Wednesday, 27 May 2015


This is an image of E1027, a Modernist house on the Cote d’Azur designed by Irish architect Eileen Gray, in 1929 when she was fifty-one years old. It was her first ever architectural work and was built for herself and her then lover, Jean Badovici. It has recently re-opened following restoration and in a lovely, satisfying article I read this afternoon, which you can read if you follow this link, Architecture Critic Rowan Moore describes his visit.
God is in the details: a tea trolley with a cork surface, to reduce the rattling of cups, another trolley for taking a gramophone outside, and the E1027 table, whose height can be adjusted to suit different situations. I so strongly believe in this well-worn cliché that it might be a testament for my life and work. 

Image result for e1027

So much art is flawed because the detail is flawed; not just buildings, where they use imported French stone when they could have used the real thing, Portland Stone [why Norman?] or give the signage zero input so that once it is handed over, all crisp and clean, the client has no choice but to plaster every surface with cheap plastic signs and handwritten scraps of paper [why Norman?]: books where the author has forgotten to mention until the second-last page that the Mex who has been following her for 330-pages is actually a Special Forces operative sent to protect her. Films with dreadful casting [are you reading this Tonto/Depp?]; TV series which insist on someone being raped in every episode, even though that doesn’t happen in any of the books. Or imported programmes about randy advertising executives which state that the American Way of Life is best.
The details are so important; not saying fussy, just spend the extra time to get it right.

Saturday, 23 May 2015


This is a picture of our Magnolia bush which just a few weeks ago, we thought was dead. As you can see, not dead.Image result for magnolia bush

Saturday, 9 May 2015


Car Man or, Matthew Bourne’s Car Man as it is billed on the marquee is a modern ballet based loosely on the film The Postman Only Rings Twice. The Music is Bizet’s Carmen, hence the ironic, witty title.
We went to see it at the Theatre Royal last night.
As I have mentioned before we quite like ballet, easily accessible things like this where you are not wondering if she is dancing to the Moscow method or is Paris-trained, suit us fine. It’s a bit long and a little bit tell not show for my taste with lengthy scenes in both halves of simulated bump-and-grind sex. It is set largely in a fifties American-style garage forecourt with the male dancers in greasy vests and jeans and the girls in halter-tops and bell-shaped skirts; the background is trashy noir flickering electric signs; the usual. But it works. Set dressing probably isn’t the place to express originality, it’s the energetic, sexy dancing we have come to see and it certainly races along.
We had excellent seats at the very front of the Circle but I was sorry to see that the theatre wasn’t full. Can’t be easy attracting Matthew Bourne’s Company to the provinces and a three-quarter full auditoria can only act as a discouragement; not to mention the Local Authority subsidy for the already rich middle-classes.   
Like us.
I liked the shower scene at the very beginning, not mentioned in any reviews I have read, clever and genuinely funny and I loved the French Cafe bit at the opening of the second half, also not mentioned by any critics; lovely piece of choreography. It was always absorbing with several things all going on on stage at once so that you were never sure where you should be looking. Image result for matthew bourne's the car man reviews


Image result for red legged partridge

We saw a Red Legged Partridge this afternoon, walking the paths of the South Tyne nr Coanwood. Couldn’t catch it quick enough to get a picture but this is it. Maybe they are common but I have never seen one before and I have walked these hills many times.