Gracias a La Vida September 26 2014

How time flies.

Here is my second blog posting. Bruce Springsteen was 65 yesterday, I know! preposterous.

I have been doing the Decorative Fair for twelve years now so give or take a few days and forgiving my appalling arithmetic I reckon I have spent a whole year of my life in that marquee. 
What a wonderful year! 
When my parents were the age I have now reached it seemed to me their social life revolved around going to funerals!
The ol' fella would chuckle to himself as he read the obituary pages in the Limerick Leader to check to see if he'd died! 
He did, thirteen years ago.
There is only one thing sure in life and that's death & taxes, yet we are always surprised when it come's knocking on our door & that brown envelope from HMRC plops through it. 

This month has seen the passing of two friends & the finest of Antique dealers 
Beautiful Maxime Cassagnes,


H er house is featured in Essentially French. She died at home  unexpectedly four days after her 68th birthday.

Greatly respected and the kindest most genteel of men, Zal Davar at nearly 79, after a long illness, also passed away.
He will be sorely missed.  

On my first visit to India many years ago I sat among my new in laws huddled around an air conditioning unit, the conversation revolving around the weather, sari wearing Masi's bemoaned the soaring heat as if it was something new to them! 
Those aunts, seven Chowdhury sisters were formidable women, now ageing and dwindling but live on through their progenies, two of whom are my raison d'etre. 


I thought it was just in Britain (or more accurately Ireland) that it was such an all consuming subject but actually it is a global subject and the most pointless of conversations because we can do absolutely nothing about it! 
'Everywhere you go always take the weather with you'

Scandinavia had their best summer in years while in France the wine makers in the midst of the vendange are bemoaning a poor yield after the worst ete in cinquante annees. Back home the Indian Summer continues which allows no excuses to not take a wander through one of London's glorious parks. So if you do fancy a stroll let it be through Battersea park, for due course has arrived, and with it, as promised your complimentary ticket to the Decorative fair which opens at midday next Tuesday 30th September
There will be the usual flurry of excitement as the queue winds its way around the tent as enthusiasts impatient to reach their favourite dealer to see what gems the summer has thrown up.

To tempt you to stand 26 we have on offer a reluctant stuffed pussy cat, an over sized white enamel teapot a la Mad Hatterthirty bon vin signs, a sweet little painting of a pear, the finest carved Roman mirror from the eighteenth century, five more leech jars, a rusty red London bus, four superb gilt wood lamps with marble bases, a sexy curvy sofa, Jesus on various crosses, twenty cafe au lait bowls, a bag full of wooden bingo counters, thirty four silver gilt mirrors in various sizes, fifteen or so Faisselle pots (pots for cheese with holes in 'em) a spectacular Italian engraving of a battle scene in a gilt frame also from the eighteenth, a very thin table with perfect Portuguese nineteenth century patina and lovely legs to boot, a knackered papier-mache horse amongst many many other occasionally useful but mostly whimsical delightful & desperate things.    


Desperate because they all need a good home! There's no place like home....


Augustus Caesar who played a crucial role in the founding of the Roman Empire died in August 14 ad (the month is named after him) is in the news again. A rare gold coin bearing his image sold at auction this week for a staggering £480,000. Let's hope the anonymous buyer turns up at the fair! 


There is a world out side my head that doesn't revolve around Antiques & the high powered selling of. 
This month I am most excited at the prospect of The Anselm Kiefer block buster exhibition opening at the Royal academy on the 27th. His work inspires and excites me.
There is a vague connection to antiques as his 200 acre studio in an abandoned silk worm factory outside the small town of  Barjac in the South of France (before he shifted to Paris) hosts a biannual brocante throughout the streets where said horse came from. 

The route to Barjac in summer is lined with fields of Tournesols which inspired him to create various vast artworks depicting the evocative sun flower. Painting Sol Invictus,1996, which means 'unconquered sun' the title calls up the long but fading reign of the Roman emperors. By choosing to depict an extraordinarily tall sunflower at its moment of decline, scattering its now dry though still potentially fertile seeds, Kiefer captures the assumed superiority of tyrannical rule, now humbled, indeed conquered, by the passing of time.This would suggest that empires follow the same natural rhythms as plant life, gathering in height, only to face an inevitable decline and death. Life and death, creation and destruction are ultimately inseparable.

'Things ain't cookin' in my kitchen
Strange affliction wash over me
Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire
Couldn't conquer the blue sky'
(Crowded House)


Other news. 
Horace is very pleased with his shiny new Tifosi bicycle.


That's Italian! A word used to describe a group of supporters or fans, especially of sport.
Fausto Coppi (Italian!) won the Tour de France twice and the Giro d'Italia five times between 1940 and 1953. When asked if he ever took drugs he replied 'Yes! whenever necessary', and when was it necessary?  'Almost all the time!'
Fallen Angel by William Fotheringham wrote his biography (published 2009) a good read if you're interested in Cycling, Scandal, Catholicism & Sex! 


I am a big fan of Joan Baez who was at the Royal Festival Hall last Saturday night. At seventy three years young one can forgive her for delivering most of her performance sitting down. Bar a cringe making rendition of Imagine (sorry John Lennon) her pure voice delivered a wonderful non stop mix of nostalgia, songs from sixties, contemporary tunes, Latin political and gospel songs. 

came away feeling very glad to be alive.