babastudio: (Default)
2009-05-14 08:28 pm

Hello Dreamwidth

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.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-05-14 07:39 pm

Moving and more

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.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-05-12 03:21 pm

Funny how small things can make me happy

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.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-05-05 09:56 pm

A sunnier post

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)
2009-05-01 05:13 pm

Woken at five am by drunken British lout ringing our bell for 40 minutes and screaming to be let in

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.

babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-27 10:50 am

New bags

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.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-20 07:24 pm

A very nice man


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.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-17 03:37 pm

Looks and sounds

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).

babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-04 09:02 pm

On an astonishingly hot April day

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).

babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-04 02:46 pm

(no subject)

There are a lot of these rustic ones around. They tend to be horribly expensive, they hold almost nothing and sadly I think nowadays they are mostly fake. Still, very pretty. But we will go for something more practical.



babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-04 02:27 pm

(no subject)

This one would intimidate me. It's ten times our budget anyway, and it's so Biedermeier I would be scared of opening it to take my tights out in the morning. I feel this is a wardrobe that does not DO teeshirts.






babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-04 02:16 pm

wardrobes


Sorry, this is perhaps boring, but the next obsession for this month will be finding wardrobes. We will actually have room for some large wardrobes - and we see some brilliant ones at auction here - and so this will be fun.

I'll post some of the more interesting examples - I feel Bohemian Wardrobe Season coming up. What I am looking for, of course, is the one that leads to Narnia.





This one seems to me to be unsure if it's grand or rustic. Not sure if I like it. Still, beats Ikea and is actually going for a good deal less.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-04 12:04 pm

Airing her flags

As we can see the windows of the new flat from the current flat I have begun taking an interest. Just as I was nosily peering across this morning, a woman came out and hung American flags out on her balcony (she has a balcony - envy, envy, we will just have a "Juliet" balcony - effectively bars across French windows, though still nice). Looks like she is airing them and preparing for tomorrow.

I found my reaction interesting. Initially that knee-jerk, "Ugh". Then the realisation that's it's Obama, not Bush and so the flags have come to mean a whole different thing - and I suddenly feel warm towards her preparations.

Has anyone else noticed that Obama always thanks the "minions"? I just watched him walk up to his translator at NATO and thank him - the guy looked stunned then delighted. I love this - he does not ignore the people that politicians nearly always ignore. Very impressive.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-02 02:32 pm

Flat three

Actually, surprisingly nice, even though it is sitting perched on top of a very damp house. It's a possibility, although our living space would be a bit small - the really beautiful room is the attic, which would be great as a huge work room. Easy for the cats as bizarrely the third floor of the house turns out to be the ground floor at the back (so the whole house is built against a hill, which presumably explains the damp). They would have the entire grounds of a monastery to run around in.

All the same, I have some reservations about this one. It was a little dark as the windows are small.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-02 02:21 pm

It gets a bit surreal

Cervicek also warned residents living along the Evropska street against opening windows and against any suspicious behaviour while the motorcade with Obama will be passing on its way from and to the airport.

______________

I wonder what would constitute "suspicious behaviour"?
babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-01 08:07 pm

Now we have information - it seems the cats are banned

Information for the public

Gates open at 7am. Early arrival is encouraged.

Public entry is from Loretánská and Kanovnická.

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are NOT required.

Map of Hradčany Square area

Please limit personal belongings. For security reasons, do not bring bags. No signs or banners.

Prohibited items include:

Firearms
Ammunition
Explosives
Weapons of any kind
Aerosols
Supports for signs
Packages
Coolers
Thermal or glass containers
Backpacks
Umbrellas
Laser pointers
Animals other than helper/guide dogs
Structures
Bicycles
Any other items determined to be a potential safety hazard
Surrendered items will not be returned

______________

and oh good grief. He is going to stand in front of only chosen people and the "public" will be stuffed into a tiny little corner at the back, where we will only be able to see a glimpse of him sideways on. We're going to be hundreds of metres away (well, okay one hundred metres) and there will only be room for 1000 people or so. HMPH!

AND I now know why our friend with a shop in that area told us today she was just fined - more than $200 - for putting a model wearing some of her handmade clothing outside her shop door - obviously the police are already keeping everything clear. Oh drat. There is almost no way we will get in. I wonder if we know anyone at all who lives in sight of the podium - we nearly do, but not quite.

Oh well, every cloud... our friend's daughter has a little new cafe just there - she'll make an absolute fortune if it's the only place anyone can get a cup of coffee.

babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-01 04:42 pm

(no subject)


BBC coverage of the G20. I know that many of the protesters are probably prats, but so what? I do think this kind of protest is necessary - I mean, do we all sit here nicely and continue to be chewed up and spat out by the banks? Better to at least sabre rattle a bit now before it gets worse.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7973178.stm

On a more contemplative note, I find these big media moments fascinating because the "new" media is having such an impact now. We can actually communicate and see what's happening without any intermediates. I was really amused to hear that the Met are "monitoring Twitter" - good luck with that! I honestly doubt they can keep up - a lot of the tweets are under a whole different set of search terms already.

I am truly proud of the lectures I did with Greenpeace years ago when I was a lecturer at the notorious North London Poly (as it then was) on how to use technology for organisation. I like to think it all helped.

babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-01 03:48 pm

(no subject)


Did a tarot reading (Tarot of Prague) on the flats and it was another case of the ToP being almost wickedly literal. It came down very strongly on one place. Hmm, so, let's see what happens.
babastudio: (Default)
2009-04-01 03:39 pm

I wonder if we could move by Friday?

Perhaps not. A shame, as the flat we are now considering is RIGHT where Obama will be speaking. Seems all roads lead to...

There are now the first notices saying that the castle square will be closed off for three days - so it's all true! It's not that big so I'm a bit worried that if too many people turn up they will close access. Looks like an early start on Sunday then. I'm still hoping for the walk past too, but less convinced that that part looks likely now.

If I was feeling better I would consider making more of a carnival of it, but as it is, I'll be doing well if I manage to stay upright for a couple of hours. Still, hopefully I'll be feeling more human by Sunday.