Sunday, 29 April 2012

By Royal Appointment

When I was a child my grandmother and I would make marzipan fruits at Christmas. I think she had made them when she was a child because somehow she knew just how to dust the peaches with icing sugar to give them a soft peachy bloom and how the addition of a clove placed just so would transform a nondescript green blob into a perfect pear. Giggling and chatting, it was the most pleasant way to spend a long winter evening. When we had exhausted all the obvious fruits we'd move onto vegetables and once we'd exhausted all the prettiest vegetables we moved onto the not so pretty ones. Marzipan potato dusted in cocoa powder anyone? And of course we'd sneak in the occasional Playdoh one as well. Petits Fours Russian Roulette. When I was at college I put together a selection of the most appealing fruits in a small perspex box and took them off to Harrods Foodhall. They placed an order for 200 boxes on the spot. I roped the whole family in and the kitchen table was covered with hundreds of the miniature, rainbow coloured fruits. My dad drove me up to Knightsbridge the week before Christmas to deliver them. By the time we were back in Bromley, Harrods had been on the phone ordering 2000 boxes. I still remember the cheque arriving, smothered with royal crests and written in italic pen.
This afternoon the fires were lit, the dogs snoozed, Ed was watching a DVD, the rain lashed at the windows, I had a couple of packs of marzipan left-over from the Christmas cake...

Saturday, 28 April 2012

How Did You Spend Your Weekend?

Mine was spent on location at Willesden Junction in the endless rain with 80 kids dressed as Hank Marvin for a TV ad.
Here's Charlotte, Ryan and Ed on day one - when we were all still smiling.

Friday, 27 April 2012


Look out for Capri, gracing The Front Cover of the May issue of Period Living Magazine.

Classic French Style shot at Lordship Park

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Down-in-the-Dumps Dog

Whippets don't like the wet. Enzo is so miserable even the promise of 'massive savings on ice-cream' doesn't lift his mood. 
Come on boy, lets take you home and give you a new hair-do - that'll cheer you up.
Some hours later...

Hahaha... Conde Nast Brides Magazine were shooting here yesterday and they asked Stuart from Groom Dog City to bring along Molly, the cutest Bichon Frise, dyed pink for the occasion. Stuart was telling us that he uses completely safe and natural vegetable dyes that gradually wash out - apparently she was even brighter when he first did the colour last week. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Top Gear

Well, it’s been a week and I can’t say I’ve really bonded with the new motor.
I’m still groping around for phantom keys in a non-existent lock to turn the stupid thing off and on reflection we probably shouldn’t have gone for the shiny black paintwork: fresh from the showroom, up Park Lane, once round Cagogan Square and into the underground NCP behind John Lewis - 2.7 miles on the clock and the guys that clean cars look up and call out “Car wash madam? Want your car washed?”
On Friday we had to deliver one of Brian’s paintings to a client in Norwich. Should have been a nice day out. They were taking us to lunch at Roger Hickman - all linen tablecloths and elegantly served nouvelle cuisine so I’d gone to a bit of effort – vintage cream satin shirt, black wool skirt, my favourite gold pendant from the 70s, short black boots, hair pinned up. After spending ten minutes in the rain trying to figure out how to arrange a modest size canvas and two whippets in the back while still being able to close the doors and the boot we set off - a damp disheveled mess. Brian drove - his first time in a manual for some time. After a jerky few miles, we made it as far as Walthamstow and he is muttering something about his loafers getting caught in the carpet. Next thing I know we jolt to a halt and a whippet is catapulted through from behind and lands on my lap laddering my tights. Enzo is still in the back, looking worried, peeking out from under an oil painting of a Norwich City shirt. Only 110 miles to go… We swapped drivers and B shares the passenger seat with both whippets - shedding hairs all over his black suit. Not quite the arrival I envisaged.
On the way back the dogs go rigid at the sight of the car, won’t get in and have to be dragged inside. 
At least the client was happy with her new purchase. 
Norwich City by Brian Ayling

