Writing about things I love and things I didn't know - oh and things I want to eat and cook

Friday, 27 February 2015

But words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling, like dew, upon a thought produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think

Henry IV was crowned King of France on this day in 1594. I utterly love Stratford Upon Avon. Great food at the Dirty Duck and the abundant joys of the RSC.

February the 27th saw Byron give his first address as a member of the House of Lords in defence of Luddite opposition to industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire. More here with as ever copious thanks to Wikipedia.

An interesting read on Byron's maiden speech here.

The British Labour Party was founded on this day in 1900. Some sources say 26th or 27th but I'll put it on today !

Elizabeth Taylor was born on this day in 1932.

The Saint Feast day for today is St Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows.

Food. This is quite full on but I have a friend coming to stay who is a serious dessert supremo so I think we'll have a go.

A total aside but how superb is this - footage of the new arrival at one of my all time favourites, The Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge. I give you Clare.

Another aside. I love love love Mumford. I know they have the posh farmer with banjo thing going on but I think they are talented, unique and there is something very Gabriel Oak, fresh cut grass about them. Wholesome.

Is it a reaction to lots of female singers, and believe me I try not to look, wearing not an awful lot and being a bit mangy ? Probably .

Going back to the title of my post I think he / they are gifted lyricists. For those of us prone to overthinking and complication, I find this terribly pure and lovely, from Ghosts That We Knew.

"So give me hope in the darkness that we will see the light, 
because it gave me such a fright. 
I will hold on with all of my might, 
just promise we will be alright.' 

This from the astonishing Elizabeth Taylor:

"The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?

George Frederic Handel was born on this day in 1685. Wikipedia gives a great account, not least of a feature of his work very close to my heart,  a performance of The Messiah in  1750 to benefit The Foundling Museum. It is well worth a visit if you happen to be nearby, I love it. We could do with a few Thomas Corams today ?

John Keats dies on the 23rd of February 1821 in Rome, of tuberculosis aged 25. A comprehensive account of his life and work here.

On February the 23rd 1886 The London Times published the first classified advertisement.

Emile Zola. Les Rougon-Macquart. The delicious Le Ventre de Paris. He attended the same College as Paul Cezanne. He was found guilty of libel on this day in 1898 as a consequence of his letter 'J'Accuse'.

Today is the feast day of the rather marvellously named St. Polycarp.

I planted the horseradish. Sunflowers too, tomatoes and broad beans. Horseradish got me to thinking of beef and then I found and now adore this.

I just love this from The Guardian. The title really made me laugh.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

To Dream.....

I was telling the some friends at copious length about the day I discovered my dream - I was in the office of a man named Jim Douglas Henry - a friend of my parents. Not far from Foyles. The office that is. He had one of those brushed cotton checked shirts and faded cords - I'm so so on the cords but I have a thing for the checked shirts to this day.

All around were piles and piles of books - book books, pages of yet to be bound books, papers piled high in what I am sure to him was order.

Names of books to be scribbled on paper and taped to the wall. Ideas for plays. Quotes from Shakespeare, Wilde, Proust.

The smell of cigars. The unique smell of fountain pen ink.

That was it. I was a bookish child and from that moment on I decided all I ever wanted to do was read and write books.

There is a quote which I will hack a bit about, if you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life.

I also really really love growing things. I bought this in a hurry food shopping - I love horseradish. On closer inspection I wonder if someone at Waitrose marketing department is having a really really good laugh ?

Today is the 22nd of February. 22.2.  Look at this : the feast day of a holy chair, rather lovely.

I think I will eat this : from Jamie. I have been several times to Jamie's restaurant in Cambridge, it is quite excellent, great service, great food and a beautiful building. If you happen to go to Cambridge I can't recommend The Sedgwick Museum highly enough, it's magical. They have a new T Rex, called Clare.