Sunday, 30 January 2011

I REMEMBER


Look I don't want
to bother you
I don't know if you
get my messages
but so you
know 
whether I see
you
or not I hold
your hands
whether I 
feel them or not
I don't have to see
you my
friend
to remember your
face
or eyes
or nose
 to feel
you
I remember
you
all of you
and if I close my
eyes it is as if you
are with me
I hear your voice
I come when you
call me
I have no fear
that you won't ask
to see me
and it does
not need to be
every second
of a day
as I remember
all

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Amandas secret video 3 of 3.mpg

Amandas secret video 2 of 3.mpg

Amandas secret video 1 of 3.mpg

Great Performers 2009-2010: Andreas Scholl talks about countertenors

35,000 MOONS

I never sleep
I cannot
for fear I miss a 
single second
of my time
on earth
I wake I toss
and think
and write
I watch the
trees outside
age
and grow
more
beautiful as
I dye my hair
and prick my skin
to hide the marks
of time
I walk and ride
a bike
and stretch my legs
and read a book
and sing
yet time moves on
I do not improve
I try to stay the same
but notice
it cannot be
and so relax
and hand the
reigns to another
time
watching the sun
and moon age
as the rose in  the
vase opposite 
does its pink petals
fall and turn
brown
I want to waste
no time with those
who do not love
or care for me
and move
to a stately
home of peace

Jessye Norman - A Portrait - When I Am Laid In Earth (Purcel

Friday, 28 January 2011

MONEY IS A LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP: IF BEING" RICH" IS SO BAD WHY DOES EVERYBODY WANT IT?



When asked for an opinion on rich people, I was asked if I thought there was a divide in mentality.  I think anybody can find their fortune, and there are ways of doing it, even as a single mother from a council estate. .  People are resented for having money, this is sad, because if the person resenting had money they too would suffer resentment.  Money is a tool, and it can work for you but it has to be appointed appropriately.  In gentleman prefer blondes Marilyn is asked   "A man being rich is like a girl being pretty, you might not marry her just because she is pretty, but by goodness it helps". Lying in bed with misery doesn't get you anywhere, if your biggest ambition is to get a little more government money by being more indolent, it won't make you the future Queen of England. It won't make you the "Secret Millionaire", it won't make you someone who can open a business and create jobs, which gives others an ability to have a good life. It won't make you into JK Rowling, nursing a cup of coffee because she couldn't afford several, but she was busy writing Harry Potter, and the results speak for themselves.  If everybody was prevented from making money then we might as well live under a horrible regime.
The rich need to be treated with the respect they deserve like any other human being.  They do not need to be portrayed as some alien and viewed with suspicion.  Why should anyone be singled out as a sub culture just because they have a commodity that someone else does not have, whether it is money, or looks or an education, or a special talent, or a disability.  If you single it out it becomes fearful, and is ridiculed.  It is not politically correct to make a divide?
You treat your rich friend like any other friend you may have, because if they are your friend, they are your friend first.  If they have a financial crash they are still your friend.  I have friends from all walks life, all income brackets, with far more than I have, and far less.  When I am sitting with them I do not see a join because there is no join. I do not want to be treated differently.  This is about rich friends, not rich or poor enemies.  If I love them, I love them warts and all.  It seems to be across the board "Never a lender or a borrower be".  If I feel like buying a present for my friend, I buy it, but I don't make huge gestures for the rich, or miniscule for the poor, it is equal, to the feelings at the time.  I see something and I think "A friend would love this".  Why should people be ridiculed because they have a few digits more on the bank statement.
If my friends come to stay rich or poor, I hope that they feel they have the same hospitality.  If I stay with my friends who are less fortunate than myself, I hope that they feel that I am happy to be with them, and that I am not measuring them, or that they feel uncomfortable, or that they have to provide things that they can't afford.  If a person has truly become your friend it transcends the money aspect. If I am other peoples rich friend, I hope they love me for me, warts and all, which they display to me, and equally and for my friends who are infinitely richer than I am, they make me feel we are all equal. Having money addresses the subject of money but nothing else. It doesn't turn back time, it won't buy you real love and a second chance at the first time.
I am often asked the question is it better to be miserable with money or without, I know it's better to be miserable with money.  Remember this however, money does not buy happiness, it buys comfort, and let's hope our green belt in England is not a financial deal for property developers.

