www.paydaybur.co.uk

Prince Harry and Prince William lay flowers in memory of HRH Princess Diana on the 20th Anniversary of her death

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the death of their mother, Prince Harry and Prince William walked from their home at Kensington Palace through a gate to the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace.  Accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge, they walked around the garden inspired by Princess Diana.  The two princes then walked to the gates of Kensington Palace, where 20 years ago it was a sea of flowers.  Many well wishers were present with small bouquets of flowers.  Some were handed to the princes who returned to the gate to lay them. The scene was touchingly poignant of a similar scene so many years ago when the world watched with their hearts in their mouths as two young boys faced the world without their mother.

Images:  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

 

Life in the Bush: Molori Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve South Africa

We recently had the honour of reviewing Molori Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve for our March Travel edition ‘Out of Kensington’.  Madikwe is a malarial-free area, some 400 km from Johannesburg and is home to the Big Five and some 350 different species of birds. Here is an excerpt from our diary:

We are having such an amazing experience and really feel we have arrived!  Molori Safari Game lodge is wonderful – very small, very understated smart, serious customer service, lovely people and no bling in sight.  We were given a two bedroom exec ‘suite’ – more like a lovely house with its own pool over looking a watering hole – the first lunchtime about 20 elephants paraded to it – along with a couple of babies – a wonderful sight.  We were v lucky as we never saw this again, and they didn’t stay long.

Game drives are typically about 4 – 6 hours long (in a session) which go surprisingly fast.  We have an excellent guide who has not been to uni, but is the most intelligent person I’ve ever met.  He is paying to send his children to private school, which I suspect is a first for an African guide.   He is extremely passionate and enthusiastic.  Highlights were coming across two lions who had just killed a wildebeest and had eaten so much they were hyperventilating; having dinner in the bush – table cloths, candles etc with the owners of the lodge and their family who happened to be on holiday at the same time as us (here think the South African equivalent of Richard Branson).  Very friendly and welcoming as were his kids (early 20s) and wife.  There was a tea-candlelit path to the loo which I expected to be a hole in the ground but no, behind a little wooden fence sat a rather splendid porcelain white loo – facing onto the bush with the stars above.

The next day we went for a night safari and came across a leopard, apparently snoozing, but a minute later was up chasing a poor baby rhino who was stuck in the mud in a watering hole.  With fierce defence and defiance from its mother the leopard backed off. The guide then cooked us a stew in the bush, this time more informal, just with some camping chairs etc. but with a very full large freezer box, akin to a full bar – plenty of whiskey.  After a lesson in astronomy we packed up at about 10.30 pm. went to see how the lions were getting on with their feasting, had a good look and then realised the jeep had a puncture.  Now this was scary stuff.  One lion a good distance off, the other about 6 – 10 feet (depending upon who you spoke to) – I reckon probably about 7 ft. However, close enough.  We managed to get the jeep a few feet further away, turned it around, and then the guide changed it – Stephen with a large spotlight to track the nearer lion, and me with a smaller torch to shine on the wheel, guide and jeep.  He managed it in about 10 minutes and then we were off.  I was rather frightened but the other lady with us was genuinely terrified.

Next day I went out on my own with the guide, for a walking safari – I thought I was very brave and that we’d been out for an hour and walked miles, but it turned out we had only gone about 500 metres!  Really interesting and learnt more about nature, biology, science and animals/birds than had done in a lifetime.  We then came across a cheetah lying under a tree.  The guide turned the jeep round (being a fellow photographer), so we had the best angle – I lay on the floor of the jeep (being the only one in it, I had plenty of room) and then played eyeball with the cheetah.  At first it was fun/an experience, but the longer it went on the more unnerved I became, so I then demanded that we move.  The most incredible sight and when we returned and the guide was beaming saying that was magnificent/amazing, for someone who goes into the bush every day, was really something.  This is an amazing trip.  They do rhino conservation too but we haven’t been able to see that in action as we hadn’t got the right passes.  All in all this is a trip of a lifetime and far surpasses the other three I’ve been on in the past.

With thanks to Jonathan Peach of JPS Luxury Safari’s for arranging this trip:  www.jpsluxurysafaris.com

Lucy & Stephen were guests of Molori Safari Lodge, and flew with Trailfinders.

