .....

My husband's family tree has been traced back to Simon de Montford so, I'd like him to be there ..... Simon is the one on the right and that's a 30 ' ish ' year old photograph of Mr. Home on the left ..... can you see the similarities ?

..... and finally, Marie ..... she can bring the cake !!!!

Who would you have as dinner party guests ?  ..... any new, original ideas ?

To see who others in our group would invite, go over to Marsha's where she has all of the links.

image 1: via gilmore guide to books, image 2: via tylr powesey, image 3: via design scene/pinterest/flckrhivemind, image 4: via make me stfu, image 5: via la bonne vie, image 6: via happy ramping dance, image 7: via Facebook, image 8: via umla, image 9: via north magnetic pole, image 10: via google, image 11: collage by me, image 12: via margadirube


Wednesday, 11 November 2015


A few weeks ago, I went to Sadler's Wells to see the English National Ballet ' Lest We Forget '.

Winner of the South Bank Sky Arts Award 2015, Lest We Forget is a poignant reflection on World War 1, featuring three works expressing the experiences of those who fought in the war and those who stayed behind.

It is beautiful and haunting, with contemporary and electric music and a score by Liszt, recorded voices from the Imperial War Museum and Dylan Thomas poems. It paints a picture of women working in factories, men fighting in the trenches, men falling and their women suffering loss .

You may think that it sounds depressing but, it was exhilarating as far as such a subject could be ..... Lest We Forget stays with you long after the curtain drops. 

Don't forget to pay your respects and hold the silence at 11.00 am today to remember all who have fought and are fighting for freedom and peace.


image 1: via the guardian, image 2: via, image 3: via telegraph, image 4: via george's journal


Thursday, 5 November 2015

STRAWBERRY HILL ..... Georgian Gothic Revival ..... AMAZING !!

I am turning into the London Tourist Board !!!! ..... but, I HAVE to show you this wonderful Georgian Gothic Revival house in Twickenham that we visited on Monday. I think that it's one of the best houses I have seen ..... I could live there !! I have spared you ALL of the photographs that I took  .....  you would have been here all day !!

Horace Walpole { 1717-1797 } discovered ' Chopp'd Straw Hall ' in 1747 when it was one of the last remaining sites available on the banks of the Thames in fashionable Twickenham.

He set about transforming, what was then a couple of cottages, into his ' little Gothic castle ' with pinnacles, battlements and a round tower set in meadows and gardens with ' cows and sheep studied for becoming the view '. In creating Strawberry Hill, Walpole inspired a new fashion for Gothic in both architecture and literature. 

Walpole's guests would enter the house into a dark hall, lit by one candle in the lantern. He did this purposely and would guide them through winding corridors and gloomy passageways which suddenly opened into the sudden splendour of rooms as you will see in the following photographs.

I loved the hall and would have it in my own home if I could ..... the colours are so ' now ' aren't they ?

The first room was the refectory .....

..... then, the library. Unfortunately, there was an exhibition of sculptures which, I think, detracted from the beautiful rooms !!

While houses like nearby Marble Hill were based on classic traditions, Walpole chose the architecture of Gothic cathedrals as the inspiration for his villa. Chimney pieces, doors and ceilings are based on Gothic vaulting, medieval tombs and rose windows..... he was a man way ahead of his time I think.

The Gallery ..... ' all Gothicism, gold and looking glass " as the poet Thomas Gray described it.

This room is where Walpole kept his treasures of art, miniatures and priceless objects to show his friends. Unfortunately, much of these were sold in a house sale and are spread across the world. I have edited out an awful sculpture of a full size hessian kangaroo with boxing gloves on that was placed right in the centre of the room ..... the guide said that the exhibition, which was finishing the following day, had been rather controversial !! 

Here's a ghostly one of me hiding behind an 18th century dress !!

The castle became a tourist attraction in Walpole's lifetime. He allowed four visitors a day and published rules for their guidance { no children allowed !! } His housekeeper frequently showed them round while Walpole retired to his cottage in the grounds. Reopened to the public in 2010 after a £9 million restoration, today's visitors have the opportunity to explore this unique heritage site.

Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford also known as Horace Walpole, was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician, built Strawberry Hill House, reviving the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors ..... I think that I would have liked him !! 

All images by me


Tuesday, 27 October 2015


I have lived 20 to 30 minutes away from London all of my life and have visited many of the iconic buildings over the years but it always amazes me how many more places there are to visit and how I shall, more than likely, never see them all !!

Last week we went on The Great Stink Tour !! 

We started our tour at Clifford's Inn Passage. By the 19th Century, this lane was a dark and claustrophobic little haunt .....

..... exactly the sort of place where a Londoner, having made merry in the surrounding multitude of taverns and gin palaces, would drunkenly stagger for a pee. Back then, of course, London's sanitary arrangements left a lot to be desired and folk relieved themselves wherever they could !! The walls of these passageways were usually private property, the owners of which, did not take too kindly to having their cherished brickwork eroded away by copious amounts of steaming urine so, they bolted urine deflectors to the wall which deterred potential wee'er's, as the urine would end up on their feet and would also be directed into the gutter !

Through Clifford Passage and onto Fleet Street ..... number 17 being one of the few surviving buildings in the City of London dating from before The Great Fire of London of 1666. It's a good example of a house where the upper levels protrude over the pavement so that human waste thrown from the upper windows would hopefully miss the passers-by !!

We then got the boat to Greenwich, past the Cutty Sark where we picked up the coach to Crossness Pumping Station. 
Two hundred years ago, London was in a mess, with raw sewage flowing into the Thames and thousands dying of cholera. 
In 1858, the ' Great Stink ' from the river got so bad that Parliament had to close, making it imperative that something was done.
Enter Joseph Bazelgette who supervised the building of the great Victorian sewage network for London. All of the waste was sent to two pumping stations, one of which was Crossness. 

Hard hats had to be worn ..... that's me in mine !! 
The Victorians loved all of their buildings to be ornate, including their pumping stations .....

' VOILA ' 

It is SO beautiful !! ..... and it's just a pumping station !!

Some has been left as they found it .....

..... and some has been renovated. 
They built Crossness Pumping Station as a cathedral of industrialisation ..... ornate cast iron decoration around a central octagon.

There was a museum of toilet ephemera including all the different ways that people ' cleaned up ' after themselves before toilet paper arrived, including a communal sponge on a stick, left in vinegar until the next person needed it, oyster and mussel shells { the mind boggles !! } and rope !!
Thank goodness for soft toilet paper !!!!! 

image 1: via youtube, image 2: via goodreads, image 3: via huffington post, 
All other images via ME