Twinkle on Kensington Church Street

Ouch! I poked my eye with my finger accidentally as I was hastely applying eyeshadow over my left eyelid. I knew nothing good would come out if things were done in a hurry. However, I was way behind the time and panicking! Ohhhh, I’m gonna be late!! I kept on muttering the same phrase over and over, like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. The appointment with my hairstylist was at 1pm, and I was running late. If I didn’t hit the pavement in 15 minutes, I wouldn’t be able make it on time. Of course, I could go with my face make-up free. But then I would have nothing else but my bare face to stare at in the mirror for a couple of hours. The thought of it made me shudder. Ugh…

Anyway, Bella and I were on Kensington Church Street last Thursday. The weather was exceptionally mild and pleasant, and we were in the mood for a long walk.

Kensington Church Street, which connects High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate, is well known for expensive antique shops. The thoroughfare is lined with shop windows in which one can gape at amazing treasures and relics from the past…

Ahhh, it’s like visiting V&A and British Museum…

My girl Bella was not into antique, apparently…

Cuddle me! Carry me! I’m not interested in old stuff.

Oh Bella, you’re so disrespectful.

She doesn’t give a damn, evidently.

Some shops didn’t weather the post-Brexit climate very well. I saw gutted shop interiors, and it made me sad…

Once upon a time, I used to come to the street three times a week in order to help out a shop which sold vintage prints. Being an art student, I was very good at cutting cardboards for framing, so I was in their basement studio, wielding a Stanley knife and sticking prints with special glue. During my lunch break, I usually sauntered towards Notting Hill Gate and gazed into the shop windows along the street. There were two particular shops I was fascinated with but never dared to enter.

They were Mrs Crick’s Chandelier Shop and Denton Antiques. Today, they are still very much in business and I am very happy for them!

The shop mistress of the print shop was a spinster and a tough taskmaster who was not into small talk. During our rare moment of chatting, I mentioned about how I was taken by the beauty of the chandeliers and my desire of owning one one day…

She looked at me with amazement at first and asked me if I knew how much they costed. Those shops never displayed any ticket so I had no idea how extraordinarily expensive they were.
‘I think you will change your mind if you are told how dearly just one crystal from those chandeliers costs.’ She left me very red faced.

She could have corrected my ignorance a little more kindly, I reflected on as I gazed at the crystals…

I used to wonder who would buy such an opulent light fixture like this for their home. Industry tycoons? Arab royalties? The crystals twinkled behind the window pane right in front of me. But the monetary distance between us seemed to be a light year away.

Now decades later, I live in a flat with ceiling height high enough to hang a proper chandelier. Do I fancy one now? I look around and ponder. Probably not. Our decor won’t go with it, and Hubbie will never agree to have one as he hates any period style older than the 50’s.

By the way, another fixture of Kensington Church Street is The Churchill Arms

I love this pub. They are one of those old-fashioned English pubs with great decor. They also serve delicious Thai food and welcome dogs – very important!

Ok, Bella. Our next destination is Kensington Gardens. Allons-y!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

They’ve been framed

This is one of the images of Sonya and Glenn of Echobelly captured by Hubbie last last weekend

The image depicts the magic of Echobelly well. Their music is so deep and sensual. I can hardly wait to visit their gig again!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Sonya & Glenn

Last Saturday, our flat was turned into a temporary photographic studio…

I drove to Hubbie’s office the previous evening so he could bring home all the equipments he would need for the shoot.

So who were his subjects?

Our friend, Glenn and Sonya from Echobelly!

They wanted Hubbie to take their promotional photos. We met through our mutual friends and became good friends. They both are lovely people, very warm, intelligent and caring. And we love their music too.

Hubbie took these images at one of their recent gigs…

Their new album will be released in spring and I can hardly wait!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Rogue One

Yup, I saw the latest Star Wars, and I wasn’t very happy about it.

We went to Barbican Cinema on 29th, rubbing our hands with glee because we loved The Star Wars. However, we ended up leaving our seats, shaking our heads disapprovingly.

No, no, no, don’t go there!

I know some critics rave about the film, like it has stepped out towards a different direction, becoming more realistic and gritty, et cetera, et cetera. Yes, the film was gritty. It had chock-full of fight scenes, from fisticuffs to full-brown cosmic explosions, and they were pretty realistic. It was almost too graphic and depressingly realistic, I found though.

Not that I am a squeamish sort – I am happy to watch any film (including violent ones) as long as it has a good plot. Therefore, I am not complaining about the level of violence in the latest Star Wars. I was annoyed because it had lost its innocence which was the hallmark of the original Star Wars films. Like the battle scenes from the film, Flash Gordon, the battle scenes of the original Star Wars were made to look “unrealistic”. It was not because of the lack of budget or special effect technologies but because it was the style of the Star Wars. It was “Fantasy before Sceience”. The Stormtroopers may be knocked off like a bowling pin by a Blaster bazooka by the Rebel and be killed, or vice versa. However, there supposed to be no blood, no guts and certainly no realistic death scene! These realities do not belong to the Star Wars, the epitome of futuristic fantasy. Do they want to remake the series as a futuristic version of Black Hawk Down or Band of Brothers?! You have Starship Troopers for that.

Another thing which disappointed us was the finale of the film. So will we be still fiddling with a satellite dish in the future, huh? While the starships can move from A to B with time warp, will we be still not being able to invent anything better than a satellite dish to send / receive datas? How large it may be, the dish is still a dish. It’s laughable, we thought.

The next instalment will have to be better than this. Otherwise, it will be lambasted by me even more savagely…

Sushi Socks @ SCP

A few days ago, Bella and I were at one of our favourite shop in our neighbourhood, SCP, on Curtain Road…

We were there to report to them that a FLOS floor lamp, which they repaired for us, was working beautifully and to express our gratitude for their help. They managed to resuscitate our favourite lamp which started to flash like a pulsar before its death. Despite the fact that the lamp was bought from them more than 10 years ago, instead of turning me away, stating that the warrenty had run out ages ago, they took it in, sourced the part for the repair and in the end, they asked for the cost of the part only and not a penny for their labour. I was truly touched by their kindness. Retailers such as SCP may not offer a large discount like those online only stores, however, their knowledge and care they dispense on site face to face is so valuable, and in the long run, the price paid at such outlet will worth every penny.

Bella loves to visit the shop too as they always make a big fuss over her…

Bella the Diva lives on being the centre of attention.

The shop floor was so Christmassy. Everywhere I turned, I could find exquisitely dressed shelves and tables with a full of ideas for a stylish and modern seasonal celebration.

‘Do you have a Christmas light which doesn’t need any outside power?’ This year’s window dressing will have to be Bella-proofed as she will pull down everything which her little teeth can reach. ‘Oh yeah, I see your problem. But we only have lights with plugs.’ Oh well, I have to borrow Heza’s brain when I see him later.

As Bella and I strolled between the display tables and cabinets, we bumped into hilarious gifts on sale…

Are they sushi?! Yes, they are Sushi Socks!

These socks are witty stocking fillers, aren’t they? However, they are not one of those cheap & nasty kinds which normally bought for “a bit of laugh on Christmas Day”…

Those realistic graphics are not digitally printed onto the fabric, but instead, they are knitted into the materials, using coloured threads for comfort and durability. How about that?

All those bautiful Modermist furniture, how much I salivate over them every time I visit this shop…

You know what, I shall buy a large townhouse and fill it with all the modern classics I can buy if I win a lottery. And most of the furniture and lightings will be coming from SCP!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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