Wednesday, 30 June 2010

I've seen that face before...

Martha Fiennes - Birds Eye View Interview

Patti Smith - Horses & Hey Joe

Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs - 'Beim Schlafengehen'. Gundula Janowitz


There is a new underground movement, or may be it has always been in existence. London is having some incredible parties in hidden places. Probably better than the flash pash easily disposable ones that end up in Okay, Hello and Hola with photographs of awkward looking celebrities wishing that they, like Elizabeth 1 when confronted by her sister Mary, could disappear into the floorboards. Real glamour, I discover, is tucked away in all sorts of corners of London.
Last night Martha Fiennes and Gerald Blazevie hosted a small intimate dinner at the Westbury Hotel with a select group of friends in aid of nothing, just to have a good time.
Intellectuals, wits and stars sat together eating the most delicious food, for example delicate portions of ham egg and chips followed by beaf with chopped up apple and thyme. The room was vibrant alive for once without the huge brands and charities behind them. Grace Jones kissed me and greeted me warmly, Patti Smith looked happy in the company of Ralph Fiennes and Sabrina Guinness, Christie Brinkley, and Martina Navratilova, and Michael Barrymore dapper in an aubergine coloured suit and turquoise shirt. Sitting next to Julie Myerson, novelist, was fun, I love her rampage on teenage behaviour.
It taught me I don't need to fly half way round the world for excitement, it's actually on my doorstep..

Monday, 28 June 2010


The truth is although
I am meant to be
without feelings
or thought
or anything
I do have them
and sometimes
you should be
careful and keep the
status quo
I could not do
what I have done
if it was nothing.
I am off soon anyway
I try very hard to be what
I am not.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Making-of "Midnight Poison" by Wong Kar-Wai


Have I really got to
live another 25 years..
what shall I do with the time
its all a mass shop
till you drop
until the doctors
the last few
drops of semi
pain relief
to take you to
and put you in a box
of ashes
that may be your bones
or not
no I would rather have
the black market
than be sliced and
injected by the
local district nurse
spare me the white walls
of the local hospital
and the masks
of the nurse
spinning lies
I shall take to my
bed when the time
and live off exotic
from overseas
that will take me to
and make my
death my choice
not their


" Where do you go to in life when you leave school having walked down the road with a cane, tails and a top hat"? my friend Tim Willis said to me the other day. Today was the Leavers Concert at Harrow School, and boys departing next week will all be thinking two thoughts, yipee we are out of school, and help what do we do next?. They should worry a little as the world outside is not easy but tonight they should be pleased with the funny brilliant show they put on. With energy and character I wish them all well. Although Charles is my son, I have to say I loved the performance of the Cat Duet by Rossini he and Ben Kinsella put on. I was amazed they had time to practise as exams were in the forefront of their brains not this medley of music. Accompanied by Dominic Wong a brilliant young pianist from Hong Kong they steamed ahead giving us strong performances of Mozart, Brahms, Bellini and Bazzini. Well done all of you and good luck. Really good luck to Charles my son, who has been accepted into the music academy called Mannes, in New York.

Cry me a river sung by Elliot Smith
The Joker Trombone played by Gareth Thomas
Bellini duet sung by Charles Eliasch and Adam Urosevic
Bazzini played by Darryl Tse on the Violin
Cat Duet sung by Charles Eliasch and Ben Kinsella
Anton Thompson- McCormick
Brahms and Mozart Piano Duet played by Dominic Wong and David Woodcock
The Leavers Glee singing Rossini

Wong Kar Wai Theres Only One Sun

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

KEEP YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL (If you want to be loved)

