Sunday 21 April 2024

Patricia Preece.


Lady M went to Lewes recently to see an exhibition, which included works by Patricia Preece.

Most of us will know of Preece as the second wife of Stanley Spencer. She was his 'muse', and he painted several pictures of her (one below). They married in 1937.

As with many members of the Bloomsbury Group, her love-life was complicated. Preece was what used to be called 'a shirt and tie job'; but what we would now call a member of the LGBTQ community.


After her marriage to Spencer, Preece and her lover Dorothy Hepworth went on 'honeymoon' together, to St Ives, whist Spencer himself stayed at home; bizarre. During their time away, Spencer's first wife, Hilda Carline, visited him, and he attempted to establish a three way marriage. When Preece returned home she learned of his infidelity, and refused to have anything more to do with him; other than to fleece him of all his money. Just another everyday story of life amongst Bloomsbury folk.

I have always known about the family's strange arrangements, but what I didn't know was that most of the paintings attributed to Preece were in fact painted by Hepworth, onto which Preece would put her signature.

This photo (above) shows Dorothy Hepworth with Patricia Preece and Stanley Spencer on their wedding day; Preece in an Ascot style hat, and Spencer with what looks like a sodden dish-cloth on his head. I also note that he didn't bother to polish his shoes for the wedding.

A strange bunch.


Saturday 20 April 2024

Some nearby sights


Brighton isn't just The Royal Pavilion, The Lanes, and The Pier, just outside of Brighton, on the other side of The Downs, are all sorts of treasures, including The Long Man of Wilmington, a beautiful chalk carved image of a man with two long poles (below). 

There is the lovely small town of Lewes (our county town) famous for its annual Nov 5th bonfire, there is Charleston Farmhouse (the country home of Bloomsbury), and Glorious Goodwood (motor and horse racing, etc).


All Brits want to believe that they live in the very best corner of the UK, but here we make no such claims. Even our Sussex made cheeses (as Belloc tells us) are simply called 'Cheese'.

For Horse lovers we have Brighton racecourse, and Hickstead the world-wide home of Jumping, etc. For other sports fans we have Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, Sussex County Cricket Club, and even a Greyhound racing arena in Hove.

Antiques aficionados will know of The Repair Shop which is filmed here, and we have the biggest Roman villa in Europe at Fishbourne.

There are castles galore, plenty of stately homes to visit, and some really spectacular landscapes. 

And I mustn't forget all those wonderful little pubs hidden away in tiny villages. Try The Shepherd and Dog at Fulking. Perfect.

So, I can hear you asking, is there any down side to living in Sussex? Well, yes, I'm afraid there is! We have a pair of numpties who claim to be the Duke and Duchess of this lovely county of ours. They don't live here, they weren't born here, and, I'm not certain, but I don't think they've even visited here. They were simply given their titles as a gift, without any consultation of the genuine citizens of Sussex. Lady M and I are more worthy of the titles than they are, and even we aren't worthy of them!

 

Friday 19 April 2024

Demos.



Weekends in Brighton means the obligatory demonstration or two. They're usually pretty poorly attended, with lot of repetitive shouting and drumming, with the little darlings standing on the corner of some main street, to an audience of zero.

What do we want?

Free money!

When do we want it?

NOW!

Of course at the moment there are pro-Hamas demos, train drivers demos, pro-soup and anti-paintings demos, anarchy demo's, and good old lets lie down in the road demos.  

What do we want?

Anarchy!

When do we want it?

When we can no longer vote for it!

I've only attended one demo in my life and that was when I was a student; I can't even remember what we were demonstrating about. We all went up to town by coach, then when we arrived close to Westminster Abbey, a Communist Party member was handing out irrelevant political placards to everybody as they left the bus. Some fellow students took hold of them without even looking; I told the Commie to get lost. We decided at once that the demonstration had been hijacked, so we went to The Tate instead.

What do we want?

Can't remember!

When do we want it? 

Gawd only knows!

 

Thursday 18 April 2024

A Male Identifying As Female Dominates Girls In A 200 m race.


Don't bother watching this video for more than 30 seconds. Those first 30 seconds tells you everything about how ridiculous the current 'trans' sports regulations have become.

OK, many sports are taking action against congenital males taking part in female sports, but it still happens, and this trans-woman is a perfect example.

His/her name is Aayden Gallagher, and he/she has the cheek to enter into female athletics sports. It doesn't take a sports expert to see that this is just plain stupid.

I know I've been going-on about this for years, but it really should have been stopped by now.

Simply get a trans-male (i.e. female to male) to enter into an all-male athletic race, and you'll soon see how silly it is! 



Wednesday 17 April 2024

Duffy - Warwick Avenue


Whatever happened to Duffy? I haven't heard her name mentioned for years.

I liked her voice, and most of her songs were good. I particularly like this one because it reminds me of my time spent in London, regularly moving from flat to flat; not a care in the world. It obviously meant a lot to her too as she actually begins to cry as she sings.

In case you don't know where Warwick Ave is, it's in a part of London known for bed-sits, and an ever changing young-ish population. It's also affordable. You'll find it between Maida Vale and Paddington; central, but not too up-market.


p.s. I have now looked on Wiki to see what happened to Duffy. It was all pretty horrendous, involving a nasty kidnapping, and other strange events. I believe she has since become something of a recluse. Poor girl.
 

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Mr. Natural Does The Dishes


Sometimes, no always, I feel just like Mr Natural. In this house I like to wash dishes by hand, whereas Lady M uses the washing-up machine (which I have no idea how to operate).

Here is my favourite cartoonist of all time, Robert Crumb, illustrating perfectly how both Mr Natural and I go about things.

Monday 15 April 2024

Restorative Breakfast.



As regular readers may already know, I have a strange relationship with 'breakfast'. I eat alone at 5 am, and my choice of dishes goes from Squid in ink, to fried egg and haggis, to Octopus in garlic flavoured oil. It is the one meal of the day where my choice seems endless, often strange, but always very personal.

I have two favourite 'morning-after' breakfasts, if I'm in France it's a litre bottle of ice cold Orangina, and if in the UK it's anchovies on toast.

I haven't really had a serious 'morning-after' feeling for decades, but I do occasionally wake feeling in need of a pick-me-up, and both the Orangina and the anchovies do the job for that too.

Yesterday morning I felt a bit listless; a bit tired, and there was only one thing for it; a couple of slices of buttered wholemeal toast with a mini jar of anchovies. You can instantly feel them lifting the spirits.


Anchovies are interesting little fish. As with most of what we eat, quality goes from bog-standard to heavenly. I always think it's worth having a variety of tins or jars of anchovies in the cupboard. I usually have a few of those tiny long tins in olive oil, they are pleasant enough, and are perfect for pasta dishes that require a little oomph. I also buy medium quality of jars of anchovies either in oil (as I consumed yesterday, above) or in salt. Occasionally I buy the very best cans of perfectly prepared anchovies; Ortiz is a favourite.

Anchovies are a bit like Marmite; you either love or hate them. As you might imagine, I am a big fan.

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