Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Gardens of Delargo Towers - June

OMG. Mid June, mid summer,where has the time gone? Here is a quick update on how our garden is coming along here at "Dolores Delargo Towers" (our home).

The floribunda rose in the front border. No idea what its name is but it did sterling work bringing colour and height at the start of the month.
A quick view of how the seedlings are doing.

and the sunflowers.

We were so pleased with the sweet peas we had a little party to celebrate them coming into flower

I made sure when I chose them that they would have a good scent and a good flower...

I knew sweet pea 'Charlies Angel' had the RHS award of garden merit but it was fab seeing it on display in the marquee at Chelsea this year. The display won a gold. Ours would not have but I love them.

more sunflowers, this time in a pot

Flowers are forming

Something to look forward to after the great joy, and it has to be said the star of the month:

Lilium Regale in full bloom, with a scent that knocks your hat off!

The pears are coming on nicely too

...along with the window boxes

Black-eyed Susan has not only survived a dificult early life but has managed to flower to boot.


The lovely geranium from 'Braintree Manor'

The centaurea is still flowering its little heart out.

Now we love this little weed that has been growing in the wall next to a down pipe. It has been in flower since March. It turns out to be not only medicinal but Magical too. My other half has has blogged everything you could ever want to know about Corydalis lutea (otherwise known as Yellow Fumitory). It is another fab blog from a fascinating blogger and well worth a look:

Indoors for July we have

Streptocarpus ' Denim ' which will be in flower till next year, bless it

and our Peace Lily - somewhat smaller than previous years but hey ho!

Lots to look forward to in July!

Friday, 17 June 2011

My kind of Diva - Anita Berber

I am enjoying a rainy mid week day off, pottering around the the house. Without much to do, it's time for a new post methinks.

This one is about my constant search to discover fab divas, both old and new.
We kick off in Germany with:

Anita Berber (1899-1928)

What attracted me to her? Here is a clue.

Anita Berber was immensely famous in 1920s Berlin, for reasons not acknowledged in polite society.

She danced nude in nightclubs, seduced a wide swathe of the the population both male and female, appeared in soft porn silent films, drank on the average one bottle of cognac per day, married three times, was addicted to cocaine and opium, was never seen in public without heavy make-up, talked incessantly, told lies with abandon and, predictably, died at an early age.


Known as the “The Priestess of Depravity”,  in June 1926, Anita was on tour in a new production “Dances of Sex and Ecstasy”.  Whilst in Zagreb, Anita publicly insulted the King of Yugoslavia and was imprisoned for six weeks.

Broke, she returned to performing cabaret at The 'Weisse Mausin' in the busy Friedrichstadt area of Berlin.

She performed in the nude along with her own troupe of six teenage girls.
Customers who wished to conceal their identities were given a choice of a black or white mask to wear.

”After midnight, the guests were ready for the apocalyptic moment when she pranced up the stage ramp. Anita’s girls were powdered in deadly pallid shades and appeared like figures of death incarnate. But Anita performed with bitter sincerity. Each intrusion annoyed her. She responded to the audience’s heckling with show-stopping obscenities and indecent provocations.

Berber had been known to spit brandy on them or stand naked on their tables, dousing herself in wine whilst simultaneously urinating”

One night the entire cabaret sank into a groundswell of shouting, screams and laughter. Anita jumped off the stage in fuming rage, grabbed the nearest champagne bottle and smashed it over a businessman’s head.”

It was Anita’s last evening , she was sacked without notice”
From Mel Gordon's ‘Voluptuous Panic’ and ‘ The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber'

The 29 year old dancer, actress and ‘wild-child’ of the Weimar cabaret era died in 1928. She was buried in a pauper's grave in St. Thomas Friedhof in the Neukoln district of Berlin. The cemetery is now disused and her grave gone.

When I first started researching Anita, I thought I knew nothing at all about her but as with several others, something had already been absorbed into my consciousness. In her case this fabulous painting by Otto Dix, ‘The Dancer Anita Berber’ (1925).
"Otto Dix was never huge on using the color red, but did so here for his friend to eye-popping effect. we are nearly physically assaulted with her sexual power - even on canvas, even 80+ years after the fact."
She also starred in probably the first real gay film ever, the ground-breaking  film ‘Different From The Others” (Anders als die Anderen) 1919. Only one print survives as a fragmented copy. The rest were destroyed by German censors in 1920.

Conrad Veidt plays what was probably the first homosexual character written for cinema.
"You must not condemn your son because he is a homosexual, he is not to blame for his orientation. It is not wrong, nor should it be a crime. Indeed, it is not even an illness, merely a variation, and one that is common to all of nature."
Not bad for 1919!

Hope you liked this as I am planning a little mini series of them - keep posted let me know what you think.