Thursday, May 12, 2011


Last week to the "Cult of Beauty" exhibition at the V & A.  Maybe it was just me, but there was a lack of something to the whole event.  How many pictures of Janey Morris does one need to see?  As I went round, I was struck bythe indolence of the whole thing.  Endless paintings of women looking very bored and half-asleep.  The Twentieth Century couldn't come soon enough for these girls.  Some  Whistler drawings of quayside warehouses were a positive relief.  And there were a couple of absolutely lovely costume items: a cape and a medieval style velvet dress - which were pure Annabelinda c.1970

"Antiques Roadshow" - I suddenly remembered how awful my last experience of this was.  When you see the queues waiting patiently, you don't realise that they can be there for three hours before being seen.  So what would I have taken?

Many years ago I was given an antique white fan for my birthday, by my first serious boyfriend.  How romantic, you might be thinking, and, indeed, this is what I thought too.  That was until I realised that he expected me to buy him a car radio for his birthday, in return.  I learned a great deal from that relationship, all of it useful in the long run.

Some years later, I bought myself a black lace fan which was sold in this fan box, but is not necessarily by the maker on the box.  You may be able to see the dragonfly outlined in sequins in the second picture.  This one cost fifteen pounds, no strings attached.

We have taken to extending the range of our walks locally.  This is feasible this year because of the dryness of the season. 
It is a disaster for arable farmers, but it does mean that the footpaths are dry, where they can be ankle deep in mud.

  We walked North, towards Great Monk Wood.  We went behind Holfield grange where the map had us cross a meadow.  Here we were surprsed to see the remnant of an ancient tree, almost eight feet in diameter, looking like a small henge.  It will have been an oak like the one in the picture following.  At this size it must have been hundreds of years old.  The dendrochronologists told us that the oak for the historic houses of our village - including our house - came from Monks' Wood.  One can't help wondering whether this tree was already standing in 1635.

Finally, some dogroses seen alongide the path.


colleen said...

Absolutely agree with you about the Cult of Beauty exhibition at the V&A. Seemed to me be a lack of coherence about the whole thing whereas the equally wide ranging Diaghilev exhibition really drew you in.

I am very taken with the idea that the base of the oak might have been around when the wood for your house was cut. Lovely.

colleen said...

PS My cousin o would be very taken with your fans. She lives in Canada now and when she visits brings her fan along as she can't bear the heat inside buildings.