Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Guestwick Actualité

Apart from anything else - the fabulous
Exotic Evening of Eastern Promise(s)
was the best

Thanks to the work of the amazing party team, Saturday seemed to be one of those rare occasions when everything worked just perfectly. By candle-light, Wood Norton Village Hall transformed into a mythical Eastern palace and looked utterly gorgeous. The air was scented by the hundreds of rose buds strewn on the floor, walls bedecked with jewel coloured and glittering saris, dozens of Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling, white linen covered tables stretched down the room adorned with candelabras, fruit and foliage as authentic Indian music gently played in the background.

Fancy dress and alter egos were taken up with energetic enthusiasm and gorgeous Maharajas and Potentates mingled with exotic beauties as they were entertained by snake charming and Egyptian dancing.

The food was universally agreed to have been a total triumph. The meticulous care, planning and flair that went into it made it seem as though you were dining at an intimate dinner party rather than a huge room full of people. Amazing.

The main business of the evening was the auction and huge thanks are due to the auctioneer and everyone who so generously donated the fantastic and imaginative promises and of course the bidders (including the many sealed bidders) who very energetically competed for the items.

Financially, the evening far exceeded our forecasts. Actual figures will be published after January 10th...

Many thanks to all involved.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sealed bids (or your answer to some very special Christmas present shopping)

The auction list is now complete! To the best of my knowledge anyway.

We have an amazing array of fantastic promises from a ride in a plane to a walk in the woods. If you can't attend the auction party on November 26th (as I type a very few tickets are still availble) don't despair - you can still bid on the lots as a "sealed bid". If you would like to submit a sealed bid please click here .

Rules for sealed bids.

To be submitted by 12 noon Saturday Nov 26th (using the link above). Please give your name address, phone number, the promise(s) you are bidding for and your top bid.

The auctioneer will take a starting price from the room (or at his discretion if there is no starting price in the room) and then bid, on your behalf up to your top price.
If your maximum price has not been reached when bids against you stop then you will have won the lot below your maximum price.
If someone in the room or another sealed-bid offers higher then you will not win the promise.

So bid confidently! It is in a very worthwhile cause and there is always a chance of a fantastic bargain.

You will be notified by email on Sunday 27th November whether or not you won the lot.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The List....

The list...

Double click on the dates next to the promise to see more details.

1. 6 bottles of Claret Chateau Guibon Appellation Controlee 2001 See entry for 4th September for more details.

2. Be a train driver for a day! A days instruction on maintaining, firing and driving a miniature steam locomotive at Holt. For insurance purposes there will be a minimum age limit of 18. As well as an enamel club badge and driver's hat, North Norfolk Model Engineering Club membership will be included, which will also provide the promisee with a year of NNMEC's newsletter! See entries for 28th August and 1st Sept for more details,

3. A selection of high quality prints signed by internationally known professional photographers. (see number 15 ,16, 19 & 20, 24 - 27, 34, 35 and 38 to 41)

4. A trip for one in a Cessna light aircraft lasting for approximately 40 minutes.The route can be finalised with your pilot but we suggest a flight over Guestwick and the local villages which, if you live locally, can include your house.See entry for 21st August for more details.

5. A guided tour of Hindolveston Wood for four people.This is particularly appropriate for anyone who is interested in woodland flora and fauna, silviculture and the history of ancient woodland. The walk has been generously offered and will be guided by the man who best knows the woods and has been looking after them since 1977. See entry for 20th August for more details.

6. A trip for one in a Tiger Moth for up to an hour.We suggest the route could be over Guestwick and the local villages, perhaps including your house, and then on out to the coast. It would be a very stylish way to see the seals! See entry for 21st August for more details.

7. A weeks fishing pass at Bayfield Lake. Date to be arranged with the kind donor at your mutual convenience See entry for 22nd August for more details.

8. A drive for one in a pre-war Austin 7. The owner, who lives near Foulsham, will take you for a drive, of approx two hours, in one of the two cars.See entry for 24th August for more details.

9. A year's membership for two of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. See entry for 26th August for more details.

10. A 2-3 hour sail (depending on the tides) in the Blakeney, Morston area with an experienced local sailor. If you choose, also to include the seal colony on Blakeney point.See entry for 30th August for more details.

11. A joint of gammon from Brown's The Butcher of Reepham.See entry for 18th September for more details.

12. A two hour lesson in handbuilt pottery..See entry for 28th September for more details.

13. A personalised short story, featuring your name (or one of your choice if purchased as a gift) written by an award winning author. See entry for 18th October for more details.