John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett: Class.

French and Saunders - I should be so lucky

All things bright and beautiful

OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRYSIDE TO BE SOLD OFF on leases



The last of the family silver is about to be sold off.  Forests in England dating back hundreds of years and home to rare wildlife are to be sold off in an attempt to rake in cash.  I am totally fed up.  Is nothing sacred?  Beautiful squirrels, rabbits, butterflies, insects all sorts of  wildlife, could be endangered because we need to pay back our national debit?  I have nearly had enough of this once green and pleasant land.  It is Great Britain's heritage.  It will land hopefully into the hands of people who are responsible, but how can we be sure?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

String Quartet, Op.9, "Le Sacrifice d'Iphigénie", 2nd movt. Marcia Funeb...

THIS WAS ME AND THIS WAS HIM

Upside
down
I became one
with another
my body
shaking
entangled
bleeding eaten
I remember
flashes
of the passion
the tangled
roots of an
ancient
forest
the earth
tossed
in natural 
perfumes
the tongues
yes I like
to kiss this
beast
this beautiful alien
from another
planet
uncontrolled daring
to be hurt yet
not
I was
loved
but he
can only see
me as he does
only be 
as he is
but he too is
lucky to find
this
within me
usually 
hidden and
disturbed
I am putting
last night
into a box
and it will
be remembered
in our ancient
souls
because this is
real
this is truth
and this is rare
and this was me
and this was him


Jacqueline du Pré Cello solo

YOGA CHOPIN JACQUELINE DU PRE DEPRESSION AND CHARITY. WITHOUT DEPRESSION THERE IS NO PASSION

I have been doing Yoga now nearly for 37 days.  I am not sure how many actual lessons I have had, but I realise yet again that through the meditation within the exercises, the depression is slipping away and is being replaced by a fitter body and mind.  It is quite remarkable.  Totally efficient.  Yoga has so many positives that I feel like screaming about them from my roof top, so that everybody would try it before they go to a doctor and get a prescription for anti depressants.  I love my favourite yoga teachers Eka and Justine, I have been trying to organise a Skype lesson for a few days now.  I have never taken pills,  but I would hate to be reliant on a pill forever more, or for it to dampen my creativity. Without depression I could not write or take photographs.  It nags me to achieve more, driving me to newer levels of consciousness.  That in turn has introduced me to some incredible people, for instance yesterday my friend Vincenzo DeMaar put my poetry to music, so I was very happy.
Helping anyone else can also be a relief, but make sure that when you do, that they really need and want your unasked for pair of hands.  Too often I have had doors slammed in my face, because the one wanting help then begrudges you once you have put yourself out.
There is so much you can do for major charities, and that is what I intend to do.  I shall also open a pop up shop in London to sell many of my clothes, as there aren't enough hours in the day to wear every single item that I have ever bought. Once sold I shall help the school in Phuket, Thailand, Phuket has been good to us, my friend in Cambodia, The London Symphony Orchestra, British Film Institute and the Woodland Trust.  Maybe I shall set up a trust to pay for Yoga lessons for the depressed to show that it can improve a persons anxiety and misery?.
Listening and learning about classical music, or in fact any music, awakens deep and wonderful things.  Yesterday I was listening to Jacqueline du pre, on You Tube.  I had not thought about her for years.  I watched the passion and love she had whilst playing.  I had forgotten. I got up and started imagining myself playing, I must have looked totally ridiculous, but I had so much fun.
Now back to bed for some much needed sleep.

