Saturday, 28 June 2008

Nijinsky's Legendary Leap

When the great dancer Vaslav Nijnsky leapt across the stage, it is said that he hovered magically in mid-air before gently descending to earth. Sadly this is only hearsay, for Nijinsky was never filmed either in performance or in life. When it was suggested to Diaghilev that he should record Nijinsky's gravity-defying leap for posterity, he declined, thus depriving us of proof of the miraculous.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

A Wondrous Being

After Michel's funeral, an encounter with this new-born creature, fresh from its papery chrysalis.
Photo: Annie, taken at the Hortus, Amsterdam's botanical gardens.

Friday, 20 June 2008


My friend, the experimental musician Michel Waisvisz died on Wednesday evening.

Our time together began with a death and ended with a death. When my father was dying of cancer 25 years ago, Michel - who had a pilot's license - offered to fly me back to England "at any time at all". That won my heart forever.

Our's was a "hair affair". We would meet once every six weeks when I would cut his hair. And there was a lot of it: acres of baby soft curls that I would fashion into a rockabilly coif.

As I worked, we would share the latest installments in our lives. Literally, we sometimes laughed and we sometimes cried. A mutual complicity. Secrets that were never betrayed.

During the last few years, I shared Michel's joy as he met and married his beloved Kristina. Three-and-a-half years ago, their family was completed with the arrival of little Rosa Mathilda, who has inherited her father's curls.

Then, six months ago, a few hours after I had had a knee operation, he phoned me to tell me that he had cancer. Now we were both at the mercy of the medical profession: a frightening place but at least we had each other. Michel was unfailingly optimistic, yet I got better and he didn't.

I miss him so.

Monday, 16 June 2008


Following the earthquake in China's Sichuan province, this mask has been housed in a private museum, which is being used to store personal belongings found in the debris. It is yet to be claimed...

Friday, 13 June 2008

Stylish Woman

It's not what you wear but how you wear it... this stylish woman lives in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Nan Hoover

I heard last night that my friend, the artist Nan Hoover had died. I met her in the '70s. Someone had given me her number in Amsterdam. I phoned, and she asked me to come and stay. Her apartment was white: white floor, white ceiling, white walls. She wore black; her dog was black, her cat was black-and-white.

Nan's work was sublime. Moments frozen in light. She worked in video, performance, charcoal and installations. And photography, about which she wrote:

I am a painter
everything I do is seen
through the eyes of a

I only use different
brushes from time to time
Photo: Nan Hoover

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Staircase to Heaven?

An escalator is nowhere; you are in transition from one place to the next. That's why I love them.
Photo: Annie

Monday, 2 June 2008

RIP Yves

Yves Saint Laurent - the man "born with a nervous breakdown" and a penchant for women in tuxedos - has ascended to the great catwalk in the sky.

He is seen here with his twin muses Betty Catroux (left) and Loulou de la Falaise (right).