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posted by [personal profile] babastudio at 08:28pm on 14/05/2009
Well, suddenly, thanks to Catness, I was given an invite code. So here I am. As it's the day before the first of our two moving days, please don't expect many posts for a while. But once we are settled I'll try to do something more with this.
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posted by [personal profile] babastudio at 07:39pm on 14/05/2009
Sorry for the lack of photos recently, but although we did take some of the new building, Alex is in no mood to find them and download them right now. We seem to be up to our ears in all the stuff about switching phone lines, hassling people to connect the internet, finding out if I can finally (after seven years I want it!) get BBC Prime at the new flat, which is on top of the hill and may have decent reception. Plus buying a small freezer (there is a good sized fridge but only an icebox), working out where to put our clothes until we can find time to buy a wardrobe, deciding where the beds will go and getting the services organised. All the usual stuff.

Not to mention a run up to the flat each evening with glassware, china and other breakables and preciouses.

We also did one run up with Ma Minnie cat as she was getting very anxious about what was going on. She took it surprisingly well, and after she told us that we were NOT to leave her on her own there, she busied herself by pulling open cupboard doors and exploring the whole place. Quite impressive, she is one of those very confident animals and having seen her for an hour there, I think she'll cope well when moving day comes. Lotte, on the other hand, went into a panic attack when I simply showed her the cat box, so we've decided she will not do a trip there until we finally move.

Tomorrow, a van comes and we move some of the big stuff. Then, provided it all goes according to plan, we finally move in next week. It's been a bit of a saga but on the whole I have liked the slow move. I feel it's given us time to work out where to put stuff and generally get to know the place.
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Three good things so far today:

1. I managed finally to get to the French Patisserie here and it's wonderful - had a nice chat with the chef/owner who is from Frejus. The kitchen is open to the cafe and watching him work is magical. I bought the MOST elaborate little cake to bring home - a supper treat (oh heavens, that means two cakes in one day as of course I had one there - okay, maybe for tomorrow then).

2. I found light bulbs that actually fit my stupid but very lovely "egg lights". I bought these years ago in a design shop in Shad Thames in London - in the days when I was a "des-SIG-ner" as a friend used to put it - and realised later that it's almost impossible to get bulbs to fit the things. So much for "design" (I really don't admire design that is actually just about style). Anyway, I found something called a pygmy bulb today that fits. For the first time in six years I can now switch the things on. They cast a very soft, nice light, I will give them that.

3. I arrived at the new flat to find the lady upstairs had left me two tea-towels, beautifully washed, ironed, individually packed in bags and then into another bag and hung on our front door. These towels had been hung outside our French windows a fortnight ago by the owner's cleaners and I'd noticed that they'd fallen down into the garden below, but couldn't at that stage (before we had the key) retrieve them. Thank goodness for a neighbour who seems considerate, sweet and domestic. Good-bye Brit stag parties, hello Czech house-fraus.

Now, all I have to worry about is the little, very tame female blackbird who has built her nest - gulp - outside our new front door. I need to have a serious talk to the cats about which birds are out of bounds.
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posted by [personal profile] babastudio at 09:56pm on 05/05/2009
though the weather is cold and grey again - what happened to the early summer?

I am a bit better, though just wiped out after a bad weekend. Seems the operation did not really work. Oh well, it was always a bit of a hope rather than anything certain. At least it was tried.

However, on the good side. We sold, er everything at Reader's Studio. Except one single, solitary bag that was left over (poor little bag, it must have felt unloved indeed - I wonder which one it was?) But can you believe it? Everything?! Which means we can buy a new small freezer for the new flat - one vital thing it does not have is a freezer, but there is a nice space for one.

Also, we are well and truly launched into a new project. I felt that I just needed something exhilarating. It's going well and we're back properly working together on design - hey! - so it feels great. More on that when there is something to show.

Oh, and my geraniums are doing very nicely, so hopefully will look really good by the time we move them into our Bag End courtyard.

