a way of life...

Month: October 2016

Despite the sunny days and mild temperature there’s no denying that autumn is in the air as the clocks go back this weekend. The afternoons will be shorter and the evenings longer as sunset is brought forward by an hour. Don’t despair as this is a wonderful time to put the garden to bed and enjoy the cosiness of being indoors.

I have stripped the beds of their summer-weight quilts and aired them in the autumn sunshine before packing them away for the next few months. Winter blankets have been removed from trunks and spread around the house to use as we snuggle up in front of the telly.img_8217

The shorter days needn’t be dreary as I’ve dusted down my favourite lanterns and votives and put in brand new tealights to add a glow to the mantlepiece.img_8209The last of the summer blooms have been cut and brought indoors to add seasonal colour and fragrance. img_8206

I’ve taken great pleasure in editing my wardrobe. A handful of summer items have been kept to one side just in case I manage to get away for a sunshine break this month but on the whole winter woolies have replaced summer t-shirts and my favourite boots are taking centre stage as they have been pulled forward from the depths of the cupboard; reheeled, revived, and ready to go.

I don’t celebrate Halloween in my house but what a magnificent excuse to decorate with spooky cobwebs, oversized spiders, and gloriously carved pumpkins. I know a lot of people will be celebrating this festival this weekend and will enjoy the spectacle that will besiege local homes and businesses.

All in all I love hunkering down for the onslaught of winter and look forward to the start of the preparation for Christmas and making plans for New Year’s Eve celebrations (already!).

This coming month there are a multitude of Christmas fairs offering unusual gifts that are often hard to find on the High Street. Amongst my favourites are The Spirit of Christmas at Olympia, The Christmas Fair at Ascot Race Course, The Medicine Garden Christmas Shopping Evening in Cobham, and The Rural Crafts Association “Crafts For Christmas” at Loseley Park.

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Furniture For The Future

img_8177Attending a champagne reception hosted by bespoke furniture maker Silverlining at The National Portrait Gallery in London was an honour. As guest of my business partner you could say it was all in a day’s work but this was a very special occasion. Celebrating 30 years of excellence the event attracted guests from all over the world. img_8174

Based in Wrexham Silverlining have built up an extensive client base. Their passion, commitment, and craftsmanship, ensures each and every piece of furniture they produce is of the highest quality and original design. Their name is derived from the metal cores that are used to prevent woods from distorting and from the use of silver hallmarks to date furniture and to identify its maker.img_8180A cast-iron sculpture by Antony Gormley viewed the proceedings from a void above whilst 4K images of Silverlining’s intricate patterns were projected onto the walls and ceilings.img_8191Guests at this invitation only event had private access to the Picasso Portraits exhibition which runs until February 2017. Over eighty works focus on the artist’s portrayal of family, friends and lovers. These portraits cover all periods of Picasso’s career from his boyhood to his latter years. Some of the works on display are being shown in the UK for the first time.

Sea, Sunflowers & Bunting

img_8097With my invitation in hand I made my way to The Mall Galleries in SW1 to the opening of the Royal Society of Marine Artists’ annual exhibition in London.img_8093Over 400 works of art are on display, ranging from the most fabulous photo montage images, to the most stunning paintings. Bright red sails; children in rock pools; crashing waves; colourful hulls; and lots, lots more seascapes to prolong the feeling of summer.img_8118

My particular favourite was The Fisherman’s Hut by Haidee-Jo Summers. Unlike the majority of works on show it depicted an interior setting with a view of the sea through the window. Contemporary in style, with sunflowers in a vase and union jack bunting in the alcove, it really caught my eye.


It would seem I wasn’t its only admirer as it has been awarded the Mall Galleries bookshop greetings card award 2016. As such, it has been reproduced as a greetings card to promote the Royal Society of Marine Artists and is available to buy in the gallery’s bookshop.img_8113

President of the RSMA, Elizabeth Smith introduced Elizabeth Meek MBE to officially open the exhibition on Tuesday afternoon. It runs from then until October 8 and is open every day between 10am and 5pm. Painting demonstrations and hands-on workshops tutored by Society Members will be taking place during the exhibition. Full details can be found at www.rsma-web.co.uk

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