We at TBk are all huge football fans (and that’s proper football, not the travesty of the Beautiful Game that the US thinks is football. If you’re in the US, I’m on about ‘soccer’, the game David Beckham, kids and girls play). Now, however, that England have been uncerimoniously dumped out of Euro 2012 by the Azzurri entailing the usual heartbreak, despair and rude words said about Wayne Rooney and we’ve had a suitable period of mourning (and I’ve finished wittering about lunch) we can get back to knitwear.
I promised News a while back. Knitting News.
TBk are signing a new player! Wendy Baker is joining us on a free transfer (I can keep the football terminolgy going, you know). Wendy has designed in the past for Artwork, ixi:z, Hobbs, Rowan and Queene and Country to name but a few. She currently teaches at the RCA and Ravensbourne, and has taught at Central St. Martins in the past. Her arrival at TBk will herald a slighty different way of doing things. Instead off adding patterns ad hoc as and when we have time we’re planning on a more collection-based model and hopefully we’ll have a textural piece, a colourwork piece, a classic piece and a ‘high fashion’ piece in each mini-collection. These will be available to purchase individually or as an e-book containing all designs at a discount.
When we say ‘high fashion’ we don’t mean ‘unwearable’ or ‘ridiculous’ as many knitters interpret the term but we do mean trend-led, completely wearable and designed (as all the best fashion is) with the most flattering proportions possible. Not everyone can wear every style but it’s important to realise where details appear on the body for the most pleasing outcome. Wendy and I have known each other for 19 years and have getting on for 50 years experience in the fashion knitwear world, so we know what we’re on about.
There’s only one less-than-ideal thing about Wendy, born and bred a Londoner as she is. She’s a Manchester United fan. I tell myself this is OK really as her husband is from Manchester. It could be worse – she could be a Spurs fan. 1991 FA Cup final. I’ve not forgiven them for that one yet (and probably never will). A few moments for you from our Glory Days…
Oh, and we’re also not afraid of the ‘C’ word. Answers on a postcard please (or in the comments) about what you think we might mean by that and the most entertaining (as judged by an entirely biased panel of 2) will get a small present. I’ll even go so far as to say it won’t even be football related…
I am very lucky. I live in a wonderful (if sometimes noisy and infuriating) part of London and our street is a proper community, an out-of-town friend claims it is just like living in Albert Square as often you can’t leave the house without having 2 or 3 chats with neighbours who, most importantly, are friends as well as neighbours.
One such friend and neighbour changed career whilst she’s been living here – from specialist oncology nurse to pâtissière. Being the sort of person she is, she is a very, very good pâtissière and has been working at The Arts Club on Dover Street in Mayfair. She is soon jetting off to Shanghai for a new stage in her life, and as a farewell lunch I was very lucky to go to the Arts Club with her and be spoiled.
After starters and mains, Chef sent out one of these each for us:
That’s lemon sorbet, topped with raspberry and lychee sorbet with a rose petal and silver leaf on the top. It may well be the prettiest and most delicious thing I have ever eaten. Seriously. I am not a big pudding / dessert fan, but that could turn me.
Then we actually ordered desserts. Whislt we were waiting for them to arrive this appeared, sent out by Chef for us.
This is a sharing plate of most of the desserts on the menu. And then this arrived:
Which is a new mango and sticky rice pudding that Chef is working on. Mangoes from Pakistan with fabulous coconut sticky rice. And then the desserts we had actually ordered arrived.
That’s a Violette. Berry sorbet, Chantilly cream and violet meringues. We did our best, but even so we couldn’t finish it all.
I could barely move. A wonderful, wonderful lunch with wonderful friends. I am so very lucky.
OK, so we missed the actual tomorrow of ‘tomorrow’. But then we missed the actual Flotilla, as by the time we got to the river it was about 5 people deep and not a cat in hell’s chance of seeing anything. We got to the river via a little wander through other bits of central London which were looking rather lovely, however, which is what took us so long. Here we have Admiralty Arch, all flagged up and looking wonderful:
You may have seen this on TV over the weekend as it’s the opposite end of The Mall to Buckingham Palace. The flags there are all White Ensigns, it being (as the name suggests) an Admiralty building.
The horse looks a little startled there but it’s just a bad pic. The really good pic has a strange man in it who would just not stop having his photo taken and was hogging the Life Guard, so we shall ignore that. I think the horse is glaring at him in this photo.
Anyway, everywhere in London was flagged up and look as good as it could this weekend. Well, the eyes of the world were on us. Here is the Union Flag flying over Parliament:
And here is St. Stephen’s Clock Tower, which houses the Big Ben bell:
I love that pic, pixelled though it is, as it was taken off the big screen in Victoria Tower Gardens where we did, eventually, find a bit of room to see a bit of the Flotilla. Who needs Instagram, eh? A close-up shot of some of the Royal Marines:
And here are Kate, Wills and Harry arriving:
Kate’s outfit was a beautiful red, and later when on the Royal Barge some of us were heard to wonder if she’d had it Pantone-matched to the fabric used for the seats on there as it looked like she might disappear if she sat down, leaving an impression of a disembodied, smiling head – a bit Cheshire Cat-like. Well, it amused us at the time as we were a bit cold by then.
Here’s HM the Queen:
Deffo better than Instagram, that effect…
None of the actual boat pics were very good. More boat pixels. So, when it was All Over and we were leaving the Gardens in an Orderly Manner, some of the police on duty were entering into the spirit of the day, this one lovely WPC in particular obliging the lady in front of me by donning these Deely-boppers:
And so we made our way home, back up Whitehall. HM the Queen, however, must have got a bit bored of watchig the boats, as she was spotted waving to the home-going crowds on Whitehall. I never knew she had a bolt-hole there…
That Queen got lots of cheers for entertaining what by then were slightly damp as well as cold people. Prize for Best Shop Window has to go to Hamleys for this:
Lego. All Lego. How cool is that? Even if sadly un-photographable (is that a word?) without people interruptions given how busy it all was.
So there you have it, basically, a day in London over the Diamond Jubilee. Next week – News! Important News! And possibly some more Jubilee pics, because, well, why not?
OK, so you must be living under a stone to not know that we’re having a bit of a party over here in the UK this weekend to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
You may have heard about the Flotilla of a thousand (yes, 1000) boats sailing down the Thames to mark the occasion. Well, we went to see the Flotilla on Saturday.
Wait! I hear you cry. This is Not Right, the Flotilla happened on Sunday. Ahhh, yes, but we saw one on Saturday:
Yet another day trip to Ely made even more fabulous by the ladies at Yarn on the Square (last time, if you remember, they were knitting fruit and veg for the Harvest Festival at Ely Cathedral and provided me with the wonderful, much loved and admired Camel Tea Cosy).
So, they’d knitted and crocheted a Royal Barge…
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and some of the corgis were there:
and (obviously) there was bunting:
Got the weekend off to a wonderful start. Pics and more wittering about the actual Flotilla tomorrow!