Tag Archives: Mad Men

June things

The rain is pouring down and I am happy to be inside sipping a cup of coffee after getting wet earlier today. There are many exciting things I have been enjoying in the last couple of weeks:

first crops from our garden: mizuna, rocket and spinach, sadly the rain makes slugs eat everything and all my courgette and patty pan plants are almost gone!

continuing the healthy eating/detoxing lark with a small dose of cake

good coffee and home made sourdough

visiting Petersham on warm and cold days, the boy loves their cakes

catching up with these three lovely ladies, what a great afternoon!

visiting three gardens yesterday (more soon) as part of the NGS open days, and planning more visits

discovering film crew on the Common and spotting the following names on trailers (heart racing): Charles Dickens!, Mrs Ternan, Nelly – The Invisible Woman, a new BBC production about Dickens’ lover starring Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas

upon further research discovering that the film is shot in Southside House, a wonderful stately home near me that has reopened to public and I will be visiting very very soon

at last read Cold Comfort Farm which instantly became one of my top favorite books, followed by Conference at Cold Comfort Farm – not as great but still pretty funny, I will be starting Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm soon. I can be very obsessive so needless to say I also watched the very good BBC adaptation

being a big fan of Nancy Mitford I squeezed in Love in a Cold Climate with Rosamund Pike as Fanny – brilliantly adapted two great novels, this mini series combines the above title with Pursuit of Love

I am fearing the last episode of Mad Men series 5, I might have to re-watch it from the beginning, or go back to The Wire or Six Feet Under

watching Girls which is realistically brilliant

really looking forward to this cookbook by the wonderful Katie Quinn Davies

I spent a fab afternoon at V&A visiting the Ballgowns exhibition and fell head over heels in this Vivienne Westwood dress (reminded me of Miss Havisham), I was also very happy to see Lady Diana’s Elvis dress

The month has just started and it’s looking very busy indeed!

A very slow weekend

My weekend started at Osteria Antica Bologna in Northcote Road, a nice family run Italian restaurant where I enjoyed delicious scallops with lentil, apple and parsley salad accompanied by good wine and fabulous company. I actually tried to recreate the lentil salad but it wasn’t as good, truth be told I used the wrong kind of apple. If you are ever in Clapham Junction area do go, it’s a fantastic place for lunch, dinner or drink. Beware of a slow service but the wait will be worth it!

Saturday was all about food shopping and a very early spring cleaning of the flat, we have thrown out a bagful of old papers and organised a lot of cupboards. We also visited the local charity shop to offload some stuff where I couldn’t resist buying F.Scott Fitzgerald collection of short stories for 50p.

After last two weeks of ebay madness I hardly have things to get rid of which feels so good.

Sunday was spent on cooking and playing with my little niece. I baked Allegra McEvedy’s Swedish apple cake which is more of a pudding than a cake, especially when served with good vanilla ice cream. Very easy recipe, it takes about 10-15 minutes to put everything together and 50 min to bake.

Got to read a little too, Vogue and ELLE arrived, The Sunday Times had a good article on Mad Men which btw won the best drama at Golden Globes for the 3rd year in a row, well deserved!

I am reading Chekhov’s stories and this weekend I enjoyed Ward no6. I also got D.V. by Diana Vreeland which I am very much looking forward to. Following the Norman Parkinson show at Somerset House I decided to re-read The Golden Age of Couture – the book accompaniment to one of my favorite exhibitions.

I watched the rather bad Breaking and Entering (a total waste of time) and the very graphic yet beautifully shot Antichrist.

Few things I am looking forward to:

a visual feast of A Single Man thanks to Dan Bishop

visiting V&A to see Quilts, Grace Kelly and Horace Walpole shows, and might even pop in to see a rather intriguing sounding The Metropolitan Police Service’s Investigation of Fakes and Forgeries

Foal and Tuffin at Fashion and Textile Museum should be fun, along with a stroll down Bermondsey Street

William Eggleston at Victoria Miro Gallery

Irving Penn Portraits at NPG

whole lot of good stuff at the Tate Galleries

buying some plants – I quite like the idea of mother-in-law’s tongue in nice mid-century pots, at the moment I own no plants whatsoever, even my basil died so this will be a challenge.

Art marathon

Desperate to catch all the shows before they end I organised a tight schedule and stuck to it this weekend.

On Friday night I saw Ed Ruscha at the Hayward Gallery which was good but not mind blowing. Definitely few very good paintings. Afterward my friends and I went to BFI for some drinks, the new bar on the riverfront is so much nicer than the old setup and the chips are excellent too!

