Not that we’ve seen the sun lately, but the photos of the black dot of Venus transiting that huge gold disc made a dramatic picture; it reminded me of… the fabric Zodiac we designed in 1985 for the New Spaces collection with Fischbacher.
Sophie, Alice and I got soaked, drenched and frozen in Battersea Park on Jubilee Sunday. Sophie was inviting, listening, writing, drawing stories, Alice and I, while giving general encouragement, were on photocopy duty ready to bind them in a book to send to Her Maj. All day the rain poured down, and the little grassy plain where we sat beneath a yellow stripy awning became first a promontory, then an island and then a swamp as the waters rose around us. Luckily our spirits remained bouyant!
And the strong men’s spirits weren’t deflated either: as I waited for a hot drink late in the afternoon for 45 long wet minutes – where were all the tea kiosks? – they appeared in the downpour wearing only their striped costumes and waxed moustaches cheerfully kissing as many ladies in the sodden queue as were game – quite a lot!
And were they the same men I’d caught sight of on Clapham Common only a few days before? As I drove by there they were – four acrobats in the drizzle standing on each others’ shoulders making a sort of human rugby goal post arrangement!
Being so wet we’ve had plenty of time to stare out of windows and watch those raindrops. And there’s something particularly appealing about a dormer window – the little surprise of light at the top of a winding stair, perhaps, or in a cosy attic room. But I’m more excited to see a dormer turned inside out – those dark, dusty, poky spider eaves cut away and turned into a balcony, the little window extended into a generous casement – an invitation to a miniature enclosed terrace. There’s magic in making open space from such a tight corner, exchanging that hard-won headroom for the wide sky.
Back to the Jubilee Concert – Grace Jones (watch this!) clearly stole that show – her costume, her performance, her seniority! Visiting the V&A’s British Design exhibition I was intrigued by David Bowie’s original Ziggy outfit, designed in 1973 by Yamamoto (British?). It was, in effect, a knitted acrylic-mix lurex one-sie – why does that bring such a grin to my face – maybe it’s the idea of the unlikely pairing of an outrageous pop star and a baby’s playsuit.
Along the damp verges, in the parks and gardens, masses of white daisies are blooming again with gusto. And they remind me strongly of my friend Ann, and her garden where they grew so enthusiastically. When she died a year ago it was at her request that I decorated her cardboard coffin – and it gave me some solace to paint it with the marguerites that bloomed for her.