Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday 30th August


When I was speaking to my sister on the 'phone the other day, my niece and sparkly nephew-out-law came in (to her house in England, not mine). Sparkly N-o-l insisted he wanted to talk to me as he had something important to tell me.  This turned out to be that whilst working at the Royal Opera House the other day, as he does, he found himself caught short and availed himself of the facilities of the Royal Toilets!  He knew how this news would delight me, as I was privileged to visit this illustrious petit coin myself during a guided visit that he kindly took me on, as documented in this post, with photos.

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At last, a new painting on Glenn's blog! And such a lovely one.  I'll post it here very small here as a taster.


There, and I did it using a URL link, so it's not like I've nicked it or anything....  It's called Winter garden, Pembrokeshire.   There's a handful of paintings on-line there now, all beautiful, though  I still think perhaps Muggy weather, Newport Bay might be my favourite.



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Made a phone call to sign myself up for a life-drawing class in Lamballe, once a month for 10 months.  I've never done real life-drawing before, only clothed figure drawing.  The idea of commiting myself to going somewhere doing some art with other people around, and to using some of the poor neglected materials I have lying around is exciting. But I'm also interested in the idea of moving towards the human form, going against my resistance and tendency to stay safely with natural and abstract things. 

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Make stock, take stock

I tell myself I'd stay right here
live on pea soup, burn cones and prunings,
sweep floors, take notes about the Duino Elegies
(which I still read like listening to music),
resist all efforts to make or give away
anything of my own, let the dregs settle
render the fat, and this way set aside
an uncomplicated life time.

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Also set about reserving a hotel in Pontorson, near Mt St Michel for my birthday in December.  It's my half-antique one, and while I'm not bothered about it from the ageing point of view - if ageing bothers me, and I can't say it doesn't, one day doesn't make a huge difference one way or another - I had a strong impulse that it was better to get right out of town for it.  I have to admit, after years (getting on for 50 of them in fact) of being Pollyanna-ish about it, a birthday just before Christmas is, and always has been, very largely a short straw, and the last couple of years the elements have conspired to make it particularly unfavourable. 

But actually a dark winter night on the Mont might be rather a wonderful way to celebrate, weather permitting - if we can get out of the village and onto the main roads out there we should be OK.  The return e-mail from the hotel, which does good wines and a very good pré-salé lamb, and an excellent deal on half-board, was warm and friendly, carefully translated into English after the French, though I'd written to them in French, with a 'PS - the dog is welcome for free'.

It's good to have things to look forward to, even, or perhaps especially, if it's a leap of hope to do so. 

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Photos: pond stuff again.






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I think that's probably enough of Three Beautiful Things for now.  I find it hard to keep to daily posting, hard to keep with the beautiful, in the sense of the positive, the shapely and the life affirming, and hard to keep concise.  Feast or famine seems to suit me better.  Still, 3BT is a fabulous idea, thanks Clare. 

13 comments:

Anne said...

Lucy, your posts are always a pleasure, easy, lovely, funny. The pond stuff is luminously beautiful.

I noted that your n-o-l was your n-i-l in your first post about the Royal Opera. I can understand going from out to in, but not the other way around. My husband number 2 (that's #2 of 4) used to refer to my son's girlfriend Susan as our daughter-out-law. She never became a d-i-l and at some point slipped below the horizon. I don't know what happened to her.

Lucy said...

Anne, thank you you. You are quite right, he was given in-law status then wasn't he? A continuity error. In fact my sister tends to refer to him as her son-out-law. His status is established and long-standing but not actually stamped with official matrimony, so I suppose he can be either!

Barrett Bonden said...

Didn't realise the 3BT philosophy was so strict until I asked Plutarch why there was never a photo of TW's infamous Millennium Clock tower in his blog and he told me it was too ugly. This didn't stop him railing against it in prose, however. Perhaps the argument there is that prose can transmute a subject while a photo can't - an argument you have successfully rebutted over the years (Not so d--- many by the way - fiftyish is just getting into one's stride) with your photos of rusted machinery, utilitarian farm buildings and laundry baskets.

Half-board. We took this option many years ago at St Etienne les Orgues and found ourselves at a table separated from the main, more profligate diners, behind a screen and served up with pathetic chicken drumsticks. Never dared do it since. However at another logis in the Pyrenean foothills, a decade and a half later, we saw that the HBs, again sitting apart from the others, got cheese soufflés, unavailable to the big spenders. A French mystery.

Lucy said...

Hello BB. I don't think there is any obligation only to represent the strictly pleasing, as I see it anything interesting or noteworthy will do, and even negative subjects can provide material for pleasing writing or satisfying visuals. I suppose the problem for me is that I can't always make the things which are preoccupying me into pleasing shapes, and I don't always feel like finding something I can post about instead. Something like that anyway.

Re half-board, it can be rather dismal, and often involves smaller portions, but we know this hotel quite well to eat at and I do trust them to provide reasonable nosh. They say clearly that there is large array of dishes on HB, so perhaps they know people worry about getting short measure and limited choice and are seeking to reassure. I don't mind smaller portions anyway, as after a day or two of full blow-out 3 course meals I'm usually starting to feel a bit gross, and regrettably I suffer from the possibly British, or possibly just inherited from my dad, affliction that if food is there, edible and I've paid for it I ought to try to eat it.

When we've eaten there we've never seen anyone obviously subjected to any kind of gastronomic apartheid anyway...

Glenn said...

Thanks for the publicity, Lucy!
I've made some changes to that 'Muggy Weather' pic and am hoping to offload it in my forthcoming exhibition...

I have a habit of forgetting your birthday, well not forgetting, just not remembering to send a card. Lets see what happens this year, we just don't know!

Anil P said...

So true, the 'leap of hope'.

A 'leap of hope' is usaully a leap of faith, and it does one good.

The first picture in the 'pond stuff' is super.

Zhoen said...

Beauty is numberless.

Funny, I was thinking about art modeling the other day, about how unexpectedly respectful the artists always were. How they used me as an anatomical reference to draw themselves.

earlybird said...

Wonderfully varied post. Lovely photos. (as always)

I satyed in a hotel in Ponterson with my parents when I was about 11. The only thing I can remember was that my brother and I had to brush our teeth with bottled water as French water wasn't considered 'safe'!

marly youmans said...

3 beautiful things... Well, it's a form, isn't it? And forms always seem to be helpful. And I like the variety here.

But I must say that my very favorite Box Elder posts are ones where you are wandering and shooting and pondering and history-noting. So I am glad you are setting a date for an outing!

50 didn't bother me a whit. 40, now...40 was depressing. I get more cheerful as the numbers get bigger.

Sheila said...

Ooh, I love Muggy Weather, too! --though I absolutely do not love muggy weather. Those colors are just beautiful.

HKatz said...

resist all efforts to make or give away
anything of my own, let the dregs settle
render the fat, and this way set aside
an uncomplicated life time.

I love this.

In the second photo the leaves look like chocolate!

zephyr said...

Love those images.
And am so pleased for you, that you've made plans to celebrate!

Lucy said...

Thanks again. G, lovely to see you here.