APRIL SHOWERS Brings BADMINTON HORSE TRIALS!!!

As the Aprilsgrey storm clouds take their leave and are replaced by the white fluffy and my garden seemingly overnight goes from looking like a barren waste land to green, flowery mayhem, I wonder how sad life must be to be a flower with nothing to do but share a bed with dozens of other flowers.

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Now if I were a flower you can believe that I’d be thinking: “This WILL NOT DO, AT ALL” – pack up my leaves and roots, make my way up the M4 and plop myself into an advantageous spot within the Duke of Beaufort’s glorious park, most likely by jump 9abcde

Nothing beats spring in the British countryside, especially if that part of countryside is situated in Gloucestershire and happens to boast 29 or so jumps, and for 10 days is crawling with the worlds most elite eventers and their horses. (Also, it is preferable if the hunting season is finished for the year – nothing is more inconvenient to a flower than being trampled week after week by a pack of hounds.)

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The life of an eventing flower is an exciting one as long as you ensure yourself as a VIP (Very Important Perennial), for woe the flower who ends up being a VUP (Very Unimportant Perennial) it only leads to enjoying the back ends’ of 100 or so riders and horses.

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So for a seasoned eventing flower one only has to say the names:

William Fox-Pitt

Andrew Nicholson

Pippa Funnell

Kristina Cook

Mark Todd

Mary King

and life is rosy.

While I would miss my flowers after having waited 7 months to see them again,  I would never hold it against them if we would happen to run into one another out by the Lake or Hunstmans Close on May 10th.

If anything, I’d hope they’d saved me a spot!

Dressage Day 1 – May 8th
Dressage Day 2- May 9th
CROSS COUNTRY DAY!!!! – May 10th
SHOW-JUMPING!!-May 11th

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YouTube

The Ink Factory

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Dedicated to “‘characters and narratives that are original, exciting and entertaining. We work with writers, storytellers and filmmakers who inspire us – and who, like us, want to challenge, stimulate and innovate. We want to entertain, but also provoke and inspire

Developing films with Film 4, this film factory, maybe small, is creating cinema which has been profoundly absent and what the art of film has been deprived of.

Any film production company that has a working relationship with John le Carré gets my whole and divided attention.

PROJECTS

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Director – Anton Corbijn
Screenplay – Andrew Bovell
Based on the novel by John le Carré
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright
Developed with Film4
International sales – FilmNation Entertainment
-Currently In Production-

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Director – Justin Kurzel
Screenplay – Hossein Amini
Based on the novel by John le Carré
Ralph Fiennes, Ewan McGregor, Mads Mikkelsen
Co-production with Potboiler Productions
Developed with Film4
-Release Date 2014-

Behind “Our Kind of Traitor”

The Ink Factory is located in London and Los Angeles.

Words of Wisdom: Tabla Rasa

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Resolution for Every Day, Month or Year:
Never Stop Searching  for Your-Self

1. What sets your heart ablaze; what does Happiness means to you. If you feel that you need more in your life, go and find it.
2. How to discover and cement yourself against those who seek to change you.
3. Don’t become a Brand, become You. Wear what you wish, listen to you what takes your fancy and find creativity wherever you please.
4. Don’t be an outcast, but beware the mob – learn to acclimate to others and show that despite differences you can contribute, learn from others as much as you learn from yourself.
5. KNOW: we are all a Tabla Rasa. And we can start over whenever we chose.

From the words of
Ms. Amy MacDonald
It’s about what’s inside
What happened to believing in yourself?
Why listen to the musings of someone?
You’ll never know who you’ll meet on your way to the top
What happened to achieving?
&
Don’t let anyone tell you its over

For the Diary: Grace Kelly Coming Back to Her Roots

From Philadelphia to Monaco
An exclusive Grace Kelly exhibition is to open at the Michener Art Gallery in Doylestown, PA

The exhibition is set to encapsulate the woman who went from being a member of Philadelphia’s high society, to an Oscar winning actress and finally a Princess.

