Paddington Views, photography exhibition


I was going to post this yesterday, but after the very sad news of Muhammad Ali’s passing, I wasn’t feeling up to it.

However, today, the shock has passed, and oddly I am reminded of his famous quote – ‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’.

For those who know me, that quote has significant meaning for me, and has helped me to overcome the trials that life can sometimes throw in to make things, shall we say, ‘interesting’.

So it is with that notion, that I post a video of the highlights of my first photography exhibition, which was held a week ago in Paddington, London. I hope you will enjoy it.

Please subscribe, comment and like, if you feel so inclined.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Review - Geffrye Museum Cafe

Geffrye Museum Cafe – Review


Yesterday I posted a review about the Geffrye Museum, mainly concentrating on the gardens, which are a must see. Today, I’m reviewing the cafe.

Like the museum gardens, I was initially rather impressed with the cafe.  It has a relaxed, spacious atmosphere, plenty of seating and welcoming to young and old alike.

I ordered a lemon and poppy seed cake and English Breakfast tea. Unfortunately as it was late in the day, the lemon and poppy seed cake had to be substituted for a chocolate cake.  How I do so suffer for my art.

Review - Geffrye Museum Cafe
Chocolate cake – or is it? Geffrye Museum of the Home Cafe review

Now, here’s the slight grumble I have – the cake wasn’t presented, I feel, as well as it could.  It would have been nice if the cake was served standing on it’s bottom, as pictured above, rather than on it’s side.  It’s not a big deal, but a little effort in presentation does go a long way.

Also of concern, it was obvious that the cake had not been cut with a clean knife, as evidenced by the crumbs of another cake appearing on the top of my slice.  In itself it’s not a big deal, but it does bring questions to my mind about possible cross contamination. I don’t want doubts like that to enter my head, when I’m about to indulge in the task of eating chocolate cake.

The strawberry decoration looked a little stale and didn’t taste all that fresh or flavoursome. The cake was a little dry at the bottom. It had a fairly good chocolate flavour, but nothing to write home about.

Grubby milk jug

There was also a few stains on the outside of the milk jug, which was disappointing to see. But, I have to say, the tea tasted nice and was piping hot, and I was given a generous quantity of milk. So that’s three up on the William Morris Museum Cafe.

However, another more serious faux pas, came to light when I received the bill.  The cake turned out to be a Guinness chocolate cake – not that I could taste any Guinness. Fortunately, I’m not an alcoholic, or have allergies to alcohol. I’m sure that any alcohol got up and left the building as soon as the cake was placed in the oven. However, as far as I recall, there was no mention of alcohol as an ingredient, of this standard looking chocolate cake.  After the recent conviction of a restauranteur for the manslaughter of a customer, who had an allergic reaction to a takeaway meal, I think it would be wise for the cafe to review the menu and train their staff accordingly.

For the grand total of £6.50 (Tea £2.75, Cake £3.75), price wise it’s not too bad – the price of the cake a little steep, but can’t fault the tea.

The service was good, if a little slow, considering there were not many customers at the time, and I had a lovely view of the gardens.  More positives than negatives, but with a few tweeks, this could be a top notch eatery.

Rating 5 out of 10 (a point knocked off for the possible cross contamination of the cake, stained milk jug and not stating that the cake contained Guinness.)

Great for tea lovers, but maybe not for cakes lovers.

Geffrye Museum of the Home

The Geffrye Museum of the Home – Review

Geffrye Museum of the Home
Geffrye Museum of the Home

I had promised myself when I first walked past the Geffrye Museum a few years ago, to pay a visit. The grandness of the building looked intriguing and oddly, somewhat out of place within the local environment.

Iris and plant dresser display, Geffrye Museum of the Home
Geffrye Museum of the Home

Situated in Shoreditch in East London, an area of London currently undergoing redevelopment, the museum does stand out as a unique piece of period architecture.

I recently made a quick 90 minute tour, and left rather impressed.

Flowers and bee hives, Geffrye Museum of the Home
Geffrye Museum of the Home

The gardens are the show piece of the museum, and in my opinion, rivals any offered by similar visitor attractions.  From the moment you enter the herb garden, you’re greeted with impressive specimens, all beautifully presented. Then, a path leads you to the various, equally beautiful gardens covering the ages up to the present day.

If you didn’t manage to secure a ticket for the Chelsea Flower Show, you can do a lot worse than visit the Geffyre Museum. It’s hard to believe they offer so much for free entrance.

View from the cafe, Geffrye Museum of the Home
Geffrye Museum of the Home

As it was such a short visit, I didn’t have enough time to fully explore the interiors, but the little I did see again provoked my interest, and I hope to be able to look at the exhibits in more detail.

The Geffrye Museum is a definite must see, and I will make sure not to leave it so long before my return.

giant fennel, box circle and green house, Geffrye Museum of the Home
Geffrye Museum of the Home

Rating 4.5 out of 5

Tomorrow, I will review the Museum’s cafe, so please look out for that.  Thanks for reading.

Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie GBSB 1 hour sewing challenge

GBSB 1 hour sewing challenge – week 2

GBSB 1 hourWell, my favourite contestant is out. Saying that, sadly it was the right decision, but I’m still upset for Ghislaine.

Anyway, yesterday I received a shipment of fabric (don’t worry, I have sewn enough to allow me to buy more fabric – and it was on sale – and you can’t make me send it back!) and as part of the extras, there was a beautiful strip of floral fabric included in the bundle.

I will post about my new fabric purchases later this week.  I have a few plans, so I promise they will not be kept in the stash for long.

