Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Category Archives: Horoscopes

Planes, trains and automobiles

Well, I’m back. I have so much to tell you that it’s all a bit daunting, so I’ll start at the beginning and take a few short cuts.

I went to see Julia Fordham perform at the Pigalle Club in London. She was quite amazing as usual, her extraordinary voice never fails to send shivers of pleasure down my spine, she is a truly talented singer and songwriter. Her sister, my friend Claire, was there and phoned the whole gig in to her parents who weren’t able to be there! Here is one of my favourite (if not THE favourite), Julia Fordham song. If you don’t know her please watch this and marvel.

I flew to the South of France with Claire for the premiere of ‘The Making of Plus One’. I’ve told you about it before, it’s a mockumentary set and filmed during the Cannes Film Festival last year, about a producer trying to get a film made, which is based on Claire’s book (still with me?) I wasn’t sure how it was going to work but it was very good, very funny and fast paced and I enjoyed it immensely.

Cannes was fabulous, everything I thought it would be – glamorous and glitzy, we went to a cocktail party on a large boat, drank champagne in the Carlton, hung out at the Majestic for the after screening party, hob nobbed with celebs.  The screening of the film ‘The Making of Plus One’ based very loosely on Claire’s book and in which she and her sister Julia appeared was eventful. I won’t repeat the whole saga as Claire tells it so well over at her blog here so please do visit and read her account of it all – and read how her horoscope saved the day. I tell you this, I wish I had one quarter of Claire’s chutzpah, she is amazing and so deserves to do well.

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My next stop was Geneva. I flew out of Nice at 8am and an hour later was in Switzerland. I met my friend Edwina who had flown in from England and we took the train to Crans Montana. It’s a lovely journey as it follows the shores of Lac Leman, through Lausanne and Montreux and then heads of down the Rhône valley to Sierre.

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It’s always nice to go to Crans, but as an unrepentant non-skier I love it in the summer! It’s very pretty in the winter but I prefer it green.

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We were there a day and then we set off to drive to Mallorca. We drove through Switzerland to France, the journey prolonged by several long hold ups due to a combination of accidents, roadworks and sheer volume of traffic and quite frankly, Montpellier just seems to go on forever, but we eventually arrived in Port de la Selva where we spent the night.

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The next morning we were on the road again, heading for Barcelona where we caught a ferry to Palma in Mallorca. The 7 hour trip passed surprisingly quickly and before we knew it we had docked and were on the road to Puerto Pollensa, our final destination. We then collapsed in a heap and spent a very lazy week, eating drinking and lolling around in the sun – although we did walk to Cala San Vicente one day – over a mountain, I’ll have you know! Here are some pics to give you a flavour of the rest of the week.

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So now I’m back. I brought sunshine home with me and it has been a slow process getting back into the swing of things. Milo was thrilled to see me but did miss #1 son when he went back to Bath. The most excellent news is that #2 son arrived back from his 4 month trip around South East Asia this morning and is heading to Dorset tomorrow. Woohoo! I am so looking forward to seeing him, it’s ridiculous.

I have just a couple more things to pass on to you bookbinding afficionados. I have just bought three new books to read. I am currently reading a book called ‘People of the Book‘ by Geraldine Brooks, which is about a book restorer and promises to be very good. While I was in Cannes I met one of the stars of ‘The Making of Plus One’, Sara Stockbridge, (who was a model and muse for Vivienne Westwood). She is tall, blond and gorgeous and now, she has written a book called ‘Hammer’ “a novel of the Victorian Underworld” and she told me about a book called ‘ The Journal of Dora Damage‘ by Belinda Starling, which is a book about a bookbinder! I have just bought it and on the back it says ‘a riveting tale of bookbinding and Victorian pornography’. Ooh er missus!

This is Sara and I on the boat in Cannes, with Omid Djalili, a really funny British-Iranian comedian, who was also at the party.

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Star struck? Me? Possibly.

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My Zen-like calm…

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Every so often I make a book that I’m really not sure works. I have had this stencilled Katazome-shi paper for ages. In fact it is one of the first papers I ever bought from Falkiners. It has such a retro ‘feel’ and very strong colours and I have never been able to find anything that complemented it. I bought this marbled paper from Falkiners last week. It is a from a range of hand marbled papers by Ann Muir. The colours are almost exactly the same as the colours in the Japanese cover paper so I thought it would work but having made the book, I’m not so sure….

It ought to work, I usually choose the two papers by making sure that the inside paper has some of the colours from the cover paper and if it is a different pattern, that doesn’t usually matter as long as one is less ‘busy’ than the other. I think that’s the problem here. They are both too ‘busy’ and so it doesn’t quite work even though the colours are perfect and each paper is fabulous in it’s own right. Definitely a case where ‘less’ would have been ‘more’.

So far this year, I have won a competition over at Go! Smell the Flowers. The prize was a year’s supply of flowers from Flora 2000 – an incredibly generous prize and my first lot should arrive on Monday. Yesterday I heard from Suburose that I had won her crafty giveaway this week! How thrilling! Every week, at her blog Subu, Inc, (which is a showcase for her beautiful recycled notebooks), she has a different giveaway, this week’s is described as follows

…comes from the wonderful and talented Margaret of MargaretsWorld. This is a one of a kind 6×7 collage on wood based on a drawing entitled: “In the Octopus’ Garden”

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Margaret constructs her art from found, recycled or otherwise discarded things [which makes me love her even more!]. She uses sculpture as well as two-dimensional material, such as canvas or water color paper in a collage format. all items are one of a kind.

If you want to see more work by Margaret, please feel free to visit her etsy site or her personal website [which houses some amazing pieces].’

I also received a beautiful calendar from Kim at Laketrees this week. It showed gorgeous views of the area in Australia around where Kim lives. This was a prize in a sort of supplementary quiz in her terrific ‘Win a Portrait for Christmas’ competition which was won by Colin over at Life.

I think my luck is finally changing! Now I’m don’t really follow horoscopes (except when it says something nice!) I’m a Scorpio and when I read last week that my ruling planet, Pluto is finally moving out of something or other (where it has been since the mid 1990’s) into something or other else this week, so my life is about to change, I was rather pleased. (Until my son pointed out that technically Pluto isn’t classed as a planet anymore so I am being ruled by a big lump of rock – but that’s another story….)

I am convinced that 2008 is going to be a good year, I checked out Pluto and it has been downgraded – but only to a dwarf planet, according to NASA, so that’s good enough for me. I just re-read the horoscope and it actually sounds like it could go either way…this is Shelley von Strunkel in the Sunday Times:

Keeping your nerve during this period of change isn’t easy. Much of your life, and your perspective on the future, is shifting. Some is by design, but just as much involves changes you neither anticipated nor initiated. Obviously, your instincts are telling you to scramble to save what’s worthwhile. But with your ruler, Pluto, moving into a new sign next week — for the first time since the mid-1990s — things can’t remain as they were. Because this influences others and circumstances as much as it does you, it’s a waiting game. Undertake this with a Zen-like calm and you’ll begin this new chapter in the best possible state of mind. “

Well, she was right about the unanticipated, uninitiated changes but the more I read this, the more ambiguous and scary it becomes. All I know is I must think positive and cultivate my Zen-like calm… :-)