Pictures and Paintings…

Journal Entry, Fri 6 Nov 2009:
Yesterday went to pictures to see ‘Triangle’, one of those weird time-dislocated-multiverse movies…very stylish and puzzling. Wednesday me and Anastasia did Southport and had coffee and cakes and antique shops. This morning I laundryetted, then walked into Chorlton with Brett’s chq and meal booking form.

Journal Entry, 5 April 2013:
Last night I went to the AMC to watch ‘Trance’, the new Danny Boyle film starring the very lovely James McAvoy. An intriguing psychological thriller-cum-heist, this movie vibrates with coarse humour and high art. There were a couple of bum notes; the scene where Simon is unconsciously guided through a virtual gallery of lost masterpieces didn’t really need Elizabeth to recite the artists’ names, and the opening scene (a dummy’s guide to art theft) was a bit too post-ironic and neomodernist. Perhaps the film would have been stronger if the stolen picture had been a work by a fictional painter, rather than the Goya. But on the whole it was a thoroughly entertaining romp, and made me want to rush out immediately and get myself hypnotised – so that I could turn into a Black Belt at Wado, or a Grandmaster chess player, or the next Barenboim…or maybe all three.

In the news: it was announced on Monday that Baroness Thatcher, former prime minister, had died at the age of 87. This has provoked a frenzy of debate, not all of it civilised. Peter Tatchell pointed out that Mrs T was a rabid opponent of communism, and to that end she offered support to a range of foreign dictators including Pinochet and de Klerk, while dismissing Nelson Mandela and the ANC as a bunch of terrorists.
When she was a young gal, Margaret Roberts and her fiancé Denis Thatcher attended the OCCA dinner dance in London. Her interest in technology was puzzling; she opposed the introduction of unleaded petrol, preferring to encourage research into lean-burn engines instead. It might be ironic if, in twenty years or so, the UK coalfields become once more cost-effective to run (after the demise of cheap oil) and we use off-peak energy to condense air, so that the liquid-air turbines, together with oxygen-rich feed allows us to build ultra-clean coal power stations. Kraftwerk, indeed!
Several commentators have linked Thatcher’s policies directly with the collapse of manufacturing and mining in the UK. I am sceptical about anyone having that much influence; more likely the flow of ideas from Europe and the US was transforming business and politics, and Mrs T was an opportunist. The changes which overtook British society would have happened anyway, regardless of who was in government; indeed, Thatcher’s arrival (Grammar school girl with a chemistry degree) created severe discomfort among the traditional elements of the Tory party, who  considered Eton and History to be the beacons that let Britain Rule The World.

Journal Entry, Fri 2 Oct 2009:
This morning had text from Alistair; did I fancy meeting him and Eileen in town for lunch? So we went to Giorgio’s and had the place to ourselves. On a Friday lunchtime – how odd!
Then I went ot Art Gall to look round the ‘Angels of Anarchy’ exhibition, female surrealists. Kay Sage, Leonor Fini etc, all those wonderful paintings from my old Thames & Hudson book.
Some tasty bits of stuff among the other patrons; young guy with short black hair & beard.
Just logged onto Facebook and found ‘Your Friends’ [the network looks for persons who have your e-mail address in their account] which included Luke, Elaba and Russell Bear, which was quite an upsetting experience [I met Russell only once, and heard that he had died about a year later].
Meanwhile, here in Manchester we are hosting the Conservative Party Conference. Their leader, David (“call me Dave”) Cameron is a floppy-haired millionaire public schoolboy, and I can’t imagine any impressionist comedian finding enough personal quirks in him to build a routine from.

Journal Entry, Thur 15 Oct 2009:
Yesterday I applied on-line for a job posted by an agency called ‘Penguin Recruitment’ (surely they would supply waiters?)and also sent written application to some firm in Eccles that does plastics colouration.
Then went to Leeds Art Gall for the British Surrealists Exhibition (free!) which had lost several paintings to the ‘Angels’ show in Manchester.
One room contained dozens of items, and you couldn’t look properly at them. And some didn’t count as ‘surreal’.
Rest of gallery v good, but rather small; Spencers and Sickerts, hung on the stairwell where you couldn’t see them at their best. The Journey, huge semi-abstract photo-collage paintings.
Got back home, let myself in, then found the door wouldn’t close – I e-mailed SMFA last week about this, and rang them on Tuesday. I managed to shut it, but now it can’t open and I’m trapped in the house.


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