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Just Like In The Movies

I was looking for a parking space in Queen Elizabeth's Walk when a movement on the pavement caught my eye. Before I knew it a duck and a stream of eleven ducklings, scarcely any bigger than bumble bees crossed the road in front of me. I stopped right there in the middle of the road, rummaged for the mobile and frantically tried to open the car window. It was no good, they were moving fast, the ducklings like the tail of a kite, rippling in an articulated row behind their elegant mother. I'd have to jump out and follow them. I glanced in the rear-view mirror and a white van was a couple of inches from my back bumper. Shit. The geezer was getting out. I braced myself for a string of expletives. "Quick quick!" he shouted in an eastern European accent."I've seen this only in the cartoons! It's so sweet" and he pranced off with his iPhone, held at arms length, in the direction of the ducklings.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

The endless dark skies were getting me down... then I saw Joe and Phoebe - off to an 80s party. 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Rockin' Art

And by a stroke of pure genius they included Brian's rock star White Leather Jacket painting in one of the shots!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


"Okay Mrs Munro, I'll just run through a few of the features with you. No, no there's no keys. Yes, you'll find that with most new cars nowadays. Right, to unlock the car just press this. That's right. To lock it, this one. To unlock the boot press this. If you're in the car and you want to unlock the boot press this. Say you're in the car and the doors are locked and you want to let someone in just press this button here. The doors all lock a few seconds after you've started the engine anyway and the petrol cap locks automatically when you lock the car. Yes, it's quite safe. No, I'm sorry, there's no manual alternative to that. Now, there's three driving modes: Eco, Comfort and then there's Sport. No, maybe not but you never know, your husband might like to try it one day. Here's the on-board computer. Don't worry, it's quite straightforward. Just press menu and scroll through like this or you can scroll through using the control on the right of the steering wheel. You've got your average speed, fuel consumption, range, next service, tyre pressure, world weather...Yes, there's a regular fuel gauge as well... yes and a clock. Now, the radio, you can fast track using these tabs here, you can tune-in up to fourteen different stations and there's two volume controls, one here and one here by the indicators. You want me to leave that on manual? Okay. Lets talk about the indicators, just a slight nudge upwards is all it needs, then to keep them on longer click up one, then up again to set it to auto. Don't worry. You can override it by pressing that.....
This model is so economical that the engine automatically cuts out when stationary, so, at traffic lights for instance, if you stop for more than a couple of seconds the engine goes quiet and it seems like the car has stalled. Don't be alarmed Mrs Munro, BMW spent millions perfecting it. You'll soon get the hang of it. Yes, it is a bit unnerving at first. Try it and see how you get on. Well, if you really don't like it and just while you're getting used to the car you can immobilise that feature by flicking this switch here. 
Yes, I'm just coming to the sun roof. Open, close, tilt. No, just a quick press. No, take your finger off. Just a  quick press like this. No, no like... this. There. 
Right, let's synch your mobile. Turn on Bluetooth. See? all your data is being transferred onto the computer. All your contacts, emails, music - you don't have music? Okay, all your apps. No? Well, everything that you do have is stored in here until you need it. When you get in the car it will automatically detect your phone and all the calls, emails etc will come in via the computer. The sounds will come out of these speakers in the doors. So, when the phone rings you will hear it all around you. Then press this phone symbol to answer the call. Adjust the volume here. End the call here. Yes, you just speak. Yes, just talk. Yes, into the air. You don't look too sure about that. Really? You want me to turn that off as well? That's a shame. It's a very popular feature."

