Saturday, 30 May 2009

ANDREAS KRONTHALER and VIVIENNE WESTWOOD


Andreas and Vivienne are great cyclists and are lovers of classical music. They can often be seen supporting the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican. Looking between a moth and Marie-Antoinette, Viviene looks horrified by less intelligent human beings. You want her to notice you but she never does, you want to please her. Andreas is charming and handsome in every way.
I sat with Tim Noble and Sue Webster, the couple behind the shadow installations, made of rubbish. I first met Tim and Sue with Isabella Blow. They came to stay with me in the South of France. They made art pieces out of toys in the swimming pool, as if they were useable utensils. Fun, dangerous and different they are alive.
Mat Collishaw, Polly Morgan, Tracey and Paul Fryer came to stay and painted a shirt for me..It is the best present I have ever been given. Covered with cartoons of helicopters, Princess Diana, a cup, skulls, drawn carefully all over it, the piece is sensational.

IVAN, THE TERRIBLE VODKA, A POLO MATCH, AND ARTISTS, TIM NOBLE SUE WEBSTER, MAT COLLISHAW POLLY MORGAN and SOME RUSSIANS





Wednesday, 27 May 2009

I am hidden
And not amused
Loathe being
shut away
and not able
to see
It rains too
early in the morning
so do tell me if you
will love me
again
I am up all night
playing like a child
with mechanical
toys
Happy yes, but I need
a kiss or two or may be
seven
or so many I can't
count
just kiss me
enough so I suffocate
under your body
that will feel to me
like a pillow of
feathers

THOSE WHO SUFFER LOVE




Tracey Emin's exhibition starts tomorrow at White Cube. I love Tracey, I first met her when I photographed her for my book British Artists At Work, although at the time I found her terrifying. She is everything I would like to be, well almost. The grande dame of the art world with a room at the Tate. She used to come and stay with me every Summer, before I got divorced, in the South of France, and take over the running of my house, she both loves and hates cooks, she liked to be involved with the kitchen. Tracey has huge loyalty to those she loves, supporting them in whatever they want to do. She also likes cheese. There are so many great stories of her that it is best you do your own research. There are plenty. With her love of Margate, sewing, cats and her past you might be forgiven for being confused. Whatever, you will have fun finding out. Her Party at the White Cube, followed by a very touching dinner at Browns with Jay Jopling making a wonderful speech about how he met Tracey, I say next door to Nicky Haslam, who looked chic chic in Top Man. Want to go there immediatley...

Monday, 25 May 2009

GREEN, BRING BACK THE QUEEN. Can I be Green, and if so, there are some huge costs involved to become so.


There are good things about a recession, despite people moaning and groaning. For a long time I was bored to death by Magazines who lectured us on what to buy and where to buy it from.Who was cool and who we had to support. Hopefully this recession will allow people to use their imagination, make a dress, mend some shoes that they love, and not be encouraged to buy the latest new car unless it is green, but wash their old one. I have to downsize in any case. As I live in Chester Square and have got divorced, I have more space to move about in but need less. Looking for a smaller house occupies my time and it is lots of fun. Although I love my house a lot, it needs the patter off tiny feet and a husband. Neither of which I have. Where shall I look is another problem. I love Battersea on the water, Little Venice, Eliazabeth Street. Should I stick to the same area, can I move, will I survive. I have dreams of planting a garden, watering flowers, living on one floor. Not too domesticated I hate the sight of 4 X 4's and loathe a school run. Not being a great driver I had better buy something reasonably central. Will I learn to enjoy a walk more, to swim, to paint a gate.. I used to. I am brilliant at cleaning but not so good at ironing perhaps I can learn to do this and enjoy it too.
My ex husband Johan Eliasch bought part of a jungle in order to cover his foot print.
Realistically can I follow through with being green and more careful. How essential is it as I am naturally extravagant?. I attempt to buy green washing powder and washing up liquid, but like the smell of comfort. I have sent out my papers for recycling, and I have bought a mini, but when I go past Harvey Nichols will I be able to stop myself from going in?. I am tempted by all things facile Shall I play the piano more, sing more, tidy my cupboards once again. Find shoes I love but haven't worn out.. We will see. I have been attempting to be green whatever that means since the 1980's but still find it an upward battle. I wanted to change my house in LA to solar heating but it cost 40,000 dollars to do that, is it worth it, will it make me a better person. If there is such a problem in our universe, why is buying your own solar system, that in turn is sold to the grid, in the case of Los Angeles, so very expensive? I don't know. Hopefully my vegetables are growing there and the lemons too. Light bulbs or rather the changing of them, really will it make a difference, when shops are full of light? I think we should all look at the Green Issue a bit more closely. What would make a difference. Is something urgent? If so, what. Should it be government subsidized, etc etc. Are we being conned? Will it protect the children of the future or are we entering the world of Margaret Attwood's The Handmaids Tale, fast and furiously? As I mentioned before many people believe that the world of being Politically Correct has gone too far and is the "New Dictatorship". Personally I would like to bring the Queen back to rule England, as she would be much better at looking after our taxes than many of our present politicians.