I am a great enthusiast of making yourself look as pretty as possible - and for goodness sake, why should I have to look dreadful in these days of hormones, Botox and filler, facelifts and hair dye, thigh lifts and cheap beautiful clothes? The problem is, everything should be done in moderation and with careful consideration. Heaven knows what I would all look like without hair dye. Women take this so for granted that 74 year-olds have luxurious black locks that they have inherited from some Italian grandmother.
But what about when it becomes improbable? It's a fine art, getting the balance between teenager and old bag. I love wearing shorts, and always have but at what age do they start looking ridiculous?.
I thought I looked good the other night until I stepped into a taxi as asked the driver "Do I look all right?" He replied with a long winded story about a 16 year old crossing the road and ended with "I mean love, you won't stop any traffic." I peered in the mirror and thought, "Actually that's rather good." Then I studied the taxi driver. He was overweight, sweaty, ugly and by his side had a book of The Secrets", which obviously he had yet to read. "What comes around goes around," I thought.
I arrived a little shy to dinner at a beautiful house, with chic and funky decoration near Hyde Park. All the woman were well dressed and looking up to the mark in the world's greatest designers. Although we are all women of uncertain age, that was the good thing: age now looks uncertain. There is nobody really overweight in the grander parts of London. All of us look spick and span and try our best. Maybe society has always been like that, but all I know is that Joan Collins is sprightly fit and glamorous and there are many others following suite. Just don't overdo anything. So here are my rules:

1. No big lips,
2. No huge fake bosoms,
3. One facelift well done, when the neck goes, get rid of the chicken skin
4. Be careful with filler it can transform you into a marshmallow, so not too much.
5. Remember to fill your brain with words, music, romance and flowers and all should fine.
6. Everything shows through the eyes so not too work much there.
7. Botox is amazing when used well.
8. Hormones are good but should be carefully administered
9. Don't become obsessed. This is not an area to dabble in and nag plastic surgeons. You will start to look a clown.
10. Find your character and enjoy her.
11. Take up tango lessons, move your body, in whatever direction you can stand
12. Enjoy the faults in your face because that is usually what is attractive to others.
13. If you are fat, but look good, be realistic and just be healthy. To diet all the time is a bore. We are all built differently and a few suit it. Keep and eye on your weight and try to stay the same. Remember what weight you were at 18.
14. Be Brave most people are insecure and don't want to be different, but you choose. Don't worry what people say, they always say.

Sunday, 20 June 2010


With the best will in the world it is hard not to regurgitate old stories with ex's. You want to get on, you don't want the children to be used as pawns, and you want life to have some family feeling to it. It is virtually impossible to be not reminded all the time of your failings. If only we were given lessons on how to be a good parent or given exams on whether we were suitable or not, but we are not. The truth is that children end up living in situations that they themselves can't deal with, and feel they have to take sides. This is terrible. When a new woman comes into the situation we are meant to treat them with huge respect, give them everything without so much as a hint that we are fed up.. Second and third wives are given importance that they have sometimes not yet earned and may not deserve. Often when the man has made considerable amount of money the women they attract are avaricious, hard and calculating whilst the ex-wife is made to feel mad and crazy as her children get torn between pillar and post. It is awful to see and tricky to stop. It would be great if everyone got on. However in this world of quickly-used throwaway, no husband will have sensible foresight to keep the peace. We live in terrible times, divorce is rife, in rich and poor alike, families are split, beautiful souls broken. No matter how pious people are in your stories, we are all to blame, we all do it, and it should stop. Families are little businesses actually - not very romantic - but there should be a beautiful clean oasis in which children be allowed to mature and learn new things. It's a sad fact that mothers and fathers have to bang on a front doors until they open in order to see a child that they love and adore probably more than any other person in the world. This happens all the time, just look around and listen. I only met my father at 22 and it has worried me everyday. It caused huge problems in my family and I like many other children never walked down the street holding his hand. He was banned. So next time you hear couples arguing, with mothers saying they don't want the children to see their fathers - or vice versa - remember to argue for the child. Please remember.