On Saturday I met another friend of mine at RA and saw Wild Thing: Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska and Gill. A truly wonderful collection of sculptures and sketches. The most impressive being Bird Swallowing a Fish by Gaudier-Brzeska and Epstein’s Portrait of Iris Beerbohm Tree and the spectacular Rock Drill. Amazing show, really worth a visit.

We had a quick lunch in Soho and headed down to Somerset House to see Norman Parkinson: A Very British Glamour. Another great exhibition, a lot of pictures of Parkinson’s wife and iconic shots of Jerry Hall from the 70s. Well worth a visit, especially if you enjoyed Golden Age of Couture at V&A a couple of years ago.

Warmed up by the museum hopping we decided to end the trip at The National Picture Gallery to see the very entertaining Beatles to Bowie: the 60s exposed.

I watched very moving Wajda’s Katyn – a film about an incident from WWII and its aftermath that not many people know of.

And I almost finished watching Mad Men season 3, a thought of only 2 episodes left to watch is making me depressed. Drooling over Betty Draper’s outfits.

Long long weekend

I feel slightly spoiled, after a week away I took this Friday off as well since my friend was visiting from Amsterdam, on top of it Monday is a bank holiday meaning 4 day weekend and two 4 day work weeks.

The weather was nice and on Friday my friends and I walked to Brixton Market and had a quick bite at Rosie’s and a massive catchup.

Saturday was not bad either and we had a picnic by my friend’s pool (yes, an outdoor pool in London!). I made an apricot cake, same recipe as tea cakes but in one piece and baked for about an hour, apricots and ground almonds on top. I love this recipe, it is so adaptable and the cake is not too sweet.

Sunday came and so did the autumn, tricked by the sunshine outside I put on a summer dress and was off for a day in town. Oh my Lord, I was so cold and felt totally silly with my summer attire, luckily I was not the only one. I didn’t give up though and off we went to Tate Modern to see a couple of exhibitions.

Natalia Goncharova ‘The Cyclist’

The first one was Futurism, this starts with Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto and has a great representation of artists including Boccioni, Carr√†, the Cubist movement, Russian avant-garde and the Duchamp brothers to name very very few. The show explains the relationship with Cubism as well as movements directly created from it like Orphism and Vorticism with great examples of all of them. There is Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Duchamp-Villon’s The Large Horse, Robert Delaunay’s The Cardiff Team, Natalia Goncharova’s The Cyclist (one of my favorite painting in the exhibition), Severini’s vibrant The Dance of the Pan-Pan at the “Monico” and Nevinson’s La Mitraillause.

C.R.W. Nevinson ‘La Mitraillause’

The Futurists loved speed, movement, modern machinery, streets, telegraphs, cars, planes, war. Morinetti was massively opposed pretty much the whole past, especially English decorative arts, romanticism, Pre-Raphaelits, revival trends and so on. He was also a misogynist and called for women to become more masculine so both sexes are the same, this strongly emerged in Russia where male and female artists became equal, one of the best being Liubov Popova, something that did not happen in Europe till much later.

Futurism died with the WWI, it was revived after the war but very soon it was overtaken by the … future, and other trends that evolved from it like Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism and Dada.

Robert Delaunay ‘The Cardiff Team’

I came out of the exhibition feeling very well informed, I finally fully understood the movement and wanted to find out more. The exhibition ends on the 20th of September.

We also had a look at Per Kirkeby’s show, I must admit, I am not a fun.

Then we headed to town to grab a bite at Pollo Bar in Old Compton Street where we indulged on pizza and good Chianti.

We finished the day by popping to few shops to check out the winter collections, high on my list is a winter coat and the first contender is this A.P.C. beauty but single breasted.

Now I am sitting wrapped in a woolly cardigan, drinking a cup of tea and planning tomorrow. I also must find the time to go to The Hayward, The Serpentine and The Whitechapel galleries before the exhibitions change.

I finally got my last disc of Mad Men, it was a very painful realisation that it will be a while before season three comes out in UK but the clever people at AMC made the 1st episode available online, fingers crossed they will do it every week!

Rainy days and Mondays

Especially rainy Mondays get me down. Can the weather improve please? I had to take a bus to work for the first time in a very long time and it took me over an hour to get to our office, half an hour Clapham – Oxford Street, half and hour on Oxford Street itself, and the bus didn’t even stop halfway so I couldn’t jump off and walk. Very frustrating. Anyway, Monday is almost over and the rain stopped.

My weekend was pretty chilled, went out for some tasty Japanese food on Friday night to Toro in Soho followed by few drinks at the Market Bar. Toro is an authentic Japanese eatery in Brewer Street serving some of my favorite dishes.

On Saturday I wandered (yet again!) to Northcote Road to meet my friend. We had lunch and then we did some shopping. There are few market stalls with some wonderful looking cupcakes, bread, fruit and veg. I bought some flat peaches aka doughnut peaches tempted by an article in The Guardian. Weirdly, some people have a problem with peach fuzz…..mmmm. They were delicious.

