Category: Comment

Snow Babies..

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I’ve read that personalities can be divided into two camps – cowboys and farmers. The cowboys are the restless ones, always roaming and seeking new pastures whilst the farmers solidly plough the same field over and over again. Our ski holiday embraced everything cowboy: Constantly on the go, incredible scenery, crisp air, the smell of wood smoke, peace (piste…and pissed as well) as well as a true sense of wonder.

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A fusion of manmade and natural – an icicle chandelier.

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We were in La Rosiere on the French side of the Aosta valley, ski-able into Italy. And by all accounts, were lucky to have snow.

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They were using snow cannons when we first arrived, but as the runs were in full sun it still made for great conditions.  And then it snowed.

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I’ve never seen this before – three rainbows, one on top of the other, made by the sun refracting through ice crystals in the air.

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It always amazes me how slopes look flat in pictures!

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We decided Charlie is really a secret snowboarder!

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And what did I wear?? John’s old two-piece from the eighties! Maybe not quite pure vintage swagger, but on a ski slope..the joy is no-one cares!

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And now I suppose it’s time to return to farming…and wrestling with the Einstein quote that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The silver lining is our holiday proved that perfectly decent wheels can aways be reinvented..

Laters, Kate x

Hastings..2016

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It was pure fluke we arranged a  holiday in Hastings at the exact time of their 1066 celebrations to mark 950 years since the famous battle which changed English history.

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The enactment put on by English Heritage was epic, both in terms of scale and quality:  The sheer attention to detail was a joy to behold with every costume cared for down to the last buttonhole.

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Running up to the battlefield was a row of shops to supply us and any soldiers with their daily needs: boar hides, leather satchels, knives, jewellery, bone needles, hand loomed blankets, buckles and beer all hewn and authentically made so that seeing enactors interacting genuinely felt like a step back in time.

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On either side of the battlefield were the camps of the Normans and Saxons, true living and breathing hives of activity.

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From cooking food and tending livestock to weaving and making music.

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The day was packed with individual events, including a falconry show.  This is the closest I’ve ever got to a real golden eagle.

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And so the battle began..

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(The irony of the jester watching on..)

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It was fabulous!

Laters, Kate x

Who is Kate Bentley?

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It’s half term this week and we’ve gone away to the sea side town of Hastings to breathe the country air and walk by the sea.  As a result this is an eco-friendly week of posts, re-cycled from the past..starting with this one.  Enjoy x

Ever Googled yourself? I could be Kathryn Bentley..a Texas Native designing handmade jewellery and running the rather wonderful Dream Collective in Los Angeles..love her dress..

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And her style.

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 Or maybe I’m Kate Bentley the  award-winning professional painter based in the Lake District in the beautiful Lyth Valley.

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Pretty idyllic..

 

Or collecting pins on Pintrest..’cept it isn’t me..but I like her taste. I think she might be a nurse..

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Or maybe  I’m just Kate in a Bentley..

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(Photo by Kelvin Bruce)

The truth is, out here in the cyber-world, we can be who we want to be….and sometimes it’s pretty awe-inspiring to look around..

But after the burst of imaginary gasoline…I rather like coming home to my little reality again..after all, home is where the heart is.

Laters, Kate x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One, Two, Three, Floor x

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Before I go any further, can I just say how much I love my parquet floors – they’re warm, characterful and if they were a food they’d be a perfectly cooked, melt in the mouth steak.  But there is another type of floor I would happily embrace, particularly in bathrooms: Terrazzo – A centuries old technique of mixing up marble, granite or quartz chippings with a cementitious binder, which is then polished to a fine shine.

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The advantage of this technique is the ability to make anything from the mixture – it’s like the architectural version of play doh. Imagination (and possibly good taste) are the only limits to it’s capabilities.

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It can be big and brash, laden with special effects: patterns, glittery bits and brass inlays.063a8ea106b5b54b5fe22e6cc8e72318 15f4db96ed0dc8f85e66d807bef5c568 ded3ce73d98ad72576cef463864ba1e2

Or it can be discreet, quietly accepting the continual pounding of life with extreme confidence, forever remaining constant. Qualities to value.

