Monday, 4 January 2021

From'Autumn Journal' by Louis MacNeice

 Louis MacNeice takes on a persona in the first part of 'Autumn Journal'.

And the train’s rhythm becomes the ad nauseam repetition
Of every tired aubade and maudlin madrigal,
The faded airs of sexual attraction
Wandering like dead leaves along a warehouse wall:
‘I loved my love with a platform ticket,
A jazz song,
A handbag, a pair of stockings of Paris Sand—
I loved her long.
I loved her between the lines and against the clock,
Not until death
But till life did us part I loved her with paper money
And with whisky on the breath.
I loved her with peacock’s eyes and the wares of Carthage,
With glass and gloves and gold and a powder puff
With blasphemy, camaraderie, and bravado
And lots of other stuff.
I loved my love with the wings of angels
Dipped in henna, unearthly red,
With my office hours, with flowers and sirens,
With my budget, my latchkey, and my daily bread.’

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Friday, 27 November 2020

Matilda Box

 Searching for for my great grandmother, Matilda Box, I came across this one, whom I suppose may have been one of my 32 great great great grandparents.  If so, thank you Mr Broderip



Wednesday, 18 November 2020

A MONTH IN SIENA by Hisham Matar

 


This is a remarkable, contemplative book. After finishing 'The Return', a book in which Matar returns to the land of his childhood, Libya, seeking, unsuccessfully, his father's fate at the hands of Gadaffi, the author goes to stay in Siena for a month to look at the city's art, which he has been longing to do for many years. He meets the city, he meets one or two of its people, and he looks at paintings for a long time. His look is not, however, strictly aesthetic, but rather that of a storyteller. His description of Ambrogio Lorenzetti's 'Madonna del latte' is a short classic of interpretation. As I read this book I found myself imagining I was inside a poem. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

EARLY SKETCH FOR SGT PEPPER ART WORK

Happy New Year, 1936 - deep in the heart of Merton
 

Trinity Ward Junior Imperial League members had their annual fancy dress dance in Gladstone Road on Saturday.  
Prizes were awarded for the best impersonation of film stars.

Harry Stroud's Bohemians in attendance, Beatles not having been born yet

Saturday, 10 October 2020

HAROLD LASKI AND MUM

This is Harold Laski, the intellectual engine of the Labour Party of the 1940s and 50s, and professor of politics at the LSE, addressing the Ealing Labour League of Youth.  The woman is my mother, Jacqueline Clarke, whom he addressed, in his curious accent, and much to her amusement, as 'Charwoman' of the group.  He was very much taken with her conversation and invited her to the LSE where she became a secretary to, among others, Claus Moser, later a close friend, in the statistics department, while at the same time studying for entry to the school. 




Wednesday, 9 September 2020

HOOVER BUILDING

 


My uncle Ken worked at the Hoover factory during the last two years of the second world war.  It had been given over to making armaments ('flamethrowers, that sort of thing', says Ken).  It is a much admired building, rightly so, and has now been converted onto flats.  I have discovered that Elvis Costello wrote a song about it.


Hoover Factory

Five miles out of London on the Western Avenue
Must have been a wonder when it was brand new
Talkin` `bout the splendor of the Hoover factory
I know that you`d agree if you had seen it too
It`s not a matter of life or death
But what is, what is?
It doesn't matter if I take another breath
Who cares? Who cares?
Green for go, green for action
From Park Royal to North Acton
Past scrolls and inscriptions like those of the Egyptian age
And one of these days the Hoover factory
Is gonna be all the rage in those fashionable pages
Five miles out of London on the Western Avenue
Must have been a wonder when it was brand new
Talkin' `bout the splendor of the Hoover factory
I know that you`d agree if you had seen it too
It`s not a matter of life or death
But what is, what is?
It doesn't matter if I take another breath
Who cares? Who cares?

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

PATRICK HAMILTON'S BROTHER

 From the West London Observer - Friday 18 March 1932. Brother Patrick of course survived to write Hangover Square and Gaslight. He died in 1962.