Monday, 28 May 2018

A sequence of opticalimericks…

A diminutive detachment of double-quick-drafted ditties… to thank the wonderful people at Dr C P Grey Opticians for being so friendly and considerate.

A helpful opticians named Greys
Took all of my glasses to glaze:
     As, transpiring with age,
     My view of the page
Is blurred, like a work of Monet’s.

I need quite a large range of specs
As my long and short sight are both wrecks:
     So some are for local;
     My best – varifocal –
Can see, though, the tick and T Rex.

I have goggles for typing and Tweeting,
And others for reading and eating.
     The former are focused
     At a tad further locus;
The latter are much nearer meeting.

My eyewear for outside must fade,
Or at least be a much darker shade:
     As I can’t face the light
     When it’s overly bright;
But at night I can unbarricade.

Making a spectacle of myself… – or something….

Monday, 14 May 2018

Paradise Regained…

So let extend thy mind o’er all the world,
In knowledge, all things in it comprehend.

It was an email from my good friend Paolo that did it. Not directly, of course. Just a little nudge; which, in turn, morphed into a diminutive, but nagging, suggestion; which, gnawing at a widening area of brain-cells, wouldn’t let go. Thirty minutes later, I had changed into some light walking trousers, a thin T-shirt, and a medium-weight fleece. (Although the only marks in the sky were man-made – the number of planes travelling over Tysoe having seemingly increased in the last year or so – the Met Office warned of northerly twelve mile-an-hour winds: making seventeen Celsius feel like fourteen.)

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

A designer who was also an engraver…

I hope, dear reader, that you may be one of my descendants, but I have only three children, my grandfather had six and as I write a German aeroplane has circled round above my head taking photographs of the damage that yesterday’s raiders have done, reminding me that there is no certainty of our survival.
     If you are not one of my descendants then all I ask of you is that you love the country as I do, and when you come into a room, discreetly observe its pictures and its furnishings, and sympathise with painters and craftsmen.
– Tirzah Garwood: Long Live Great Bardfield: The Autobiography of Tirzah Garwood

After three extended, extremely leisurely and exhaustive visits to Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship (English Artist Designers 1922-1942) – Compton Verney’s latest wondrous, desire-indulging display (of everything from the smallest hand-carved print-stone to a documentary on a now bomb-ruinated mural) – I had already discerned that much more time would need to be spent there (at least to produce this ‘not a review’); but that, even then, my absorption and adoration would, could… never be quenched. In fact – apart from experiencing, in the flesh, Janet Baker singing in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (which I am fortunate to have so done) – I had quickly grasped that, as a resolute atheist, this is quite probably the closest to any divine being (albeit as evoked by the most tempting graven images) that I shall ever come. The thought of its absence – as with Moore Rodin, at the same venue – although amplifying my attentiveness – rapidly causes my vision to blur.

This, then, is more a personal response than a review. Especially as – never having seen Ravilious’ watercolours in the flesh before – I was initially too overwhelmed to delineate my reactions. What I will say is that we are immensely fortunate that such a wonderful facility as Compton Verney exists (and on Tysoe’s doorstep, too) in which to exhibit them: and I would, therefore, encourage everyone based locally to go (at least twice: there are so very many riches on show) as soon as they are able. You may not see them in the same way, the same light, as I (which is, of course, A Good Thing); but I guarantee that you will find at least beauty… – as well, I hope, as a personal connection that lingers for a very long time afterwards.