14. A framed and signed print by well known artist Shirley Carnt - After The Storm - Thornham See entry for 20th October for more details.

15 & 16 Two signed prints by International Award winning photographer Jeremy NichollSee entry for 22nd October for more details.

17. A visit to the House of Commons followed by tea or coffee. See entry for 24th October for more details.

18. A professional composer will write for you a piece of music inspired by the Norfolk landscape and with a title of your choice. See entry for 25th October for more details.

19. Signed print of award winning photographer Brian Harris's photograph: The Reed Cutter.See entry for 26th October for more details.

20. Signed print of award winning photographer Brian Harris's photograph: Southwold Pier.See entry for 26th October for more details.

21. A very thorough carwash/valet. See entry for 27th October for more details.

22. A Tour of Norwich Catheral for two with The Dean See entry for 29th October for more details.

23. Use of an apartment by the sea for a week in beautiful St Margaret's Bay, Kent. See entry for 3rd Nov for more details.

24 to 27. Prints by international photojournalist Jiri Rezac See entry for 5th Nov for more details.

28 A beautiful vintage Berber rug bought in Morocco fifty years ago. See entry for 7th Nov for more details.

29 A one year season ticket for two to Pensthorpe nature reserve. See entry for 8th Nov for more details.

30 A beautiful vintage wedding sari (to wear or use as fabric for interior design) donated by Indianna of Kelling. See entry for 10th Nov for more details.

A signed print of the London Millennium night fireworks by photographer David Gordon, originally commissioned by Time Magazine.See entry for 12th Nov for more details.

32 The use of a luxury apartment for a week in the hills above Marbella, Spain See entry for 13th Nov for more details.

33 A beautiful pencil portrait of an adult, child or animal by professional artist Linda Nicol See entry for 14th Nov for more details.

34 & 35 Two signed, mounted prints by photojournalist David Gordon See entry for 22nd Nov for more details.

36 His and hers pre-Christmas rejuvenation pack (baskets full of pampering goodies plus a bottle of Veuve Clicquot)See entry for 22nd Nov for more details.

37 A trailerload of well rotted horse manure - perfect for the roses. See entry for 22nd Nov for more details.

38 to 41 Stunning signed and mounted prints by photjournalist Graham Trott See entry for 22nd Nov for more details.

42 A basket of ironing
See entry for 24th Nov for more details.

43 Sunday Lunch for two at the Royal Oak, Bintree See entry for 24th Nov for more details.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lunch at The Royal Oak Bintree

The Oak is one of the most popular pubs in the area and has a reputation for providing an excellent meal. I certainly love going there and a good number of people on my e-mail list are seen there regularly enjoying the excellent Adnams and roaring fire as well as a spot of lunch.

An added benefit is that it is within easy cycling distance for most of the villages - if you look carefully on the road between Hindol and Bintree you might be able to see a groove about the size of a bike wheel beginning to develop...

Tudor, the very popular and splendidly named landlord has long been a supporter of ours and has generously promised Sunday lunch for two.

A basket of ironing

I do understand that there are ways of livening up ironing but for me (and I imagine I'm not alone) it would take a lot to make it fun.

So this would be an incredibly welcome promise.

The promise is: a basket of ironing. You deliver the basket (to Foulsham) in its tousled state and it will be returned to you beautifully pressed.

Simple. No snorkel required.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Signed prints - Graham Trott

Our final top photojournalist, London based Graham Trott, has very generously given four quite stunning signed prints, with the emphasis on style and humour.

For technical reasons I am only able to reproduce three here, the fourth (a beautiful landscape) will be available for veiwing on the night of the auction.

The prints are A3 or larger and are mounted ready for framing and shrink wrapped to protect them until framing.

Windsor Davies



The secret of a perfect garden? Well rotted manure.

This promise is for a trailer, delivered to your garden (Norfolk only I'm afraid!), of well rotted horse manure. It surely will make your roses the envy of your neighbours and your runner beans a joy to behold.

This isn't manure from any old pony, this is produced by the pure bred Arab bottom, so surely will be all the more effective. As if that wasn't classy enough the horses are ridden as endurance competitors and so are in the peak of health. Not surprisingly they are bedded on best straw. To recap - this is probably some of the finest manure ever auctioned.