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Easter Holidays - Day 27

“Joe! Get off the phone and get on with your bloody art. You’ve only got a couple of days left.”
“Who the hell keeps texting you every few minutes anyway? Tell them to leave you alone.”
“Chill. Where’s the coloured pencils. Can you get them?”
“They’re downstairs, you get them.”
“I’ll get them…”
“DADDY, while you’re down there bring up my book.”
“Here you go, know what you’re doing then?”
“Yep. I need a sharpener.”
“Joe. You should try to keep all your things together. I think I know where there’s one. Hang on.”
“Thanks. The yellow’s missing.”
“For God’s sake, which yellow? Pale or eggy yellow?”
“Thanks. The green’s run out. Don’t worry, don’t worry. I’ll use blue.”
“That won’t look right. Let me find a green for you. There, have you got everything you need?”
“Yeah. Doesn’t Ed have any homework?”
“Don’t worry about Ed’s homework – get on with yours. ED! you don’t need to watch that episode of TOWIE again: it was bad enough the first time. Have you got any homework? Go and look please.”
“Art, two to five observational studies and she wants us to do some drawing outside as well”
“What!! You better get on with that right now. Draw those flowers there for a start, you can’t possibly go outside in this weather. ”
“I hate going outside anyway. I’ll find something on the internet to copy… this’ll do.”
“ The Hay Wain! Don’t be daft. She’s not going to believe you did that from life.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll change it a bit.”
“But you don’t get hay at this time of year. Do some blossom.”
“Ed, you’re such a wasteman I swear.”
“Get on with your work. You need to stick those pictures in.”
“My Pritstick’s dried up.”
“Well you’ll have to walk to the post office and get another one.”
“Daddy’s out in the garden.”
“What! It’s pissing down.”
“I know. He’s still doing the watering system.”
“Will you go Post Office for me.”
“No Joe. Shhh.. I’m on the phone to the bank. There’s a text from John. He’s at Hanoi bus station with no money to buy a ticket. That transfer I did didn’t go through.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Teenage Bedrooms

Now that Joe's got his bedroom JUST the way he likes it...

... Ed says he wants to give HIS bedroom a make-over.... and he's asked Joe to help him. Can't wait!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Rigging up the Watering System - Day 7

"I think it needs another one of those drippy things on the end of that bit... and can you fetch a blanket when you come out with the tea. It's getting chilly."

Friday, 13 April 2012

Close Encounters of the 2nd Kind

It was our first visit to the Palace Theatre last night and I have already managed to get into trouble with 'the powers that be' for taking pictures in the auditorium - not while the show was on, I KNOW not to do that - but while everyone was still taking their seats. Ed explained that the sets are top secret and they don't want pictures of them all-over the net. Fair enough. 
Our seats were way up high, on a near vertical incline, towards the back of the balcony, affording us a fabulous view of... (and I don't think I'm infringing any copyright here) THE CEILING! and what a magnificent one it is.

I'm also in Ed's bad books for embarrassing him in front of the young girl selling sweets - not for boasting that he has been awarded a 6 month run in the show but because I asked "do you have any healthy snacks?" when she proffered her tray of confectionery. I know I have covered Theatre Fare in this blog before so I won't go on - but really...
 Thank God we managed to get our hands on a large glass of Pinot Grigio in the bar.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Close Encounters

It was a freezing cold January day, there was snow and ice on the ground. Holly's dad had called by to collect the portrait of her. It was still hanging on the first floor where it had been displayed for the exhibition. There was a shoot going on upstairs. We had to be quick: he was parked on a double yellow. We listened for a few moments, couldn't hear anything, so both of us sprinted up the stairs. As we burst into the living room, there, a couple of feet in front of us was a naked boy, shivering by the fire. Two girls were adorning him with blue paint and gold leaf. Just a normal day at Lordship Park. Here are the pics in the Spring/Summer volume of Bullett.

A PHANTASMAGORIC FAIRY TALE THAT'S OUT OF THIS WORLD - photographed by Saga Sig at Lordship Park

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


As my precious, eldest son snoozes above the Bay of Bengal with my much loved Canon 550 I cheer myself up with a glass of wine and try to do justice to an exquisite bouquet (by Anthony Marklew from By Appointment Only Design) with Bri's iPhone. Anthony was here today with Brides Magazine and despite the weather playing tricks on us all day, he managed to create a wonderful arbour of the most fragile summer flowers. At the end of the day, with silk ribbon, he tied up a posy of the blooms that had managed to withstand the sun, wind and rain and left them for me on the kitchen counter.

To Boldly Go...

...where no Munro has gone before.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Duvet Day

On a dripping wet Bank Holiday Monday...
...there's nothing to do but bring your bedding downstairs and cuddle up with a whippet.

