Wednesday, 23 December 2015

THE ALCHEMY OF LOVING

This time of year I always remember the writer Charles Dickens and the tale he told us in "A Christmas Carol". Altruism and poverty from the 19th Century spun Dickens into a frenzy and he wrote this lasting  novella in 1843 to remind us what stinginess and greed bring. It is also a time to remember St Nicholas who has become Father Christmas, who was born in what is now Turkey, but then in 270, The Holy Roman Empire. He was a great healer and revered.
Foolishly, this Christmas, Mr Corbyn has managed, without buying any presents or food for the table,  to "cook his goose".  He should have noticed that my favourite jungle dame, Lady Colin Campbell is the only person able to divide the country in two. Banning Christmas signifies and reminds us of the miserable Scrooge, in the scriptures it says Mohammed believed that we Christians should celebrate this time of year, despite being banned in 11 countries around the world.

As punishment Mr  Corbyn should be visited by three spectres, the first, Christmas Past in the shape of the GLC and Margaret Thatcher, who could try and take him back to a time when he was born and kill him before he becomes a nuisance to our nation. She should appear to him at the end of his bed in full 1980's power dressing, a mighty Beehive bob and a cigar.  Christmas Present should be in the shape of  Princess Diana, Barbara Cartland and Lilly Savage.  Christmas future could be the National Health Service in the mortuary, crying out for neglect and old aged pensioners freezing cold. Perhaps then he could remember that Cromwell is now considered a miserable toad, lacking colour popularity and humour.

I love getting ready for Christmas, decorating the house, buying presents, laying the table.
I was fortunate this Christmas to receive 3 Turkeys and a Goose for nine people, a very good omen for the coming year.  I tried to give them away and discovered that unless I was vetted beforehand there were no takers for my wonderful cooking, didn't they know I went to Winkfield, a finishing school that taught girls cooking, a cordon bleu school.  I enjoyed becoming a martyr from 8am in the morning until the actual serving of a delicious Christmas lunch at 4pm and finally clearing up at 9pm. In reflection I totally understand and appreciate the slightly irritable tone from my Mother, who was always overworked. I was lucky enough to play with Inesa, who is seriously inventive when it comes to recipes.
Christmas beauty
Basting the Turkey

I had a long funny day with wonderful friends from the magical Dark Theatre, Inesa and her husband Barrington creating spells together, it was everything that Christmas should be. Living in the present, it was a  celebration of friendship and family, of giving and loving each other. Nothing was mentioned about baby Jesus only in church the night before. Does this matter? No, it is about good intentions and holding hands with people you love. As Cinderella the film preaches "Kindness" is everything. Inesa  had recipes for Herrings cooked with carrots and a dangerous cake with two bottles of brandy in it. An even better recipe which included poppy seeds and milk, but took a lot of work made us all very happy.
The midnight service, the night before at St Martins in the Fields made me childlike as I sung the descants. I remember singing with a great friend in my sons Carol concerts. Each year we sat in the back and were told off for knowing and giving our all in Hark the Herald Angels Sing  as it went full pelt to sing the top G. Of course I easily used to go to a top B or C when I was young. It is still as much fun as when I was 7 years old. The words weave good feeling throughout the night.
The fun of hiding behind a mask

Whether you are a prolific lover of festivity, fun or singing, being anti, and feeling disparaging thoughts, Scrooge comes to life. As countries ban Christmas, yet Iran does not, who cares what religion we are, more to the point we should all enjoy life, give freely, help others and love them. This is the recipe for happiness and good alchemy. The ritual of tenderness, the cooking, cleaning and cuddling is so important and as I get older more interesting.
The magical potion of Poppy Seed Milk

My day was finished off with a walk in the park watched over by a full moon and the acting of howling wolves. I walked off Christmas pudding happily. Late into the night I watched my favourite  Sir Tim Rice tell tales of his musical life on BBC 2. At the moment he and Andrew Loyd Webber have put on the wonderful Wizard of  Oz throughout America, perhaps some more dreams will come true as I open my Christmas presents, luckily I received a pink pig money bank, a catalogue of artworks that are not mine but I love, and a butterfly made of mink and silver, a beautiful DNA restorer of sound by Mark Brazier Jones and a new white collar from Kay Saatchi. I am a lucky girl. Falling to sleep to a friends advice, life can be fulfilling. No need to be a "Kill Joy" Mr Corbyn. Enjoy yourself. The Queens Speech.
Thanks be to God.