His and hers pre-Christmas rejuvenation pack

Luckily I don't have custody of this promise as yet, otherwise I think I would be lying, exquisitely perfumed, pampered and slightly sozzled in the bath right now!

This is a very empathetic and thoughtful promise, so many thanks to the kind donors.

The baskets comprise a luscious selection of luxurious spa treatments guaranteed to restore the most stressed festive hall-decker back to their former glory plus a bottle of Veuve Clicquot bubbly (to pour in a crystal glass - not into the bath*). To reassure the more nervous male reader, the blue basket contains suitably manly bath treats.

Double click on the photo above to reveal an enlarged image, better to savour the full delights of the baskets.

*unless that's your thing - you decadent lot!

Photo (above) is of Marian Fresk, California, 1942

David Gordon - Signed prints

In addtion to his promise of the historic signed print of Millennium Night(See entry for 12th Nov for more details), photojournalist David Gordon has very generously given us two further signed prints.

Double click on either image to enlarge.

Yes was originally taken as part of David's work covering the Scottish devolution referendum. I think those colours would make a fantastic positive and cheering image to see first thing on a wintry morning.

The haunting Calanish Standing Stones are an ancient Celtic monument on the Isle of Lewis. Lewis being another beautiful landscape threatened by turbines. Local tradition explains the presence of these stones by saying that when giants of old, who then lived on the island, refused to be Christianed, St.Kieran turned them to stone. Another local belief of this Gaelic-speaking community was that when the sun rose on midsummer morn, the 'shining one' walked along the stone avenue, his arrival heralded by the cuckoo's call.

Both prints are approximately A3 size. All the prints in the auction have been professionally mounted ready for framing and are shrink wrapped to protect them.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A pencil portrait by professional artist Linda Nicol

Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

To look through the whole blog click on "Archives" on the right hand side.

Linda Nichol is a wonderful professional portrait painter. In fact her work has been known to bring one rufty-tufty Hindol chap close to tears on seeing the portrait she recently painted of his beautiful twins.

A really good portrait is endlessly fascinating and tends to be treausured for ever.

Linda has very kindly offered a pencil portrait. She will accept adults, children or animals as the subject and can work from life or from a photograph - so this could be equally suitable for local people or those who are more distant.

It could make a fantastic present for someone...

She will use either pencil or sepia - the choice is yours.

The illustrations on the page are some of her work (the baby below is is actually an oil painting, included to show the outstanding quality of her work in all media).

For future reference Linda can be contacted at The Studio, Lavender Cottage, 14 Copys Green, Wighton, Norfolk NR23 1NY (01328 820443)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A luxury apartment in the hills above Marbella

Marbella (see left), in Andalucia is known as the San Tropez of Spain; very upmarket and smart and has a reputation as a discreet hideaway for numerous celebrities.

As a star lot we have fantastically generously been given the use of a luxury private apartment for a week to auction.

El Viria is in the hills above Marbella is about 8 km from the bustle of the town, set amongst the protected cork oak woods. It has fantastic views down to the coast and on a clear day you can see the mountains of Africa. In fact most days are clear, it has 320 days of sun a year, and the temperature ranges between 16 to 30 degrees Celsius (61 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

The apartment
The apartment has two double bedrooms, a single bedroom, two bathrooms, a well equipped kitchen and a comfortable sitting room, incorporating a dining area. It is on two floors with a lovely balcony in the top floor - perfect for a spot of sunbathing!

The design of the building is stepped so that it is not a faceless building, but has layers gently rising up with beautiful flowers overgrowing from and on each individual terrace.

Below the building is a lovely newly refurbished swimming pool. This is shared by the other owners in the small development but the apartments are all privately owned so they are never all occupied at once.

Because it is a private home and not rented out the owner doesn't have too much in the way of estate-agenty photos of the apartment (most of the ones I've been supplied are of the owner's lucky friends and family having a blissful holiday!). But to give an idea, this flat in the same development (click here) is rentable and the photos are a good indication of the layout of our apartment. However, I'm told that ours is actually better, not least because it is on the third floor and benefits far more from the amazing views.

Actual photos of the apartment (and blissful inhabitants!) can be supplied if you drop me an e-mail.

There is an excellent restaurant just up the hill. Le Chene Liège, is reputed to be one of the very best on the coast. And many other spots for very good food are available within walking distance.