Dvorak Cello Concerto : Rostropovich Part 2

Dvorak Cello Concerto : Rostropovich Part 1

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

David Downton talking about Rene Gruau.

Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, filmed in 1986

Tamara de Lempicka's Former Workshop, Estate of the Month - Sep 2010

BASQUIAT Jean Michel

Irving Penn Photography

COUTURE COUTURE COUTURE

There is something incredible about the mist in Paris, it is not depressing for me. It is romantic. I walk a long the streets with a faint smile on my lips.  It is couture week and boy have I been busy.
My top two apartments are nearly sold in the Mallet Stevens Building I live in, I am keeping the Tamara de Lempicka art studio which is heaven on earth. I had some dream of  buying bread and making a home here, which as yet, has not materialised.  That is okay because other dreams did.

I decided to go first thing to the Basquiat show. This is the star attraction in Paris at the moment. Born the same year as me, but six months later in  December of 1960, the year of the rat, he certainly rushed through his short life. Dying at 28 from a drug overdose, he completed a body of  perfect work, way ahead of its time.  Personally, I loved  it so much that I wish I had gone to the art dealer Enrico Navarra a long time ago to buy one for myself.
Sidney Finch, the public relations girl for Dior stood freezing outside waiting for me.  It was worth it.  Probably the best show of its kind, I could have stayed watching the brightly coloured paintings for hours.  My associate Enrico Navarra,  one of the only men in my life who kept his promise to me,  once gave me the wonderful job of photographing artists for the the book, "Made by Indians" four or five years ago.  has a huge collection of Basquiat's paintings.   Much later I met Enrico for a drink at The Costes Hotel and he was saying he truly thinks Basquiat was a genius, I left with two huge books that he made to prove it.

However much earlier I went to the best cafe in the Trocadero, Carette, for a bun and for some coffee, also to pick up some macaroons for my friend, Dr Jean Louis Sebagh's Mother, she adores them. Jean Louis is the famous face doctor, more famous in London than Paris, with an elite clientele.  Later to Chantal Thomas to get a corset which was incredible, cream with black lace, totally adorable, they are making me one as we speak.  I love this shop.  Rick Owen's  was my next stop, I wanted to see his fabulous collection which suits Los Angeles so well. Cool comfortable and chic.  He and his wife Michele are totally stylish.  His hair reaches his waist and she is covered with exotic tattoos, rings, studs you name it.

 I have been two hours behind all week. I am here for the couture shows and John Galliano's  for Dior  was brilliant.  Out of another century, the era of ravishing Irving Penn photographs and elegance. The show based on the beautiful illustrations of Renee Gruau. Opulent colours reds, blacks, and cream, nipped in waists and little hats and net by the creative genius Stephen Jones.

I feel I have been running and in four days have covered three countries, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, but you know it was worth it.  Chanel's haute couture show was very wearable, it did not come out of the pages of the past, although some felt it was too 1980's.  I just saw it with rose tinted glasses, loving the beautiful black beading on white coats, jackets and dresses.  Karl Lagerfeld, for me  is bang up to date.

By the time last night came I could barely stay awake.  It was however essential.  I was invited to Liberatum's first fashion party, and it was the party of the night. A celebration of ten years of Jefferson Hack's Another magazine.  The ravishing Betony Vernon, Suzy Menkes wearing green, Stephen Jones, Christian Louboutin, Karla Otto, Daphne Guinness, Kate Moss and Carine Roitfeld  were all there to support him for this cosy intimate dinner.
The party was the brainchild of the clever Pablo Ganguli, who was unable to be there, and the generosity of Ella Kresner.  It was held at Stresa which is the best Italian Restaurant in the world, hugely expensive and very elitist.  A true treat.  Thank you.

