Sunday, August 14, 2005

Diamond Overload and more

Delightful and I finally made it to the Diamonds exhibitionspan style="text-decoration: underline;">> at the Museum of Natural History.

I'm not sure what to say about it. It was not as viscerally exciting as the Cartier one last year at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, where each piece was handpicked from the 1,000+ Cartier collection by Ettore Sottsass who also designed the stunning exhibition. That one literally took my breath away.

Diamonds are pretty! The case that stood out for me the most was one filled with an array of 250 diamonds in every colour, set under an alternating normal and black light. Hey, they glow different colours under black light.
Also, too near the beginning in my opinion was the DeBeers Millennium Diamond. It rotated in its case, its facets throwing glittering light against every surface in the room. I'd hate to cheapen the idea by comparing it to a disco ball, but...oh well.

Under a magnifying glass was the tiniest diamond in the world, barely larger than a grain of sand, it was .06 carats I think, and set into a black diamond to avoid losing it.

The very last piece was a coal and diamond necklace. Well done, but chunky and just plain ugly, although I appreciated the paradox. Something so ugly can, under pressure and high temperatures, produce something so beautiful.

Review number 2 of The Townhouse on Beauchamp Place. We went there at about 7pm and spent nearly 2 hours there. Still so relaxing, still a pleasure to watch the cycling colours under the glass bar, every drink still an aesthetic and palatable delight. By around 8.30 pm it gets really busy and people have to stand at the bar until a space clears, so Delightful and I clung
happily to our spot, although slightly miffed that someone else had already taken our corner when we arrived.
At around 8pm, the lights dim further, a new DJ arrives and the music changes from mellow to loud. Too loud for such a small space, if you ask me.

People-watching is fun. One guy arrived early and sat awkwardly for half an hour until his date arrived. It was obviously their first, and we watched the body language over the course of an hour, how with each successive drink she laughed more, moved closer, stopped crossing her legs. No telling if he'll call her back. His behaviour was not very readable.

That's beside the point. I broke a personal record by drinking two cocktails for the first time! And this time I can't remember what was in them...Oh stop laughing, it's not what you think.

My first was the Lemongrass and Wild Chilli. It was a blushing shade of pink and I removed the red chilli garnish to prevent more oil seeping into the mix. I quite liked it, it had a great kick which blew Delightful out of the water a bit. It was pretty enough that he took a picture of it set against the glowing blue of the bar across the room.
His first was the Monkey Scrumble which he'd enjoyed last time, but has now decided he's all "Monkey-Scrumbled out".
Halfway through my first he ordered his second: a Tall and Dandy ("Like me!" *nudge nudge* to which I could not disagree.) It was tall and Watermelony and I think there was orange Stolichnaya in it but that could have been in his third.

My second (!) was a Parma Violet. I LOVE it! It's all violety and ever so refined! Delightful liked it too and then ordered his third, the Sky Cruiser, and we were both of the opinion that these last cocktails were the best of the evening.
I would definitely have the violet again. Now, the Sky Cruiser...I am at a loss but at first it tastes lemony even though it's not a lemon drink and then fades on the palate into a floral candy flavour.

The drinks at the Townhouse are far superior to Pearl's. I can't forget that I was dizzy barely halfway into my Bumblebee there, while at this place I could manage two. That's the joy.
However, we did agree we'd enjoyed the nibbles at Pearl.

And catching the eye of any staff at London establishments is a work of art. They don't keep a furtive eye on the customer. The mark of a good server is their attendance on you for barely raising an eyebrow. Nowadays you have to wave, shout, or go to the counter yourself.

I tried a bit of mind control on the girl who stood with her back to me by twirling my finger and whispering, "Turn, turn, turn." She did, and I beckoned her over forthwith.

.........Heheeh, yeeeees, I will mesmerise you..........


louisamae said...

tell me tell me, did you see a perfectly spherical diamond? Is there such a thing? I read a novel recently with one mentioned in a long list of baubles, and I can't for the life of me work out if it was made up by Tobias Hill or a real thing. Perhaps it doesn't matter, but I'd love to know.
My diamonds are tiny. Sometimes I look at them with a jewellers magnifying glass.

Olivia said...

Yes indeed, saw a spherical diamond. It was the end of the exhibition though, and we felt a bit rushed so I couldn't read all the labels.
It was white, looked very frosted and not really special but for the fact that as a natural occurrence it is rare. I think there was a smaller, brownish-grey one as well. They were about the size of gobstoppers or Ferrero Rochers!

In which book did Mr Hill mention them?

Anonymous said...

two cocktails for miss Olivia!!! cheers!!
soon enough you will be a hypnotist.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hello Olivia!
I seem to have forgotten my alter ego password.
Sounds like a lovely evening.
*runs to eat her dinner of egg pasta with tomato/mushroom sauce*
I'll be back later.


Olivia said...

I must delete my second spam comment...

Vanessa - hypnotist? Don't know about that, but I am quite charming when I've had a couple. ;)

Alohalani - oops, it's all that retroactive interference from your anthropology exams!

Jia Li said...

I'mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm back! ans so much to read....will do later

missed you!

Caesura said...

What an interesting exhibit. And that Parma Violet sounds gooooood. Next time you will have three of those right? Imagine three Perma Violets and staring at the disco diamond! That would be psychedelic man! Is psychedelic still a word?

Caesura said...

I had to go look up a spherical diamond. That is very interesting. Here is a link that shows one in daylight and with UV illumination. Pretty cool.

(sorry if you get this twice, there was an error the first time so trying again.)

Olivia said...

Hehe, Caesura - not three violets, I do like a bit of variety or else my taste buds will get bored.
Psychedelic: if it's in the dictionary, it's still a word.

Thank you for doing my research for me, that is exactly how it looked. Not too appealing is it?

Caesura said...

Well not too appealing when you compare it to a cut diamond or even a clear diamond crystal, but it has a certain beauty in that it is formed naturally. That site says it's internally translucent. I wonder if they ever do things with them jewelery wise. It looks like a rough pearl. Interesting.

Olivia said...

Duuuude! (I've wanted to say that all evening...) Why are my diamond posts so popular?

Yes, the distinguishing factor is its natural occurrence. Honestly I had never heard of a spherical diamond before yesterday. Wait, was Sunday yesterday already? Wow.
Anyway, we also saw large, natural tetrahedrals embedded in rock. Ohh, AND a small rough diamond found in a gold deposit. Perfect, eh?

Anonymous said...

All of your posts are popular!!

louisamae said...

wow. thankyou for that confirmation. I couldn't imagine a spherical diamond in the book which was called 'Love of Stones', and well worth reading. It has been one of my favourites so far this year. I covet that Balas. I love its nubly surface. And I like that fact that it is not set. Wonderful!!!!