Grace Kelly

The exhibition which opens October 28th is set to “… bring [you] up close to the stage and screen legend, fashion icon, princess, United Nations advocate for children, and international spokesperson for arts and culture.” One will be able to see “letters, photographs, awards, couture fashion and other personal artifacts, as well as film clips, playbills, home movies and souvenirs from her acting career.”

The exhibition is based on the display at The Victoria and Albert Museum which ended earlier this year.

The exhibition at the Michener Museum opens October 28th and ends January 26th, 2014

More information here

As Time Zooms By: Aston Martin

1915-aston-martin-coal-scuttle_100389581_mIts been 100 years since Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford came together to create one of the worlds most iconic automobile. The name Aston Martin came later with the joining of Mr. Martin’s name with the Aston Clinton Hillclimb where Bamford had many a victory. While the Aston Martin we know today isn’t a “10 cent” vehicle, it is interesting that the Aston Clinton Hill Climb was essentially drag racing up hill – think Fast and the Furious located amidst the refined Buckinghamshire countryside.

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Racing up hill seemed to act as a metaphor for the vehicle as, Martin and Bamford’s “special” car took the high road, and drove its way into our books, screens and into the record books, as James Bond’s other half for half a century.

The Aston Martin DB5 is akin to the brilliant grey steed, Silver, was to the Lone Ranger: his trusted companion. Both modes of transport were quite similar in a manner of speaking: an ejector seat and were apparently bullet proof,  and most importantly they kept their driver safe to fight another day.

aston-martin-db5-1963-james-bond-car1Although the DB5 has not been the sole mode of transport for Bond, there has been the Vantage, Vanquish and the DBS V12, the latter of which seemed to take a great beating in both Casino Royale and Quantom of Solace, non is as iconic as the 1963 DB5 (which has appeared in 7 Bond films spanning from 1964-2013).

I will admit that while watching  SkyFall in the cinema I made a rather loud uncharacteristic yelp followed by an expletive, when the DB5 was blown up.  Thankfully I was in Los Angeles and such external outbursts are common during a film.

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The Aston Martin’s Bond association isn’t the only fetching attraction; what’s under its bonnet is just as captivating.

I drove my first Aston Martin a year ago , and will gladly admit that my love of Bond (spanning now two decades) more than shifted my desire to grab onto one of their leather steering wheels. It was however, not the sole reason of choosing it over the other cars at my disposal: an Audi R8, Maclaren , Bugotti , Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari, Porshe 911 (you get the picture).  The experience was amazing, and the feeling while going 130km around a race track in a DBS V12 shall remain with me forever.

Part of me has wanted to drive this car because its part of my my heritage and that of the Aston Martin. It isn’t the fastest car our there, Jeremy Clarkson’s wet dream, nor Its not the top luxury or  an exclusive  vehicle unlike the Koenigsegg, and Spada’s of today. But its British and that’s what I am most proud of.

Here’s to a zippy 100 years, Aston Martin, and looking forward to what future you have to offer us.

Did You Know?

The original DB Mark III that appeared in Ian Flemming’s Goldfinger, later to be replaced by the notorious DB5 in Broccolli’s 1964 the film adaptationimages

Aston Martin Through the Ages

Side Saddle? Not For Women Easily Pushed Aside

For those who have ventured, executed, and excelled within the world of equestrianism, riding astride is well akin to riding “half assed” if you excuse my language.  Side Saddle: the saddle that possesses more than meets the eye. You are on the verge, the fringe, the farthest point of extreme; on an animal that is hurdling towards a 1 metre hedge with a ditch to greet you on the other-side. That is if you are lucky enough to be hunting.   It is the hardest way to ride a horse, the corset of saddles,  and yet women rather than be constrained,  have mastered the tack for centuries.

Side Saddle, to ride aside rather than astride, was introduced in 1382 to fashion a modest way for a woman to ride a horse. Anne of Bohemia {1}  historically attributed to the side-saddles’ inception created an apparatus that made it difficult for the woman to ride let alone control the horse. Catherine de’ Medici, improved the British Queen’s model, allowing for more comfort and independence for a woman to have control over her own steed rather than be led about. Isabelle Queen of Spain “without tiring, giving the impression of being in all places at the same time, Isabel rode her horse from one side of the kingdom to the other exhorting her people…she rode between 100 and 200 miles per day, crossing frozen mountain passes in order to convince some lukewarm nobleman to send her 500 soldiers.” [1]

Women for five centuries, rode either in cortège with delicacy, defeated the recalcitrant saddle- Elizabeth I known for her penchant of intense hunts or, spurned the rules all together (usual suspects included – Catherine the Great, Marie Antoinette) and rode astride. It was Jules Pellier who in 1830 created the second pommel, the greatest addition to the side-saddle, it gave woman a leg up (pardon the pun).

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The second pommel, the leaping horn,

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{1} A little tid-bit regarding Anne of Bohemia, was the birth of the Chess Queen on the chess board.

More on side-saddle riding

Articles – Tatler April 2013

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Margaret Thatcher – The Lady Who Strove to Serve the World.

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Margaret Thatcher was the female form of the “Churchillian” bulldog. A force of personality who stirred controversy overbreakfast, lunch, tea and dinner across the world that led the Russian press to ironically bestow her with the moniker “Iron Lady” – a mystery wrapped in an enigma was our M.T.  And don’t forget, (Aunt Spiker cried), she was our first female P.M! (M.P. would have rhymed better but that position was filled by Lady Nancy Astor in 1919)

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An Iron Lady before the Russians knew her, her determination and stamina knew no bounds – beginning as grocers daughter, earning a degree at Oxford in chemistry, dabbling as a barrister, elected as MP in 1959 and finally achieving what no woman had done before her. She possessed the keys to No.10 Downing street.
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She was a British bulldozer – our own Cold War Warrior; with her iron fists she accomplished lifting the “Iron Curtain” proving she would not desist, no matter the obstacle.  Meeting with President Gorbachev in December 1984, was the catalyst to begin negotiations with the Soviet Union and bring about the end of the Cold War. Her words, “we can do business together” formed a catalyst,  bringing the United States and Soviet Union to the negotiation table. The latter exhibits her savoir faire to act on initiative and appreciate the interests of both countries. Without Mrs. Thatcher its unlikely that President Reagan would have considered the thought of deliberations with General Secretary Gorbachev, who ruled what the U.S. President referred to as the “evil empire”.

Her domestic achievements included revitalising the British economy, emphasized deregulation, and lessened the authority of the trade and labor unions. Back over on the continent, she adamantly tried to prevent the very plague that is occupying Europe today, the Euro. Her support of the European Union was to ensure free trade and effective competition. One could say she was an augur who had her reasons and at times those reasons seemed harsh and cruel and resulted in negative situations. But she was of the people, for the people and like all humans, especially when placed into politics, people change and not always by choice.

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Margaret Thatcher was no fool nor a monster and was, I believe, demonstrably misunderstood and under-appreciated when she was in office and out. While at No. 10,  she not only battled those within Parliament, the Soviet Union, Falkland terrorism, the British economy, the people and lastly the press. Never before had a Prime Minister been the bunt of umteenmillion gaffes, cartoons, the monikers – the Milk Snatcher, Maggie, Attilla the Hen… a fetid of verbal and physical abuse. Yet she kept at her post and strove on as she had promised when elected. Her skin was akin to a medieval suite of armor – surviving the both Nazi and IRA bombs. Perhaps that was her undoing, that compromise was not a consideration.

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Mrs Thatcher was Great Britain’s 77th Prime Minister, succeeding James Callaghan (1976-1979), known for his little mess known as the “Winter of Discontent“. What comes as a shock is not the fact that she passed away, she was 87 and had been of poor health for sometime, but rather the British public’s reaction. Did people throw parties when Sir Anthony Eden died (ignited Suez Crisis), or Neville Chamberlain (Invasion of Poland) and while I’m at it, Stanley Baldwin and his major WW2 Hiccup. Politicians who could have perhaps help prevent World War 2, died without much more than a few hurrumps from some, and rather tainted images that are vaguely mentioned in the history books.

