Where is our summer?

Today is 1st June and it’s blooming COLD! I found it so chilly this morning and ended up turning on heating. 

Now I am at Benugo, off Regent Street, and surrounded by people in not summer attire but in winter coats and scarves. I really don’t think it’s not that cold though, a woman, who is standing next to me right now, even dons a sheep skin gilet on top of her motorcycle jacket and wrapping her neck with a black pashmina for an extra measure! She looks chic but the fashion statement she is making is so wrong for this time of the year. Where is our summer?

When I hit the pavement, the heaven opened and drenched the street…

I don’t know what the heck is going on weather-wise, this year…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Midsummer Night’s Fête @ Royal Academy, W1

‘OMG, it’s bright!’ I winced and rummaged around in the bag for a pair of shades as the early evening sunshine whacked my retinas unexpectedly.
Oh yeah, it’s the summer solstice, isn’t it? No wonder it stayed so bright until so late…

A balmy summer evening on Piccadilly…

20140630-152756-55676251.jpg

At Royal Academy of Arts, I was to rendezvous with my gorgeous girlfriends, Fei & Nicky, so we could enjoy A Midsummer Night’s Fête together. At the main gate, I was given a ticket for one free drink and looked for Fei & Nicky who were supposed to be amongst the lined crowd…

20140630-152844-55724923.jpg

Thanks to our iPhones, we managed to locate each other. A group photo with glasses in our hands…

20140630-152932-55772583.jpg

The British summer evening at its best. Mellow & balmy…

20140630-153007-55807635.jpg

The upstairs galleries were a venue for the 246th Summer Exhibition…

20140630-153207-55927508.jpg

In the first gallery, we were greeted by the artwork “Cake Man” by Yinka Shonibare…

20140630-153258-55978401.jpg

The figure, bearing a tower of cakes precariously stuck up on its back, was a representation of greedy bankers in the City and Wall Street, a description by the artist explained.

The next space accommodated large-scale paintings…

20140630-153454-56094192.jpg

This work was my favourite, BTW…

20140630-153600-56160636.jpg

The gallery also housed a bar which served gin & tonic as well as Pimms. At the end of the room, there was a stage for live music too…

20140630-153649-56209276.jpg

A typical scene of the Summer Exhibition at RA. The walls were covered with artworks in all shapes & sizes…

20140630-153806-56286773.jpg

Some works were romantic & dreamy…

20140630-153859-56339226.jpg

while others were rather dark and scary…

20140630-153955-56395902.jpg

Is this how Jerry sees a cheese grate? Oversized utensils in the middle of the gallery…

20140630-154049-56449430.jpg

Unfortunately, I was rather underwhelmed by James Turrell’s light sculpture. The venue had too much ambient lighting which dulled the intensity of the colours. What a shame…

20140630-154354-56634437.jpg

A figure of a young girl with her eyes closed stood demurely in the corner of one gallery…

20140630-160741-58061702.jpg

The work reminded me porcelain dolls by Lladró. The profile was delicate and sensual which made me want to stoke it (but I didn’t, of course)…

20140630-154808-56888384.jpg

The last room was the smallest and the most intimate space and Fei, Nicky & I unanimously agreed that it was our most favourite…

20140630-154906-56946628.jpg

The all four walls were adorned with small artworks, resembling a Victorian reception room proudly decorated by a fabulously eccentric old lady…

20140630-155014-57014774.jpg

Two unicorns in the wood. We all adored this painting / sculpture…

20140630-155127-57087546.jpg

From this photo, the work looks like a conventional painting but it is in fact a 3-D! It was so romantic! We sighed and then, we mused that it would be wonderful if we could hole ourselves up in a sitting room like this with a bottle of good wine & a box of chocolate. All night long, we would discuss about each one of artworks and it would be such fun!

Amongst the visitors, there were also a few performance artists roaming around the exhibition.

This ghost-like artist scared me the most…

20140630-155517-57317630.jpg

He carried a pink column like object with him and was shuffling around the galleries quietly.

He stopped time to time, asking visitors to scribble on the column…

20140630-155555-57355548.jpg

This lady with enormous paper hat was chatting with spectators and handing out lollipop-like paper object…

20140630-155651-57411382.jpg

I wasn’t sure what this gentleman was up to…

20140630-155734-57454859.jpg

When we came out of the building eventually, the party in the courtyard was already in full swing – a band, bottles of bubblies, cupcakes & pork pies…

20140630-155926-57566066.jpg

The hands of my wristwatch indicated that the time was nearly nine o’clock. No wonder we were so hungry…

20140630-160050-57650872.jpg

So we headed towards Chinatown eagerly, salivating over the thought of soup dumplings at Dumpling Legend…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Saturday Lunch @ Charlotte Street W1

Even though the amount of grass pollens in the air was at its highest, Hubbie, Mr.B and I decided to have a leisurely lunch on Charlotte Street last Saturday.

