Friday, 17 February 2017

Something to read and a lamp for a traveller

Patti Smith in M Train discovers (on a flight home from LA) that everything has been left at the hotel. She boards the plane with passport, pen, toothbrush, toothpaste and a Moleskine. She idly passes some time circling places she'd been on a map of Europe and Scandinavia, then looks at the four Polaroid photos stored in the back pocket of the Moleskine. One is of Sylvia Plath's gravestone in Yorkshire: she then starts to write about Sylvia Plath.

'I wrote to give myself something to read.'

As soon as I saw this light in my doctor's surgery ('I have patients from all over the world and we...') I had to buy one. The British Isles are suspiciously big - bigger than France. But it's the romance of it that counts.

A commentator on Radio 3 last night said there were no tunes in Beethoven (no beautiful melodies as in Schubert): just motifs that built into tunes.

In the meantime, the branches of plum tree rescued on Monday are even more glorious.  A thought: whoever could have decided to cut down a plum tree on the point of blossom?  Another thought (prompted by Patti Smith); Sylvia Plath is buried so far from home? Heptonstall is beautiful but bleak.

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