Friday, August 29, 2008

Bridgewater Collection

The best-case-scenario seems to be that the two Titians will be saved for the nation – for Great Britain, that would be, not Scotland – and will alternate their residence between London and Edinburgh. And the Duke will then promise not to sell anything else for 21 years – that’ll see me and my husband out, but it’s not really very long – and to leave the remaining pictures here during that time.

The big Titians – "Diana and Acteon", and "Diana and Callisto" – were painted as part of a cycle of work for Philip II of Spain, late in Titian’s life. A substantial part of the joy of visiting them, is seeing them together. Never again?

And that’s if all goes well. Fifty million pounds has to be found first – and times are hard. And then another fifty million, not long afterwards.

Political conventions

I’m putting my neck on the block here – Stash Haus, you asked for an elucidation of my gloomy remarks about Denver yesterday, and my sister picked me up on it , too. I didn’t mean that choosing candidates in primary elections is undemocratic. On the contrary, it may well be a better system that the old conventions.

I meant that the whole amazing, expensive production this week has been more suited to the style of Kim Jong Il (or Hitler) than to a democracy. Is there any other democracy in the world that would allow its leader – or potential leader – anything like that? The Labour party tried a fairly mild American-style rally during the election in which Neil Kinnock was expected to beat John Major, and didn’t. In Liverpool, I think. Maybe not. And while it was in progress, one shadow cabinet member – Jack Straw? – leaned over to the one sitting next to him on the platform and said, “This isn’t going to work.”

Having said which, the Democrats certainly seem to have pulled it off. The press has been full of gloom all week, including expectations yesterday that Obama would make a fool of himself last night, and every time they have been confounded.


I continue delighted with my swallowtail coat. Maybe I’ll reach the first cuff today. I’m keeping the pattern for the Poet’s Coat in “Boho Baby Knits” open in front of me throughout, although my results are radically different. But I think I can follow the instructions for the cuff (which I don’t understand) fairly precisely.


Omsafeeya, I’ll go off now and see if I can get in to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Thanks. And I promise an answer to your question tomorrow, with photograph.


  1. Anonymous11:35 AM

    Several comments --
    The New York Times reviewer on White Heat described Wineapple as thorough, though makes no mention of the previous book by your mother.
    I'll be making a cash donation at the Obama office in my neighborhood today. I'm hoping to avoid being barraged by the party for additional donations if I don't leave a paper trail.
    Franklin Habit says he will be in London in November to promote It Itches. I don't remember the exact day, but wondered if you would coordinate a visit for the same time.
    I enjoyed the news from the games, as usual.

  2. I agree with you on the convention, Jean. I work 1 block from the arena where the Republicans will be 'nominating' John McCain. The millions and millions of dollars that have gone into this, privately raised or not, the disruption of life in the city, and the anxiety about the size and scope of anti war protests seem foolish when we already know the identity of the nominee.

  3. Anonymous1:43 PM

    This long election process has left me weary and cynical.Last night certainly was a celebration. It will be interesting to see if the GOP will scramble to put together a show to last night.

  4. Anonymous1:44 PM

    oops, last sentence should read "to rival last night"

  5. I think I felt somewhat the same way - especially at the end of the convention when the fireworks began. Seems like a lot of fuss and expense. But I also wondered whether this was to promote the "Republicans aren't the only patriotic people in the country" line of thought that was evident in most everyone's speeches - especially as I think most Americans equate fireworks with the Fourth of July.

    Also, I didn't understand the need for a live band at the convention center - that seemed to lend a TV program effect, to me (like Letterman or The Tonight Show, etc.), but maybe sister Helen can enlighten us about the "down" time for attendees and how something is needed to fill the time. (Thanks for the link to the blog - it was very interesting to read about her impressions there.)

    After watching the extravaganza from Bejing, the fireworks at the convention were a pale show in comparison! :-)