Apart from having the usual recreational water sports and facilities, without doubt golf is the highlight of this area. El Viria is in the centre of what is some times is referred to as the Golf Mile , and is known to have some of the best golf in Andalusia and beyond. Santa Clara, Santa Maria and Rio Real are all reachable within a couple of minutes drive.

And of course there is Marbella itself where you can enjoy watching all the yachts in the harbour.Every conceivable shop is there and many restaurants. A number of charming eating places exist on the beach itself and are lovely in the evening.

One of the nearest neighbours is Julio Iglesias' villa. Which always raises the possibility of his mega-star son Enrique visiting Dad....

Oh yes, I know - any excuse...!

Getting there
Malaga airport is about 40 km away. Flybe.com fly direct from Norwich as an alternative to driving down to Stansted or Gatwick, and at the moment they are flying all the year round several times a week. A random search for early next year came up with tickets from £67.12 including taxes.

The hire of a car would be recommended.

The flat would be available at anytime of the year, subject to the owner checking his diary.

The owner would like to limit the numbers using the apartment to 4 persons and restrict children to 12 years and over. Thank you for your understanding.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

David Gordon - Signed Print of Time Magazine's Millenium Photograph

Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

To look through the whole blog click on "Archives" on the right hand side.

The Photographer David Gordon has very generously given a signed print of the historic photograph of Millennium Night that he took as a commission for Time Magazine. The beautiful print is approximately A3 size. Click on the photo to enlarge.

I'll let him describe the scene...

"Millennium Night, London, 1st January 2000

This photograph was originally shot on assignment for Time Magazine.

The new year celebrations in London were billed as the biggest ever fireworks display. Millions of people filled the streets all around the River Thames from where the display took place.

A number of locations were considered - including "official" positions, from where to photograph the fireworks. In the end the London Picture Editor secured a position in the building where Time have their London offices, Brettenham House.

From a balcony on the seventh floor where the style magazine Wallpaper is produced we found a view over Waterloo Bridge, looking south. Here the River bends around on itself and we could see from from St Paul's in the east to Westminster in the west. A few days before I prepared by shooting a few frames to get an idea of the scene and work out which lenses would be needed on the night.

On new year's eve I had the luxury of being able to wait in the warmth of an office. Occasional expeditions through the mass of people were made to photograph the big party - much of it happening underneath Waterloo bridge - and the throngs of people from my vantage on the balcony.

This photograph was taken within seconds of midnight as the fireworks display began. It is in fact the sixth frame out of four rolls I shot of the 15 minute display.

The films were processed by a lab which was specially open overnight. Scans were made directly from the negative for the magazine - this is the first time prints have been made from the film.

The picture appeared as a double page in the European edition of Time. It also appeared as double page in Hello! and was used by both the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.

After I saw the results in the magazine and everyone was happy with the picture I was able to admit to the Picture Editor, this was the first time I'd ever attempted to photograph fireworks!"
David Gordon

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A sari from Indianna

To look through the whole blog click on "Archives" on the right hand side.
Indianna at Kelling is a very special shop, deep in the Norfolk countryside who, over the weeks, have become central to our “Evening of Exotic Eastern Promises” party on 26th November. They import the most gorgeous textiles, clothes and jewellery, new and vintage, from India and the surrounding countries.

In the weeks running up to the party many of us (women and men!) have made our way to this grown-up’s sophisticated dressing-up box and have been bewitched by the colour and glamour of the dazzling outfits.

And Jean, Sandie and Co ensure that an afternoon spent there feels like a Bollywood party in itself. Faced with so many fabulous things to try on and twirl in, it does take a while to choose the absolutely right one. Fantasy clothes shopping is so much fun.

Given the liberation of fancy dress, you became addicted to the heady delights of rich silks and glitter catching the light. My final choice though was the one I spotted first and kept returning to. A rich garnet coloured bejewelled vintage silk kameez, skirt and wrap will be fantastic for future parties or dressed down as separates for a Friday night supper with friends. Or to just stroke and purr over!

And I strongly suspect a second journey could be imminent to claim the pink heavy silk vintage frock coat with 24 carat gold embroidery that looked amazing with jeans (though I say it myself!) and would work like a dream with a little black number.

They are all one-offs so this must be done soon. Wickedly, the clothes and jewellery are temptingly affordable.

