Friday, January 28, 2011
There is an honourable history for the literary salon. The concept first appeared in 15th century Venice when an elite group of women began gathering informally to discuss art, literature, politics and science. A century later and it had become very fashionable in France, where the gatherings were so informal they would frequently be held in the bedroom. The hostess would recline in her bed while her friends gathered around.
A chaise longue would be the perfect thing here. One each, preferable, for recovering from the lunch while continuing the erudite conversation.
This was only the beginning of a cultural weekend. Joe and I are going to London tomorrow til Monday - my treat for his birthday. A play at the Almeida Theatre - we're going to see Becky Shaw, a play by Gina Gionfriddo that is, so it says, a biting American comedy. It got four stars off the Guardian so we hope it will be good. There are other plans afoot including a couple of restaurants which I can't write about yet because they are a surprise for Joe and there is still time for him to read this blog before we go. Also an exhibition of modern British sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly.
I'd better go to bed. We have an early(ish) flight and a long day ahead.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
None of this is particularly remarkable - stray cattle are a fairly regular occurrence, though we haven't had ponies before. But it's made me think. Our neighbour came up and chased the ponies away. They came back, got into his field again, ate the grass he would be wanting for his cattle. He chased them away and closed the gate across the track outside our house. They came back, flicked their heads at any notion of ownership, broke through his electric fence (not turned on) and sunbathed on the precious bit of new grass.
So why did we do nothing? I only feel part guilty, and I shouldn't feel guilty at all. This is the neighbour who fell out with Joe - and therefore me - over the cutting of an ash tree, and who objected when we had someone he didn't like renting out our converted barn. The gate he closed was the one he put there in the hope of inconveniencing us. So to see those ponies eating his grass, to see him chasing them away again and again. Well I won't say it gave me pleasure, but...
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Now we're about to go off in the van for a few days. Possibly foolish given the weather forecast. But we have to go and check the boat and it seems the best way to do it. Or at least I thought that was the case until five minutes ago when Joe said, having just heard the weather forecast for the north, 'I was thinking we might go and visit Rob the Bones'. Rob is an old friend from years back who now lives in Cork. The bones bit is not as macabre as it sounds. He was (and is) a wizard playing bones of the percussive kind. Reset the mind time.
Along with me will come my new smart phone. I haven't been so frustrated by a device since the early days of computers when an axe was the instrument you were looking for. It isn't an iPhone (so intuitive! so exactly like my Mac!) but an LG with Android fittings. This is much better for my use (pre-paid), so much cheaper and uses Open Source software which is A Good Thing. But I couldn't get it to produce words properly. Or change between numbers and letters. Or delete photos. Or or or.....
Have to go and pack the van. Wonder where we're going. How exciting (I do like sudden changes of plan, I do I do).