War Horse @ New London Theatre

Still thinking about the most amazing 
theatre production we went to see this week.
at the New London Theatre

"War Horse is a thrilling and spectacular production based on the celebrated novel by Michael Morpurgo.
The First World War is the backdrop for this tale of bravery, loyalty, and the extraordinary bond between a young recruit and his horse.
Actors, working with astonishing life-sized puppets by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company, take audiences on an unforgettable journey through history."

We took the our 10 year old son and he
was in awe...just as we were.
It's a winner!

Images: 1 and review, 2

Walking with Winston Churchill at Chartwell

I went walking with Winston Churchill on Sunday....in my dreams. 
We went along to visit Chartwell,
a National Trust Property and the Churchill family home for many years. 
The inside was as special as the outside. I will come back to the inside soon.

Clementine and Winston Churchill lived in Chartwell for 40 years.
They adored it and it shows in what they created. 
They toiled, planned, and fretted but in the end it is said to have 
brought them great joy, as a home should. 

Mary Soames, daughter of Winston and Clementine, writes of her mother....
" Over the years her pleasure in the place was seldom unalloyed by anxiety. Clementine, however, never stinted thought or effort in making Chartwell a delightful, comfortable home for her family, and the charming place so many friends through the years would recall. My mother imprinted the stamp of her lovely, and always unaffected, taste on both house and garden".

and of her father...

"As the years mounted, Winston still found infinite pleasure and contentment at Chartwell. Grandchildren as well as children came to be company for both my parents. My mother now played croquet instead of tennis; my father would watch the butterflies on the buddleias and count the red admirals with satisfaction, or sit for hours gazing over the dim blueness of the Weald - the view that 40 years before had so enraptured him."

A rainy Sunday at Chartwell and a walk along the property

An Artist at work...the studio.

A Gardener creates....

A great man alone in his thoughts....

creating a vision that would change the world.

Westerham, Kent

Return to Collage of Life

Croc Lust @ Aspinal of London

A little Amazon Brown Croc lust 
for the travelling woman....
all happening at Aspinal of London

(PS.. up to 75% off on some items
 thru 29 August 2010)
Manhattan Clutch with Chain (on sale)

Large Eton Tote

Portofino Rolling Cabin Bag

Travel Wallet with Passport Cover

World Atlas

Pocket London A-Z

and those for those of you 
living in London..
a little purple passion

The Aspinal Social Diary 
and Directory 2011


Walking in the Highlands

One of the beauties of the Highlands in Scotland
is that you can see for miles an miles 
and there is not a soul around.
Pure peace...pure heaven.

One soul...my daughter Claire charging ahead...

...and then you come to this
and you can understand why 
people would want to nestle away
here and throw away the key.

Perthshire, Scotland

More travels around Scotland...

Philip de László

I saw this portrait at Glamis Castle in Scotland last week.
It is Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother as a young bride in 1925.
I was standing in the bedroom where she spent part of her honeymoon.
I assume it is a copy of the painting but either way...it is a stunning portrait.

The work of Philip de László can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery thru
5  September 2010.  

I am not certain if the following portraits are included but I imagine 
the following paintings are just as beautiful in person. 

Queen Marie of Romania, 1924

Winifred Cavendish-Bentinck, 
Duchess of Portland, 1912

Images: 1, 2 and 3

Boots No.7...be all and end all?

Since moving to the UK it seems the product of choice for 
most English women is Boots No. 7 skin care line.  I have to admit I just didn't get it.
I have gone in to the stores several times and looked and wondered but have left in frustration.
Where is the consultant who knows it all?  I need someone to guide me, 
to take me by the hand and say 'this is what you need'. 
To which I will respond, 'Oh yes, wise one, tell me more.'
No luck.

I have learned that when you are on to a good thing....stick with it.

I am faithful to three and only three:

I just can't leave home without them.

So..... I read this article in the New York Times this morning that talked about
Boots No. 7 and the excitement around it now being sold in a 
new Target store in Manhattan. It appears they love it too. 
My curiosity peaked.

