The big story this week was that we have elephants all around town! We have a major new art installation all across London in the form of 250 life sized baby elephants decorated in the most beautiful range of colours and designs. The aims is to raise awareness of the danger that the Indian elephant is in and the elephants will be auctioned at the end of their visit to London -I’d love one but they are just a bit big for my home! They will be around for a couple of months so I’ll feature a couple each week for you to enjoy.

We took a trip to nearby Leighton House Museum in Holland Park area which was designed in 1860 as the home of the artist Frederic Leighton. It’s just reopened after a £1.6 million refurbishment and we can see the amazing decorations Leighton chose for his home especially the Arab Room with fabulous 16th century glazed tiles from Syria and neighbouring countries which he’d bought on his travels. The studio is a wonderful huge space with floor to ceiling windows to bring the light in. The outside looks relatively plain but inside it’s an absolute delight.

Thursday night was the first in May so there was the aptly named ‘First Thursday’ to go to where the galleries in the east of London stay open late and a crowd of arty types – like me of course! – wander in and out of each gallery and enjoy the chance to see new work. I particularly liked Caroline Hall’s ‘From a Railway Carriage’ with vibrant colours in horizontal lines as if rushing past the window. This happy band were entertaining the crowd and I have no idea what their costumes were for! Thursday of course was an important day as it was the UK election and we are still waiting to see what is going to happen……
The Pizza on the Park is a long standing London jazz venue which sadly is going to close next month as the building has been sold for redevelopment. So it was great to go and support its final flings and see Gerard Kenny perform. I was not familiar with his work but found he wrote the huge anthem ‘New York New York’ and Barry Manilow’s big hit ‘I made it through the rain’ both of which he sang. He’s a great performer and we think his fan club had made a special trip to see him do his last of 18 Pizza on the Park shows.

The SummerHouse in Little Venice is where we went for our Sunday brunch and it has a wonderful location alongside the canal there. We had a window seat so were almost in the water and combined eating with a little bird watching as there were cormorants, Canadian geese and coots along with several ducks. Not bad for the centre of town and a reasonably busy canals with many narrow boats going past for added entertainment tho’ not as many as in last week’s cavalcade.

Bye for now,
Sue

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