Moody

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Then there was the bad weather. It would come in one day…We would have to shut the windows in the night against the rain and the cold wind would strip the leaves from the trees in the Place Contrescarpe. The leaves lay sodden in the rain and the wind drive the rain against the big green autobus at the terminal…

Hemingway – A Moveable Feast

Always a gamble whether September ushers in the start of 6 months like this, or a glorious burst of summer that runs till mid-October. Either way, I think Hemingway would have approved of this fellow, and I’m in the mood for his short, crunchy sentences.

Portrait of a gipsy, Israel Gonzalez de la Serna, 1925-1930

Eat Sweat Play

So, so important, and reading this was a revelation that I don’t like exercise but do like sport:

For men, sport and exercise are all part of the same active continuum, but for women they are presented as two very distinct things. Exercise, with its approved end-goal of delivering you a better body, is revered for twenty-first-century women…

Sweating for sport [my emphasis] is not seen as beautiful. It’s raison d’etre strays too far from appearance…It’s…about grit and determination, not losing a few pounds or looking great but absolutely wiping the floor with your opponents. It’s about winning, showing aggression, being competitive, openly rejoicing and being proud in doing all of these things.

For more read the rest of Anna Kessel’s Eat Sweat Play. I completely agree with her analysis and I’m not sure I’d have got through previous hard times without the mental confidence from fencing. I also don’t think it’s any coincidence that my performance st work skyrocketed and I began thinking of myself differently once I took myself off the training sessions and onto the piste.

As time passes

A beautifully illustrated children’s book with pictures by Madalena Matoso.

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Each page has its own caption, from the mundane to the profound. Rubbers rub out and computers slow down.

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Fringes grow, ice-creams melt and thread sews.

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Hard things become easier, new goals appear, people turn pink and books turn yellow, and the hands of the clock turn again.

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Available here, all images from the website.

Pearl Binder

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An artist I discovered through the excellent Instagram feed Design for Today. I like her style, which reminds me of Ravilious, but is a bit rougher and more East End. She’s going in the gallery of heroines, previous joiners Gertrudes 1 and 2, Charlotte, Fleur and Molly Rose are waiting.

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More on Pearl’s life and art here on the Spitalfields Life blog.

Theatre time

 

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Winter is always the time I want to see most plays, and to me this picture just couldn’t be from any other time of year, despite the low backs of the dresses. Theatre is also definitely for seeing with friends and discussing at the interval, unlike other art forms.

I find the way these two women are shown intriguing too – there’s no suggestion that they’re pining for lost husbands in the trenches, or waiting to be viewed (unlike in Renoir’s theatre paintings), or otherwise doing anything besides expecting a good time.

At the theatre, by Prudence Heward, 1928. Image and more discussion here.

The red gleam…

On a pouring wet Sunday night in December last year a special meeting was held at the House of the Sacred Flame in Knocklatchers Row…Nigel Bathgate, looking disconsolately out of his window in Chester Terrace, noticed its sign for the first time. It was a small hanging sign made of red glass and shaped to represent a flame rising from a cup. Its facets caught the light as a gust of wind blew the sign back. Nigel saw the red gleam…

An atmospheric opening to Ngaio Marsh’s “Death in Ecstasy”. Such clever writing; as well as setting a strong sense of atmosphere, all the psychological clues are already there. Marsh is so good at mood, whether it’s a tense evening party, a shabby artists’ colony or wet, dark night.