Monday 21 May 2012

Wilmot, Ohio

I want to go here!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I am slowly starting to develop a real fascination for the U S of A. Maybe I fancy a road trip. I NEED to go here. Wilmot, Ohio, home of the world's largest cuckoo clock! :)

The fact that it is in Amish country only serves to make it more attractive to me.
I would also go here and here and here...

Sunday 20 May 2012

In praise of topiary

I've always loved topiary. The denseness of the colour of the yew hedges which are often used and the shapes and combinations that you can get with it. Do you remember Lytes Cary from last year? Well now I have come across these amazing pictures from a place called Castle Markizyak which is in the Dordogne region in France.
The shape of these hedges reminds me of pebbles on a beach. Quite unexpected and somehow quite modern. I would love to visit this garden at night with that wonderful lighting you see on the third picture.
As for that bottom picture; what about that for a terrace? Awe-inspiring. I don't think I would ever get bored of that view.
I have just discovered how to make pictures bigger, like this one at the bottom. I think I might use that a bit more.

Saturday 19 May 2012

Uppercase part 3

The final spotlight is on a Dutch artist called Jane Schouten. She has a really lovely home, a website with some beautiful pictures on it, plus an inspiring blog to boot! You have to visit the website yourself because I can't get any of the pics off of it. Enjoy.

Friday 18 May 2012

Uppercase part 2

Some more goodies from Uppercase magazine.

First up is Lourdes Sanchez. In the magazine it was the abstract shapes in joyful colours I was drawn to, but actually once I went to the website, it was her florals which I was swooning over. The bottom one of the dandelions is my absolute favourite.
Back in March when I was in London for a few days, we went into Liberty's and saw this most wonderful huge squashy velvet sofa. It also had a grey floral print on it, which I loved.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Uppercase magazine

I was given a copy of this lovely magazine by my friend Eloise Renouf, who just happens to be the cover artist...and what a marvelous cover it is!

Such an inspiring affair, everything about it. I just keep looking at it and feeling excited. It has people's work, people's houses, people's clothes. Honestly, it's got everything a nosey person like me could possibly want.

Oh hold on, it says it is a magazine for the creative and curious. Curious is much better.
The first artist that I was curious about was Nancy Mims, who designs textiles in Austin, Texas. I love that shot of the Audrey Hepburn poster on her own design colourful wallpaper. If you are feeling curious and want to see more, she has a website.
Or how about Vintage Sue who makes accessories which she sells under the brand name Giant Dwarf? She has a collection of over 300 dresses! That is exactly the kind of thing somebody curious like me wishes to know. Thank you Uppercase magazine.

Friday 11 May 2012

Apple blossom

Late this year, but fleeting as ever. I was just waiting for a break in the rain to get some photos.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Caine's Arcade

This was on the news this morning.

How wonderful to be that entrepreneurial and imaginative. I love the fact that this little boy never gave up hope and that his father indulged his dream in such a sweet supportive way.

Tomorrow I aim to post something which WON'T make you cry :)

Friday 4 May 2012

An act of kindness

I don't usually post anything like this, but it really touched me. Food for thought.

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'

'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

V V Rouleaux

The other week when I was down in London, we went into VV Rouleaux, home of ribbons and trims. I loved the racks of goodies in glorious colours. I ended up buying some feather birdies, which have come to rest on a branch I rescued from our tree-lined road.
The turquoise coloured one reminds me of the budgies my grandmother used to keep. As one died it would be replaced with another, but the funny thing was that they were all called Peter. Male or female it didn't matter. And she would call to them, "Petey, Petey, Petey, who's a good boy?" I like those old family memories.