Saturday, 28 February 2015

September 2014

I appreciate it's a bit weird to go back 6 months but I KNOW I will really regret not keeping up with my blog as a diary if I don't.
With that in mind I'm going to do one post a month 
(including retrospectively) 
so I can always remember the lovely things we did together.
Obviously it will only be the nice bits of life - who wants to remember the bad!?

So, we got back from Australia at the end of August. Cleggy had to stay another week to speak at a big conference so we left him there - I didn't like that one bit!
The Granny - delighted at being reunited with her errant wing mirror! We missed you Granny!
We knew we had so much to be grateful for but our 6 weeks adventure had left us feeling flat and craving the Australian lifestyle and time together. We decided the best approach was to immerse ourselves in the reason we could never emigrate!
(I think it's important to add here that just because one has emigrated to the other side of the world doesn't reflect on how much they love their family - I'm well aware of that, and how incredibly difficult it would be. I just know that I would find it tooooo difficult - and for me the pro's would not outweigh the cons)
We tried to spend lots of time with my brother and sister and their respective families over the last few sunny weekends of September. One thing that did make us very happy was seeing the massive refurb of our local market in Altrincham
We've since spent many happy mornings in the Market House - which is a group of small independent eateries around a central shared space. It's brilliant to see it busy day and night - it's just what the town needed and has been done really (really) well.
little niece Mabel
My biggest boy (sarcastically smiling!) and Nelly's littlest, Wilf
Geordie Boy LOVES the littles!
We had a lovely breakfast at my little sisters house...
making potions
 eating hot dogs
My brothers boys Sonny and Luca
 I love this picture of my brother and our shared niece Mabel...look at those little clasped hands and serious expression...
We also had a couple of lazy Sunday mornings in our garden. Cleggy LOVES a fire - and a visit from all the littles in our family is just the excuse he needs to set one up!
I think you can tell it's Autumn from the light?
 Who doesn't love cooking on a fire?
 and catching up?
 Our garden seemingly looked like a jungle last September!!
 There followed the inevitable water play...which Cleggy also enjoys as much as the littles
 I think there was an 'incident' with the hose...but can't remember the details. Saying that, who would leave a 2 year old with a massive hose???
 adding glitter
 Here's my little sister 8 months's funny to think that's baby Hettie in that bump.
At the end of September Cleggy and I took a little trip to see Kate Bush! Not for coffee you understand - but one of the 22 dates she performed at The Hammersmith Apollo. The first time she'd toured since the 70s.
I still can't believe I managed to get tickets.
We were super excited (I was in a permanent state of giddiness) 
We had booked the ME hotel which was AMAZEing.  I usually prefer an old quirky hotel with more character - this was the absolute opposite. It was just about as sleek and high tech as you can get.
It stands on the site of the Gaiety Theatre which was damaged during WWII bombing, and next to Marconi House, former HQ of the BBC and where the first radio broadcast was made in 1922.
 The reception is at the bottom of that big tower - and the pyramid shape is open right up the to roof bar at the top. 
On the walls are moving light projections which change each day, so one day it was jelly fish and the next birds flying. It was just mesmerising - I never really got a decent photo.

I've borrowed some of the hotels photos below - these are from the roof top bar Radio where we spent most of our time!
The views were breathtaking - and so was the weather!
 Even more so as dusk fell
 a good few cocktails were drunk!

 Our room had interchangable mood lighting and one of the best mini bars I've seen, a hilarious pet menu and a 'kinky kit' containing everything you might need to spice up your night!!
The following day we had a good old mooch around London - it was soooo good to remind ourselves what a brilliant and beautiful place it is. 
We I was so struck by Sydney this trip couldn't have come at a better time
 Of course some cake was eaten and an inordinate amount of time spent in Anthropologie!
 My favourite store is the one on Kings Rd, but I love the living wall in the Regent Street one too!
I could buy literally everything...but settled on 2 cups (we chose one each) and a set of measuring spoons. Which I dropped and smashed in October :(
It wasn't all play - we also had a meeting with Alistair's editor at Bloomsbury. I love this part of London and it was such a treat to visit the building, full of history and surrounded by framed first editions. I resisted taking photos inside - it felt irreverent!

Around the corner from Bloomsbury we came across this brilliant instillation called 'Phantom Railings'.

 Here's a description on the 'public interventions' website:

“Phantom railings” (2012) is an interactive sound sculpture that uses the movements of pedestrians to evoke the ghost of a lost iron fence.

The site of the intervention is a garden in Bloomsbury, London, whose railings were removed as part of the 1940s war effort and never replaced, leaving a line of iron stumps along the surrounding wall.

Using sensor-based acoustic devices, the installation makes evident the absence of railings by creating a resemblance of the familiar sound produced by running a stick along an iron fence. The pitch of each railing’s sound is set to vary according to the pedestrian’s speed and proximity, allowing the phantom railings to be played and tuned as desired. The music produced by this urban instrument is captured as a real-time audio-visual score and streamed live to the project’s website.

The project draws on an episode in London’s history whose socio-political context remains relevant. Inspired by the wartime initiative to democratise parks and gardens by removing their railings, the project engages with a centuries-old debate about public space and accessibility.

So basically as you walk along there is a sound of a stick on railings...which stops when you stop. It's very clever and strangely moving! Look it up if you've ever in the area.
All in all it was a wonderful couple of days - the highlight of which was seeing Kate Bush. 
Obviously as an avid and loyal fan I left my phone turned off throughout the performance - as did everyone around us. I don't think I've ever felt so much actual love for an artist in a room - it was tangible.
She was everything I hoped knew she would be - her voice was beautiful, the staging was magical, the music amazing...I could go on and on. My face ached from smiling and I felt teary throughout - probably the closest I'll ever get to a religious experience!!
I will never forget seeing the whole production 
and will treasure the memory.
Meanwhile in September I decided I needed to stop my Chipper Nelly business all together and work full time with Cleggy. It was absolutely the right decision, although I do miss my workshop!
I wore lots of yellow, we did a fair few conferences, 
and work started on the big fat house redecoration that had been brewing for a couple of years....more about that in October!
Our friend Neale...he's going in!!
 Fee x