Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Danny, champion of the world!

Danny Boyle is the critically acclaimed director of 2009's sleeper movie hit, Slumdog Millionaire.
It's great! Britain. Danny Boyle is a legend! 
I am still marvelling at his Olympic "Isles of Wonder" four full days later. I have struggled in vain ~ I fully intended to keep quiet on this topic and leave all the comment to professional bloggers and journos. I simply can't, such is my delight and amazement ~ I need to blurt it all out...
All that detail, the art direction, set design, music, vision ~ absolutely cinematic in it's ambition. How I loved the narrative, "this is new"! From the opening sequence and the overhead shot of our "Green and Pleasant Land", bucolic, complete with cottage, village green, geese, sheep, cricket and seemingly the cast of Larkrise to Candleford all the way through to the burnished copper brilliance of the Olympic fire-flower it was a triumph.
The London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony
The costumes were so brilliantly realised throughout the piece, the colour  and mood shifts between each of the acts, reinforced by the soundtrack and lighting...it made me long for closing credits, so that all involved could be congratulated.
Thanks to that drum beat, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Underworld the ceremony moved relentlessly onwards towards the Industrial Revolution. Dark, brooding, smoke filled ~ somewhere between a Lowry painting and a Big Country album cover!
The London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony
Those industrial chimneys being ripped from the earth as the green and pleasant literally rolled away, workers forging 5 rings ~ amazing visual effects to pull off in an arena, live ~ and those rings levetating in the night sky, sparks flying...awe inspiring.
Corgis, not just run of the mill corgis, comic corgis, Royal corgis! Bond, Her Maj. and a waving Winston Churchill...
At this point I began to think, "how on earth is he going to follow this?" Of course! The NHS ~ brilliant. Showing his working class credentials and flexing some political muscle, good for you Danny. Again the art direction superb, costumes and fabulous lighting. The colour palette in this section was perfect, cool clean crisp pastels and pure white light. The Stars? Children and real NHS staff ~ masterstroke.
Julie Darnell loved her Olympics 2012 opening ceremony experience
And so to literature, a celebration of children's writing. JK Rowling, the Child Catcher and Voldermort...thank heavens for all those gorgeous Mary Poppins, although I must confess I was secretly hoping for The Doctor.

Next, a race through film, TV and music all tied together by a boy meets girl story...luckily they had social media to bring them together. And all thanks to Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web who was revealed to great applause.

The memorial to the victims of the London bombings (that happened the day after it was announced London had was to host the games) was stunning. Mesmerising coreography by Akram Kahn and a beautiful performance of "Abide with me " by Emeli Sande.

After the triumphant entrance of Team GB to the strains of David Bowie's 'Heroes" came my highlight. Those Dove bikes accompanied by the Arctics playing "Come Together" so cool! Perfect after the the supreme efforts of "Le Wiggo". I hope Mr.Spielberg enjoyed the dove bike that took flight ~ I loved that nod to him ~ the camera work on that was great too.(Love this article with more insight .)
The 75 'dove bikes', 70 ridden by volunteers found on internet cycling forums, rehearsed in secrecy
Arctic Monkeys, Paul McCartney and Two Door Cinema Club frontman Alex Trimble all performed at the climax of the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Arctic Monkeys played 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' and a cover of The Beatles' 'Come Together' - in front an estimated global audience of a billion people.
Ok, Ok I know enough of the gushing. This post is packed so full of superlatives I suspect some will read it scornfully, and that's fine. I simply want to come back to this in the future weeks, months and years and try to remember some of the incredible images and theatre we witnessed and how wonderful it all was.
 As Seb said "...this is our time...and we did it right." 

Final words to Danny Boyle
"Beijing is something that, in a way, was great to follow."
"You can't get bigger than Beijing, you know? So that in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought OK good, we'll try to do something completely different."

You certainly did that Danny! It's a great big thumbs up from this tiny corner of the "Isles of Wonder".

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Wittering away...

Currant bun came back! Mr.Lane declared an away day...and so it was we found ourselves wending along the South Downs this past weekend. To my mind the South Downs look like a succession of partially buried tennis balls, all in different phases of sun~bleached greens and yellows stretching away into the distance....it pleases me, this thought.