Copyright and images:  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

Local illustrator and poster designer Dorrit Dekk dies

Local resident Dorrit Dekk (Dorrit Epstein Dekk) died on 29th December at the age of 97. In May 2011 we met her to discuss a forthcoming article which was printed in our June edition. Seven years before she held an exhibition at the Duncan Campbell Gallery in W8, and later a private exhibition with a friend. Sales of her work flew off the walls. Noted for her direct approach, she was genuinely interested in people, of all ages, and of all walks of life. She had been looked after for the past 13 years by Mary, who became a trusted and good friend to Dorrit.

Below is a copy of the original article printed published in June 2011:

Hidden Talent: Dorrit Dekk
“Dorrit, hi, I’m just phoning to thank you for inviting me to your exhibition last night. How are you?” “Oh my dear, well I’m still here, I seem to be completely indestructible” says Dorrit (with a distinct heavy accent), a 94 year old resident of Kensington who still paints, although dismisses the notion she is a ‘fine artist’. Instead she calls herself an art designer and her works range from abstract designs to quirky land/townscapes – with a particular bias for backstreets and their inhabitants.

Dorrit was born in Czechoslovakia but moved to Austria and studied theatre design at the prestigious Kunstgewerbe Schule from 1936-1938. Sadly the War intervened and her professor had to encourage her to leave as suddenly the college was no longer allowed to take any Jewish students. Her month’s English friends provided visas and guarantees, hence her mother, Dorrit and her brother came over to live in London. Dorrit was able to continue her studies at the Reimann School in London. She then worked in the WRMS as a radio intelligence officer, intercepting E-boat signals.

Later, as work in theatre design after the war was rather scarce, she moved to graphic design and worked for the Central office of Information (1946-1948) producing poster designs and illustrations for this government body. One day a printer came back with one of her posters and asked whey she had not signed it. Explaining her married name was Klatzow and maiden name Fuhrmann she did not eel either of these lent themselves very well to a signature. he asked what her initials were – DKK. So with the insertion of an ‘E’ Dorrit’s pen name became DEKK (signed for evermore in capitals). From the 1950s she ran her own (and very successful) design practice, when a chance conversation led her to designing a stand entitled ‘People at Play’ of the Land Traveller part of the Festival of Britain. The subject of the stand was British Sports and Games and included a large mural across the stand. This proved very popular and Dorrit is one of the few surviving contributors to the Festival of Britain exhibition. She can be seen on interview at the 60th Anniversary celebration being shown at the Southbank Centre.

Dorrit has always worked in gouache but her main medium in collage which she used for her posters and now for her paintings. Her works are bright and fun with unusual depth and texture. Hence when she starts on a piece there is no plan (“it just happens”), no idea of the end result, but rather an evolvement of what “jewels happen to be lying on the floor” at th time. This might seem a somewhat unorthodox approach to ‘art’ but then Picasso was famous for much the same approach!

Dorrit has lived in Airlie Gardens since the late 60s and must be one of the rfew people who can remember the beautiful Victorian water tower and the line of oak trees (now Kensington Heights). From her roof terrace she used to be able to see as far as Highgate Cemetery. It clearly still irks her that in the early 1970s Sir John Betjeman would not support a band of women chaining themselves to the oak tree in order to prevent the planning permission.

Just over ten years ago Dorrit had a stroke and since that time has had to use a wheel chair to get about. Years later on one of her ‘get a bouts’ and just before her 90th birthday, Dorrit met Duncan Campbell of the Duncan Campbell Gallery. Duncan encouraged her to have an exhibition, but she felt at 90 she was too old to work, and even more, to hold a solo exhibition. But she did – the exhibition was a huge success and gave many the opportunity to buy her works. As a result of Duncan “giving her a reason to live” she now continues to ‘work’ in the afternoon and just last month gave another (and extremely successful) private exhibition.

Like most ‘older’ people we interview for this page we never have room to mention all the aspects of Dorrit’s life; her first love of her life: a “handsome, brilliant physicist” who died in the war, or her second husband. But for the purpose of this article, she is a graphic artist and painter. And someone who remains, certainly at the time of writing, completely indestructible.

