Sunday, 29 July 2012
|The ladies bike race field rounding the bend at Brompton Cross|
Saturday, 28 July 2012
|Men's Olympic road race field coming round the bend at Brompton Cross|
|Men's gymnastics day at 02, north Greenwich|
Friday, 27 July 2012
|Warrington Bank Quay|
|Your correspondent's notebook and Kindle|
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
|Ram sans spectacles|
Wednesday, 18 July 2012
|Yesterday it rained all day, but now the sun is out.|
|Rain-soaked atrium with scientific rain measurer (red plastic beaker)|
'so and so met so and so' 'he said to her' 'she said to him' and 'the consequence was' and 'the world said...'. And 'I Spy'. Do other cultures have versions of these games, I wonder? Before falling back on watching the recording of 'Despicable Me' for the tenth time.
Sunday, 15 July 2012
|'The Enigma of Arrival' by Giorgio di Chirico|
The title of the painting by Giorgio di Chirico, 'The Enigma of Arrival' was chosen not by the painter but by the French poet Apollinaire. I once followed the path of Apollinaire to northern France, to the Western Front battlefield where he received the head wound that led to his eventual death a few years later. I was following a trail that started with a quest for the origins of the UK Forestry Commission on those same battlefields. There was a shortage of wood for the trenches that threatened the Allied war effort. Unbelievably - well, perhaps only too believably - , French forest owners charged the British army a premium to cut down the trees needed to shore up the miles of tunnels and trenches, latrines and field stations that dotted the landscape. The man charged with securing the timber was Simon 'Shimi' (Lord) Lovat, who knew most of the landowners from his pre-war forays to the gambling tables of Biarritz.It was the young firm of MacAlpine brothers that got the contract to build the wooden sheds for the British army at Etaples in Normandy, site it is now thought of the 'vector' between pigs, poultry and men that caused the virus known as the 'Spanish flu' that killed more young men worldwide than the war itself. Apollinaire was much loved, unusually for a genius.
Friday, 13 July 2012
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
|Mason's mark, North Berwick steading, carved on stone set on corner of ochre- coloured wall, as in Pompeii.|
Thursday, 5 July 2012
I do not want to disappoint my fellow Trustees at Moffat Book Events, so here is an item about rhubarb, just as you predicted:
|See within for more about rhubarb and other Russian stuff|
|The House that rhubarb built|
Monday, 2 July 2012
Here is what is on mine, from left to right: orange pig made from a quarter litre milk bottle, bought from my friend Anthea's shop in Notting Hill some years ago; behind the orange pig is an Easter card from my daughter Abi's mother in law Pauline who is gravely ill - the card only arrived by hand a couple of weeks ago and I keep it there to remember her; glass bottle with spills in an aromatic liquid labelled French Lavender; postcard from Scottish artist Duncan Macaskill 'A Man's A Man For A' that, a portrait of the artist's father Neil MacDougall MacAskill; postcard 'Meleze' coloured drawing by John Ruskin of a member of the Pine family sent by my sister when she was staying at Brantwood Ruskin's house in Coniston; Summer 2012 invitation to the Kilmorack Gallery near Beauly Invernesshire - cover painting 'Sea Island Line' by Lizzie Rose, sometime artist in residence at Crookedstane Rig; invitation to Evensong at The Tower of London in September 2012 organised by the Friends of the Anglican Centre in Rome; invitation to a fundraising concert for the Prisoners Education Trust; invitation to tea from the Provost of University College London; small glass container, probably an old Glu chocolate pudding pot, containing a quantity of coloured marbles; small Russian wooden doll from a nesting set; invitation to new works exhibition by Moffat resident Gill Shreeve at The Dancing Light gallery - illustration 'Moments on a Mountain'; postcard of Fiesole from an Australian professor of economics; postcard of The Level Crossing by L.S. Lowry from my cousin John, the model railway fanatic (and inventor with others of the Spey Rolls Royce aero engine) propped up against a yellow milk bottle pig, stable companion to orange pig see above; postcard from Storm Studio in Moffat; raffle tickets for Wigtown Festival Company (to be drawn on Sunday 7th October 2012); good luck Red Poppies card from friends Robert and artist Lesley Maddock on the occasion of the opening of The Moffat Gallery. Atop the early 19th century gilt overmantel looking glass is a smiley pink pig whose head nods if you touch it. Draped over the far right hand corner is a mobile phone charger, a Blackberry which I hope soon to trade in for an iPhone.
What is on your mantelpiece is supposed to be a glimpse into your soul. This glimpse into mine bears this out: any one considering these items could easily work out that I am a Christian who supports many charities, I was educated at UCL, am greatly attached to my family and many old friends, whose interests strongly include the visual arts and that I have a streak of attraction to ephemera, objects that raise a smile, demonstrate playful invention. I also love scent and once lived in an early 19th century house (hence the overmantel). And there's definitely something going on about pigs.
Sunday, 1 July 2012
*the title of this blog alludes to Oscar Wilde's quip that he always took his diary on a train journey in order to have something sensational to read.