FOR ME AND NOT FOR ME | Amanda Eliasch

FOR ME AND NOT FOR ME | Amanda Eliasch

TS grade 3min | Screening Room

TS grade 3min | Screening Room

Saturday, 19 June 2010

I love you (me neither) - Cat Power / Karen Elson

"The Ghost Who Walks" HD live full band Video

The Twelve Gods, Greek Mythology Link -


Two nights ago I joined The Terence Higgins Trust for a delicious dinner in the middle of nowhere - oh the Artillery Halls, who apparently put up tents in the summer that we can hire out and have a ball in. The "boys" took it over last night to raise money for combating Aids. I sat next door to the blue eyed Stephen Webster whose jewels I love nearly as much as Loree Rodkin's and my good friend Zeta Graff's. In any case all was merry - particularly with Nicky Haslam on the next door table, who thought that we should celebrate how many gay men have fun in our world of today. He as usual looked beautifully dressed in his military garb and sporting a groovy new hair cut. This man adds finesse wherever he goes.
Meanwhile, my deerhound died yesterday. Spike. I remember the day I got him my two sons were so thrilled. I was walking down the Kings Road saying that I had never been happier. I spoke too soon and my whole world fell in that afternoon. Of course that is a long time ago now, but I will never forget walking with him in the sunshine. He hated London. Going up the stairs, his legs were too long and he used to cry at the bottom of them so I would have to go down to give him a cuddle. Spike begged to sleep on the basement terrace in the open air he liked the freezing cold and wet. He ended up in Wiltshire where he lived happily, scaring chickens and thinking he was a whippet. He now sleeps next to Mummy in the woods. I am not sure she would have liked that, but he definitely would.
Talking about death I ended up last night in St Nicholas's Church in Great Munsden where they do concerts. Charles my son sang a Bach. The Byron Consort from Harrow School could be heard through the fields of Hay. I walked around with my pal Mark Brazier-Jones who lived twenty minutes away. The countryside looked beautiful slightly misty and cold. The gravestones covered with ivy the names long gone. He pointed out the Devil door and told me it was opposite the main door. Poor Devil he was only thrown out of Heaven because of Pride. Personally I think Pride is an amazing thing and wish more people had it.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Amanda Eliasch - October Edition - Genlux magazine


The other day I had the happy pleasure of revisiting old places that once belonged to me, there I was sitting in my chair, feeding the dogs, playing with them, kissing old staff that I love. In the same week I receive this from someone who for their sake will remain nameless. We have never met, but we are friends on facebook.

"Sometimes we can think that life is cheating on us or it is a big bullshit but it has roots that are under the earth and we cannot see but when they break free, on a beautiful spring day we see the results of what we have been planting and once upon a time with seeds that we did not know or believed in come to fruition. Good or bad the seeds were planted.
I have a phrase and I mean it to people who I read the Kaddish for: - I do not wish him/ her any good or bad, only what he/she deserves. For me that is fair enough".

The truth is what you are doing is what you are doing. If I walk through my old house, I am walking through my old house and I am likely to do it again. I like circles, and there is a God watching, I feel one and I understand totally the finer qualities of Karma, so like the above I just wish people what they deserve.

THE LAWS OF KARMA as I understand them, please correct if you would like to

"As you sow, so shall you reap". This is also known as the "Law of Cause and Effect".
Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us.
If what we want is happiness, Peace, Love, friendship...Then we should Be happy, peaceful, loving and a true Friend.

Life doesn't just happen, it requires our participation.
We are one with the universe, both inside and out.
Whatever surrounds us gives us clues to our inner state.
Be yourself, and surround yourself with what you want to have present in your Life.

What you refuse to accept, will continue for you.
If what we see is an enemy, or someone with a character trait that we find to be negative,
then we ourselves are not focused on a higher level of existence.

"Wherever you go, there you are".
For us to grow in spirit, it is we who must change - and not the people, places or things around us.
The only thing we know for sure is ourselves
and that is the only factor we have control over.
When we change who and what we are within our heart
our life follows suit and changes too.

Whenever there is something wrong in my life,
there is something wrong in me.
We mirror what surrounds us and what surrounds us mirrors this is a Universal Truth.
We must take responsibility what is in our life.

