Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day and a broken phone

It is Mother's Day: still in bed....breakfast is on the way.

Also on the way: a new phone. The camera in the old one started to capture emotion rather than reality.
Always look out for this clump of trees on the way down to Cornwall. This time the broken lens records a blurred feeling of returning home. (On the bus: the trains still not running direct).

Raw damp grey weather: but winter is over.
Keep hoping for a hot summer but someone says that hope can be a wasteful, destructive thing.  It means you don't live in the moment. Also - how stupid to say 'I wish I'd done that earlier.' Why not just say 'I'm glad I've done it now' ?

But thoughts of summer are wonderful. Katherine Mansfield can be a bit too breathless for me, but love the opening of The Garden Party and that fresh still feeling at the start of a sunny day. Green bushes as if they had been visited by archangels.
"And after all the weather was ideal. They could not have had a more perfect day for a garden party if they had ordered it. Windless, warm, the sky without a cloud. Only the blue was veiled with a haze of light gold, as it is sometimes in early summer. The gardener had been up since dawn, mowing the lawns and sweeping them, until the grass and the dark flat rosettes where the daisy plants had been seemed to shine. As for the roses, you could not help feeling they understood that roses are the only flowers that impress people at garden parties; the only flowers that everybody is certain of knowing. Hundreds, yes, literally hundreds, had come out in a single night; the green bushes bowed down as though they had been visited by archangels."

An Edwardian sensibility (though think it was written post War).
Catching up with reading about Venice: discover a fabulous picture of the English colony there in Edwardian days. A letter from Rowland Burden-Muller describing a picnic with his Aunt Enid on the Lido.
"Gondolas were sent ahead with the chef and a couple of 'garcons de cuisine', and a butler and a pair of footmen who placed in position three easels for Aunt Enid, Princess Stephanie and Susie Duchess of Somerset who enjoyed painting in watercolour, thus creating a scene in the manner of Boudin. Being under 15 years of age I was permitted to bathe, and later we were served a six-course collation in the rush hut by the butler and footmen with cotton gloves, returning to Venice by sunset." 

Conversation sur la plage de Trouville by Eugène Boudin, 1876

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy