Monday, August 21, 2017

Sorry about yesterday. Our niece C. and I went to see the “True to Life” expo in the Museum of Modern Art. It was the second time round for her. I enjoyed it a lot.

For one thing, it was a very specific collection of pictures: British realistic art between the wars. Many an exhibition has to stray from its title to fill the walls. Many another has too vague a title to begin with. This was perfect. And for a second thing, the art wasn’t all that good, which makes for a peaceful and undemanding afternoon. I hadn’t heard of most of the artists – Meredith Frampton was a discovery.

My husband and I used to ask each other, after touring an exhibition, which one we’d like to take home. C. and I agreed at once, yesterday, on Mcintosh Patrick’s little picture of Strobo Castle. (It seems to have been a favourite subject, and I’m sure the one I’ve linked you to isn’t the right one.)

Perdita and I are going to Strathardle today. Back, I know not when – not long. I’ll take Miss Rachel, of course, and ought to achieve a lot. The second skein is nearly finished. Helen’s husband David is hard at work, as far as the slow internet up there allows, at finding flights and hotels for me and Archie when we go to Palermo in January.

I am hard at work on pleasures. We must do the walking tour with the “Gattopardo” expert. What about the cookery day with Lampedusa’s adopted son’s wife? You start off in the market with her, then spend a morning cooking, then – after an interval in which her staff whips lunch into shape – a luxurious meal which you have partly cooked, then a tour of the palazzo including if you are lucky an appearance from her husband himself -- the model, it is said, for Tancred in the novel.  I don’t know what Archie will think about that. We’d have to have clean fingernails.

I had a Turkish holiday once with my husband’s sister, C’s mother. We had a fine time, but during the bit on the south coast we didn’t go to Termessos. I shall ever regret it. And the moral, I think, is that once you have gone somewhere, you might as well spend a bit more on the pleasures only to be had there.

Knitting, oh dear: There’s a splendid picture, in Minoo’s biography, of Runciman in a 1920’s Fair Isle. It’s almost good enough to knit from – the print version (as opposed to Kindle) might be better. And I must get back to Alexander’s vest, once Miss Rachel is a bit further forward.


  1. If you have kindle app for the iPad you can enlarge the photo. Sometimes they are more clear than print editions these days. All of those activities in Palermo sound wonderful. I've never thought about Sicily for a trip, now you have me pondering...

  2. Do you watch Inspector Montalbon? All in Sicily and of course the novels are still being churned out. And translated.

    1. We used not to watch it -- subtitles were too much for our old eyes. But last night I saw the 1st episode of the new series. Fully as silly as Midsomer Murders but lovely Sicilian light and they spoke real Italian, not dialect, and I could understand.a little. I'll persevere.

  3. Anonymous5:03 PM

    I totally agree about making sure to enjoy "the pleasures only to be had there".
    I didn't make it as far as Antalya or Termessos ... yet!
    Friends also like the early episodes of Montalbon when the characters are young.
    Sicily in orange season is going to be fabulous!

  4. Anonymous11:04 PM

    The cookery day sounds delicious. Chloe

  5. Jean, I love your comment, "the art wasn’t all that good, which makes for a peaceful and undemanding afternoon." A wise and witty observation.

  6. =Tamar5:27 AM

    The good part about pictures that are almost good enough to knit from is that they allow more creative interpretations than simple copying.

    I agree with the "as long as I'm here" principle. I hope to put it into practice soon.