Monday, 21 May 2018


231 years ago, the great Jewish boxer Daniel Mendoza married his cousin Esther (22 May, 1787).  Sadly there is no picture of Esther, but here's Daniel.


Monday, 14 May 2018

Elizabeth Jerichau Baumann

I was very much taken with this painting by the Danish artist Elizabeth Jerichau Baumann, at the SMK in Copenhagen. It is called 'An Egyptian Pottery Seller Near Gizeh' and dates from 1876-1878. Baumann was born in Warsaw, met her husband in Rome and lived in Copenhagen from 1849 onwards. She received something of a cold shoulder from the Danish art establishment but was much appreciated in France. Queen Victoria expressed an interest and was rewarded with a painting of Hans Christian Anderson reading to the artist's children. In the 1860s and 70s Baumann travelled in the Ottoman empire, and managed to get access to many harems. The paintings that resulted were considered rather risque for the time. And there is certainly an erotic power to this picture: the pose, the marvellous suggestion of flesh beneath the cool, light texture of the woman's frock, the ruggyness of the carpet on the right (beneath her left elbow), the shadowed imperious yet inviting stare, the heat. It is interesting to find that the other emphatically erotic work in this collection of Danish art is a sculpture by Baumann's husband Jens, of two female bathers.

Saturday, 28 April 2018


Taking only a mere five and a half hours to get tthere from Hornsey, I took the gear for the up and coming supergroup, SAD BOYS CLUB, for their gig at the prestigious 'Also Known As' venue in the heart of the bustling metropolis known as Banbury.  The band was great.  

I liied the look of Banbury. Hitherto I had known it only for its station car parks.

Today I came across this in The New Criterion: 

The second [of Anthony Burgess's novels], The Worm and the Ring, derived from Burgess’s postwar employment as a schoolteacher in Banbury, Oxfordshire. It appeared in 1961, only to disappear because the Mayor of Banbury, recognizing herself in the character of the school secretary, sued Burgess for libel. The Banbury interlude also generated a play, The Eve of St. Venus, which Burgess was to recycle into a novella in 1964.

Also, check out the latin inscription on the entableture:

So there we go.  Banbury.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

William James McCutcheon 'Never smoke your own sweat'.

"The loyalest and most devotest [sic] soldier I ever saw, and a very great personal loss"  HPW to his father, April 1945

Removing a packet of cigarettes from my father on a hot day: 
"Sor! Never smoke your own sweat"

Monday, 12 March 2018


Cool rockin' and rollin' photo from the Nambucca gig t'other night:

Tom H. Pedro, Jacob, Tom M., Jake (pic by Jeff Moh)

Thursday, 8 March 2018


On at 8.30, should anyone reading this be inclined.  Playing Barfly as was (Camden Assembly) on 14 March, but i believe that is sold out.