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Easter is a time to relax and enjoy some time off work, but this year we managed to fit a whirlwind of exciting cultural and scenic events and adventures into the holiday. Click HERE to see photos from Easter 2007.
Brownsea boat
The first weekend possible, we took a ferry to Brownsea Island.
Brownsea scouts
The island is home to the Boy Scouting movement.
Brownsea squirrel
The island is also the habitat of rare red squirrels.
Brownsea beach.jpg
The empty beach on Brownsea Island.
Always time for baking, this was a chocolate birthday cake I made for a friend's daughter. CLICK HERE to see my other cakes.
h D&G
I also started making a wedding cake for our friends Dave and Gillie. Photos of the cake will appear when it's made.
Studland walk
The weekend before Brownsea, we went to Studland beach.
Studland 2
Old Harry Rocks, seen from Studland.

We were lucky enough to spend four different days in London, mainly sightseeing and doing cultural things over Easter. Below are some photos of the things we did and saw.
New Design 2
On Tuesday, Nick went to London for a meeting, so George went sightseeing. This is a stage set design that was part of the Collaborators: UK Design for Performance 2003 - 2007 exhibtion at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
New Design
This set is from School for Wives, a production that we saw at our local Nuffield Theatre.

I sat on a huge beanbag and watched/listened to part of Derek Jarman's Blue, which was part of the Serpentine Gallery's exhibition. Jarman directed the film, Sebastiane, which is the first of many mentions of the arrow-riddled saint on this page.
Diana fountain
Near the gallery, I saw the memorial fountian for Princess Diana.

Slippery Mountain
I was one of a handful of audience members at the intimate performance of Slippery Mountain, an Chinese opera performed at a restaurant in Chinatown. Tickets included dim sum and tea along with the performance.


Tiger Lillies
Finally (for that first day), I saw a new cabaret performance of The Seven Deadly Sins by the Tiger Lillies. I had previously enjoyed their inspirational Shockhead Peter, but this show seemed a purile let down in comparison. Still, I was fascinated watching Adrian Stout play the theramin and musical saw, as well as his string bass.
Tiger Lillies 2.jpg
Joining the Tiger Lillies was Nathan Evans (shown here in Sebasitan mode), a regular on the Vauxhall gay scene who brought his Punch and Jude to the show. Much better was his surprisingly good oboe playing during a couple of the musical numbers.


After the excitement of London, we spent a weekend day in Sussex, where it rained, but not enough to keep us from re-visiting Petworth House and the Roman villa below.
Petworth peppers
These peppers were photographed near Petworth House, a National Trust property we also visited last Easter.
Mosaic 2
The site of Roman ruins at Bignor Villa also seen our our day out.
Mosaic 3
A mosaic of Ganymede, a beautiful young shepherd who captured the eye of Zeus.
Mosaic 4
The longest ancient mosaic in Britain
The impressive Medusa's head mosiac in the bath house changing room.

Mosaic dolphin
This mosaic dolphin is unusual becuase it features the artist's initials above it. It reminds me of the beautiful mosaics we saw on Delos, in Greece.


I sent copies of I Found My Horn to two of my horn playing friends from Texas.
Jasper 2.jpg
Here is the author, Jasper Rees, and his horn. His book is a wonderfully written account of an amateur horn player who decided to take up the horn again after 22 years.


Back to London - We started our second trip to London by eating lunch outside an Italian deli in the pouring rain before walking to the Dulwich Picture Gallery to see an exhibition called The Agony and the Ecstasy. It was first exhibition ever to focus on six of the seven St Sebastians painted by Guido Reni in the 17th century. Dulwich Gallery.jpg
Sebastian Dulwich
The Dulwich painting.
Sebastian Madrid
The Madrid painting with more modest loincloth.
Sebastian Genoa
Our favourite, the Genoa painting


See some Saint Sebastians from Italy, 2014 HERE

Later that day, we visited the British Museum, where we saw an exhibition called The American Scene featuring around 150 outstanding prints by 74 leading modern American artists.
British Museum American d
Robert Gwathmey (1903-1988)
The Hitchhiker, colour screenprint, 1937
British Museum American a
Martin Lewis (1880–1962)
Spring Night, Greenwich Village, drypoint, 1930
British Museum American b
George Bellows (1882-1925)
A Stag at Sharkey's, lithograph, 1917
British Museum American c
George Bellows (1882-1925)
Business Men's Bath, lithograph, 1923
British Museum Cyclades b
While we were at the museum, we also visited a room of artifacts from the Cyclades in Greece.
British Museum Cyclades
We have a fondness for this area of the world from our trips to Mykonos.
Contains Violence
The highlight of Friday night was seeing the site specific performance, Contains Violence, at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith. The audience sat on the theatre's terrace and played voyeur through binoculars and headphones, spying on the mysterious and sometimes grisly action in the office block across the road. It was a great experience, and sometimes the action merged with real life as the actors left the building and trudged past the unwitting patrons at the nightclub below.
Dinner on Friday was at our favourite American diner, Ed's on Old Compton Street.
Joe Orton
On Saturday morning, we tried to go on a literary walk visiting Joe Orton's former haunts in Islington, but we found out that the tour guide had died in February.
Brief Encounter 1
Saturday's treat was seeing the brilliant staged version of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter by the Kneehigh theatre company. It brilliantly combined live acting and music with film and wonderfully invintive effects.
Brief Encounter 3b
The play starred Tristan Sturrock, seen here in another play. One of my favourite moments was when a character stepped from the audience through the screen, to become a black and white film character.

We returned to London on Tuesday, initially because we had free tickets to see the new musical production of Gone With the Wind. The production got cancelled, but we went to the city anyway because we had tickets booked for lunch and for the photo exhibition, below.

Corrigan 1 Corrigan 2
Our first stop was eating lunch at Richard Corrigan's restaurant, Lindsay House, courtesy of's restaurant offer. We were excited about eating at the establishment of the chef responsible for 2006's Christmas dessert. The restaurant, service, and meal were excellent. We started in gin and tonics, then had an "amuse-bouche" of caramelised onions spread on a toasted bread thin, perched on a tiny cup of onion soup. Appetizers/starters followed, and included Nick's sardine on toast and my pork knuckle with pureéd pea fritters. Main courses were my dried fruit stuffed rabbit, rolled in pancetta, and Nick's skate wing, both served with a little cauldron of mashed potatoes. For dessert, Nick had a blue cheese mousse with sauternes jelly and I had a chocolate cherry mouse cake with cherry yoghurt ice cream. Everything was so beautifully presented!
Vanity Fair 2
Next stop was the Vanity Fair photo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. A wonderful look at the famous from the 1910s to today. I learned that the photo above was actually taken at three different locations and stiched together later.
Vanity Fair Brad 2
A Vanity Fair cover with Brad Pitt.
Vanity Fair Brad
Another photo of Brad for Vanity Fair.
Vanity Fair
Another of their famous magazine fold-outs.
Minotaur 4.jpg
Our final cultural coup was seeing the premiere of Harrison Birtwistle's opera, The Minotaur, at the Royal Opera House. We'd never been to the venue, and much publicity was around for the opera, so we were lucky to get tickets on the day.
Minotaur 3MinotaurMinotaur 2
Scenes from the opera.



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