Chanel Haute Couture Spring Summer 2011 Full Fashion Show

Sunday, 23 January 2011

NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN A DAY

I am lying here in my bed and wondering why on earth I came back to England.  I was enjoying myself in the heady sunny atmosphere of Hollywood. I am going back there in less than twenty days.   All good things come to an end and now I am  in my finished house on the river. Even on a gloomy day it has a romantic feel. The boats are fun to play with, I am moving them around in my head. The muddy colour of the river Thames sparks up emotion. It's funny a river can do this?.
I talked to Vincenzo DeMaar today in Croatia, he likes to increase my artistic output and push me .  In any case he is finishing the layout of my new poetry book, The seven deadly sins of a butterfly, we were choosing its colour, he wanted gold I wanted silver.  The book is based on my bad behaviour.   I then decided I might do a show with him in Croatia later this year.  He has lots of imagination, I would like to do an installation involving dance.



There are just not enough hours in a day, off to Paris tomorrow, for another artistic adventure with Liberatum.  Can't wait, better than lying in bed playing with my boats...Paris in the Springtime, you never know what adventures you are going to have there.

TOSCA at the MET, 12 HOURS IN NEW YORK

I have had a whirlwind trip to New York, but then whirlwinds can be the most fun.  I arrived just in time in the freezing cold, to go to the opera, luckily it was an incredible performance of Tosca at The Met with  Sondra Radvanovsky singing. Totally compelling.. Then went and stayed at The Trump Hotel, which I would never normally stay in, but which was less vulgar than I imagined and puts many other hotels in New York to shame.  They gave me an apartment, with great views, which was convenient to what I needed to do.  I love both The Pierre Hotel and The Carlyle .  I am just surprised that nobody had mentioned The Trump.  I am very fussy, and the service was brilliant.
Yesterday I went sale shopping with Hannah Danger Lynch, a huge character, and lots of style, I wanted to steal her Yves St Laurent shoes, but she said there was no need as they were on sale at Barneys.  We gulped down lunch at Harry Cipriani's and rushed round to find one 39.5 shoe and one 38.5, nobody would realise that this was perfect for me as I have one foot larger than the other, then  I got a further ten percent off, a cinderella story.
I was treated in the morning to incredible hair and make up from John Barrett's salon, in Bergdorf Goodman's.  Antonio can seriously do camp hair.
Then off to the airport, slept my way back to London.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

YOGA HAS A MAGNIFICENT MAGICAL QUALITY IT TRANSFORMS IMMEDIATELY

I have been doing Yoga for 30 days now.  I had to, I remembered that it was the solution for any form of sadness. Any form of self pity, or anger, and it has a natural calming quality to it.  I feel I have moved into  another world very quickly.  When I arrived in Thailand I was so exhausted from re doing my house and I had the feeling of disorientation. I just could not think straight.  I realised quickly that I needed to change my life drastically.  Leaving behind all  negativity and misery.
This is a painful process, sometimes relationships have to change,  but the wonderful postures and thought processes of Yoga move your mindset almost immediately.  My mood is better, I am happier, the sun is shining and I feel at last that I can go back to the real world.  I study with the most incredible Yoga teacher in Los Angeles called Eka, she teaches serenely at Yoga Works, and has a mystical superstar quality about her of a long lost Egyptian Princess.  In any case I am determined to carry on practising every day when I go back to London.
I started Yoga in 1992 with Godfrey Devereux an incredible inspiration at the Life Centre in Kensington. Then there was Kisen, Kharti, Lynne, who took me through two pregnancies.  Godfrey, against all odds, made me love it, so I decided to do it for the rest of my life.  It has been nearly twenty years, and I cannot believe it. During that period I have never gone a week without a lesson.  I have learnt so much from guru's and sages. Deepak Chopra and Gizi from Raja Yoga in London.
I am still full of imperfections, but hells bells, so are we all.   I still have the seven deadly sins, they are within all of us, but through practise and meditation you can think before you act.
Try Maya Fiennes class on line, we have easy access to most things to help us..
So for the New Year I am writing my list of ideals.