On the whole, apart from my body still doing crazy things to me, all is very well indeed.

babastudio: (Mad Hattter)
Okay, so yesterday I got back and went to bed quite early having been told to rest after the general anaesthetic. Only to be woken at five am by a British drunk. Who would not stop hammering every doorbell in the house for forty minutes.

PLEASE if you are coming to Prague, do not stay at The Castle Steps. Looks lovely doesn't it and yes, we actually used to recommend it to people, but in the last year in particular, they have subdivided all the apartments they rent in our building into tiny units,  with thin partition walls, and the scenario that's happening more and more is that they rent for a long weekend to "two" young men, who then move another 4-6 only-here-for-cheap-booze-and-sex yobs in. The extra yobs don't have keys of course - but hey, that doesn't matter, they can just wake up anyone else in the house when they get back from drinking all night and yell abuse until they are let into the building. British yob style.

I did phone The Castle Steps "emergency" number in the end and got a pretty rude guy who told me to call the police myself and then hung up on me (and no, I was not rude, in fact I was icily polite and explained to him that I was just back from surgery and needed him to do something himself).

So, stay there at your peril, because when these things happen in the night you won't get any help or support as there really isn't anyone on duty - even at a distance - who will actually do anything. My advice is to stay in a proper hotel with a night concierge - room rates are way down this year and in many cases it'll be less expensive in any case.

Thank God we're moving before the summer season gets properly underway. This gorgeous building is becoming used as a kind of cheap doss-house for groups of drunks, and it's a shame.

Here is a fairly recent review - I expect there will be more and more like this unless or until the management gets a grip.

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posted by [personal profile] babastudio at 10:50am on 27/04/2009 under , , ,
Arrrgghhh! Off Skype after a conversation with a Chinese maker with whom we are discussing laptop sleeves. It is SO hard to explain why we don't want standard stuff. I think she thinks I am just being difficult. This is just early days and I am working up to talking to her about wild Baroque fabrics.
I must post about some of this to Making Dreams Work. It's actually a big, big issue for small designers like us, to get things made professionally (I don't think home-sewn laptop bags work) and yet at the same time to give them individuality. We just can't slam money into the problem - and I'm not sure that would be wise even if we could do it. We need to go step by step. But of course, I am currently thinking over the top decorative bags and I need to rein in a bit maybe and just focus on getting the printed laptops - which are beautiful - off the ground first.
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posted by [personal profile] babastudio at 07:24pm on 20/04/2009

Unfortunately, there is a slightly strange thread (or three) raging over at  AT that keep swinging back to the question of whether Stuart Kaplan, the only person who has ever made a fortune from tarot publishing, is or is not a "nice man".

But every time that phrase comes up I think of this advert from years ago and I just can't take the question seriously (pretty odd question in any case):
http://www.tellyads.com/show_movie_vintage.php?filename=VA0615

which reminds me of a member of my family. Anyway, let's not go there - by breakdown truck or otherwise.
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posted by [personal profile] babastudio at 03:37pm on 17/04/2009
This Susan Boyle thing is interesting isn't it? I hope it starts some discussion about why we are so obsessed with increasingly template looks these days. Okay, I know it's all been very manipulated and set up by the British tv programme, (which I'd never heard of before). But the sheer scale of the response does seem to indicate that something about this is hitting a nerve. I mean, even Russian friends are talking about this, so it seems to have swept right around the globe.

She genuinely does have a lovely voice - here is another recording that's doing the rounds right now (confirmed as the same person).

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posted by [personal profile] babastudio at 09:02pm on 04/04/2009
We walked up to the castle ourselves earlier. It seemed all very good natured and informal in the Czech manner. I'll post our photos later - I think the preparations are quite interesting. We will be living just ten metres off the corner of this square by the way.



And here is the convoy on the road into Prague - like many roads from airports it isn't the most attractive part of the city. I do hope the people were not behaving suspiciously! (see earlier post).

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