In the meantime hubby started to fix our old cupboard. Sides had to be glued, it needed gentle shaving and is waiting for linseed oil to give it a nice color. I am very happy to be rid of the dark brown color it had before.

On Sunday we went to the Battersea car boot sale, I was actively looking for Sylvac fruit and veg pots, saw an apple sauce pot however it was included in a lot with some stuff I either have or don’t like so had to pass. I managed to snap Lord Jim for 50p and that was it.

I ran out of food and had to improvise open sandwiches: Gail’s bread, Parmezan, courgette and olive oil.

Much of the weekend evenings was spent on watching Mad Men series 2, first disc. I know, I am obsessed with this show but I love it so much. All the characters, the interiors, the storyline, the styling. Absolutely spotless. Can’t wait for the next disc to arrive from Love Film.

Things I’ve done this weekend…

The weekend has been tainted with some work related stress. All got solved in the end but my Sunday evening was pretty much ruined.

I did manage to get some stuff done though.

I reorganised my closet discovering a lot of summer dresses and skirts that are more than good to wear, ironed it all and now I feel like I have a brand new wardrobe that only needs a good pair of sandals.

Major part of ebay clothing has been photographed, waiting to be uploaded.

Finished watching series 1 of Mad Men and cannot wait to get my sticky fingers on series 2, I have seen few episodes on BBC but didn’t get into it properly. It’s not the same without the first part.

Watched Camera Buff – an excellent movie by Krzysztof Kieslowski, one of his first ones. It’s a story of a plant worker who buys a camera to film his new born daughter and ends up shooting documentaries for the plant subsequently becoming pretty successful. Unfortunately his success is not beneficial for everyone.

Kept reading Crimson Petal and already looking forward to The Apple however I am not allowing myself to buy it before I read the pile of books waiting by my bedside.

Discovered a new high street near my home – Northcote Road. Can’t believe it was there all this time! Planning to explore it properly on Saturday. It’s a little bit of a yummy mummy area and the shops are not very exciting but it’s a useful one. With places like Space NK, Neal’s Yard and Gail’s it’s a very handy place indeed.

Screamed for joy when I discovered sorrel at my farmers market, this place is improving! It was used in a tart and a salad. I love the lemony taste of sorrel. It reminded me of summer days in fields and meadows as a child, sorrel was a rare find and we would pick it up and eat it right there.

I am looking for a good leather satchel bag, big enough for all my bits but not too large so it sits nicely on my back while cycling. At the moment I saw great ones at All Saints and Comptoir des Cotonniers (can’t find a picture).

Sadly, I didn’t get to any exhibitions so I MUST do it this week!

Weekend stuff

Finally finished Celebrity by Marina Hyde, the brutal truth about celebrities. On to the next tube book – think Accidental by Ali Smith, this is one of the birthday gifts from my very good friends.

My birthday is not over yet it seems, my dear friend Ewa got me the first series of Mad Men. I find it visually impeccable, the story line is intriguing and the slow pace adds to it. I only saw few episodes from the second series and got hooked. The attention to detail is amazing be it with the interior or with clothing, down to ashtrays and underwear. The leading ladies are beautiful and men are handsome. Crazy world of advertising in the 60s. Being in advertising myself I find it fascinating. Kind of glad the good weather is gone, feel less guilty about staying at home and gorging on the show.

Joan, had to upload her as big as possible, the woman is stunning

July’s Vogue is so dull, it seems to be exactly the same as last time they did the Ageless Issue. Yawn….Elle vs Vogue 1:0.

Totally forgot that Mary Queen of Charity Shops started last week, had to catch up on Iplayer (thank you BBC for this wonderful tool), watch it here if you haven’t seen it. Mary looks amazing as usual with her structured jackets and statement jewelery. Next episode on Tuesday at 21.00, cannot wait. She is getting very important message across too – don’t drop off your rubbish to charity shops, they won’t be able to sell it and will end up spending lots of money to dispose of it. Can’t believe people actually give away dirty pants.

This week’s film is Anotnioni’s Blow Up. It’s a really good story but they haven’t executed is properly or didn’t manage to develop it cause it could have been very exciting, Hitchcock-esque almost. I found it bit strange, even boring at times. I shall read Julio Cortazar’s short story the film is based on to find out what went wrong. Vanessa Redgrave is great though and so amazingly beautiful.

Sunday was spent round Shoreditch, I popped to the newly revamped Whitechapel Gallery, they have some very interesting stuff there. They also opened a swish restaurant next door – Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room,¬† looks good however it got a luke warm review from AA Gill. Will go on my ‘places to eat at some point in not too near future’ list.