Friday, 18 December 2015

NEIGHBOURS AND OTHER PEOPLE

Christmas is on the door step and I nearly went mad trying to find an angel for my tree this week. 
With at least eight rooms featuring different types of Christmas decorations in Harrods, I thought I was going to collapse with the heat and I got the vapours.  I feel London has been invaded by thousands of people. Leaving Harrods I was exhausted. I decided to order them by post and two promptly arrived,  as I apparently pressed the send button twice on the computer by mistake from Balsam Hill. Beautiful delicate golden angels, I could not part with one of them so kept them both.
Apart from my new tree which smells delicious also from the Balsam, there are are a lot of changes in my house this week, for a start I asked the Bay Tree in the front garden to be trimmed, instead it got chopped in half, I can't pull it down as good old Henry V111 planted it and I hate pulling down trees. The good thing is I now have far reaching views from my drawing room. 
Bored with the joke, my "White Elephant" is no longer in the house as I put it on my terrace, I think I shall cover it with my fake jewellery as it looks so happy among the old geranium plants and now he can flash my neighbours.
Some poor dog continually barks nearby day and night. Yapping, it is clearly left. I thought about rescuing it but knew that within minutes I would be caught if I climbed  into the next door garden. Seriously though why have dogs if you don't look after them?
On another grumble why is it that builders like to start work at 7.30am and then finish at 10.00am?
Next door feels as if they are going to enter my bedroom any minute as they build a huge new extension. The house clearly hates it and groans as yet another nail goes into the party wall.
Then the building on the opposite side of the river is now considered the largest building site in the whole of Europe, in the old Battersea Power Station, designed now by Frank Gehry. This time they have not used Terry Farrell for more dreary constructions, but the brilliant Frank Gehry who last year interviewed for Liberatum  Terry Farrell has already ruined Earls court by pulling down the famous architect who built Detroit, Howard Crane. I loved Earls Courts facade and do not really understand the very fast changing face of London. Let's hope that in 50 years from now Terry Farrell's hideous constructions are removed too. Anyway, these huge building projects now explain why Lorries are hooting all night and are driving at huge speeds along the embankment. I am definitely going to join Zac Goldsmith's team to fight this huge intrusion as he makes his way to becoming Mayor of London.   I do hope the golden Mr Goldsmith is not beaten to the post by Mr  Khan, England is already going to the dogs. Hope Mr Khan if he gets in is all for freedom of speech and not homophobic.

My fur coats, I gather, are now in the height of fashion on upright chairs and copies were featured in The Turner Prize by Nicole Wermer who copied Hungarian Architect and Modernist, furniture designer, Marcel Breuer.  Good news as I have been using fur this way for ages. Old news, though as the Turner Prize used to be so bang up to date and exciting.
I have checked out some portrait artists too, thinking of making sure I last forever and
I do like having my portrait done. I love having my photograph taken too, but there is something
lasting about a portrait. Years ago Bob Carlos Clarke wanted to photograph me behind bars as a convict, instead of in PVC which he usually used. I liked the idea. Instead I have had mine painted three times, twice by Theo Platt,  once by Vincenzo deMaar  which I received at my 50th birthday having never met him but featuring two heads. Snap shot photography is great but selfies do not have the same glamour as a painting.
This week saw the huge sale of Margaret Thatcher's most intimate items, I was rather appalled by the sale of her clothes, ordinary and normal tailored suits. What were the avaricious Carol and Mark thinking of? Clearly they need the cash, but really it is unthinkable to sell a wedding dress. I remember my Mother chopping up hers, a beautiful pale green wedding dress, and turning it into coat hangers. Common sense though for a second. We never own anything, we just borrow them for the time they are in our possession, so perhaps the greedy unattractive twins for once thought right?
Thank goodness I am not into Turd Art. This is the final insult to humanity as we see it. You certainly should think about giving some money away if you buy the Venus di Milo made out of turds sold for $50,000  from excrement Pandas moulded by children with a little help from artist Zhu Cheng.  Of course Chris Ofili used elephant dung, but he did it so well. Reported here in the LA Times the world is at its end, but at last I can now see a river view from my drawing room.