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It also (and I speak from confidence here – this was the floor in my Grandparents house in Greece for many years) never shows the dirt.

Effectively it’s floor rock n roll.

Laters, Kate x

Jason deCaires Taylor..

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A true global and renaissance man, Jason deCaires Taylor was born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother.  He then grew up with one foot in Europe, the other in Asia with regular diving trips in Malaysia.  In 1998 he graduated from the London Institute of Arts with a BA honours in Sculpture….before becoming a fully qualified diving instructor, underwater naturalist (Note to friends: That’s not a naked diver) and award winning photographer.

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Then in 2006, off the West Coast of Grenada, he created his first underwater sculpture park and a life blood of creativity was unleashed.

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His work explores the slipstream where Art and Nature collide, the grey area between man’s exploitation of nature for industrial means and the acknowledgement of the fundamental power of the earth: As time begins to colonize the forms it creates it’s own architecture, dramatic pulse and language.

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This pulls on something deep within – the mystery of Atlantis, Pompeii, fairytales..even gothic Victoriana.  They’re a dark presence, yet awe-inspiring at the same time.

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Under the water is a world Jason knows, and through his art he aims to highlight the living beauty of the under world to encourage environmental awareness and instigate social change.

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For anyone who’s heart sank at the news this week that 90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomachs, he’s a crusader you want to stand up and applaud.

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His work isn’t limited to the turquoise depths of Cancun and the Bahamas..this mystical beauty can be found in Canterbury…

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And now, from Sept 1 – 30, on the Thames foreshore at Vauxhall, London, adjacent to Camelford House and 87-90 Albert Embankment, is a new example of his work: The Rising Tide, commissioned by Totally Thames.

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It highlights the role the river has played in the shaping of London’s history.  And how easy it’s been for us to abuse it.

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(All pictures from here and Jason deCaires Taylor’s Facebook page)

These could be horses, but they’re oil pumps..animals of industry, draining the land.

A theme as strong and compelling as any story ever told.

Laters, Kate x

Wednesdays Child..

IMG_2550And so the day starts…

Right everyone – have you all been for a wee? Shoes on? As there are 3 of you and only 2 large scooters and one smaller one, I’d be really grateful if you Charlie, as the smallest child, would use the smaller scooter today.

No. I don’t want to.

It would really help me if you could be a gentleman and help your Mummy.

No. I don’t want to.

I realise that, but I’d really appreciate it if you could help me.

I don’t want to.

Well, I don’t want to take 3 children to the playground, but I’m still going.

I don’t want the small scooter, I want the big one.

I’d like you to help me, can you do that?

No.

OK. Well, no Harry Potter Land on Friday.

But I want to go to Harry Potter Land.

So go on the scooter.

I don’t want to go on the scooter.

So then no Harry Potter Land.

But I want to go to Harry Potter Land.

Charlie, I’m going to count to 3..after that no Harry potter Land, 1,2..

(moves to scooter, we leave the relative safety of the house)

But I want the big scooter.

(Ignore, shut door)

I want the big scooter, I want the big scooter, I WANT THE BIG SCOOTER

Charlie, LOOK at me, do you want to go to Harry Potter Land? Yes? So tell me what you have to do..

But I want the big scooter.

JUST THERE! – did you spot that purple spotted fairy just hiding behind the car? Not there now?..I’m sure it was..look again..Maybe you’ll see it next time..Why don’t you just go and play with the girls?

Go away Charlie.

Bella please be nice, you have a friend.

But Mummy, Mummy, Charlie is being really horrible.

Charlie – why do you need to ride in the middle of the girls?..just ride to the side of them  ..and don’t touch their wheels..

But I want to ride in the middle of them.

I’ve told you not to. It’s dangerous.

Does it again.

CHARLIE you are going to cause an accident.

Does it again.

(Sit him on kerb to talk to at eye level) Charlie, if you can’t act properly I will take your scooter away. Do you understand? What did I just say – repeat it back to me…

You’ll take my scooter away.

Do you understand? Right, let’s go..

Mummy – he’s done it again!

Charlie – WHY did you do that??

(Take scooter to add to dog, poo bags, picnic, picnic rug, kite, football, cricket bat, cricket ball, stumps. skipping rope…)

I WANT MY SCOOTER!

