Sunday, 16 May 2010

With Grace.

To the V & A. The plan was to try to take in two exhibitions in one day: the Quilts show, then the exhibition of clothes from that great style icon, Grace Kelly, except that as usual I had left Hand Wash Towers far too late to beat the crowds, so one show had to do. But which one?

I stood in the queue, trying to decide. The quilts were really what I had travelled across town to see, but Grace Kelly's was, at £6, slightly cheaper than the quilts' £10.

In the end, my mind was made up for me when a lovely lady offered me her spare ticket the the GK show, as her friend was at the last minute unable to attend. So in I went. For free.

It's a small show featuring several key pieces, starting with outfits first worn on her engagement to Prince Ranier of Monaco, and ending with clothes worn during her short movie career, mostly designed by Edith Head. Funnily enough, my favourite dress turned out to be the one pictured, which turned out to be a simple black flowered dress made from a McCall's pattern, which Kelly wore on her first official meeting with the Prince in Monaco in 1955. I love this dress because, at the time, her fans and followers could buy the exact pattern and re-create the dress for themselves. I know some pattern companies have been re-issuing some of their vintage and retro patterns, and I hope that this will be available again.

I don't think I'm speaking ill of the dead, but Grace Kelly appeared to have big feet. Lovely shoes, but they were boats.

Most moving moment: I have to say, seeing this picture did make us stop in our tracks.

The lady who gave me the ticket was with me for most of the show, and we ooh-ed and ahh-ed our way round but, somewhere towards the end she disappeared. I had stopped to watch one of the newsreels but, at my height, it is a little hard to lose me in a crowd.

A shame because I had bought her a set of the postcards and had offered to take her for cake and coffee as a thank-you for her kindness. As it was, she bought her tickets with the Senior Citizen discount, so her kindness only left her £4 out of pocket.

Whoever you are kind lady, I wish you good Karma.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

So, Tell Me About The Lobster...

I was going to mention this ages ago, but I got really busy over the last few weeks. I realize a lot of my friends think I spend most of my time knitting and eating biscuits, but there is a lot to do at Hand Wash Towers. That mould in the bathroom doesn't go away by itself, you know.

Press Night at the Globe, to see Macbeth, was a jolly night out, made even more interesting by the rather unusual form of audience participation. The groundlings' area around the stage was shrouded in a tautly pulled tent-y thing with holes in it for the audience to put their heads through to watch the play, supposedly to represent the frozen Lake of Cocytus in Dante's Divine Comedy (here's the image, by Gustave Dore). The tent was used also for characters to appear and disappear through, and for the three witches to wreak havoc among the audience.

This production is very, very gory, so much so that the audience were dropping like flies. Studley and I counted four (all men) being wheeled away by the St. John's Ambulance during the course of the play. We found out later at the Press Night party that 15 members of the audience flaked out that night. I call that a success.

I recently bumped into the lovely Ruth Saberton while out shopping, who was busy signing copies of her new book "Katy Carter Wants a Hero". Ruth is a funny lady, with a passion for all things pink, and her book is a good quick summer read, full of good people, bad people and a lobster, a facsimile of which she brings to her signings. He is quite an important character in this story of a London teacher who aspires to be a novelist, whose life is changed forever after a dinner party from hell.

Here's hoping "Katy Carter Wants a Hero" makes it onto TV. It would be perfect.

Guess what? I've got a signed copy of the book to give away.

Share your funniest dinner party stories. Make me laugh 'till I spurt my tea out of my nose, and the book could be yours.