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Showing posts from October, 2016

Autumn or Fall or whatever you want to call it. In England this week and somewhere else next

'Summer has o'er-brimmed' and we find ourselves in Keats' 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.' Of brambles, apples  and crumble. Of falling leaves. Long shadows And flaming sunsets 'Autumn settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favourite chair and fills the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he had done since he last saw you.' Stephen King  Stories ...  We find stories everywhere. And if we don't find them, we make them up. Stories for ourselves and stories for sharing. Usually, they are good stories.  But sometimes they are bad. Bad stories make me feel uncomfortable. And this autumn, I am a little uncomfortable. No, I don't mean a little uncomfortably shivery around the edges? It's not a the-nights-are-drawing-in-and-we're-holding-out-like-we-do-every-year-til-November-to-put-the-heating-on seasonally induced uncomfortable. Nor is it uncomfortably starting to co

The art of storytelling; Caravaggio, Pinter and a Bear of Very Little Brain.

A life without stories would be impossible. Look for something that doesn't have a story and resign yourself to never finding it. A grain of sand on a beach; a petal on a flower; the broken handle on my cup; the rusted rivet in a metal bridge; and the gum stuck to the pavement, all have a story. Everything does - there's the how did it get there; where did it come from; who put it there; what happened to bring it in front of me at this precise time? What is a story? Story - definition: a true or fictitious account of a sequence of events and characters; its purpose being to entertain or inform. We constantly ask ourselves, what's the story? Or, what's in a story? Different questions, but essentially addressing the same thing: we like to know. And if we don't know, we like to make an attempt at explaining things - we pry, we wonder, we invent - who did that, why, where, what happened next? We fill in the gaps. Not always accurately. But we fill them anyway,

Something's missing. And a pedant in deep water with Canaletto.

According to Tate Modern - ART CHANGES WE CHANGE  I wonder if it's just me ... just me - the sufficiently pedantic one, who bothers to be bothered by this declaration? Everyone else simply walks on by. If they notice the words, perhaps they glance, read, shrug a 'yes, whatever' and walk on. Me - I glance, read and the words trigger an agitated avalanche; a silent screaming 'Whaaaaat?!' Surely, something's missing. Perhaps, a comma. Or any of the following: when, how, where, if, and, as.  All would fit. Wouldn't they? Or am I alone in my nit-picking, pernickety little world; worrying what these words mean? What the intent was behind displaying them large above the brick wall of the iconic Tate? What they are meant to say? But fail to say. Perhaps, the point is that different people will read different things into them. If they bother to read them at all. I'm still bothered, though, about what they mean to me. And what they clearly do

Sunset in pictures and a few words and a few quotes

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. Albert Camus Be my friend. Just take me for a walk. Please. Or I'll have to take myself for one. And then I won't have a friend - Four-legged-friend discovered yesterday that he could hold his lead in his mouth. It happened by accident. There was something dangling at mouth level that hadn't been there before so what was a dog meant to do. It tasted leathery and smelt of friends' hands. Then, he appeared to realise what exactly it was that he had in his mouth. And having never done this before, he brought it to us looking for our hands, as if to say take it and take me for a walk.  I thought you couldn't teach an old dog tricks. Four-legged-friend proved that wrong. Even if seven is not old old, it is pretty old in big-dog years. While Four-legged-friend was happy to walk with a friend, Bertie Baggins wa


Compliment : definition (noun) - an expression of admiration or praise; (verb) - to express admiration or praise. A compliment then is a verbal gift, if you like, that is offered to make the recipient of the compliment feel good about themselves, or force the recipient to notice, because others including the compliment-giver have noticed, that they have done something well. To receive a compliment is one of life's pleasures. It should be a surprise. It should not come with any sense of expectation. It should be delivered genuinely. If it meets all these things, then it brings with it a warm glow; a bit like love. Fish for, or reject a compliment and it loses its gilt edge and become distinctly soured and chilly. The word has origins in the mid 17th century, from the French  compliment  and Italian  complimento . The  complimenti  of this blog title means congratulations. Which is, in itself, a means of praising someone. Well done on being who you are! On achieving so many birthd