Without giving too much away, Mr Norfolk-Skies is also going to be seen in an entirely new light on the 26th…

Apart from clothes (a hire service is also available – but I bet once you see them you’ll want to own them!), Indianna also do fantastic fabrics for interiors as well and provide a design service. Their commissions have come from Duchesses and Castles as well as the more humble dwelling. And, lucky us! They are going to help transform the party venue into a vision of Eastern Delight, fit for a Raja, donating the use of their gorgeous fabrics and helping us with a bit of expert draping!

But most kindly, Jean has incredibly generously donated her most special vintage wedding sari for us to auction. In India, red is the colour of purity, passion and happiness and so worn for wedding clothes. This exquisitely embroidered sari could equally be worn as a stunning evening dress (saris are deceptively simple to put on and comfortable to wear – millions of women wearing them every day can’t be wrong!) or the fabric could be used as a truly inspired item of interior decoration.

The sari comes in its own gold presentation pouch.

One of the really touching things about this auction is that we have received so much heartfelt encouragement and support from new friends stepping forward to make their voices heard from all over the county and much further afield. We are grateful beyond words.

Indianna is open 7 days a week and can be found in the barns on the Kelling Estate a few miles outside Holt. Follow the signs to Kelling and look for the sign to the Estate on the right.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Year of Pensthorpe

Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

To look through the whole blog click on "Archives" on the right hand side.

Throughout the Guestwick campaign, we have been strongly supported by conservation and wildlife organisations, who oppose the construction of wind turbines in an area so rich in wildlife and protected species.

One of those organisations is Pensthorpe nature reserve, who have very generously offered us two promises for the auction, the first of which is a double one year season ticket.

Pensthorpe is 500 acres of nature reserve near Fakenham. It incorporates a rich diversity of habitat including woodland, lakes and unspoiled river. There are several areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest including the flood meadows of the River Wensum and old pasture filled with wild flowers and orchids.

Leaning one of the wooden bridges crossing the gin clear waters in the sunshine, watching the fish and the darting dragonflies, hoping for a rare glimpse of a water vole. B-liss!

Apart from providing a retreat for the likes of me, nationally and internationally important conservation work goes on there. One of the main strands of work at the moment is a breeding and release scheme for the corncrake, which was once numerous in these parts and hopefully will be heard again in the fields of East Anglia thanks to the Pensthorpe project.Click here to hear a corn crake call.

9th November - update. The Aviculturalist from Pensthorpe has just e-mailed me with this interesting corncrake fact. When migrating Corncrakes fly during the night and look to the horizon, not in front of them so they collide with obstacles that are on their migratory routes – therefore the turbines would be a hazard for them.

Alongside the managed conservation projects, nature takes advantage of the huge unspoiled natural environment there, for example wild otters now live and breed there. Great wild bird watching opportunities are available in the hides over looking the lakes, and Pensthorpe is an important part of the rich habitat and green corridor that make this patch of rural Norfolk so uniquely important to numerous wild species including raptors, owls and farmland species.

Close to the visitor’s centre, Pensthorpe also have their own permanent breeding collection of birds. If you have never seen a newly hatched avocet taking its first dabbles in the shallows beside its parents then I would suggest you have missed something very special. The aviaries are set in the beautiful Millennium Garden, which was designed by Piet Oudolf and the Wave Garden by Julie Toll – both winners of golds at Chelsea.

The visitor’s centre also houses a large gallery space which hosts very good exhibitions throughout the year, including the un-missable BBC/Natural History Museum International Wildlife Photographer of The Year.

I’d always thought of visits to Pensthorpe as an occasional treat, albeit one that we were most fortunate to have so handily close. But the chance to stroll into such a special place just whenever the muse strikes, as provided by the season tickets, would be a very desirable luxury!

Click here for Pensthorpe's website

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Casablanca Story

Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

To look through the whole blog click on "Archives" on the right hand side.

Not long after Rick turned and walked away for the second time from his beautiful Ilsa, leaving her with only a song and a memory to console her, a handsome young Frenchman, about to embark on a life of travel and adventure, was flying into an airport in North Africa for the first time. He was visiting his uncle, Count Pierre de Leusse, the French Ambassador to Morocco. Africa was another world to him. Coming from hard-hit post-war France, the sights and sounds, the alleys and souks of old Casablanca, were hypnotic. The sophisticated glamour of the Embassy with its magnificent interior courtyard, fountains, and amazing gardens, where politics and intrigues were negotiated behind closed doors, contrasted with the vivid life and energy of the merchants in the streets below. The ambassador's private plane flew him on to Rabat. Morocco was of such strategic importance to France that it was the only embassy granted the privilege of a private plane.