MATT COLLISHAW "Shooting Stars" 2008

MAT COLLISHAW's beautiful work

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l69I612LePM&feature=related

Sam Taylor-Wood - A Little Death (2002)

Ashes & Snow (1 of 5)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A TRUE FRIEND INSPIRES YOU AND DOESN'T CARE WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT YOU, DEEPAK CHOPRA

THE GLOBES, MAKE UP AND HAIR, AND THE SMILE


J
The golden globes were packed with brightly coloured dresses last night. January Jones, was for me the best dressed in a red Versace dress. January had asked Donatella to make it for her.  Of course I love the look,  stunningly retro, taking us into real Hollywood.  Natalie Portman made pregnancy absolutely adorable, in a pink satin dress with a pretty red rose in beads on it, by Victor and Rolf, cute as a button. There were so many stunning dresses to choose from.

Make up and hair are essential if you wish to bump up your star quality. Personally I use Angela Kalinowski from the Mirage Hotel's salon, Kim Vo..  Angela is a hidden secret, my friends.  This  treasure seriously knows how to do hair.  This week we have been  weaving colours in and out at the back, creating a modern version of a 1928 hair do.  Of course I have pink and black extensions in blonde hair, I love this.  I must have had at least fifteen compliments.  I have gone round the world for real hairdressers, who are beautifully trained, and for me there are only three that are any good.  She is one of them, the other is Snowden Hill in London, and another is in Paris.

For make up I use Tonya Crooks, the eye brow queen of Beverly Hills.  I think she makes me look better than I did ten years ago.. I have fun trying new camp looks.  In London, Emma Obyrn equally does really good clean make up.

These lovely creatures decided to come and hold my hand for an audition yesterday, with George Blodwell the stylist.. Heaven knows how I did, and I  shall remain quiet about it.  I felt suddenly very English sitting in a chair being filmed.  It was so so Hollywood that I had to give it a go, I like to open every door.  In any case it was one of my dreams as a teenager to try everything once, and to stretch my imagination.

In the evening I went to the world famous hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, it was his 83rd birthday, which he charmingly wished was his 38th.  This man has pure serenity.  I swear he looks good because he smiles and is happily married.. Ronnie Sassoon his wife equally share this beautiful quality and she is a brilliant cook to boot.

tonyacrooks.com
angelakhair.com

Friday, 14 January 2011

BETWEEN TWO GLOBAL GIANTS GEORGE BLODWELL and RUSHKA BERGMAN


I have spent the day it seems squashed between two wonderful stylists.  This morning George Blodwell took me to the gift suites at the L'hermitage and The London Hotel. The 'Gift Suites ' are still a highly prized invitation, despite not being so popular with Hollywood stars, because they felt that they were being used. I of course  had never been before.  George is always full of enthusiasm, last night he arrived at the Beverly Hills Hotel with two pairs of sunglasses with pearls and furry muffs on one and blue lace on the other.  He handed them to me and said "You are the only person in the world that can wear them" I put the glasses on immediately and loved them.  The gift suites are set in about four rooms at L'hermitage  and contain anything from special teas to unusual pieces of leather wear, to corsets and jewels.  We were taken carefully around the rooms, and shown everything. People from all over the world were busy advertising their ideas.  It was a fun way to get to know different worlds all crammed together from Colmans Mustard, PG Tips who are eco friendly to Californian Champagne in gold and silver bottles. The London Hotel was much the same it had underwear by TC Fine Intimates to wear under your Globe dress, shoes by Ron White that are comfortable to wear all day, and you feel as if you walk on air, Revita lash to make your lashes grow fast, an incredible camera that can make films in seconds and it stays in your hair by LOOXCIE and a new Nescafe Dolce Gusto which makes frothy cappucinos, macchiatos,mochas etc. I was by now exhausted and dying to get home.  With twenty bags we stumbled into my bat mobile. I then had a quick change and met Rushka Bergman, Fashion Editor for L'Uomo Vogue and my great friend,  for  a quick dinner before one of the many Globe parties. She was being fabulous as usual. 'Darlink, what are you doing on your fashion page at Genlux, if you don't wear white then don't show white"

THE WHITE SALE, CHELSEA WEST 26th STREET, LORRETTA HOWARD GALLERY/ YASSI MAZANDI

The King to His Peoples. H.M. King George VI from Buckingham Palace Sept...

