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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Our Girls Immortalized On Canvas

Painting of Beaji & Chammi by Christine Merrill
Finally it arrived last Friday! The long-awaited painting of Beaji and Chammi Bradford by Christine Merrill. In our opinion, Christine is the finest painter of animal pets in the world. There is no one like her, and her work is superb. She is meticulous, and her subjects come alive on canvas in the most amazing way.

Our two little Bichon Frises look absolutely gorgeous and so lifelike, they seem about to jump out of the frame and into our laps. The painting took almost a year but it was certainly worth waiting for. Both girls are now in Doggie Heaven, and Christine painted them from a photograph of them sitting near daffodils in the garden of our former country home in Connecticut.
What is so beautiful and unique about all of Christine's animal paintings is the background she creates. When she painted Gemmy, our first Bichon Frise, she placed her in a formal English park somewhat reminiscent of of Gainsborough or Constable painting. And she did this again for the Beaji and Chammi portrait.

The painting arrived during Bob's birthday week, and it now hangs in his den. Wherever he is in the room, their big black eyes seem to follow him everywhere. What an achievement, and we salute and thank this fabulous artist. We were so excited when the painting was brought to us by Bill Secord, of the William Secord Gallery, we could hardly contain ourselves. And of course we had tears in our eyes because we have this fantastic image of our girls to look at every day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Women Of Substance in Houston, Texas - April 8, 2015

Former First Lady, Barbara Bush met up with Bob and I in Houston, Texas for a private visit before I was honored at a charity event.
We chatted with Mrs. Bush, who had come to the event early to see us. She arrived with her son Neil and his wife, Maria. We have been friends with Mrs. Bush since she was the First Lady in Washington.

 The three of us share a deep interest in literacy, and I have worked with Mrs. Bush on her Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in the past.
The event in Houston was to benefit The Women's Home, which helps women in distress in Houston. I was pleased to be honored alongside the Honorable Joanne King Herring at an English Tea at the Four Seasons hotel. We were interviewed on stage by Ernie Manouse of PBS Houston, who is the host of the popular TV show, Manor Of Speaking.
I told the audience that Barbara Bush is an icon, and the woman I most admire in the world.

Our very special thanks to our dear friend, Paul-David Van-Atta for all his amazing efforts to put this event together over the past couple of months. He did a truly remarkable job.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

SEVEN Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Me - A Daily Mail Feature

I spurned the love of Peter O’Toole

Barbara Taylor Bradford
MailOnline US - news, sport, celebrity, science and health stories

Barbara Taylor Bradford, novelist
Barbara Taylor Bradford, novelist
1. I only have one number in my mobile phone — my husband Bob’s! I only use my mobile out during the day and the only person who I ever need to contact is Bob. There is no need for anyone else to know where I am. I’m not interested in putting hundreds of contacts into my mobile as most social calls are done in the comfort of my own home on my landline.
2. As a fledgling reporter on the Yorkshire Evening Post I was constantly dodging another reporter on the Yorkshire Evening News, who was forever chasing me and asking me out. I wasn’t interested, but some years later I saw him again — starring in Lawrence of Arabia. Peter O’Toole hadn’t looked like that back in Leeds, although he’d had those great blue eyes. That night at the cinema, looking up at the screen, I wondered why I had spurned him.
3. I’m a secret interior designer and love creating rooms. I have even decorated homes for friends — for free! Few people know I wrote four books on decorating before becoming a novelist. I even had a syndicated design column in 200 newspapers in the U.S.
4. I have almost total recall and a prodigious memory. My husband warns people not to tell me something that they might want me to forget later, because I won’t. I can still quote back to him the first words he ever said to me 51 years ago: ‘Jeanne sends her love.’ Jeanne was a mutual friend who had suggested we meet as she thought we would hit it off — and we did.
5. I have a fear of water and will only swim in a pool where my feet can touch the bottom. I think it’s due to almost drowning when I was two years old.
Barbara spurned the advances of a young Peter O’Toole (pictured in Lawrence of Arabia) while they were both working at the Yorkshire Evening Post
Barbara spurned the advances of a young Peter O’Toole (pictured in Lawrence of Arabia) while they were both working at the Yorkshire Evening Post
My aunt and uncle had taken me for a day out to the River Nidd near Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. While my aunt was knitting and my uncle was fishing further down the bank, they lost sight of me. When they finally found me it was with my head popping up and down, drowning in the river. By the time they reached me the hem of my white dress had caught on a tree — saving my life. On returning home, they confessed to my parents and my mother never let them take me out again.
6. While I have some fabulous jewellery from my husband, two of my favourite bracelets were given to me by Joan Rivers, who was a great friend of mine for 20 years. They were from the collection she designed for the QVC shopping channel and made of turquoise enamel banded in gold. At one particular dinner, Joan was admiring my jewellery and said it was too valuable to wear on holiday. Two days later, two shopping bags arrived full of earrings, bracelets and a watch. In private, Joan was genteel, decorous, elegant and never vulgar.
7. I got my skincare routine from my friend, the late Evelyn Lauder — who was the daughter-in-law of Estee Lauder and helped develop the company’s skin care and make-up, including coming up with the Clinique brand. While her business was selling products, her big tip was ‘don’t use one cream all the time’ as your skin gets used to it. I’ve taken that advice since and my dermatologist recently remarked that I had one of the most fabulous skins she had ever seen, which made my day!
Barbara Taylor Bradford’s The Cavendon Women is out March 24, 2015 (HarperCollins £16.99).

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