Sunday, 11 October 2020
Saturday, 10 October 2020
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.
Friday, 18 September 2020
Wednesday, 9 September 2020
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.
Tuesday, 8 September 2020
Friday, 4 September 2020
I've almost certainly posted this before. Absolutely wonderful poem.
ON THE BEACH AT FONTANA
Wind whines and whines the shingle,
The crazy pierstakes groan;
A senile sea numbers each single
From whining wind and colder
Grey sea I wrap him warm
And touch his trembling fineboned shoulder
And boyish arm.
Around us fear, descending
Darkness of fear above
And in my heart how deep unending
Ache of love!
Tuesday, 1 September 2020
The Granville Theatre, Walham Green (Fulham Broadway to you youngsters). Adjoined was my great grandmother's caretaker's flat, through the walls of which Grand Guignol screams kept my mother awake and fearful through the night in the early 1930s. The theatre was established by a consortium that included Dan Leno. It was designed by Frank Matcham (who also designed the Coliseum). My g-grandmother, Elizabeth Mary Nunns, was the undertaker not for the theatre but for the solicitors and the coal merchants on the floors below hers. The theatre and offices were demolished in 1971.
Tuesday, 28 July 2020
by Thomas Carew
Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
Welcome the coming of the long'd-for May.
Now all things smile, only my love doth lour;
Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power
To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold
Her heart congeal'd, and makes her pity cold.
The ox, which lately did for shelter fly
Into the stall, doth now securely lie
In open fields; and love no more is made
By the fireside, but in the cooler shade
Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep
Under a sycamore, and all things keep
Time with the season; only she doth carry
June in her eyes, in her heart January.
Friday, 24 July 2020
Friday, 10 July 2020
Friday, 3 July 2020
Wednesday, 1 July 2020
Thomas Chatterton Williams
Self Portrait in Black and White, p.77