Monday, July 25, 2011


On Saturday we all piled down to Stratford upon Avon to picnic on the banks of the river with Naomi for her birthday celebrations. The sun came out and the boys even hired a boat and meandered down the river for a bit. In the evening we headed into the newly refurbed Royal Shakespare Theatre for a tremendous performance of Macbeth - lots of (fake!) blood and interesting alterations - the made the witches into rather ghoulish children ghosts. Really brilliant!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Information design at Central St Martins

Last week I was on a course at CSM to learn about information design with the wonderful Angela Morelli, you can find her TED talk here. Using cut and paste (no computers at all!) we learnt how to make information more interesting and several great ways to generate interesting graphics - from maps to charts, from words to numbers. In the slide show you can see various things we created - bar graphs of the niceness and utility of cups we had brought with us, the classes favourite foods displayed as a menu using a script made from their handwriting samples, a giant graph showing how expensive a weeks course is (!) and my favourtie piece is the map I made recording my travels on foot through the week. Its drawn on tracing paper so that when its closed the stacked images show how the routes changed and accumulated over time. The little pocket the map fits into is the map (wrapping paper from Stanfords) I used to trace my journeys from - its from 1947, but all the right places are there!

The course was fab - and while I was in London I took the chance to meet up with lots of friends, on the South Bank with Mum & Dad, and with Kim, Chris & Katie, with Sarah at the Wellcome Collection Dirt on Disgust evening (that's where those fabulous chemistry set lights are btw) and I even met some new folk at the Arts Catalyst's Kosmica night!And of course there was time for cupcakes! At both Peyton and Byrne and at Bea's of Bloomsbury.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Life & Death of Marina Abramovic at the Lyric theatre

We've just come out of the world premiere of the Life and Death of Marina Abramovic. What a performance!! The stage was set with three resting 'corpses' set amongst red lit bones with black dogs prowling through them as we entered the auditorium, a deep bass note sounding. As the play started Willem Defoe took us throuh her childhood, which itself was harrowing, and scenes were perfomed by the starstudded cast. There was Serbian folk-like singing and powerful songs from Anthony (of and the Johnsons) which reverberated in our ears. The stageing and lighting were stunning - very clean and crisp. Our attention was rapt, even when the man adjacent passed out and needed to be moved! After the interval the cast sang en masse, and we heard more stories from Marina's life. The performance came to a close with three angelesque beings rising from the stage to thunderous applause. Phenomenal!
Note: if you want to have a peak at the performance have a look at this youtube video

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Molecular pebbles

Down at mac I have been having a lot of fun making these funny little pebbles in porcelain. They make me think of molecular models! I shall have to make some more when the kiln arrives!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Wednesday Cake Night

We had a meeting at work today and I mistook, at a distance, the little choux pastries for coconut macaroons. But it meant that I then had a hankering for a coconut macaroon so I decided I would pick up the ingredients on the way home and make some. I also bought some ground almonds to make an orange and almond cake - not quite the same as the one I had in St Ives but atill pretty tasty!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Talisker beef

This is a very yummy and quick recipe. Buy the best piece of siroloin you can!

For 2 people
225g beef sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into strips
1 tablespoon chilli flakes and peppercorns , crushed (that's total not each!)
3 tablespoons Talisker or other very good whiskey
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 spring onions sliced
2 peppers, red/green, sliced
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 tablespoon seseme oil
120g angel hair pasta

Mix the beef, chilli, whisky and soy sauce together and marinade at room temperature for 30min (or more in the fridge). Cook the angel hiar pasta according to the instructions (usually 2-4min in boiling salted water), then drain and add the seseme oil. In another pan heat the veg oil and fry the spring onions and peppers for 2 min. Add the beef and stirfry for another 2 min until just cooked, then add any remaining marinade and cook for a minute. Then bring everything together and serve! Very good if you're hungry and in a rush (hence the dodgy photo) - for instance after climbing!!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

St Ives part 4

We'd booked ourselves into Alba for a tasting menu at 8 so we thought a bit of exercising in the shape of a little cliff walk would be a good idea. So we headed off down a winding road again and left the car at Levant Mine. Sadly it wasn't steaming as the 1990's boiler had broken! We had a good explore and then joined the first tour of the day, learning all about the workings of the mine and its good fortunes until the early 1900s. Then we ventured further towards Botallack mine before heading back for a rest on the beach! Dinner at Alba was very delicious - the menu was matched by a series of Cloudy Bay wines from New Zealand, the most interesting being the Te Koko which was a Sauvignon Blanc aged in oak barrels. WHile we dined we watched the RNLI whiz out on a little zodiak, there was much interest by everyone around the harbour but it seemed that there was no medical emergency as the doctor came and went fairly rapidly. Needless to say we were the last people in the restaurant and definitely could have done with some trolleys to help with the full tummies up the hill!!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

St Ives part 3

As it was Saturday we decided to take it a bit more slowly so we headed out after another superb breakfast to Tate St Ives. We played with the balloons filling the sea-facing galleries by Martin Creed, (Half the Air in a Given Space) and took part in Roman Ondak's Measuring the Universe by having our heights recorded on the wall - we were decidedly in the average streak! There was lots to see and we rounded it off with a cup of tea and flourless orange & almond cake on the roof terrace. Then a potter through many galleries finally ending up at the Barbara Hepworth museum, where the lady custodian invited us to trial our hands through the water in one sculpture to play with the light. A light snack of glistening Cornish strawberries overlooking the harbour before a quick change and back for dinner at Sims Restaurant. We'd certainly been spoilt before, because their food was really good but just not quite as excellent as everywhere else we had been. It was scallops and bacon or mackerel pate followed by lamb cutlets or cod in a creamy sauce. We declined dessert but had ice creams watching the biathlon competitors complete their race on the far side of the harbour having swum from Carbis Bay!

Friday, July 01, 2011

St Ives part 2

It was a stunning sunny morning so we decided to go for a spin down the very windy roads to Land's End (the most westerly mainland point), we arrived before any potential hoards but missed any end to enders too, so it was quiet and we got a little stroll in along the cliff. Then off to Mousehole for a mid morning ice cream and on to the Lizard peninsular (the most southerly maniland point), which was much nicer and more rustic and charming than Land's End. We walked down to the lighthouse and into the little harbour for a scramble over the rocks. Finally we headed down even smaller roads to Glendurgan garden and its amazing maze and tasty lemon meringue muffins! Back at the Nook we had an hour to put up the feeties before dinner at Saltwater. Another delicious meal - baked scallops or scallops with bacon jam, seafood risotto or Cornish crab linguine followed by chocolate mousse with honeycomb or pannacotta!

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