Uncategorized

It’s taken me more than a week to think about not liking Picasso. And now to write it down. One’s anxious about ‘coming out’ as a Picasso Doubter, So I’m being brave here. Tate Modern has an exhibition showing work from 1932, a year billed as one of the most productive of his career. We went. I never feel thrilled at the prospect of Picasso but try to keep an open mind. But I do get jaded with the disjointed bodies, frequent phalluses and rampant astigmatisms on display. Eyes left or right, up or down. Very possibly, I’m already blaspheming. I have a love/hate...

Saturday. The Royal Highland Hotel by the station in Inverness. The foyer/bar/café. It’s called the Art Gallery café. Three large computer-generated portraits on the landing above a central flight of stairs and some dark old masters along the walls (originals?) justify the name. I suppose. I wasn’t that impressed. I’ve retreated here to shelter from the showers and the shoppers. After four days on retreat in the quiet hills above Loch Ness, being back in busy city streets is a shock. The salad of herbed tempura vegetables and mixed leaves, a surprising offering in this locale, and the graciously appointed...

Intimations of green where trees shelter the ground for a few precious hours. In the distance, 22 verdant yards shock the eye. A carefully-tended cricket pitch, watered faithfully day after day. The ground will yield to the leather before it hits willow come the weekend. The view from a bench on Barnes Common early last Wednesday morning. I had the picture of earth burned sandy-beige in my head from the day before. Drove across Bushy Park to meet a friend. Normally I walk – it’s a regular meeting place and a glorious walk under towering chestnuts lined up elegantly along The Avenue,...

Feeling bereft. Wondering what comes next? A summer season of sport has dominated our days these last few weeks. The World Cup and Wimbledon ending at almost the same moment has left an empty space in the calendar of daily life. Not that we watched all the matches in either competition, but they lent a certain structure to the days, provided points around which to plan and organise our lives, eased the evening choices. I am, in the circumstances of this year’s World Cup (i.e. no Scottish team), an England supporter. Also by virtue of long living down here. England supporter by marriage...