Even if something we do seems inconsequential,
it is very important that it gets done as
everything in the Universe is connected.
Each step leads to the next step, and so forth and so on.
Someone must do the initial work to get a job done.
Neither the first step nor the last are of greater significance,
As they were both needed to accomplish the task.
Past - Present - Future
They are all connected...

You can not think of two things at the same time.
When our focus is on spiritual values, it is impossible for us to have lower
thoughts such as greed or anger.

If you believe something to be true,
then sometime in your life
you will be called upon to demonstrate that particular truth.
Here is where we put what we claim that we have learned,
into actual practise.

Looking backward to examine what was,
prevents us from being totally in the here and now.
Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams...
prevent us from having new ones.

History repeats itself until we learn the
lessons that we need to change our path.

All rewards require initial toil. Rewards of lasting value require
patient and persistent toil.
True joy follows doing what we're suppose to be doing,
and waiting for the reward to come in on it's own time.

You get back from something whatever YOU have put into it.
The true value of something is a direct result of
the energy and intent that is put into it.
Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.
Lack luster contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it.
Loving contributions bring life to, and inspire

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Way of the World

Friedrich Nietzsche - The Original Rockstar?

Franz Schubert Death and the Maiden


I met my father at Heathrow Airport when I was 22 years old. Out of the blue I received a call to go and see him. I had never spoken to him in my life. I snooped through old photograph albums staring at this glamourous looking man. Strong blue eyes, beautifully dressed with aquiline features. The look of dark handsome youth glancing back at me; my mother smiling at his side, pretty, young and blonde outside the church in Chester Square, Belgravia, London, where they got married.
I met him and although now an old man I knew it was him, sitting alone in the corner of the Excelsior Hotel with a drink, slightly tipsy with only slightly faded good looks. I was told by my mother that he was an alcoholic, and that I should not drink or take drugs, because this terrifying disease was in our family. I rarely if ever do. Actually I am luckily allergic to booze and drugs, therefore have no desire to smoke dope, sniff cocaine, take sleeping pills, or drink rare wines, even though I have tried each one of these things. They are stamped "deadly" in my brain forever. My mother said she had left him because he had given her a black eye, knocked two front teeth out and lived with a gun under his bed. (As a journalist in Beirut in 1959 - a foreign correspondent - he had to be ready for anything.)
I saw a man with style before me, smartly dressed in a suit and tie with clever, piercing blue eyes. I checked immediately his hands, was he mine? I had always wondered why I had such big hands without the beauty of my mother's. Only when I am thin do they have any form of female elegance. I understood, his hands were manly and mine too. If I didn't grow my nails they're the same. I knew he was my DNA, and I felt safe for a second. He asked politely about me in the way fathers do when they are not interested. He turned to me and said, 'You had better write, with your heritage and with so many writers in it, and artists." And I realised I should. It took twenty years - until he died - when I decided to take passion to the Apple Mac and try. And that's when I finished Cloak and Dagger Butterfly, a book of poetry based on an important love story.
My father. I have always imagined having a fatherly figure around me, somebody who will take over, help me sort things out and fix a plug. I like the idea of big strong arms that can guide me. I want somebody who is helpful but not a slave to my needs. I have now realised that I am better totally free of patronising comment. So often those big arms are the prison bars of life and the dampening down of the imagination and freedom. Of course it is nice to share breakfast, walk together and laugh, of course it's good to see museums, read poetry together, go for a ride, but I had only three male influences in my life and two were distant and one I never met. Thank goodness for my grandfather - who taught me about Shakespeare, opera, films, lighting and tomato-growing - and the valuable lessons of my uncle, an aristocrat with good stature and dress sense, who gave me a love of riding and an eye for my weight and health. Last week, I had lunch with him and he was distressed that in his mid seventies he was having to let out his suit two inches. He looked incredibly dapper, immaculate, sober and clean. That is the sort of man I admire, that is what I need.

RULE BRITANNIA,, you know you can get a good night out, in whatever field of interest.

