Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anna and her backing singers


My daughter, Anna, was very brave and sang a solo at the Singer's Concert held by her singing teacher, Elizabeth Glen, at St. Andrew's Church in Congresbury. They performed "Midnight Train to Georgia" and it was amazing. So was the whole concert - so much varied talent from one small area. What a shame we only realised she had this wonderful voice so late in her school career. I hope she'll have the opportunity to continue singing and learning this discipline at university.

Anna is wearing the purple satin dress I'd spent the previous few days making.
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Sarah's Graduation

Last Friday we went to attend Sarah's graduation ceremony at Oxford Brookes University, accompanied by her brother and her boyfriend, Joe.


We drove through heavy rain but luckily the afternoon remained dry: it was very hot in the marquee and it would also have been a crush if everyone had had to crowd in out of the rain.


There were a lot of proud parents, grandparents and some very relieved and high-spirited begowned and bemortared students.


Also a lovely flower arrangement!

Anna sadly didn't come with us, as it was her Year 13 Ball in Bristol that evening.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

About New York: Plates

About New York: Plates


I'm breaking my blogging hibernation once more at the behest of Elizabeth. This time, her invitation was to share our tableware: "Somehow our choice of plates says things about us. We all have ones we love for sentimental reasons or maybe they are to do with aspirations - or whatever". Now I'm expecting some perfectly gorgeous and exquisite crockery will be displayed during this serial tour through the display cabinets, sideboards and cupboards of this world-wide virtual community, and am a little abashed by the ordinariness of mine - but I guess that "everyday" is the point. I recall reading an article about the wonderful potter, John Leach who said he enjoyed, in choosing which mug he was going to take his morning tea or coffee in, deciding which potter he was going to have a conversation with. I know that one wonderful feature of our holiday in Skye, some years ago, was having the use of plates and such made just down the road at the Edinbane Pottery, and indeed my husband bought a mug for himself there, which is one of his favourites to drink from.

So, here are my usual dinner plates, Blue Imperial by Denby. I like their clean lines, the pure white field on which to place the food we eat, and that they have a blue rim (I love blues, in case by now, dear reader, you had not guessed).

We have quite a collection of various items in this design but have never manged to have a full set...

The plates below are part of the Portmeirion Botanic Garden range. I have owned a number of the side plates and sort of collect the different designs, but over the years and the children a lot have been broken and I would like to replace them but haven't got round to it - they are not cheap. I like the pretty flower portraits they portray and used to dream of having a kitchen dresser in a country cottage to display them on, but that's not what life has brought me, nor is it what I want any more (dusting - yeuch!). I use these every day, for lunch, breakfast toast or cakes, and they still please me.

Last Satuday I had cause to visit the little seaside town of Clevedon, and called in at the Fizz Gallery, where I saw the most delightful plates and mugs. I have a liking for images of owls, so this plate:

and this mug

came home with me as a special treat, for me to enjoy using. They are decorated by an artist called Nadia Sparham, with whom I foresee some pleasant lunchtime "conversations".

The plate below is for walls rather than tables, and has sentimental value. It belonged to my Gran. She had a great sense of humour and I think of her whenever I see it.

Another plate/bowl, which I believe to be beautiful rather than useful, to paraphrase William Morris. I love the contrast between the metallic slip and the plainer stoneware, and the sinuous, graceful spiral which adorns it.

It is by Simon Rich, in a style he now seems to have moved away from. I'm so glad to have it to enjoy.

So there you have it - these are what you'll have food served upon if you visit my humble home, and an everyday part of my life. I don't know what they say about me...

Thanks, Elizabeth, for suggesting this theme!