All those repeating green waves of hills and valleys, flowing and undulating, sweeping, epic, rising and falling, makes you want to grab a brush and paint with the entire arc of your arm.Ah tricky when you're driving of course and so many brilliant depictions of the Downs already exist...
South Downs Poster c.1946 by Walter E Spardbery for Southern Railway
A luminous woodcut of the South Downs by Edward Loxton Knight
Alan TYERS - The Long Man at Wilmington, The South Downs
The Long Man at Wilmington by Alan Tyers
THE WILMINGTON GIANT, 1939, watercolour, 44.7 x 53.7 cm, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
an earlier version of The Long Man at Wilmington by the great Eric Ravilious, painted as we approached the  Second World War.
Your Britain (South Downs) Frank Newbould...
...such an iconic swathe of English Countryside, I bathe in it's familiarity and timelessness, Downs to my right and glimpses of sparkling sea to my left...ah, yes the seaside.

There is something about seaside places...kitsch becomes appropriate, colour takes on another dimension in short all is saturated...especially the catch of the day...where would we be without "Fish & Chips" and the King...cottage gardens bursting with old fashioned blooms, gaudy perfection. Seaside pubs, endless horizons, driftwood sculptural, hinting at an imagined form, wet dog, sandy dog, happy dog. Boat motifs and best of all these things?
 Mr.Lane! Step forward the true, the real, Mr.Lane. I saw happiness and contentment in his face...I had almost forgotten it, that look. Standing in the footprints of his Dad and his Dad before him, I could picture them, all three, standing alongside one another, shoulder to shoulder in this much favoured place. There is history here for us and that line of continuity is strengthening and nourishing in the face of great turmoil. Tears fell, so great my relief at this glimpse of my beautiful boy...

We were visiting Pagham (check out the life boat station!), West Wittering and Itchenor in East Sussex.

 Hope you are enjoying the return of  "the bun!"
Sarah -x-
...oh and a note from the wettest, sandiest, happiest hound in all of Sussex...
"Olympic training is going well, aiming to equal Micheal Phelps 8 gold medals, so far I have managed channel swims on four beaches and counting, must dash as I find myself with a rather sandy tongue and I have just spotted an exotic looking piece of seaweed..."

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I've seen THE light!

Yes the light cast by an Olympic flame no less!

It was brilliant! Woo~hoo, so looking forward to THE GAMES!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Jekyll and Hyde...

...of interiors, that's me. Lurching from a life long love of colour, print and pattern to the soft elusive world of whites, greys and neutrals. This can be evidenced by a quick perusal of my pinterest boards Down the Lane and Naturally. ( If I was asked to describe myself in an interview, this would be my reference I think.)

So having paced around this house for just over a year now, musing, planning, changing my mind with alarming regularity it is time to begin...choosing fabric and colours.
this is Rosemary Russet by Sam Pickard...I simply adore it. Everything, the ink drawn lines, the hand-drawn quality, the scale, the printed weave effect and the colours are sublime...this is my number one choice for my bedroom...modern rustic is definitely the way forward. Sam's drawing is fantastic she has a wonderful blog where she captures seasonal flora and fauna in her "colours of the season" posts have a look here
Sam will be exhibiting at the Cornwall Design Fair in August.

Then, I also have this ongoing fascination with all things Rosemary Milner...lovely rendering of  flora and fauna in great colourways...

I am especially besotted with her wallpaper, again that hand-drawn feel appeals.
I am also very fond of St.Judes fabrics, this one by Mark Hearld.

Hmm, back to flicking through favourite images...from my pinterest boards AW Home and SS Home


My Bohemian Home 
lovely floral
Catherine Gratwicke photography Book One

Oh bother...back to dithering...I'll keep pacing and thinking!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

New balls please!

Phew, that was some roller~coaster of a weekend! 
I have decided it was all about 'balls"...floral balls, tennis balls, cricket balls, footballs, ice~cream scoop balls oh, and having one...a proverbial "ball"that is!
The only thing that wasn't really playing "ball" was the weather...so we stuck two fingers up to those miserable weather gods and decorated the barn with bunting and flowers! Whilst some of our cricket and rounders matches were rain delayed we managed to complete them and happily both Mr Lane and I both won...albeit we were on opposing teams...too many sherberts?
1.  I am very happy as tea wallah! 
2. I am considering touring the summer festivals in a tea van such as this one! 
3. I need to grow a pair ( yep. we are back to balls!) I couldn't bear to see Andy lose and hid behind a cushion. 
4. Oasis balls are King. 
5. Andy doesn't need to grow a pair,  he has a huge heart and it must be so hard to take all the criticism he has and still "leave it all on the court" as Mr Lane would say. 
I say, to be standing in the shadow of another man's song is a dark place when you know you can sing brilliantly too...
 A week to recover me thinks...until next year Andy, when we get to do it all again!