Last night I was so looking forward to seeing The Pearl Fishers by Bizet. I have never seen it before but I love the great aria and the duet. The English National Opera was packed and it was the World Cup, so there is still a lot of high brow culture in Britain that goes unsung. Such a beautiful theatre in Covent Garden, I wonder why no one talks about it all the time. This new production of the Pearl Fishers by Bizet started off so beautifully that the audience was hushed by the sheer magic of the set. Without giving the game away, the artistic director John Berry and set designer Dick Bird need to be applauded. In fact It is the most beautiful set I have ever seen. True to the image of pearl fishing, the story includes priests, superstition, an obligatory love story and the boat people with their houses on the water's edge, were all stunningly depicted. This production has to be seen, so beg or borrow a ticket, even if you hate opera because this one might help you enjoy it and start a passion for life.
What a week it has been. I enjoyed the most incredible dinner at Lancaster House, a beautiful hidden monument in London, here we were treated to precious wines from The Chateau Haut-Brion. Although not a lush, small sips of these aged wines could not be missed. I don't know why I actually agreed to go, but Gillian from Purple PR has a talent for mixing people together to make truly memorable evenings. There was an electric mix of people from Andrew Lloyd Webber to the furniture designer Mark Newson to a Colonel in the Army about to go the war to Kinder the wonderful dress designer. I was of course dressed not for this but for Robin Birley's party to show us his new club in Soho. Good luck to him - next to the Curzon Cinema there will be a chic chic club where we can all meet. Bohemian and savvy. We know we will get good grub and witty conversation from the Birley Family.
Well all is better under the safety of a British flag, I am happy to spend a few moments in the company I understand best.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Michael Jackson & Pavarotti - On stage in italian tv show

Röschmann and Roth perform "Bei Männern"

Rolando Villazón sings "Je crois entendre encore"

Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte Act 1 Finale Part 2

Mozart Cosi Fan Tutte Act 1 Finale Part 1

Così fan tutte - per pieta - Glyndebourne 2006

O war ich schon mit dir

Although not an intellectual, I have intellectual pursuits. Glyndebourne does it for me: a beautiful country house in Sussex, opera at the end of the day, with a delicious dinner in the middle of the performance to keep us all going. Of course I like grand opera, but this has the attraction of being truly British. Tickets are like gold dust and virtually impossible to get hold of unless you are in the know.
Cosi Fan Tutte was written in 1790 (followed by The Magic Flute). Mozart collaborated several times with the poet Da Ponte then, this time writing a libretto based on Shakespeare's Cymbeline, a nonsense story to test a woman's fidelity in time of war. (One should bear in mind that the French Revolution was in 1789, that Europe loved war, uniforms and that these sort of comedies were in fashion.) Personally I am not crazy about Cosi's storyline but with brilliant singing you can happily overlook the shortcomings of the narrative. The director was Nicholas Hytner, who is nowadays massively important with so many successes under his belt including the film of The History Boys, and as usual he managed to bring out the empathy and depth of this opera. The ever-popular Sally Matthews sang with passion.


Oh, England has a good feel to it this week, surprisingly so. There is sunshine and happiness in my house - and I had the good fortune to be invited to Glyndebourne by Damian Elwes to see Cosi fan Tutte. We have been friends since we were 14 when we used to meet at house parties in the country during the holidays. He is now an artist and lives in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. The glories of Facebook put us back together. There is something very comforting about old friends - although Nicky Haslam's quote, "a good new best friend is the best kind of friend", is truthful, too. Anyway, I love seeing most of my pals old and new, and we slipped into a cozy familiarity as we headed to Lewes.
Damian's life has been remarkable, but I won't tell you it all, it is better from the horse's mouth. Educated at Harrow School, then Harvard, with his passion for nature, poetry and travel, he carries his intellect with great grace. He recalls one saga after another and I could easily have listened to him for another few days. His early life spurred him to paint, his father committing suicide when he was 15 obviously affecting him. As a result of the ensuing depression, he decided at Harvard to do a thesis on Keats.
As we arrived at Glyndeboure, we were allowed to see the library the Christies have collected in the main house. There on the shelf was an old complete edition of Keats - sadly slim compared to its neighbours, as Keats died young. Damian read from this book with clarity and beauty.
By the way, Damian is not part of the Brit Art world. He should be but he is not, He was not educated at St Martin's. He is not trendy, but his body of work is noticed. He is just a bit too well read to be part of the trendy mob here, and differently educated. His collectors, however, are huge household names and his shows are usually sold out.
His lively paintings of nudes and artists' studios will delight you - the stories behind each painting are quietly and interestingly explained - and he currently has an exhibition at Moreton Metropolis,41 Berners Street , Serena Morton's new gallery.
Actually, I recently spent a fascinating time in Los Angeles, where Damian told me he had discovered famous artists' studios that were wrongly documented. The stories were intriguing. So when you meet Damian, get him to tell you, and make time for his colourful, liveable art in your soul and try to enter his. There, you may find that if you listen he could help change the planet. There should be more room for him in this hard, tough art world.
In such good company Cosi flew buy, with charming performances and pretty sets. A fun interval was spent eating with Lady Helen and Tim Taylor and I will tell you about that another time...

