June!

Thursday 13th July 2017

To Trooping the Colour, the Royal Parks Stand (invitation only) courtesy of Royston King. To two quiet suppers and an 80th birthday lunch. To Watts Gallery, Surrey for a Press View. To KP for the Englightened Princesses Exhib. To the Far West for a VIP Mine Tour, to another quiet supper in London, to Osborne House for the day and finally to West Horsley Place for Die Walkure given by Grange Park Opera (but that was July 1st in fact).

This tremendous heat – so much showering and laundry. Outfits challenged constantly. Gardening in the boiling heat induced heat stroke. Went mad. My outfit got stained in our Mine in the Far West – so difficult to plan an outfit suitable for a VIP mine visit. We had to wear special boots provided by the mining company and hard hats. We lunched in the Mine. Sandwiches thought good. The Gay Mother enjoyed the visit having not been looking forward to it. She had a special tour. No over 90s in the processing plant. But the processing plant was so dull. We’d been looking forward to it the most. It was wet and dirty with lots of pipes. The Gay Mother got her special guide to take her to see how the trees they’ve planted to heal the scars up to a point are getting on. Back home we watched TV. ‘I suppose Mary Berry has to be a moralist now she’s well-known,’ the Gay Mother remarked. Mary had just dragged family values or whatever into her demonstration of how to make Black Forest Gateau. Later the Gay Mother recalled a long-ago scandal in the village. One of the Totty boys broke into the post office and drank a lot of gin: ‘But not a hint of a drug,’ the Gay Mother said reassuringly.

Trooping the Colour is incredibly ceremonial. Also baking. A soldier down every ten minutes. Stretchered off with great ceremony. But there’s one bit where they start galloping and it looks like a real battle. Or how a real battle must have looked. Utterly thrilling. We saw her. So near yet so far somehow. Afterwards we were in prime position before Buckingham Palace for the balcony appearance. A Scottish bagpiper, in thick socks, several coats and capes, was getting really huffy in the heat. They had to stand there in full sun for 30 minutes or more. But army discipline not what it was, all the same. In our modern softer age they make their complaints visible even in the army. She appeared on her balcony with her family in droves. It seemed to me she surged out onto balcony then surged back in again very soon after. Such an impact made by standing on a balcony for 3 minutes.

Jeremy Paxman was in the Press core of only 4 for the Press View of the George Frederick Watts English Michelangelo Exhib at the George Frederick Watts Gallery near Guilford. Have you heard of George Frederick Watts? He was a Victorian artist who hoped to improve the Poor through vast allegorical paintings. The Bloomsburys couldn’t bear him.  ‘Hope’ is his famous work, showing a bound, blind-fold figure sitting on a cloud. Another is ‘True, Justice and Death’ – but which is which and what are they doing? ‘Definitely not the English Michelangelo,’ Jeremy boomed before we’d even started. ‘It ought to be in inverted commas on the posters.’ … ‘Like a lot of second-rate artists..’ So he capped some remark from the hapless curator. Later Jeremy sat on a chair, doing a lot of cod huffing as he flicked through the catalogue. ‘The more I learn about this man the more exasperating I find him.’ Of course I was desperate to get in with Jeremy. But I’ve never had the gift. Some can put themselves forward and rise up through connection. I tried a few confidential asides, backing up Jeremy’s poor view of the artist and intended to show a certain soigné know-how from me. But I wasn’t asked back to meet the family for further fascination. Somehow I don’t think I’ll see Jeremy again. Or in the near future at any rate.

All this So I can Have a Few More Antiques

All this So I can Have a Few More Antiques

This is the Actual Mineral, Awaiting Shipping

This is the Actual Mineral, Awaiting Shipping

The Gay Mother's Red Currants

The Gay Mother’s Red Currants

She Arrives at Trooping

She Arrives at Trooping

Really Does Look Like a Battle

Really Does Look Like a Battle

The Battle Scene at Trooping

The Battle Scene at Trooping

Our Private Stand for Trooping

Our Private Stand for Trooping

Hot Cross Bagpiper at Buckingham Palace

Hot Cross Bagpiper at Buckingham Palace

On Her Balcony

On Her Balcony

George Frederick Watts Museum: Arts and Crafts

George Frederick Watts Museum: Arts and Crafts

 

Posted Thursday, July 13, 2017 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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