May: Picture A Day

I skipped Tuesday spin today. I did fully intend to go, I woke up early and everything but upon getting out of bed and putting some weight on my left foot it instantly hurt and I realised that I was best off resting it this morning. Hopefully I will be in top shape for yoga tomorrow morning. 

It’s another beautiful day over London Town (incidentally why do people call it “London Town” when it is clearly an enormous city?) and I came to work feeling rather spritely. I walked from Holborn tube, through Lincoln’s Inn Fields where the dappled light coming through the trees was dazzling, through historical and magnificent Lincoln’s Inn which makes my heart ache, behind the Royal Courts of Justice and along the Strand onto Fleet Street. I am lucky indeed to work in such a beautiful place, steeped in history and tradition, constantly filled with a buzz of excitement. I absolutely love London. 

Currently I have a little photo project going on, having taken inspiration from a friend of mine who did the same thing a little while back. It’s called “May: Picture A Day” and the idea is to take a picture of something every single day for the whole month. I’m using my Blackberry and uploading each shot directly to Facebook. So far it’s a lot of fun because I enjoy looking out for something nice to capture and share. It’s a great way to find more beauty in the world, to make new memories and to preserve little moments that would otherwise be lost in the sands of time. 


It’s 5/15/2015, and in honor of the 515 area code and the Hawkeye State, here’s a look at some Sundance Institute projects with connections to Iowa–including one commemorated by its own omelette! 

Something about the state–maybe it’s all that corn–seems to inspire unique and offbeat stories. Take Jenny Schwartz and Todd Almond’s musical Iowa, supported by our 2012 Theatre Lab at Mass MoCA (top pic), and just off its successful run at Playwrights Horizons in New York. Iowa takes an absurdist look at what happens to a girl named Becca when her mother finds her soulmate on Facebook … and he lives in Iowa.

Miguel Arteta’s Cedar Rapids (SFF 2011) stars Ed Helms as a naive insurance salesman who’s introduced to the wild side big-city life at a convention in the film’s eponymous city. For a true but no less surprising story, check out Lincoln Ruchti’s documentary Chasing Ghosts (SFF 2007), which follows the rise of the Twin Galaxies arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa, as it became the official score-keeper of the video game world.

And then there’s the film about making a film in Iowa, about cows. Evil cows. The Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre brought Zadar! Cow From Hell to the 1989 Festival, and the world was never the same. At least, that is, the edible world: with an omelette named after it at Iowa City’s Hamburg Inn No. 2, it might well be the only Festival film ever commemorated in breakfast form!

Wednesday: We are so fortunate to be guests of @domperignonofficial at their beautiful temporary home in London at Les 3 Etages in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Breakfast canapés by chef @skyegyngell (Aged beef with oyster cream -and crab with shaved raw wild asparagus, borage flowers and samphire) washed down with Dom Pérignon 2005. The house has been styled by @fendi Casa and the flowers are by Pinstripes and Peonies. All my dreams just came true! Now off to work 😩 #symmetrybreakfast #symmetrychampagne #domperignon #fendi #fendicasa #skyegyngell PS! The winner of my @minorgoods comp is the wonderful @briangrellmann! Let us know your address and we will post your prize to you (at Lincoln’s Inn Fields)

History and Survey of London, 1770

This year the fiery zeal of contending parties broke out into a most violent flame at the prosecution of Doctor Henry Sacheveral, chaplain of St. Saviour’s Southwark, before the House of Lords, on an impeachment of high crimes and misdemeanors by the Commons for preaching two sermons. The populace were persuaded by the Tories that instead of the doctor’s ruin, that of the church was intended; and believing the same to be a contrivance of the Presbyterians, breathed destruction to them and all other dissenters. Thus spirited up, they ran like as many enraged furies to the meeting house of Mr. Burgess, a Presbyterian minister, in New-court, Little Lincoln’s-inn-fields, which they instantly breaking open, stripped it of its doors, casements, sciences, wainscot, pews and pulpit, which they carried into Lincoln’s-inn-fields; and while they were erecting the same into a pile, a party was sent to surprise Burgess at his house, in order to have burnt him in his pulpit on the top of the same; but he luckily, however, avoided their fury by escaping out at a back window. After this they divided into different parties, and destroyed the meeting houses in St. John’s Square, New Street, Drury Lane, and Leather Lane. But before next morning this dangerous tumult was suppressed by her majesty’s guards sent for that purpose. The trained bands continually kept on duty during the trial of the doctor, who at last was condemned not to preach for three years, and his two sermons to be burnt at the Royal Exchange by the common hangman.

Jonathan Harker's Journal

12 May.–Let me begin with facts, bare, meager facts, verified by books and figures, and of which there can be no doubt. I must not confuse them with experiences which will have to rest on my own observation, or my memory of them. Last evening when the Count came from his room he began by asking me questions on legal matters and on the doing of certain kinds of business. I had spent the day wearily over books, and, simply to keep my mind occupied, went over some of the matters I had been examined in at Lincoln’s Inn. There was a certain method in the Count’s inquiries, so I shall try to put them down in sequence. The knowledge may somehow or some time be useful to me.

Bram Stoker “Dracula”  1897.

My Mother's Day Gift to Myself: Thus Was Adonis Murdered

My Mother’s Day Gift to Myself: Thus Was Adonis Murdered

Have you ever encountered writing that filled you with joy and envy at the same time?

If you haven’t, read Sarah Caudwell’s mannered mysteries, starting with Thus Was Adonis Murdered (1981). I read Caudwell years ago in paperback, and just today decided to treat myself to the first e-book in the series.

And yes, it’s as wonderful as I remember.  The genderless narrator, Oxford don Hilary Tamar,…

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Lavinia Fenton

Sometimes the best tarts are the products of tarts themselves. Lavinia Fenton was the result of her mother’s late night rendezvous with a sailor. Things were rough growing up in Charing Cross in the early 1700s. Lavinia, like so many young women, turned to prostitution as a child. From there, she took the usual prostitute promotion and became an actress.

Her first recorded appearances on the stage happened while she was still a teenager. It was when Lavinia joined the production at Lincoln’s Inn Fields that she became noticed. Of course, this could just be because she was a pretty face. Either way, people flocked to see the divine Miss Fenton on stage. One of those people was Charles, Duke of Bolton.

The Duke was in a loveless marriage and much older than Lavinia,but that wouldn’t stop the two from shacking up, nor would Lavinia let shacking up get in the way of her career. It was her performance as Polly Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera that earned Lavinia the most success. It also earned her a depiction in a Hogarth painting portraying the play. Now Lavinia was a full-out star. The papers followed her, prints were made of her, and she became the reason people would see the play.

After her initial success as Polly Peachum, there was a demand for Lavinia to play the character in just about any production of The Beggar’s Opera. In the meantime, she had three sons, all with the Duke. It wasn’t until the death of his wife in 1751 that the Duke made an honest woman out of Lavinia. Nine years later, Lavinia died, having lived her celebrity life with a happier ending than its beginning.


May 18th, 1812 - British Prime Minister Assassinated!

Justice for a dead Prime Minister.

Spencer Perceval, is the only British prime minister to have been assassinated. He is also the only solicitor general or attorney general to have been prime minister.

Spencer Perceval (November, 1st 1762 – May, 11th 1812)

The younger son of an Irish earl, Perceval was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He studied law at Lincoln’s Inn, practised as a barrister on the…

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