A TRIFLING REMINDER


Don't force me to be blind
Let me see
I don't want wedding plans
or living plans
but I do want to respect
and courtesy of the
time we spend together.
Don't accuse me of being
"so female"
as that could be applied
to you
Don't make me nervous
I don't want you to push
my instincts away
so you colour my emotions
that are true to you but
not to me or others.
If my heart lies
I must be honest and say
it lies
You dress to please others
but you eat to please me
Leave me so I can enjoy the
pain
your pursuits will only lead
to both our pain
If your life is more important
than mine then I shall be
unhappy
and so claim.

P.S FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON I HAVE LOST WEIGHT


I did not reach the scales this week, but for some unknown reason I have somehow lost weight. When I got on this morning I was nearly back to normal, normal being for me roughly 60 kilos. This weight business is driving me crazy. This morning I reached out for yesterdays Magazine and read an article on Gina Lolabrigida, and who she used to be. Gina herself says, that she used to be her, talking as if it was in the past. Still a stunning stylish woman of 81, she looks as if she has grown into the correct size for her age. She still looks attractive. As a woman who had true sexuality in her youth, I wonder if she weighs herself like a mad creature every day.

LADY FORTE's GARDEN ADVENTURE





I always swore I hated green, green grass, green rooms, envy, green fields, but this week I have been proved wrong. Not only has it been fabulous weather, although today is seriously gloomy, but I have had the pleasure of seeing Alia Fortes garden. Several years ago I went, and there was nothing, but now it is growing steadily. What I really like about Alia's taste is the useage of plants, she puts height in unusual places,mixing Iris with the Poppy, she loves clashing colours. There is also a lot of great ideas, she is building a St Francis Garden. St Francis when he was dying was asked by his friends if he wanted to remain naked outside or be taken inside. He asked to be kept outside naked with nature. There is no naked man lying there, but there is the beginnings of a garden, holly bushes and a large wooden sculpure that she is going to carve into or paint. In another part, Mark BRAZIER-JONES has built a sculpture which a vine will grow up in about 2 years. Above a table is one of his Chandeliers, all in a pale jade green. Once when I entered her house in London, Alia was building a huge bookcase out of shells. There is no stopping this womans talent. Earlier in this blog she was selling handmade beautiful shirts.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

ERIC BUTERBAUGH FLORIST TO THE STARS



Eric is the best the florist in the world. The florist of Selma Hayek. The voice of colour in Los Angeles. I came home to my house in Coldwater Canyon to find a stunning arrangement in a vase covered with black lace, another time with silver leather and black lace. He has unusual ideas that amuse and stun me. Flown round the world by numerous clients he does magic also in small pots. Everybody wants stardom there, and Eric lends his cosy jovial face. A welcoming face in a land which is highly competitive.

HARROW SCHOOL OPEN DAY with THE COUNTESS VON BISMARCK










The good thing about sports days is seeing how perfect some mothers are. Harrow is a bit of an antiquated affair, with the boys still wearing tails and boaters, and they do look amazing. A pity the world has become so shabby, here you enter 1880 quite easily. Carnations in button holes, sit down picnics with flowers on the tables in magnificent white tents. Suckling pigs ready to guzzle, and mothers calling out for boys by their surnames. Eliasch come and sit with me, and where are Hearne and Potter? So fabulously old fashioned and English. Everybody keeps to their own. Boys sing, boys play cricket and boys win the tug of war. Debonaire von Bismarck is perfect in every way, and you really only need to know her or Sue Sangster if you want a truly delicious lunch. I try not to sponge but some people just have that edge of brilliance needed to win Super Mummy. I love the stories boys standing on loos, flooding the whole house, not happy with this they stand on the basin making it worse. How fantastic it is to be British on a sunny May afternoon.
Eric from Los Angeles was the guest surprise. The best florist in the world.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

FAIRY TALES AND ORIEL HARWOOD at DAVID GILLS GALLERY



Oriel Harwood loves dark black opulence, her furniture the furniture for Alice Wonderland and Hansel and Gretel. A modern take of King Arthurs Court. Chandeliers and enormous outsized candlesticks. Last night her exhibition landed me in a theatre of delights. I love her work. I want her to turn my house into fairy tales, a house of dreams. Her work is exhibited in David Gills Gallery in Loughborough Street, the sort of place I want to live in. A huge white kooky space where he shows furniture and one off pieces. He is a man of style.
GONE ARE THE DARK
DAYS LOST IN
WATER CLOGGED BY
MUD
I NOTICE THAT
THE LIGHT SHINES
THROUGH ACROSS
THE ROOM
IN MATHEMATICALLY
STRAIGHT LINES
I CAN START AGAIN
FRESH
FAR FROM ANGER
I AM HAPPY LYING STILL
AS BEING QUIET WAS
RARE
I HAD FORGOTTEN
THE SOUNDS OF HUNGER
OR THE EARLY SOUNDS OF
BIRDS SINGING
PROTECTING THEIR SWEET
TERRITORY
I AM LIVE AND AWAKE
AND READY TO WALK
THE LONG
GRASSY HILLS
OF MY FUTURE
TO THE SOUNDS OF
MUSICAL BELLS