Its saddening to think, especially after such great unity and equanimity that we have shown as a country over the last few years (save for a few riots and other misconducts) that the world see’s how poorly certain citizens have reacted to the passing of one of our past Prime Ministers. Rather than mourn or be respectful, rejoicing proliferates.  In Brixton, Glasgow and Bristol street “death” parties took place – arrests were made, police officers injured and businesses damaged, all of which reveals nothing of her legacy but of the mind-state of those involved.
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The ANC (African National Congress) for whom Mrs. Thatcher had previously refused to recognise, as well her rebuff to isolate apartheid, published this statement which I believe says it all:

[Mrs. Thatchers] passing signal the end of a generation of leaders that ruled during a very difficult period characterized by the dynamics of the cold war. Her tenure as Prime Minister redefined British politics and public administration and these impacted greatly on the European politics and governance. The ANC was on the receiving end of her policy [...] however we acknowledge that she was one of the strong leaders in Britain and Europe to an extend that some of her policies dominate discourse in the public service structures of the world. Long after her passing on, her impact will still be felt and her views a subject of discussion.[1]

For the people of Great Britain, and the rest of the world
may her passing call to mind a quote she once said:

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.
Where there is error, may we bring truth.
Where there is doubt, may we bring faith.
And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

-St. Francis of Assisi

History of Mrs. Thatcher’s Downing Street Years in Film

Telegraph Documentary







BBC Documentary



Additional

[1] – http://allafrica.com/stories/201304090094.html

From Lion to Kitten: PPR to KERING

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PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute) changed its official name to Kering. Not old news, but, it’s been palaver, and I’ve been  scratching my brain to understand the refashion of their image. The world of fashion has always been known for its  un-kering demeanor – no one has ventured into the business knowing that there were going to be fluffy puppies, rainbows and people gushing “its ok to make a mistake poppet, don’t you fret, have a cup of tea” if you didn’t get a second to iron a crucial piece before it’s strut down the runway. No. Fashion is an iron fist, wrapped in chain mail within in a silk couture glove. Vintage of course.  PPR, or my moniker for it, Power, Power, Roar – holds major subsidiaries such as, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, Sergio Rossi, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Qeelin, Puma, Volcom, Cobra, Electric and Tretorn….I say again Power, Power, Roar.

Unless you read François-Henri Pinault’s reasoning behind the company’s metamorphosis – which won’t be solidified until June 18, 2013- one wonders where the flip originated from. Regardless the entire transformation just prompts my recollection of ITV’s Twenty Twelve.

(Siobhan in Marketing)

The Name: Kering

“First and foremost, Kering can be pronounced as ‘caring’ in English, which expresses our company culture of taking care of our brands, people, stakeholders and the environment. The suffix ‘-ing’ expresses the idea of movement, one of the constants in the Group’s history, as well as its international dimension. The stem ‘ker’, meaning home in Breton, is a proud reminder of our origins in the Brittany region of France.”
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That’s touching, if you’re a non-profit.

The Image: The Owl
“[...] the owl, represents vision, as well as being a sign of wisdom. A discreet and protective animal, it is a powerful symbol for a Group that spots potential and guides and nurtures its brands and people.
To be honest I thought it was a fairy – or a flower with a face.
Side-note: Owls sleep through the day, and then parties at night.

The Signiture (tag line): Empowering Imagination
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“[...]places imagination at the heart of our business, enabling us to create value in the widest sense. At Kering, we encourage and take care of imagination to push our brands and teams to new limits, to create, innovate and realise their artistic and financial potential – in the most sustainable manner.”

- Why hire a doctor to write it?  Find someone whose penmanship can be coherently read.
Otherwise one just reads Sug@mation.

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Sustainability

PPR/Kering is the forefront of  questioning regarding their transformation and not their “consultants” 
Brand strategy and signature: Dragon Rouge
Visual identity (name, logo), graphic universe and website: Havas Lifestyle
Launch campaign: TBWA\Corporate

If you know the marketing world, then one is familiar with the phrase “the client is God”.
If you aren’t familiar, watch a few episodes of Mad Men.

Many companies have been  revamping their image as of late; trying to change the old into something new but, that isn’t always needed. Nor does it produce positive results.

Kering Press Kit