The end result

The end result

We were in London at the weekend, to join our dear friend Tra celebrate the launch of her latest CD recording.  You might remember reading about the making of it here earlier in the year.


Friday night was thankfully fine and dry and we thought we'd walk to the Swiss Church from our hotel.


Piccadilly Circus was busy as expected, but I am always dazzled by the lights and the whole spectacle of the city.  We've been walking about ten minutes and I love being here.

We turned into Shaftesbury Avenue and instantly, I hate it and know, I could not live here!!  


I know, all these people are hopefully spending money here, bringing much needed revenue to the city and supporting our theatres and restaurants.  It's good that they are here.


Walking through Cambridge Circus, I spot a familiar logo.  No time for a Shack Burger or Frozen Custard right now...or even time to reflect on whether the gloss is taken from such places when they begin to pop up everywhere in the world?  Jordi, when you took us to the small outlet in Madison Square some years ago, did you ever imagine how ubiquitous the brand would become? (I just was pre-blog, in August 2005 that we sat under the trees by the silver hut in the Square with Siena, avoiding the pigeons!)


We arrived at the church to find Tra warming up, playing a familiar piece of Schumann.  As soon as she saw us, she stopped and rushed over and I was immediately sorry to have interrupted such a special moment.


It did mean, however, that I could sneak a look at the details of her wonderful (Vietnamese) dress.  Sadly the low level lights mean that the details of those little rolled trims on the hem of her skirt are lost, but you'll get the idea!

The concert was terrific and though we hear Tra play on CD and Radio Swiss Classic, there really is nothing like hearing her play live.


When she'd finished playing and was signing CDs, greeting her many fans and friends, I took the chance to go behind the piano for a look at the whole arrangement of the altar.  Rather interesting, don't you think?  (And definitely one for the staging and display students!)

Oh, and we took the bus back rather than run the gauntlet of all the crowds.


We'd read that Regent Street was to be closed to traffic on Saturday but didn't know why.  As soon as we stepped around the corner we recognised why there'd been a small veteran Ford alongside us as we drove down Piccadilly on Friday afternoon - it was The Regent Street Motor Show.


Shame about the rain, but it was fun to wander about, looking at the displays and having the time to do exactly that.  We had no plans for the morning, so this was the perfect distraction.


Some of the Veteran cars were preparing for the London to Brighton Run on Sunday.


But come on, you don't think I could walk past Anthropologie without a look inside, do you?


A little further on though, my attention is grabbed by music.  A group of youngsters is performing a song and dance from Made in Dagenham (appropriate, n'est-ce pas?)  Exceptionally good, it was only when I looked closely did I see how young they all were.


But oh my, such things do demand commitment, don't they?  Especially when it's pouring with rain and there's a chill wind.  Performing so enthusiastically on a wet November Saturday must test the spirits!


With a table (and Tra, Edward and Amy) waiting for us at our favourite Sartoria though, it was time we were making our way back.  Whilst the attention of most was captured by the steam powered car chugging along the street, I'm afraid I was looking in an altogether different direction.


Ralph Lauren.


So sorry about the reflections, but I knew I would not be the only one to be captivated by the cuteness!


So Lesley, this is for you!  Do you think they'll be looking for new homes when the season (and their modelling assignment) is over?

Actually, I'd have taken them home there and then, but Amy and Edward came home with us instead (hooray!)  The Ralph Lauren chaps will just have to wait...

My Birthday celebrations continue

My Birthday celebrations continue

Sloe Gin and Sparklers

Sloe Gin and Sparklers