Off I went to our local Boots store to try again. 
With notes in hand I decided on three.

No. 7 Skin Illuminator- Radiance boosting beauty fluid
No. 7 Protect and Perfect Eye Cream
No. 7 Instant Illusion- Wrinkle Filler

I guess this is a clear indicator of my age group :)

Here's the scoop:

I picked up the eye cream because I have run out of my usual. Not as hydrating as what I am use to but I am willing to give it a go. 

I laughed through the application of the skin illuminator thinking that perhaps I should have started with less. Memories of the tin man in The Wizard of Oz were appearing in my mind. Perhaps wearing it alone is not ideal for mature skin. I added a bit of my foundation and you know what? I liked it :)

Lastly, the wrinkle filler. Surely not I thought. I put into action that raised eyebrow surprised look that results in lines across the brow and applied. Hmmm...maybe a little powder over the top of that.
Well, I'll be, it actually works.

So, I just had to share as I know some of my lovely readers are English 
who I am sure have beautiful skin and will have their own thoughts on the brand. 

What do you think? 
Should I consider the skin care line too?

PS..I should mention that I am doing all this as I pack for trip to Scotland...
where it is cool and rainy. I bet they have beautiful skin too. 
Off to see men in kilts at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.


Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ah...Charlotte, how times have changed...

I just finished the book Jane Eyre and smiled through every page. It has been over 30 years since I last read it and it was just as delightful as the first time.  I thought of Charlotte Bronte writing this story prior to it's publication in 1847 and how much of herself was written into the character, Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte was born in 1816 and married in her late 30's. She spent most of her life on the Yorkshire Moors.  I imagine she was a woman of strong constitution. In the book, Jane Eyre contemplates her choices with Mr. Rochester and asks herself, which is better?...

"-To have surrendered to temptation, listened to passion; made no painful effort- not struggle; but to have sunk down in the silken snare; fallen asleep on the flowers covering it; wakened in a southern clime, amongst the luxuries of a pleasure villa: to have been now living in France, Mr. Rochester's mistress; delirious with his love...
-But where am I wandering, and what am I saying, and above all, feeling?
-Whether it is better, I ask, to be a slave in fool's paradise at Marseilles- fevered with delusive bliss one hour- suffocating with the bitterest tears of remorse and shame the next- or to be a village school-mistress, free and honest, in a breezy mountain nook in the healthy heart of England?
-Yes; I feel now that I was right when I adhered to principle and law, and scorned and crushed the insane promptings of a frenzied moment. 
-Having brought my eventide musings to this point, I rose, went to my door, and looked at the sunset of the harvest-day, and at the quiet fields before my cottage, which, with the school, was distant half a mile from the village. The birds were singing their last strains--
'The air was mild, the dew was balm.' "

What a contrast to the stories of today. I watched the move I Am Love with Tilda Swinton over the weekend and wondered what Charlotte Bronte would have thought...

"I AM LOVE tells the story of the wealthy Recchi family, whose lives are undergoing sweeping changes. Eduardo Sr., the family patriarch, has decided to name a successor to the reigns of his massive industrial company, surprising everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi, and grandson Edo. But Edo dreams of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio, a handsome and talented chef. At the heart of the family is Tancredi's wife Emma (Tilda Swinton), a Russian immigrant who has adopted the culture of Milan. An adoring and attentive mother, her existence is shocked to the core when she falls quickly and deeply in love with Edo's friend and partner Antonio, and embarks on a passionate love affair that will change her family forever."

Both stories speak of passion, love and choices. I Am Love is a powerful story and I will say no more for those who have not seen it. I wonder if Jane Eyre would have been considered the same in it's day?  Just something I have been thinking about on this summer's day :)

Jane Austen is next on my list...now the question is which one?

Images:1~me, 2, 3
Text for Jane Eyre from the novel
Text for I Am Love from www.iamlovemovie.com