THE BUI GALLERY

Overfishing of the Oceans

Thursday, 13 January 2011

THE PAST AND FUTURE GLAMOUR OF THE GLOBES AND OSCARS


Beverly Hills is busy with huge blacked out cars, and women wearing Los Angeles fashion. It is the land of convertible Bentleys and shaved pink mink, diamonds and big hair ready for the Globes and Oscars.
However, I will continue to wear my little black numbers from Marc Jacobs, Emilia Wickstead, Alexander Mcqueen and Michel Klein and ignore everybody else.  I like sharp chic simplicity.  The stretched long Roberto Cavalli  dresses look strange on me.  I have no wish to have fake  brown boobs and show them off.  I like to look like a combination of nun and dolly.  Little dresses with black tights.  I am just not that type of girl, who desires a Birkin  bag and large glasses, long figure hugging dresses with diamante.
If I had to I would  want to look like old Hollywood glamour. This week end my hair will be tweaked to perfection in a 1950's do with make up similar to Gwen Stefani.  I cannot compete with  the "long legged big titted lolita come get me look" of Los Angeles today.
I love Norma Desmond, the turban, the ravishing makeup of yesterday, the black and white photographs, the elegance, the long cigarette holder and the chauffeur wearing a cap. Grace Kelly epitomised true elegance in 1955 at the Oscars.  The beautiful face, wearing satin, she had a natural sophistication difficult to  beat.  Penelope Cruz has tried when she wore a  1950's Balmain dress.  Lana Turner looked immaculate as did many others. The dresses of Marquesa, Versace, Dior and Chanel will be worn on the red carpet  with jewellery from Cartier, Van Cleef, Graff, and many others all fighting for top billing.
Who will look the the best dressed this year is anybody's guess with these beautiful women, Angelina Jolie, Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman.Julianne Moore and Halle Berry, fighting for best actress.  I personally  hope they find  dresses from the past, and make them live again, but it is big business, and there will be huge pressure on every design house to show this seasons best.

POLLY SAMSON's BOOK LAUNCH BRITISH VOGUE FEBRUARY ISSUE

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Blue Canyon

Blue Canyon

The Elephant Love Medley From Moulin Rouge

Parov Stelar - Charleston Butterfly

Save Our Bees.Before It'S Too Late

TOMORROW YESTERDAY

I felt shy
I felt I wanted to hide
behind a smile
I felt trapped by
no thought
I felt
I talked too much
I wanted to feel again
and yet I could
not
I wanted to be held
to listen to
nothing
but the silence of
the heart beat
I wanted to be hugged
in the low light
of a yellow room
but all I could hear
was the shallow 
talk 
of before and tomorrow
I looked up 
and saw his eyes
loving and in love
I could smell him
I could touch his hair
but all I could do was turn
my back and creap into
sheets that were
yesterdays
I wanted him
I wanted him to
tame me
but he was not there
to tame the wild beast
I have become
I have forgotten
the sensitivity
of fingers
on my back
but I liked him kissing
my neck
I just wish he hadn't talked.
there was nothing to say
I liked him and that
is why
I was there.

