Wednesday, October 18, 2006

'Holbein to Hockney' Day - Still Mild

I went down to Nottingham quite early and by 12noon, had arrived in The New Mechanics restaurant, sensing it was going to be busy again. And it was. After a leisurely lunch I went up to the room where we meet and played on my laptop for half an hour. An unencrypted Wi-Fi signal was available from a pub called The Orange Tree across the road. But I didn't use it - I disapprove of hitching a lift on someone's broadband without permission. It always savours of theft.

Just in passing, The Orange Tree was The Clinton Arms which, as far as I know, was the first pub, in the swinging 60s to feature topless barmaids. Teenage boys used to drool as they walked past.

In the class, although starting with Hogarth, we moved on from just portraits to History Paintings and Conversation Pieces and then back to portraits again. Picture 1 is by Allan Ramsay, and his wife is the subject. Painted 1754 and a remarkably beautiful work. The 'still-life' bowl of flowers on the table gives it a distinct dutch feel. But it isn't. Ramsay was Scottish but painting in London.

Picture 2 is The Orangery at Belton House and is included because it always seems to me to be a beautiful piece of architecture. Although the main house dates from Tudor times the building shown was built in the early 19th Century and to me, has a modern feel to it.

Belton House is often used as a setting for period dramas and, if any readers happen to be in the area, it repays a visit. It is a National Trust property and one of the really welcoming ones. I've yet to see a 'keep off the grass' sign but, in the formal gardens the grass is so beautifully kept one wouldn't dream of sullying it with a common foot.

I forgot to mention yesterday that John and Yvonne bought two genuine Dutch bicycles while they were on holiday. John says that they are quite distinctive looking and are extremely comfortable. Unfortunately he has inherited the family back-problem and the new cycle cause him less of a problem than his old one. For health reasons he tries to cycle to work each day. Never mind, he can retire quite soon. That makes me feel my age !

Yesterday evening I made a submission to the 'world's biggest blog' organised by the beeb and the idea is that people contribute 100-650 words outlining their complete day for 17th October, with photos. Everything is going to be recorded and archived and will form a sort of snap-shot of life now, for future generations. Seemed like a brilliant idea to me.

Another busy day tomorrow. Me clinic in the morning. Tablets to collect. David to fracture-clinic in the afternoon. Must do some shopping. I think that will have to do 'cos I'm feeling crackered.............

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