I had planned to make a skirt this week, but as the Chelsea Flower Show is on, I couldn’t resist using this lovely piece of floral fabric to make a head tie.

Floral fabric
Floral fabric

It was a simple task, I quickly laundered the fabric and ironed it as soon as it was dry – ish. I folded the strip in half, lengthways with right sides together, and ironed the fold.

Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie
Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie

I then folded the strip in half again, this time short ways, and traced a curve shape at the ends.  I cut out the curved ends, evened out the sides and stitched around the edges, leaving a small opening so I could turn the tie right side out.

Another quick press, followed by top stitching around the entire edge of the hair tie, making sure the opening was stitched closed and voila, a hair tie. From ironing the laundered fabric to the final stitch, it took me less than 50 mins to complete, just in time for me to see my favourite contestant booted out.

So today is Tuesday, it’s sunny, and I’m looking forward to an afternoon’s television viewing of the Chelsea Flower show, whilst wearing my new hair tie.  Thank you Ghislaine for the inspiration, and keep sewing, I expect a book from you within the next 18 months 🙂

Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie GBSB 1 hour sewing challenge
Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie 1 hour sewing challenge Great British Sewing Bee

I don’t like Monday’s. I’ll tell you why.

I don't like Mondays
I don’t like Mondays!

Oh good grief! It can’t be Monday again? Didn’t we just have a Monday 2 days ago? Ugh! One minute I’m writing my ‘Exciting things to do at the weekend’ list, then the next minute, it’s game over, time to do the Monday thing.

And to make things worse, it’s nice and sunny outside.  A day when you want so desperately for it to be any day, but a Monday.

As you may have gathered from my sporadic posts of late (I’ve come to realise during this stage of my blogging journey, that most bloggers always have a variety of excuses ready for not blogging every spare moment they can, together with an apology. I’m not apologising, my blogging rate is just the way I roll!) that I have been rather busy. I’m assisting with planning several events, including one that is coming very soon, fingers crossed.

To be honest, I’m exhausted, a combination of nervous energy, lack of sleep, nervous energy, bad eating habits, temperamental technology, nervous energy … did I mention nervous energy? This combined with not being able to enjoy my fun packed weekends, makes the Champers in my glass a little flat.

One thing I have learnt recently is, it’s good to be perfect, but it’s even better when the job’s done.  I’m a perfectionist at heart.  I’m the type of person that would happily spend 10 hours deciding on a 5 min music play list. Normally that would be a good character trait to have.  However, being a perfectionist leads to  worry, which leads to stress, which leads to ill health and a task which would and should be fun, turns into a Monday.

friday quote
There are always flowers for those who want to see them. Henri Matisse

So it’s important when you find yourself still up at 3am, trying to figure out what shade of purple to use (yes that was me last week!) to ask yourself, ‘will this help achieve the end goal?’.  Yes, the shade might be important, but I doubt if it’s vital for the successful completion of a project. I also doubt that anyone else will notice or even care – they are the ones at 3am fast asleep, as you should be.

I know, there are people with far bigger problems, and I do not take these serious issues lightly.  It is my hope that my future projects will in some way help others, even if it’s token escapism for a few moments.

And in the great scheme of things, if Monday being your least favourite day of the week is your only problem, then you can pretty much say life isn’t bad.

But I still don’t like Mondays. I can’t stand them. Unless it’s a Bank Holiday Monday, in which case, all is forgiven. Well, until the next Monday.

What’s your favourite day of the week and why? And what’s your least favourite? Are you lucky and love all the days of the week?  Let us know!

Thanks for reading, and happy Monday, wherever you are 🙂

Lulu Guinness - Modern Day Icons Event, Covent Garden

Lulu Guinness – Modern Day Icons event part 3 – review continued


Well as promised, here’s the next part of the Modern Day Icons event review.

Modern Day Icons, Lulu Guinness, Panel 2
Panel 2 (from left to right) Beccy Hill, Leoni Kibbey and Diane Chire                 (Photo source: Francesca Hodge Instagram)

Photo source:

2nd Panel

Diana Chire

A remarkable performance artist, Diana spoke of how she started making her own performance act videos, which created a positive buzz around her work. She mentioned as part of one of her performance projects, she shaved her head, that gave her a liberating feeling, as opposed to being constantly imaged linked with her afro.

Beccy Hill

Beccy’s achievements as editor-in-chief of zine ‘Sister‘ is all the more remarkable, as many a title in the print media have folded despite heavy backing. Ironically the 9 week old newspaper, ‘New Day’ published it’s last edition yesterday.

A former journalist, Beccy agreed with fellow panelist Diana, that it’s important, to “do it yourself”, if you want to start a project or new business.

Leoni Kibbery

Leoni’s CV must easily extend over 4 pages. Actress, film festival organiser, film casting, to name just a few of her roles, and manages to do all at iconic standards.  One of her gems of advice which particularly stuck a cord with me, was to ensure that you have a good support network round you.  Check out a video she recommend to watch called, ‘the Lone Nut’, which may go some way to explain …

It is not often I attend an event and leave uplifted and keen to take on my corner of the globe. The event exceeded my expectations and feel that we were given an arsenal of advice. A wonderful event, beautifully organised and to boot we got to shop as well.

Here’s hoping that this will be the first of many such events at Lulu Guinness.

Read more about the Lulu Guinness Modern Day Icons project here.

If you would like to read my first 2 posts about the Modern Day Icons event, please click the links below.

Modern Day Icons part 1

Modern Day Icons part 2

Thanks for reading.