Copyright: The Kensington Magazine

 

HRH Duke of Kent visits Royal Hospital Road to celebrate Founder’s Day

A beautiful day but tinged with sadness as many Pensioners were not present due to the Anniversary celebrations of D-Day at Normandy. However, those present looked radiant in their red coats. Prior to the service the Duke was shown around the new accommodation for the Pensioners and was impressed with the efforts made by many to establish the Royal Hospital as a beacon of excellence in the domain of care. The sun shone for most of the morning, making a particularly rather splendid appearance on cue for the National Anthem. At the end of the service as HRH Duke of Kent and other dignitaries walked back through the great oak doors, the bagpipes played. Everyone was still, with the bagpipes playing in the distance, quieter and quieter. Very moving. We were delighted to catch up with Joe Britten, their oldest resident who is 102 (and eight months)!

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott/www.lucyelliottphotography.com
www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

The Mayor and Mayoress of RBKC lead the Remembrance Service in Kensington

Many of us feared the worst when torrential rains hit Kensington on the Friday and Saturday prior to the Remembrance Service. However on the Sunday, the weather turned out to be quite beautiful and nothing remotely similar to the experience those we had come to salute, had had in the trenches. The Mayor and Mayoress were joined by a full complement of Councillors together with Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP for the Borough. Local members of the Armed Services of all ages gathered in regiments in front of the Town Hall, and then proceeded to the Memorial. The crowd was much larger than usual and credit must be given to those who planned this event. For what seemed like the first time vehicles were temporarily stopped for the Two Minute Silence and the sounding of the Last Post. Rather movingly a single leaf floated down from the overhanging tree during the Last Post. Children stood alongside adults, very solomnly reciting the Lord’s Prayer but more obvious  gusto when it came to singing the National Anthem. Amongst those who presented at the Memorial, was a little girl, carefully placing her red balloon alongside the wreaths, quietly once all the crowds had gone.

Images and copyright:  Lucy Elliott / Lucy Elliott Photography.com

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

The Milestone Hotel and Alexeeva & Jones Chocolate Pairing Event

Rather like George Owell’s famous statement ‘some are more equal than others’ this can be applied to chocolate. Alexeeva & Jones are among the world’s leading chocolatiers, so how appropriate to team up with The Milestone Hotel, a member of Small Leading Hotels of the World.

We were treated to the pairing of four wines, all of which are produced at Red Carnation (the hotel group to which The Milestone Hotel belongs), winery in South Africa: Bouchard Finalyson. So we saw ‘Mission Vale’ being paired with ‘Franck Daubos – Pamplemoussette’; a full bodied Chardonnay with a candied grapefruit peel coated in (the ever popular) dark chocolate; a full bodied Galpin Peak with ‘Centho – Sakura’ a delightful cherry blossom ganache layered with cherry jam and Hannibal with ‘Paul Wayne Gregory – Dark Raspberry.  A dark shell filled with raspberry ganache.  It was difficult to chose a winner but in the end our favourite pairing was ‘Walker Bay’ – a Semillon paired with ‘Paul Wayne Gregory – passion fruit’ – an amazing ganache which tasted wonderful.

If this event is held again next year I would highly recommend it. Sumputious surroundings of the Milestone, together with high quality wines and chocolates will surely delight any fans with an appreciation of both.

www.milestonehotel.com
www.alexeevajones.com

Banter and anecdotes with David Attenborough and Alastair Fothergill, in the presence on HRH The Princess Royal @ The Royal Geographical Society

On behalf of the Whitely Fund for Nature held at the Royal Geographical Society in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, Alastair Fothergill (Wildlife Film Producer) and David Attenborough engaged in light hearted banter about their experiences of working together over some 30 years on some of the greatest natural history programmes ever shown, including Planet Earth and Frozen Planet.

Although lasting only an hour ‘in conversation’, it was filled with anecdotes and film clips, whilst the 700 strong audience audibly held their breath. Scenes of destruction: chimpanzees (showing distinctly humanistic tendencies to team work) hunting down monkeys to feast upon; weeds choking their host for energy and food to dominate foliage; and fish with scarily enormous teeth – all filmed so cinematically and with such dramatic accompanying music one realised where Dr Who producers had taken their inspiration. Children and adults alike sat transfixed – after all David is The Wildlife Man (probably of the planet) – and, despite his soft voice, still conveys a sense of urgency for us to recognise our responsibility to the planet.

During the Q&A session, David admitted it would be hard to choose one favourite animal, although he admits to being keen on Birds of Paradise, but explained it is the ecosystems which we must focus our conservation energy. Of all the ecosystems, he felt the ocean was the most important.