Monday, 10 January 2011

HOUSE IS TRANSFORMED

I am truly thankful to the people working for me.  I landed in Los Angeles from a very long flight.  I could have felt ratty tired and strung out, but between Thai Airways, and the work of Leura Fine and Arminda Vispos, I arrived to find that my house is nearly finished in Beverly Hills.  It still has twenty men walking through, so I cannot live there, but their workmanship is brilliant.  The 1979 house that I hated so much has been transformed and now has wonderful volume and light.  With views down to the sea it is remarkable. Martyn Lawrence Bullard has been a gift sent from heaven.  This is not his normal job, he just took it on as a friend.  I am now in love with Nicky Haslam and Martyn.. Both have helped me in a charming helpful way.  I don't know which house I prefer, I just know I am  happy and these two men are totally efficient and incredibly inspiring.   They are real men.  That is what I like.
I am also excited about some neon signs made by Michael Fletchner, based on Kay Saatchi's cartoons of me.  The seven deadly sins is about to enter the final stages, I am so excited. Of course they depict my every mood..

GENLUX

POETRY by AMANDA ELIASCH, new images on their way

http://butterflame.com/v1/?paged=2
butterflame.com

Michael Nyman

Poetry by RUMI -- Who Says Words with My Mouth

Rumi: Say I Am You (Sufi poem)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

AUDIBLE

AUDIBLE

BREASTS



Could I live without my bosoms?
Could I live without a man kissing them 
my imperfect but loved breasts
taken
by some dreadful
disease.
a child unable to
drink its natural
honey for survival
Would I be invisible?
the soft tissue melted
cut and sliced
under a surgeons
knife
would I feel whole
ever again
They make us who we
are
a natural gift from god
Poor girls little girls
with no
bosoms
You grow into a woman
your breasts grow
They age with you
poor women with none
brave women with none
So wear your breasts with pride
they signal that you are fertile
everything is unique
and thank goodness
nothing perfect.

Friday, 7 January 2011

COLLECTING ART




I was madly in love with Stalin's War Room by Dexter Dalwood, I lost it in my divorce, but loved it the moment I saw it. On a stark black background  a red telephone sits on an empty table.  Simple yet I used to watch it for hours.
I personally like to collect art which is meaningful to my life.  I love my art friends and on the whole I like to know the artists that I buy from.  I feel they leave a part of themselves in my house, so I want to like them too.  
I really only started to like contemporary art when I did a book for Franca Sozzani, Editor in chief of Italian Vogue called British Artists at Work, published by Assouline, it gave me an insight to a world which I would not have seen otherwise.  I used to enter an artists studio and fall in love or not immediately.  
Tracey Emin's studio was immaculate, colour coordinated and full of fascinating objects.  I could spend hours in her studio or even her house.  Tracey has soul, and luckily I have several of her drawings
of birds and nudes.
In the Summer I bought a large white elephant, with an orchid on its back, of Marc Quinn's, I did not mean to, but if you have a crush like that, go for it.  The elephants were dotted round London and were sold to help save the elephant from extinction, by buying up land so that they can naturally migrate, headed by Mark Shand it was just the sort of wonderful opportunity I like.  Auctions for charity often have unusual pieces that the artist would not normally do.  So I was lucky enough to get this beautiful elephant which takes up the whole of my drawing room in Cheyne Walk.
Every piece I buy I feel attachment for, it is a coup de foudre.
In Los Angeles I have a skull chair ATELIER VAN LIESHOUT Sensory Deprivation Skull’, 2007, which I notice children love and sit in for hours.  It has doors into a whole new world, they can play peek-a-boo and listen to conversations that they are not meant to.  I bought it at Phillips de Pury.
 I go all over the place and often run in and run out of a galleries.  They are stark places and you feel watched. Another skull I loved was by The Chapman Brothers, whose work I first admired at Sensation.  My sons at the time used to ask to go to see the show, to see the Shark of Damien Hirst's,   I encouraged them.  I then realised that they used to skip under the guard's eyes and run as fast as they could to see the Chapman Brother's sculptures. The skulls are twins and against a shocking pink background grab your attention when you enter the room.
I had the good fortune to buy a magpie from Polly Morgan, a beautiful young artist, it reminded me of when I was a child.  My Mother was obsessed by counting magpies, so I immediately bought it.  I always want to find a second as it sits on a telephone all on its own, and I would like two for joy.

