Monday, 14 November 2011

In Black and White

Call us outspoken if you will. Many do. We should rather think of ourselves as incisive, clear thinking, focussed even. Still, one thing is for certain, if an opinion is required on any subject, any subject at all, then we are the people most likely to give it.

a still from 'My Fair Lady' with Audrey Hepburn [click to enlarge images] 

We cannot recall wearing pink or blue but suspect that this must have happened once upon a time. Nowadays, however, as we gaze into the black hole that is our wardrobe, brilliant white shirts and blouses are the only light sources shining out from a sea of inky black suits, skirts and trousers.

Our tights, socks and scarves add a flash of coloured fireworks otherwise we present a monochromatic sight when dressed for any occasion - a pair of photographic negatives reminiscent of the days of silent films or, more recently, Cecil Beaton's masterpiece, 'My Fair Lady'.

In our gardening days paths had to be straight, designs formal, planting schemes restrained [never was orange permitted as part of our palette] and a spade was, well, a spade. In our teaching years discipline was strict, Shakespeare unabridged, algebra revered for its elegant simplicity, failure was not an option and excellence was the goal.

'even our pets [Cat shown here] witnessed a shift in the colour spectrum'

And now, as we come to think of it, even our pets have witnessed a shift in the colour spectrum. An elegant ginger tom and a regal Cavalier King Charles Spaniel giving way in recent years to black and white felines, imaginatively named 'Cat' and 'Pussy', from the Cat Protection League.

All of this brings us to the decoration of our small apartment in Budapest which is let for holidays.

a selection of our design drawings for gardens of Hungarian clients 

A flight of pen and ink scale drawings of some of our designs for Hungarian gardens line the staircase wall, snowy white bed linen, sooty-black lamp bases, and chalky floorboards accessorise the sleeping gallery. A jet black bookcase, illuminated only by a rainbow of paperback spines, stands sentinel in the sitting room adorned with nothing other than a few framed photographs, black and white, of course, and a sign, 'Garden Open Today', from former Herefordshire days.

But should this all prove a little too sombre for our holiday visitors, then the introduction of a little colour in the form of a pair of 'cocktail' chairs in scarlet and the complete works of Shakespeare on board add, what we hope, is a touch of glamour.

a pair of red covered 'cocktail' chairs in our Budapest holiday apartment

the complete works of Shakespeare [oil on board] by John Hensher

Now, who dares call us dull?