The event was held to raise funds and awareness for the Whitely Fund for Nature which is a small NGO whose mission is to support local experts in the conservation of wildlife across the globe. Individuals who apply for funding go through a rigorous selection process. Many recipients of past awards have now become experts in their respective fields.  Lady Catherine Faulkes, a Trustee, spoke of one finalist who several years ago was awarded funding for the rarely seen Snow Leopard. He is now the world’s expert on this subject, despite having only seen a Snow Leopard three times in his life (and to boot, the same one!) This example illustrates the total devotion of those involved.

The strength of this tiny but effective NGO is the high calibre of Patron and Trustees (HRH The Princess Royal is Patron and David Attenborough is a Trustee); a small in-house team of staff, and (particularly important from a Development perspective), using local experts with local knowledge to entrust the safekeeping and conservation of our planet for future generations. More importantly grants are not given on a one-off basis but for long term conservation projects.

This was an excellently presented, engaging and natural ‘conversation’, which in years to come will no doubt inspire a new generation of Attenboroughs’, Fothergill’s or even Dr Who producers. A real treat.

www.whitelyaward.org

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

 

HRH Prince Michael of Kent unveils memorial to Colonel Carlos at Royal Hospital Road

Some 90 descendants of Colonel William Carlos attended this event, of all ages, together with representatives from Royal Hospital Road. Carlos was credited with saving King Charles II by hiding him in the Boscobel Oak whilst Cromwell’s army were searching for him. King Charles II is recognised as the founder of Royal Hospital Chelsea, when in 1681 he issued a Royal Warrant for its foundation. Each Founder’s Day, as it was today, the statue is covered with oak leaves to remind us of his escape after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The text of the King’s 1658 Grant of Arms to Colonel Carlos makes clear the King’s conviction that the Colonel’s actions at Boscobel were the main reason for his own, and thus the Royal Family’s, survival.

From an anthropological perspective it was lovely to see 90 people introducing each other to other parts of this extended family and find out exactly how they were related.  Congratulations must go to John Doble (descendant) who organised much of today’s event.

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

To see more images from this event, please go to:  http://clients.lucyelliottphotography.com/v/photos/80298twf

Images and Copyright:  Lucy Elliott / Lucy Elliott Photography

 

 

Chelsea Pensioners celebrate the birth of the new Prince

After hearing the fantastic news about the Prince’s birth, we visited Royal Hospital Chelsea to join in the celebrations.

The Pensioners were excited about the news and proudly pointed out that twenty years from now, the Prince might Review them as part of their Founder’s Day tradition.

Dorothy Hughes (89), one of the first female Chelsea Pensioners, had some touching words to say about the happy event:

“I was so pleased to hear that Kate and William were allowed to have time to bond with the new baby.  A new mother feels so emotional.  First a sense of relief when labour is over.  Then exhaustion followed by anxiety of how you will cope with raising the child and adjusting to family life.  When my daughter was born 61 years ago, fathers were not allowed to see the baby until visiting hour, which was only 30 minutes.  I still remember the loneliness I felt.”

Later today ‘Charles’ the teddy bear resplendent in scarlet coat will be sent to the new Prince as a gift from Royal Hospital in a symbolic gesture reflecting the closeness the royal family have with the Pensioners.

Text:  Isere Lloyd-Davis

Image:  Lucy Elliott/Lucy Elliott Photography

www.thekensingtonmagazine.com

 

Aston Martin celebrate their centenary with spectacular show at Kensington Gardens

This was an incredible experience for Aston Martin car lovers or car lovers in general to spend a day at Kensington Gardens for a once in a lifetime opportunity. Jointly organised by the Aston Martin Owners Club, Aston Martin Heritage Trust, Aston Martin and in partnership with The Royal Parks and the Royal Household, this was the largest ‘get-together’ of Aston Martins ever achieved. Cars were lined up in chronological order, starting with the A3 built in 1913 to the very latest vanquish centenary edition. Most of those in attendance (even children) could tell their Vantages from their Zagatos! Aston Martin are synonymous with the ‘made in Britain’ label for excellence and prestige – all this was there in abundance. Another British icon, James Bond, was present – not in person but the original cars from Casino Royal and Skyfall were on show. Enthusiasts came from across the world for this amazing centenary event.

Images and copyright: Lucy Elliott / Lucy Elliott Photography

For more images please see http://clients.lucyelliottphotography.com/v/photos/43857dds