We waited for Hubbie on tha pavement while he brought a car out of the underground car park. It was rather breezy and Mr.B looked like as if he was being blow-dried…

20140614-171120-61880271.jpg

We parked our car near Hubbie’s office and walked towards Charlotte Street.
BT Tower was standing tall against the sky decorated with wispy clouds like an Olympic torch…

20140614-171217-61937724.jpg

We found a table at Côte.
Mr.B was excited to be greeted with a basket of bread…

20140614-171312-61992815.jpg

Across the street, I saw Josephine’s Filipino Restaurant

20140614-172120-62480109.jpg

Come to think of it, I never had any cuisine from Philippine and am very intrigued.
I suggested Hubbie if we could have a go at the place one evening. However spice-shy Hubbie suggested that I should look for an alternative dining companion… *RAT*

We tucked in steak and French fries. The sirloin was slightly overdone which I found rather regrettable…

20140614-172258-62578901.jpg

To accompany the steak, we shared tomato, shallot & basil salad…

20140614-172351-62631728.jpg

Then, we rounded up our meal with apple tart with ice cream…

20140614-172436-62676874.jpg

After lunch, we strolled to Park Camera off Oxford Street to buy a tripod.
Mr.B waited patiently in the carrier while Hubbie pondered which one to buy…

20140614-172550-62750871.jpg

Being ever so workaholic, Hubbie couldn’t help checking his inbox while Mr.B looked up to him quizzically.

‘What are you looking at?’

20140614-172636-62796130.jpg

Charlotte Street glows in the mellow afternoon sun…

20140614-172749-62869643.jpg

On our way back to the car, we came across Pollock’s Toy Museum on Scala Street…

20140614-172953-62993363.jpg

The museum has been a place which I was meant to visit for years but not yet done so. I must must come back to it very soon…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Pop-Up Book Sale ICA @ The Mall

The recent London has been blessed with a blue sky and fluffy white wispy clouds. And the weather of the last Saturday was no exception.
‘We are going to the ICA today!’ Hubbie declared breezily. He explained that we were to visit a weekend-only pop-up bookshop held at the gallery. Oh, okay…

20140612-211809-76689723.jpg

I was not an avid Royal calendar follower and therefore I had no idea what was held at Horse Guard Parade that morning but along the stretch of The Mall, a row of crowd-control barriers was in place on both sides and onlookers were milling about…

20140612-211852-76732687.jpg

We had a quick bite at the gallery’s cafe before plunging our nose between pages of precious prints…

20140612-211954-76794372.jpg

The coffee at ICA was not bad at all and the sandwiches were really tasty.

After climbing two flights of stairs…

20140612-212041-76841176.jpg

And we were greeted with table tops and shelves laden with vintage art & photography books…

20140612-212225-76945306.jpg

20140612-212224-76944211.jpg

20140612-212222-76942947.jpg

While Hubbie was wandering between stalls, I came across intriguing looking pins at one of the venders…

20140612-212646-77206285.jpg

The staff explained to me that their designs were inspired by fonts and borders. I decided to take two of them home with me, the pins in the first and second row, because they reminded me the artworks of James Turrell…

20140612-212732-77252134.jpg

A corridor of the ICA…

20140612-212846-77326440.jpg

Once outside, we headed to the nearest ice cream van. They were making a brisk trade as customers swarmed around the window, wanting to have an icy treat…

20140612-212949-77389239.jpg

We licked our soft ice-cream and sauntered to the Royal Academy…

20140612-213039-77439615.jpg

Alas, the Summer Exhibition was not on yet so we headed home.

A back view of the statue in the courtyard resembled a bullfighter, squaring at a bull in the ring, I thought…

Do you agree with me?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Farewell to Summer 2013

It looks like the summer has finally departed from London.
Weather-wise, It was a great summer.
We had been treated with a plenty of warm sunshine and gorgeous evenings.
I can’t help feeling a pang of sadness because the next summer will be anther 10 months away which sounds like an awfully long time to wait. Oh, stop it! Stop being so morose.

Image

I am having a dull ache in my upper back and neck as well as a sign of migraine.
It must to be to do with a low pressure weather system over Southeast England. Psyching myself up to do daily chores on the day like this doesn’t come easily. I’d rather curl up with Mr.B & a mug of tea.
Still, I have a pile of laundry to go through, cups & saucer to be put away and a new jumper to be knitted.
Pull yourself together! I am my own drill sergeant.

BTW Mr.B has already taken a refuge in my… SHORTS!

Image

He has made himself very at home and looks mightily pleased with himself…

Image

‘What are you looking at?’
He stares me back challengingly.

Hmmm… I have seen the same expression recently…

Image

Harry Styles not so thrilled to be papped at the cashpoint…

Image

Well, you have to hand me back the shorts voluntarily very soon or you will be evicted by force…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Blog at WordPress.com.