Tropical Easter

Unlike last Easter it was too cold and wet for an egg hunt in the garden this year but these tropical fruits brought a ray of sunshine into the kitchen as they tumbled onto the work surface. It makes me feel better to alternate the chocolate with a bit of 5 a day stuff. In a attempt to negate any health benefits Ed has suggested using the fruits to decorate the top of a cheesecake. Sadly, upon investigation the exotic pods contained little more than pips and slime...
... so we stuck to tried and tested blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Olympic Torch Right Up Our Street

Brian and I haven't really watched much TV since the School for Stars series came to an end. I used to catch up with a bit of local gossip on Capital Radio, taking Ed to school but as we now don't have a car we've become a bit out of touch. So, it was news to us when we had the Lordship Park residents get together at the Brownswood Tavern last night that a hosepipe ban will come into force at midnight tonight. Oh Dear! AND, on the 21st of July the Olympic Torch is being carried down our road, yes, Lordship Park, on the final leg of it's journey to the stadium. The event is being celebrated with a huge festival in Clissold Park and the whole shebang will be televised worldwide. OH DEAR!!!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Water Torture

"I think we should. It'll save loads of time and it means we won't have to get someone to do it while we're on holiday"
"We're not going on holiday. REMEMBER?."
"I know but I think it'll be good anyway. It takes hours."
"I thought you enjoyed it."
"I do but we'll never get round to watching five series of Mad Men if I have to do that every night."
"Right. Lets go. Got pen and paper?"
"Okay, so this piece of string is 13 meters long."
"Is it? How do you know?"
"I measured it. Now hold the end."
"So, if we start here, bend it under here, round this, over here, loop round there and over to that one and all along there."
"It's run out."
"Okay, put your foot there. Hang on it's got stuck. Right, start again from here. Behind this 'till it gets there, then up, over and to the end of that one. Perfect."
"So, that's two lots of thirteen meters. It comes in twenty five meter lengths."
"Hmm... never mind. Let's move onto this section. This is where we're going to have the leaky one."
"Wait. Shall I just write down 'one' for the feed hose then? And what about all the little hose bits that come off the main one and the drippers that go on the ends and some of those squirty ones and don't forget the connector and the end cap, or we could have a dripper on the end as well. We were going to have some of those 'in-line' drippers as well weren't we? Then we need stakes to hold it in place and the fixy things for where it goes along the wall..  "
"We'll get to that in a minute. Let's work out how much of the other type of hose we need to do all along the bay hedge and the bushes around the trampoline. Forget about the string, I'll just pace it out. One, two, three, four five.. bloody hell, I thought I picked all this up this morning: they must have sneaked out and done another one."
"I don't think it's going to look very nice having this black hose draped over everything. They had 'elbow joints' on the website. It'll be much neater if it goes right up to the edge of the railway sleepers and makes a nice right-angle turn up and over and into the bed."
"Okay, we'll go back to the beginning then. How many of those do we need? One here, one here, one here, one here, two here, how much do these cost?"
"Not much."
"God, I can't work this all out. Let's go in and do a drawing...."
".... what's that meant to be?"
"That's where you wanted the stake drippers isn't it?"
"Is that meant to be a hydrangea then?? Those bushes at the back aren't hydrangeas."
"I KNOW. That spiral shape isn't meant to be a hydrangea, or any plant, it's the STAKE DRIPPERS."
"Okay Okay. Let's get the website up, we'll go through one bed at a time and I'll add things to the basket. 25 meters of supply tube, 2 lots of 10 meters of seeping hose. Ugh, why has the internet decided to go so slow... 7 elbow joints - they come in packs of two, so 4 packs... 2 x T junctions to split the supply hose... 2 connectors... 2 end stops... a 4-way tap attachment, £19.99! shit... it says you need a little thing to make a hole in the hose to attach the micro hose, one of those... how much micro hose? 3 packs? 6 in-line drippers, they come in packs of 5... 9 stake drippers... 
"How much are we up to"
"Blimey. Is that it then?"
" No, we need about 100 of the tiny connectors to attach all the micro hose to the supply hose and the drippers to the micro hose, where are they?... wouldn't it be funny if they were out of stock after all this?... 


Monday, 2 April 2012


This is pretty.......
Eva lanska photographed by Andrew Fox at Lordship Park

Got to go.... Stella McCartney shoot today and there's the vestiges of a lavish vegetarian banquet upstairs (including an untouched strawberry cheesecake) waiting to be 'tidied away'. 

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Reservoir Dogs

We walked the dogs up to the new flats at Woodberry Park today...
And then along the path beside the reservoir and past  the sailing centre...

Amazing what a difference a bit of blue sky and a wide-angle lens makes.