My brain works like that.  Passion and then reaction.  The same as in life. It can be the only way to start a collection.  That is how I do it.  Now after ten years  I must have at least thirty pieces of art dotted around, all with real links to my life..  Duggie Fields, Tim Noble Sue Webster, Matt Collishaw, Mark Brazier Jones, Orial Harwood, Vincenzo Demaar, Mazza, so many different spirits flying through the house.   I love that.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

I FEEL LIKE LANA TURNER IN HER PRIME, AND NO MISERABLE CREATURE IS GOING TO BURST MY BUBBLE

I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE PARADISE

I had a really nice letter from Tina Hall, Phuket has been good to us Foundation, at the Thai school, in Kamala, Phuket  yesterday, who were so grateful that I put the information on facebook and on my blog.  They want anybody who is willing and able to go and teach there. The little children were adorable and I immediately wanted to help them. I also heard from my guide at the Amansara who could not afford his school fees.  For very little money there are so many people to help.  He is also a fantastic guide and he is making me a rickershaw, which I have always wanted.  It was the best way to see Angkor Wat and the  other Wat's in the jungle. With so many things to still see I wish I did not have to leave Cambodia and Thailand.
I arrived early in Bangkok, and went to see my friend Rolph Von Beuren.  In my opinion the three taste makers in the East are Adrian Zecha of the Aman Resorts, Rolph Von Beuren who owns tiny little boutique shops in the historical Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This hotel has real history, Churchill came here and many writers, and in the old part you feel the stories in the wooden walls.
 At Lotus, Arts de Vivre, you  can see wonderful unusual objects, rings made of wood with beautiful carved bulls heads on them, diamond necklaces made in Thai writing, boxes, paintings of Chinese girls combing their hair, and the shoes that my son Charlie loves.  Velvet slippers with gold dragons or elephants on them.
 Last but not in any way least, I had the honour of hearing David Tang, the third man of style in the East,  play the piano beautifully, he  sings and is truly a renaissance man. He is interesting, cultured and there is never a dull moment. Best friends with the most exclusive people on the planet, he still let Charles practise all week on his piano.

These  incredibly elegant men with wonderful wives are perfect company.

As you see I really do not want to leave the river here, I am mesmerised by the boats.  I am very happy when I see water.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

ADVICE TO EARTH TRAVELLERS

"IF YOU WANT TO HANG OUT WITH CLOWNS, JOIN THE CIRCUS AND LEARN TO TIGHTROPE WITHOUT A SAFETY NET"

PHUKET HAS BEEN GOOD TO US FOUNDATION SET UP FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE TSUNAMI in KAMALA, NEED OUR SUPPORT





The Tsunami, in Phuket on the 26th December 2004, destroyed a lot of this beautiful Island off Thailand. Most of the area of Kamala was damaged leaving many children homeless and without parents.  I was at the Amanpuri and still have memories of this terrible natural disaster.  Of course I was lucky enough to be at this amazingly rich hotel that is built high up on rocks, I was lucky enough to be in my room safe.  The rest in poorer areas suffered huge losses.  They have re built their school and have all the children living here who suffered, and have no families that can look after them.  They require teachers and help still,  and are grateful to anybody who can help them out.  The children are recovering under the watchful eye of Tina Hall,  Director of Operations, who runs The Coconut Club and the English Language section.  Tina has given up her life to help these children.  I understood why, forget the rich and  the powerful, this is much more meaningful, helping these children who were so full of life and laughter is indeed a magical experience. If anybody wishes to teach please get in touch with her www.phukethasbeengoodtous.org.
I shall continue to help this ancient peaceful culture get back on its feet again in any way I can.