I WANT MY SCOOTER!

I wANT MY SCOOTER!

Not until you can learn to behave.

I will behave.

So prove it to me.

Goes up to Bella, hits her.

CHARLIE BENTLEY. COME HERE NOW…

I want a cuddle.

Not until you’ve said sorry Bella and sorry to me and YOU STOP THIS HORRIBLE BEHAVIOUR. THERE WILL BE NO HARRY POTTER LAND ON FRIDAY WHICH WAS GOING TO KILL US ANYWAY AS YOUR FATHER’S FLIGHT FROM HONG KONG DOESN’T GET IN TILL FIVE IN THE MORNING AND THE DOG HAS TO GO TO THE POSH VET FOR ANOTHER APPOINTMENT (long story) SO QUITE FRANKLY I’LL BE MIGHTY PLEASED NOT TO GO BECAUSE IT’S NOT EXACTLY MY IDEA OF A FUN DAY OUT..

I want a cuddle, I want a cuddle.

WHAT DO YOU SAY CHARLIE?

I want a cuddle.

WWWHHHAAAATTTT DDDDOOO YYYOOOUUUU SSSSAAAAYYYY?????

Sorry Bella…Sorry Mummy…

Gives kisses, has cuddle.

But I want the big scooter…

Find brick wall. Hit head.

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Moral of this tale: When you see a mother tearing her hair out..

a. Honest to God..give her some sympathy..she’s been doing this for weeks now..schools in the UK broke up in July and don’t go back till September.

b. It’s probably me…………………………

Laters, Kate x

African heat..

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Like a moth attracted to a sweet spot I’ve been drawn towards the beauty of African print.  It has that magic touch of satisfaction where something unusual feels like it should’ve always been in my life.  I love the electric powerplays of colour… the fluid graphics..the exuberant clashes..it’s a buzz that gathers and turns a piece of material into a stage..

Burberry ‘did it’ a few summers ago….

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(Burberry Porsum summer 2012, photos courtesy of style.com)

But I think it’s time for the love affair to diffuse down the food-chain…I want to see more on the streets generally..there are legs on this baby… These photos were taken by MG Onania for Fashizblack Magazine..

African-inspired-fashion African-inspired-fashion1 African-inspired-fashion2 African-inspired-fashion3Rich, magical and aspirational.

These are of Yassive Rahal by Julien Cozzoline for Fashizblack Magazine:

tumblr_mizyc7jYAi1qd9ql4o1_r1_500-2 tumblr_mizye1Vr5g1qd9ql4o1_r1_500-1And these are from a wonderful blog: style-caralho.blogspot.co.uk. ( I don’t know the indivdiual photographers name – but if anyone does, I’m very happy to attribute)

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Personally I think we all need a fresh blast of African air.

Laters, Kate x

Today..

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On Wednesday night we had a huge storm over London, well, I say a storm – it just kept on rolling in on waves of ear splitting thunder and torrential rain..locally we lost transport, various shops flooded and the internet…I’ve never known anything like it.

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Except maybe this morning and the news of Brexit.  Astounded, ashamed, depressed.  It wasn’t that Europe didn’t have it’s problems, but we’ve now thrown the baby out with the bathwater because we asked people to vote on the EU…and they voted on something else entirely.  As an act of rebellion my country has given a thumbs up to xenophobia, racism and bigotry. I thought the Americans had it bad with Trump..the laugh was on me.

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Will the last person to leave the country please turn out the lights.

Laters, Kate x

Bea Johnson x

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Anyone else read the article in the Times yeesterday about Bea (pronounced ‘Baya’)  Johnson and her zero waste lifestyle? The picture above represents the amount of waste her family have accumulated over a year…it’s an eye opener..

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She’s been living this way since 2008..and it doesn’t make her a crusty hippy.

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Her (and her family’s) wardrobe are small enough to fit into carry-on suitcases…which they pack, wheel away – and then their house is rented out to pay for their holidays.

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But a small wardrobe doesn’t mean she doesn’t have style.

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It’s just that they’ve made choices about what they really need against what society and big companies want them to need.

I think I’m going to have to read her book…

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Laters, Kate x