From Rabat he travelled around the countryside in a sleek black Citroen DS to Fez, Mecknez and Marrakech. Dressed for the heat and dust of the desert like El Lawrence with loose fitting trousers, flowing robes and head-dress over his face, he and the Ambassadress explored the souk together, accompanied by several Officers des Affaires Indigenes.

Fifty years later, having traveled the world, a beautiful, heavy vintage Berber rug, bought as they wandered the narrow streets of Marrakech together and kept close by as a treasured memory ever since has been given for us to auction by that French boy, now living in the Norfolk countryside. Each earth coloured thread interwoven with the history of the twentieth century and memories. This is surely the promise that is costing the donor most to give and we are very grateful.

Note - the rug has been expertly cleaned for the auction by Holt Dry Cleaners. Many thanks for their support.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Update - Commision a piece of Norfolk Music (Lot 18)

Many congratulations on a triumph by one of our very kind promise donors!

Last night saw the world premier of Andrew Lowe-Watson's piece Trafalgar, performed at St Andrew's Hall in Norwich. This was, of course, written to commemorate Norfolk born Admiral Lord Nelson's bicentenary.

The performance was very beautiful, moving and stirring. You could could hear and smell the sea.

For full details of Andrew's wonderful promise to compose your own piece of music inspired by the Norfolk landscape and with a title of your choice see lot 18. Click here.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Jiri Rezac - Photographer

Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

To look through the whole blog click on "Archives" on the right hand side.

Czech-born photographer Jiri Rezac inherited a passion for travelling and living in various places from his immigrant parents who left socialist Czechoslovakia in their quest for personal freedom and happiness. By the age of 25, Jiri was on his 6th passport and has seen and worked in more than 30 countries spread across Europe, Asia and America.
He developed a passion for photography at the age of 19 after leaving Germany and settling in Bangladesh where he worked as a teacher trainer in a rural education project. During his 20-month long stay, he became interested in documenting the daily lives of ordinary people. Showing a different side of the commonly stereotyped Bangladesh as a flood and hurricane-stricken country devoid of the bright sides of life became a mission for him.

His reportage on the Bangladeshi shipbreakers is phenomonal. Click here In fact his whole website is well worth spending time with. Click here

He has photographed people as diverse as Train Robber Bruce Reynolds, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and Tony Blair.

His pictures have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Times, The FT, Tatler Magazine, and many other publications worldwide. He also works with Christian Aid.

Jiri has very generously given us four stunning prints to auction. Click on each image to enlarge.

Promise 24

Promise 25 - The London Eye before sunset

Promise 26

Promise 27 - Eros

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A week by the Sea

Tickets for the auction party on the 26th Nov are very nearly sold out. If you are unable to attend, sealed bids and telephone bidding can be accepted. To email for further details, or to register for either method click here

This may look like Corsica but in fact it is beautiful St Margaret's Bay in Kent where we have been offered the very generous promise of the use of a luxury apartment for a week. Elegant St Margaret's Bay has long been the retreat of the rich and famous. Former residents include Noel Coward, Peter Ustinov and Ian Fleming. In fact in Moonraker James Bond stays at The Granville whilst in pursuit of the evil Hugo Drax. The apartments are on the site of the famous former Granville Hotel and take its name.

Set in three acres of beautifully maintained gardens, a gate from which leads down to the sea, The Granville is adjacent to National Trust land, stretching over the famous white cliffs toward the neighbouring village of Kingsdown. The Kent Downs have been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there are wonderful walks rich in flora and wildlife to be enjoyed.

Close to the apartment are plenty of excellent eating and drinking opportunities and there are golf courses nearby. The sandy beach also has rock pools and is good for shrimping and swimming. The historic city of Canterbury is 12 miles away and day trips to France are very easy with the tunnel only 10 miles away and Ashford 30 miles. On a clear day the clock tower at Calais is easily visible from the apartment's balcony where you can sit and take a leisurely breakfast or, in the evening, sip a glass of something chilled. A dry martini perhaps?

The apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and sleeps four. It has a fully fitted kitchen, including a dishwasher and a washer/dryer. There is well lit underground secure parking.

The apartment is a private home rather than a holiday let so the generous donors have asked that there be no animals or children under 12 in the party.

If you need any further information about this fantastic promise please contact us using the link above or in the "links" section to the right.