Monday, 18 May 2009

ADDING A FEW EXTRA TREATS




MY FAVORITE FLOWERS OF THE NIGHT, FROM STRAWBERRIES TO GERTRUDE JEKYLL's DELICIOUS SMELLING ROSE




JAMES MAY AND THE PLASTICINE GARDEN





Well well well, James May is teasing us, of course he is. He started knowing only three varieties of flowers and now is able to create a whole garden out of plasticine. Although kitch is does have appeal and really I wanted to spend a long time studying it.

THE CHELSEA FLOWER SHOWER, with Fizzy Barclay and Ulf Nordfell






For once I didn't freeze at the Chelsea Flower Show, I just sneezed for the last hour instead from hay fever. I went wearing Winter Clothes and was lucky to be asked by a friend to go. It is a truly British Event and officially opens the Summer season. With fewer sponsors there are fewer gardens, but it is a truly beautiful event and I only wondered why there were not more young people interested. When I was twenty I loved flowers and worked for a brilliant florist called Kenneth Turner. Without his influence I would not be leading the life I do now. He taught me how to clash colours, how to add an extra bunch was a good thing. Not to be stingy and to love the opulence and smell of every flower. How to love decorating.

There were two gardens I liked one sponsored by The Telegraph and one was made of plasticine, with a picnic set thrown in. The Telegraph won last year, and it could this year. It is a beautiful simple design of Ulf Nordfell. He likes the idea of putting art in the garden. Glass in black and white, and beautiful pots. It is a practical garden, useful and yet has a wild feel. He used steel granite glass and water, and it clearly is a garden that would look good almost anywhere. I particularly loved the house. all glass with an open roof and sliding doors.

ST TRINIANS, MAYHEM, and a LACK OF EDUCATION, and one last brush with fame PARIS HILTON AT EDEN ROC




Barnaby Thompson is plugging the new St Trinnians in Cannes.
I have a lot to be grateful for, and one of the things is St Trinians. St Trinians was my Grandfather, Sidney Gilliat's least favourite set of films he made, often he would have nothing to do with them. Saying he had neither written, produced or directed them. Of course sometimes this was true, however without him the original films would not exist, and nor would my education such as it was. He had a love of racing, betting, trains and girls schools. He had two daughters, Joanna and Caroline my Mother. The pair of them were always up to no good, and my Aunt has a wonderful special wit, that can't be compared and my mother would react accordingly. In fact they were wonderful fodder for him to write from. Never boring, they were always up to practical jokes. Belles of St Trinians, was for me one of the most fun with actors like George Cole and Alistair Sim. St Trinians was based on a girls school in Edinburgh, that had a new style of teaching. Roald Searle went to meet with them and drew some cartoons, from these drawings the films were made. Although Searle, also is meant to have hated the films they have over the years become a cult. They are again being made and good luck to them all, Barnaby Thompson in particular. Anyway I was always told they paid for my lack of education!

Lastly I saw my favorite Paris Hilton this morning, well I think it was her, as I have only ever seen her in pink before. My brush with the fame game had to end and I came back to London to feel greener and nearer to heaven/

Sunday, 17 May 2009

RED CARPET, JACQUES AUDIARD LE PROPHETE, THE AFTER PARTY , AND CHARLES FINCH.




Jacques Audiard, a cool dude Frenchman, has created a wow of a page turner. A film,that is a tiny bit too long and confusing but I sat at the edge of the seat, waiting for the next black eye or stabbing, Of course a boys film. I didn't care but I cared, and everytime I thought I wanted to leave, something gripped me. Held together by its combination of music and debauchery, it nearly runs as an American blockbuster.

The red carpet is intoxicating to walk up, the flashing of light bulbs hitting me, the drinking up of the fame game.
The after party was at a villa at the top of the hill. A casual french affair, although hills and high heels don't go well together. I was hobbling everywhere. The women were a trifle dowdy and except of Elsa Liebenstein, all looked boringly dressed.

Thank goodness the witty Charles Finch took over from where Vanity Fair left off,he tried to lighten the gloom by reinstating glamour almost immediately and showing his Newspaper, Finch's Quarterly Review. Actually I love it. The beautiful women were here of course, and the rich and powerful. There was complaint of the recession, and we all have stories to tell, but all put on a brave face, and I think have enough clothes to look stunning in. Spotted Harvey Weinstein, Ralph Fiennes, Hannah Rothschild, Nicky Haslam, Mick Jagger with his girlfriend.