Monday, 21 March 2016

Perfect day

So yesterday afternoon I sneaked up to the Grenoside Reading Rooms early to drop off my bara brith for the surprise tea party and preps were well underway . . .
 Sister and friend working hard
But there was still time for a walk and a blast of fresh air before getting my gladrags on - so I headed on up the hill for that quick "top of my world" feeling.

And this tune often pops into my head when the sun shines unexpectedly and I'm feeling reflective - take a listen while you climb up to St Helena with me

lovely to see the 'spring has sprung' evidence on the village green
and down the hill
to the party venue
I was soon out of my jeans and suitably scrubbed up for afternoon tea
as were the workers!!
so enjoy the party with us - afternoon tea at it's best
the star of the show
and her lovely daughter
friends galore
candles to light
bottles to uncork
speeches to cheer
candles to blow out
hugs
smiles
cake cutting
and final farewells
after a happy, joyful afternoon
HaPpY bIrThDaY mEgAn

and so say all of us

X X X X X X X X X X

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

more please

Fun Friday

Our wonderful whirlwind weekend in London started literally with a bang(ing) of spoons and bowls

 Click and play one of my favourites - but let's face it, they are all amazing songs
No photos in school ofcourse, but this was the most brilliant, professional production, great stage set and a cast full of joyful talented 11-14 year olds singing at the top of their voices.  A two hour treat at School21 - the time went all too fast but they certainly deserved the standing ovation they got from us all.

And we in our turn ended the evening with Food Glorious Food at the brilliant and friendly Poco in Broadway Market - can highly recommend this - the most amazing inventive tapas with locally sourced ingredients and great to share for our gang
and so say all of us - happy times!


Sunny Saturday

and after a yummy breakfast at the ever amazing Fingers Crossed, we're off onto those streets paved with gold.  If you want a real blast of London sing-a-long try this Flanagan and Allen number:
Waiting for the bus on Kingsland Road in a sunny Dalston
the three muskateers
and first stop the Courtauld Gallery within the magnificent Somerset House - always a hub of activity
Primarily here for the Botticelli drawings, but lovely diversions en route, like this 1906 George Braque "The Port of L'Estaque"
the amazing gallery spaces
and this 1892 C├ęzanne "Card Players" which I really loved
The Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection was just stunning - photos not allowed of course, but room after room of intricate drawings by Botticelli’s Dante’s Divine Comedy alongside a some incredible and beautiful Renaissance illuminated manuscripts - alive with colour yet so ancient.
Here are a couple of postcards that I bought of my favourites - though they were all amazing and well worth seeing
"The centre of Hell: the full figure of Lucifer" Sandro Botticelli
"Histoire du bon roi Alexandre" 13th Century manuscript
This is the famous staircase in the Courtauld too - this taken from right in the basement.
Naturally at this stage of the day it was time for a cuppa and some Viennese cakey treats and where better than the sumptuous Delaunay where I found my idea brew Pai Mu Tan, white tea.  And when a quick tweet reveals that our delectable Sheffield Birdhouse Tea Company stock it, I am in seventh heaven!!
Sachertorte and Kaiserschmarren - yum
So, much rested and fed, we were off to the Architectural Association to catch the Walter Segal exhibition all about the self-build houses he famously designed.  I always love their exhibitions because everything's so well explained and you learn so much.
and here's more about the Sheffield Segal house - wonder where it is ....
Bit of time to kill, so off round the corner to our favourite London Review of Books for another cuppa and a book browse.  One of the best collections of poetry I have seen.

Then back full circle to Dalston and dinner at the famed Mangal II  - where we were sitting right next to Gilbert and George, there for their regular evening meal around 7.30pm.  But we had to leave them eating, as we were over to the lovely old Rio Cinema to see Hail Caesar
Then it was off for a good sleep before venturing out again for another adventure ....

Sociable Sunday

Starting the day with a great brunch and more fabulous friends at the lovely Hackney Bureau
followed by a walk in the sun
and a tube ride to the Tate Britain to catch the very last day of the Frank Auerbach exhibition
Obviously no photos allowed in the exhibition, but suffice to say it was incredible to see all his work laid out from the 1950s - the thick layers of oil paints so close up, the deep colours so fresh and new looking and the amazing sketches too.  Really glad we caught this and there's a great review in the Guardian.
and the very two people who inspired us to go - and who we hadn't seen since our wedding - well I didn't get a photo of them either cos we were inside the gallery.  So, girls - here's your thank you and it was wonderful to meet you both after all these years - here's to the next time.
So, finally our happy brilliant weekend was over and it was a final 'proper Northern' Sunday roast back in Dalston at the friendly Hand of Glory pub with Jess
then a dash to St Pancras and a final flat white with Jamie before heading back up North and home.

Sheffield suddenly seemed very quiet as we wended our way from the station on the number 85 bus!!

Memories are made of this - we could quite happily go right back to the beginning and do it all over again!!  Thank you everyone.