Take my hand
and walk with me into our future,
where love is all we need.
I spent yesterday evening at an event hosted by social entrepreneur Sarita Jha in a beautiful Marylebone flat in support of a project close to my heart — Project Soar.
Founded by humanitarian and design guru Maryam Montague and her architect husband Chris Redecke, Project Soar hosts weekly arts, education and sports activities for over 50 underprivileged girls from the local village, Douar Ladaam, where Maryam and Chris’s lovely hotel Peacock Pavilions (www.peacockpavilions.com ) is based, just on the outskirts of Marrakech. Thelong-term aim is to role out Project Soar to more villages, and, in so doing, bring greater opportunities to the rural girls of Morocco.
I was delighted to spend some time on one of their Sunday event days back in April, where I helped the girls make collages…
…and taught them, with my able assistant architect Chris, what every young girl needs to know — skipping.
For more information on Project Soar or to make a donation, read about in on http://www.projectsoarmarrakesh.org/ and have a look at this video. http://vimeo.com/89256407
I was sad to hear of Peter O’Toole‘s passing this week. Eighty-one sounds like a pretty good inning, I suppose, but I suspect that when the day comes, it always seems too early. All the more reason to grab life and squeeze every last drop of living out of it. And, that, Peter O’Toole certainly did, in his own eccentric and inimitable way.
I was only a child when I first saw Lawrence of Arabia but it made a huge impression on me. Not least the image of Peter O’Toole as Lawrence walking on top of the train silhouetted against the sun, his white robes blowing in the wind. But it wasn’t only that. He was mesmerizing. The blue eyes seeing something we couldn’t see, the quiver in his voice, his vulnerability. The movie had (and has) so many things to recommend it — the sweeping vistas of the desert, Omar Sharif (that’s another blog), the music. But it was Peter O’Toole who held it all together. And from the moment I saw him in that movie, I was hooked.
As we know, he went on to have a long and brilliant career. But I will always remember him as Lawrence, and as the engaging eccentric I saw many years later riding a bike in the rain down the King’s Road in Chelsea, wearing a plastic bin liner.
So, after my visit to photograph Brighton Pavilion the other day, I ambled on through the Lanes and onto the Pier. Always lots to catch the eye. Brighton is a place full of life, energy and colour. It’s a quick hour on the train from London. Go! Go! Go!
I spent yesterday at the Museum of Childhood in London with Hankenstein, Tootsie and Bubby (Hankenstein’s glamorous grandmother) at an art event where children were invited to work with artists to create art of their views of the future. It was a fantastic day with terrific energy bouncing around the room. And the art! Ohh!
Hankenstein’s idea of the future was: “There would be loads of chicken to eat…loads. And we would eat on really nice china. Everyone would have loads of food. Oh, and there would be robots that took over the Underground.”
So, artist Linney stepped forward and Hankenstein art directed her mural…
While she was working, Hankenstein had a chance to work on his own art with the other kids…
…and we had a look at what the other artists and kids were up to…
We headed back to Linney to see how she was getting on. “We need whales,” Hankenstein said. “Whales?” Linney asked. “Yes, three, In the sky.” Hankenstein said, crossing his arms and nodding decisively. “Okay. Whales it is,” Linney said, picking up her blue marker.
When it was finished, Hankenstein looked at it and nodded. “Just like I thought.”
There was a knock on the door. It was Berberman’s mother with a pretty girl with beautiful henna tattoos covering her hands. “Latifah,” Berber Mama said, pointing at the girl. “Henna.”
We headed up to the roof of the house and sat amongst the building materials as Latifah set to work on me. She loaded up the henna syringe with unctuous black henna ink…
…and got to work on my leg.
Quicky, and so deftly, delicate flowers and curlicues appeared on my skin under her deft hand. Then, when she was finished she sprinkled the wet henna with blue and gold dust. Magic.
She started on my other leg, chatting with Berber Mama in Arabic without missing a dot or a leaf.
And I watched as she created another artwork on my leg…
…sprinkling it with more of her fairy dust.
Then it was on to my hands and my arms…
Best of all, though, was Latifah’s smile.
For the most beautiful henna tattoos in Morocco, you’ll find Latifah at the foot of the Cascades d’Ouzoud most days. Tell her Adrienne sent you.
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