A Wedding in a Gallery

The President of the Royal Miniature Society - Elizabeth Meek - held her wedding reception yesterday evening at an unusual venue - The Mall Galleries in London. Currently the RMS is holding its 2008 Exhibition there. Jilly Adams volunteered to do the driving. It was almost tropical on the M4 motorway as the heavy rain sleeted down. Arriving at Waterloo Place (with pockets full of coins) where we had planned to park on a meter, we were confronted with London’s new system – pay by phone. Both being first time virgins in this respect, it took a while to scroll through the system but eventually we were successful. If we hadn’t had our credit cards with us we would not have been able to park at all. Once inside the Mall Galleries all was happiness and light - Champagne of every colour and description, wonderful food carefully dotted around the main gallery, and a strolling jazz band. Jilly was intrigued with the big brass sousaphone wrapped around one of the jazz-players neck. He must have seemed enormous as Elizabeth’s 3-year-old grandchild gazed up in awe to this giant.

There’s something about women’s hair when it comes to portraits. I’ve occasionally been asked to change the hairstyle of a portrait, sometimes years later, when styles change. If the portrait is in oil it’s possible, but not in the stipple watercolour style I adopt. Luckily the client who came over last Wednesday soon realised, after I took a number of photographs, that her hair needed an MOT. So telephoning her hairdresser in London, she arranged an appointment for the following morning, and duly arrived back in Henley later that day. So now I’m set to paint her miniature as soon as I get back from my holiday.

Yes I’m off to Asia in a couple of days – first to Bangkok for a week, then on to Singapore where I’ll be launching my book ‘A Brush with Life’ at the Raffles Hotel (see this link). The tropics beckon me – I love the heat and even the humidity – and can’t wait to be lounging in the garden of my old friends Maurice and Oye Bowra in Bangkok. As I’m taking my laptop with me I should be able to post a few diary entries on this blog.

Such sad news. My lovely friend, Winkie, died yesterday. She suffered a massive stroke last weekend, and never recovered consciousness. Winkie was one of the most colourful, interesting and intelligent people I’ve ever known. Nearly always dressed in pink, this is a photo I took of her at Henley Regatta in the summer. Martin, her husband, Felicity, her daughter, Marcus, her son, Emma, her granddaughter, and all her many friends, will miss her dreadfully.