Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Proud Duke and the Swineherd

We went to Petworth House today - lovely weather - so we walked and picnicked in the grounds. Which are by Capability Brown. We also went to the talk on the history of the house - and what a history it is. It started as a medieval manor and became a stately home.

One of the ancestors was known as The Proud Duke. He (allegedly) disinherited one of his daughters for sitting down in his presence. Apparently he fell asleep and the poor soul thought she could have a few minutes sit down - but sadly he woke up and caught her.

His carriage was veiled so that no common type could look upon his face. Apparently one swineherd let it be known that he was determined to get to see The Proud Duke. But whether he succeeded or not is lost to history. It would probably have been better for him if he didn't.

But I thought as we wandered round the house and grounds that it is a good thing that the dead 'are conscious of nothing at all' (Ecclesiastes 9:5); because the Proud Duke would likely be outraged to see all us swineherds trampling through his grounds.

Later Pen and I went for a swim off Littlehampton Beach - it was colder and choppier than it looked.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Painted Ladies and Anniversaries

We went to Baird's Farm Shop with Audrey (who has the garden full of Painted Ladies) - and stocked up on ham and chicken pies and Desperate Dan type things.

The Channel is blue and sparkling outside the window. And we are waiting for Pen to arrive. She is staying for the weekend, in between seminars.

We are just coming up to our One Year Retirement Anniversary so hope to share a bottle of champagne with her on the balcony Sunday night in celebration.

I might blog my thoughts about retirement - which has been great so far.

Or I might not.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

a brillo pad

The Captain and I went to the Dulwich Gallery today - see his blog (URL in blogpost below). Lovely gallery, but some of the Sickerts - early ones, in Venice - were a bit disappointing. This was because some seemed (to us) to be in need of a clean. Unless the Venice of his day was permanently covered in a choking smog...

If we had only had Col's mum and a brillo pad along with us, I think she could have done wonders.

Great gallery though - with some wonderful things. I rediscovered Murillo and remembered that i used to love him as a child, looking through my Children's Treasure House Art Book.

Monday, 25 May 2009

A Day out with Captain Butterfly


Young Brian was amused by Jackie's and my struggles on the steep hillside paths, and the Captain's joke about rolling us both down the hillside to save time was very successful too - every single time he told it. We are all off to Monkey World tomorrow, weather permitting.

I am just coming to the end of Stephen G.Esrati's 'The Tenth Prayer'. I have been talking to him about it (via email) for some weeks now. He was held as a hostage in Beirut in 1948. The book is, in part, a fictionalised account of his experiences in the Irgun Zvai Leumi.