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.

Painting with light

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An evocative title for a documentary I’d like to watch about the life and work of Louise Dahl-Wolfe.

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You can see from these black and white photos how apt the title is.

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I already knew of Dahl-Wolfe, who famously discovered Lauren Bacall, and also took the photos of Diana Vreeland in the New Mexico desert dressed in a matador’s hat, with a rose behind one ear

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but I didn’t realise how versatile her photos were, and how well they captured the independence and glamour of the 1940s heroine.

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This surrealist one is like Erwin Blunenfeld’s covers for Vogue – I wonder who inspired who?

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Most of all I love the confidence and power of these.

Images from top to bottom: Pinterest / New York Times / pleasurephoto.wordpress.com / alchetron.com / Pinterest / staleywise.com / whatgoesaroundnyc.com / legacy.dianavreeland.com / lonewolfmag.com / whatgoesaroundnyc.com / ndmagazine.net / harpersbazaar.com

A Gentleman In Moscow

 

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More autumn reading? I also saw this in New York and sort of regret holding off buying it. The cover might be carefully designed to appeal to current taste but the writing seems good (funny, well-paced, rhythmic) & has whetted my appetite:

“However the table is arranged!” the Count would exclaim. “Delightful conversation! I’ll have you know, dear sister, that careless seating has torn asunder the best of marriages and ended the longest of detentes. In fact, if Paris had not been seated next to Helen when he dined at the court of Menaleus there would never have been a Trojan war.”

A charming rejoinder, no doubt, reflected the Count from across the passage of the years. But where were the Obolenskys and the Minsky-Polotovs now?

With Hector and Achilles.

“Your table is ready, Count Rostov.”

“Ah. Thank you, Andrey.”