Symphony of Sorrowful Songs - Henryk Górecki - 1st movement

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Part 01

"The Pied Piper of Hamelin (excerpt)" by Robert Browning (poetry)

Oh to be in England now that April's here


I am always curious - curious over cultures, music, food, people, in fact anything new. I will travel the world if I think I am in love just to check and see and feel. Of course, I often get things wrong. I am not infallible. I make endless mistakes but - goodie - they push me on to live a more exciting life, hopefully not at other peoples' expense. Lately I have been interested in having friends from the United States of America. But with so little in common it makes hanging out with them almost impossible. We are two great countries divided by the same language, as someone brainy once said. (And Gore Vidal said "America went from barbarism to decadence without an intervening period of civilisation." Of course this a little cruel but I do love the quotes of this famous raconteur.)

Anyway I have a problem: why is it that a culture that pretends to be clean and talks about relaaaationships so much, does so little to make me want to enter into anything with them? Any real relationship with them can be very tricky for me. The other day I wanted my tree house decorated and the decorator in question has good taste. I thought it would be easy, a cinch. Not at all. He wanted me to pay 10,000 dollars for five swatches of material. Well, not quite, because of course he chose the floor and colour of the walls. But you get the gist. We are not from the same planet.

Another example. Last week, I ended up driving round the South of France with another Yank. It was a disaster and I ended up hitting him in car, in my flat and on the Eurostar. Then five minutes later, I would ask him back because I felt guilty. I thought I could be friends. Was it his suit that irritated me or his opinion on Jackie Onassis's glasses? Or whether my hair was too high, or whether I should reapply my make up that irritated him? In any case I was fed up with our misunderstanding over who should pay for what.

Now I was under the impression that men should generally pay for everything unless they are not in a position to do so, in which case they should explain their situation in the beginning, I will happily pay for my own extravagances and anything that is too expensive for them. I just think it is gallant to be honest and/or correct. I am also fully aware that I am richer than most, but I would like a balance in my life, and if I want a gigolo I will choose a 25 year old gorgeous creature. Honestly all I really want is an amiable driver.

Anyway I was relieved to get to England and see Tim Willis and chat about the English, and listen to mundane conversations about Turnbull and Asser versus New and Lingwood shirts, and the misdemeanours of the aristocracy in 70's and 80's covered in his new book on Nigel Dempster.

Oh for beautiful England in the sun, The Fourth of June (which an American may not know fell on the second of June this year and is Eton College's sports day). To have picnic at Glyndebourne in the pouring rain and listen to Cosi Van Tutti - or go to The Chelsea Flower Show, Ascot and all other truly British happenings - is after all so appealing.

America's love for Hugo Boss suits, brown shirts, penny loafers, hot meals and fake emotion - although temporarily appealing - has lost its allure. Oh for the sarcasm of a public school boy, or the intellectual superiority of the Notting Hill Gate mother, and the grand life of the Scottish laird. All is forgiven, I am back.