Giggle and grow
Every year we like to try something new at Les Soeurs Anglaises and the idea of stepping outside our comfort zone to host an Improvisational Comedy Weekend was always going to be a bit challenging - but some risks are worth taking and InstantWit proved so much more than worthy.
I don't wish to "spoil the story" by describing this event in too much details, but one thing it definitely wasn't was stand-up comedy. From the get-go there was a palpable atmosphere of camaraderie and positivity; once each and every participant had faced the fear of standing in the limelight (with oodles of encouragement and genial support they all did it, they all survived unscathed), there were plenty of opportunities to experiment with and develop their innate spontaneity; a brilliant aid for creative life that can be learnt and is so very useful when presenting creative work or when criticism of it, whatever that may be, isn't quite what we'd anticipated.
This spectacularly enjoyable workshop included an hilarious InstantWit show on the Saturday evening of Harry and Megan's wedding - I hasten to add that we'd booked the date long before the Royal couple so, sadly, no chance of attending the reception, however Carol and I decided to dress up for the event regardless (see above). The delicious wraps on offer were prepared and served by Come Cook in France and a good time was had by all.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who participated especially all four members of the InstantWit team - actors/ comedians Chris Grimes, Jon Monie and Leah Fletcher, and musician James Oram - for sharing their time and talent and quirky, positive view of life.. We are looking forward enormously to collaborating with them again and meanwhile we'll be practicing their "yes and..." rather than "yes, but..." attitude.
From laughter to sublimity
Came across this wonderful photograph of the Russian playwright and novelist, Chekov. In my late teens my maternal grandmother handed me a book of his short stories and I was immediately hooked. Though I was never really comfortable reading plays, Chekov's short stories, written between 1888 and 1903, were an introduction to a completely disparate time and culture and from time to time I still dip back into them when I need distraction from the here and now. What a talent .... and what a face.
Artist Esther Traugot currently lives and works in Sebastopol, California and her delicate, colourful work involves covering objects of nature with hand-dyed crocheted threads in an attempt to “prop up” or “put back” what has been abandoned, broken. As bandage or cozy, these support structures investigate the relationship between nurturing and controlling nature. The meticulous crocheted, false “skins” imbue the objects with an assumed desirability or value and allows the viewer to explore how we not only experience, but also negotiate with the natural world.
Esther received her BFA from the University of California Berkeley in 2005. Her work has been exhibited at numerous US venues, was exhibited at the Art Paris Art Fair 2014 and she is represented at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Gallery in Oakland, CA.
The future recycled
The timing of the book Radical Matter: Rethinking Materials for a Sustainable Future could not have been better, with high-profile media outlets such as the BBC’s The Blue Planet having brought many of the questions surrounding sustainability and its relation to materiality into the public consciousness. Though the the authors, Kate Franklin and Caroliine Till, originally intended the book for designers, it has found a far wider audience of artists and crafters who want to know how to take action for good in their daily lives as the role of the maker in material innovation is, in their words, ‘massively important’.
The book begins by addressing contemporary issues by exploring how we can turn current waste into new materials. From there it moves on, through chapters with captivating and provocative titles such as ‘Shit, Hair, Dust’ and ‘Designed to Disappear’, to eventually confront a more distant reality with ‘Future Mining’. It offers an optimistic, alternative vision of the future through artists and crafters who place sustainability at the heart of their work and is an interesting introduction to alternative methods and materials that could replace unsustainable practices in the future.
Announcing our new dining club
A couple of months or so ago we kick-started a new venture in collaboration with Come Cook in France and food stylist, Louise Pickford, when we held our first Pop Up, a South-East Asian dinner. This was followed about six weeks later with an Italian Evening and due to the great feedback from both events we have launched a new Private Dining Club, La Tablée.
Gourmet Weekend this September for a maximum of 6 couples
Whilst the Dining Club may be of interest to local diners (unless of course you were interested in spending some time with us away from it all), we plan to host a Gourmet Long Weekendtowards the end of September this year for guests from further afield when we will be serving several specialist menus over three days, together with fine vintage wines from our cellars (Mike, my husband, is a wine connoisseur of some standing and will be both providing the wine for the meals as well as also offering vertical and horizontal wine tastings). A special treat for great food and wine lovers.
There will only be space for up to six couples so if you are interested do please contact me directly and I will make sure you are the first to have more details. It would make a superb end of summer vacation treat, or special occasion celebration. Iff you would like us to organise a gourmet event around a personal group of friends, we could do that too! Just tell us what you need.....
Sorry, can't help myself
Have to share my son, Billy Elliot's (and his Kong team's) animated short for IMAX; Aaahh, the Starwars generation(s)......