Saturday, 30 July 2011


I paid a visit to 'Vintage' at the South Bank; to celebrate 60 years since the Festival of Britain. I baulked at the 60 pound entrance ticket to what was going on inside, but there was plenty outside to pass the time; the Vintage Village provided some very pretty things, and lots of inspiration. The prices were hyper- inflated for the most part; not many bargains to be had, but I found this little brooch for 3 pounds, these scarves, good value at a fiver, these rose beads (just a pound) and two mismatched cups and saucers to add to my collection (I have 8 sets now, so will stop.....) at three pounds a piece, so on a par with what I would pay in my preferred charity shops. Some beautifully dressed people though, worth going to see them.

Having just brought home such lovely china, a proper afternoon tea was necessary, and the chance to try out the gooseberry and sloe gin jam Debbie gave me. Delicious!

Friday, 29 July 2011

bargain basket

This sweet basket was a lucky find for just 2 pounds! I jazzed it up by adding the flowers to make it more summery, slung it over my shoulder and took it on its first outing today!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

In the pink!

I found these delightful houses on a stroll between Chelsea and South Kensington yesterday. How could you possibly not feel smiley and happy if you lived in a little pink home?!

                       I would love to come home to an ice-cream coloured dwelling every day!

       Daisies are such cheerful flowers, especially when you find them growing like weeds.

Another reason to keep looking up - beautiful Victorian iron work at South Ken tube station.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Birds of the Air

I sang and played in a beautiful concert last night - The Birds of the Air. I had a real mission to find some bird themed violin music other than The Lark Ascending, but in the end found a Sonata by Biber, which also had  cat and  frog movements; sadly omitted as they didn't fit the Avian theme, but maybe another time.... A nightingale, cuckoo, cock and hen and quail featured, and it was good fun to practise! I had a solo song too, Ravel's Trois Oiseaux de Paradis. We also sang a fantastic piece in Mediaeval French with bird sounds (Jannequin) which was amongst the most difficult things I've ever learnt, but well worth it!

Follow this link to listen to the concert:

Friday, 15 July 2011

Activities Week

The girls have been off timetable this penultimate week of term, and have been doing lots of exciting things - home (ice skating, watersports, Hampton Court Palace, 10 pin bowling, circus skills, dance/drama, cooking, craft) or away (Spain on a language trip, 2 activity holidays in Norfolk and Weymouth) The girls doing their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award were camping and hiking on the North Downs). I was with them today meeting them at checkpoints so they didn't get lost! Perfect day for hiking, not too hot and a nice breeze. They all did really well with their map reading, and are enjoying the experience of cooking on a Trangia and sleeping under canvas, as luckily it hasn't rained - might be a whole different story if it had been wet!

The rest of the week, Jan and I have been running the Craft activities, making jewellery and corsages.

Those who were patient and neat got the best results!

                                           I made a couple of examples to start with

Marcia got the hang of it really speedily, and created this very pretty brooch and hair decoration combo to match her outfit.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Reconciliation and Peace

Last summer holidays on the Facing History seminar, I met lots of really interesting and philosophical people, including Candia, who works for St Ethelburga's, a centre for Reconciliation and Peace  in the City. St Ethelburga's is in Bishopsgate, and was bombed by the IRA in 1993, ironically just after the insurance wasn't renewed by the CofE as the church had survived for six hundred years, including the Great Fire and the Blitz. It's been rebuilt as its new incarnation to remember its past and to work with groups of people from all different faiths and cultures for unity and peace, and to build relationships across divisions. I had a meeting there this morning before school with Candia. She has been approached by a group of Cuban musicians, and we hope to organise some workshops at Notre Dame in the autumn, and they will perform at the church as well, as it has a varied programme of world music throughout the year.

The whole place has a wonderful calm atmosphere, even with the really noisy excavation and building work next door, and they have a beautiful garden for contemplation. Have a look:

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Busy week!

Phew! 6 big things happening this week! Dilys Wadman, the Director of Education for the Archdiocese of Southwark had a Retirement Mass in St George's Cathedral on Monday afternoon, and chose us from all the schools to provide the music - a huge honour and privilege, but a lot of work behind the scenes as well as on the day. All went well. In fact I was rather glad to be in the cool of the cathedral all day on the hottest day of the year, and not in my boiling attic classroom!
Then, that evening we had the Leavers' Dance on a party boat on the Thames - a lovely evening, and the girls all looked beautiful dressed formally. We invited the Year 11 boys from St Thomas the Apostle, (who spent as much time as the girls getting ready, I'm sure) and after an hour of looking at each other uncomfortably they got on well. Things don't change; our school discos 30 years ago were just the same!

Tuesday evening was the annual Summer Music Showcase, for girls to show their parents and friends what they have been doing in class and in their individual lessons, and this year it was a chance for those taking their Associated Board exams next week a chance to practise performing their pieces. A very successful evening.

Wednesday first thing we had Mass in the cathedral for the feast of SS Peter and Paul, and Thursday was a normal day inasmuch that most of us didn't go on strike.

Yesterday we had our Leavers' Graduation and Service in the cathedral; with very smartly dressed young ladies! I had crocheted 27 flowers as hair decorations (managed to find in my stash 27 different coloured wools!) for my form as a gift, together with a form photo we took at the beginning of the year.

                           Good luck 11L - see you in December for Prize Giving!