Archive for the Life the Universe and Other Things Category

Tuesday 25th July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 25, 2017 by bishshat

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Stop Stop Stop

The Hollies

See the girl with cymbals on her fingers
Entering through the door
Ruby glistening from her navel
Shimmering around the floor

Bells on feet go ting-a ling-a linging
Going through my head
Sweat is falling just-a like-a tear drops
Running from her head

Now she’s dancing, going through the movements
Swaying to and fro
Body moving, bringing back a memory
Thoughts of long ago

Blood is rushing, temperature is rising
Sweating from my brow
Like a snake, her body fascinates me
I can’t look away now

Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Give me time to breathe
Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Or I’ll have to leave

Now she’s moving all around the tables
Luring all in sight
But I know that she cannot see me
Hidden by the light

Closer, closer, she is getting nearer
Soon she’ll be in reach
As I enter into a spotlight
She stands lost for speech

Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Give me time to breathe
Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Or I’ll have to leave

Stop, stop, stop all the dancing

Give me time to breathe
Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Or I’ll have to leave

Now I hold her, people are staring
Don’t know what to think
And we struggle knocking over tables
Spilling all the drinks

Can’t they understand that I want her
Happens every week
Heavy hand upon my collar
Throws me in the street

Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Give me time to breathe
Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Or I’ll have to leave

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28 October 1647

Agreement of the People

An agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right and freedom, as it was proposed by the agents of the five regiments of horse, and since by the general approbation of the army offered to the joint concurrence of all the free commons of England

The names of the regiments which have already appeared for the case of the Case of the army truly stated, and for this present Agreement.
(Of Horse)

The General’s Regiment.
The Life Guard.
The Lieutenant-General’s Regiment.
The Commissary-General’s Regiment.
Colonel Whalley’s Regiment.
Colonel Rich’s Regiment.
Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment.
Colonel Harrison’s Regiment.
Colonel Twistleton’s Regiment.
(Of Foot)

The General’s Regiment.
Colonel Sir Hardress Waller’s Regiment.
Colonel Lambert’s Regiment.
Colonel Rainsborough’s Regiment.
Colonel Overton’s Regiment.
Colonel Lilburne’s Regiment.
Colonel Baxter’s Regiment.
Anno Domini 1647

An Agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right

Having by our late labours and hazards made it appear to the world at how high a rate we value our just freedom, and God having so far owned our cause as to deliver the enemies thereof into our hands, we do now hold ourselves bound in mutual duty to each other to take the best care we can for the future to avoid both the danger of returning into a slavish condition and the chargeable remedy of another war. For as it cannot be imagined that so many of our countrymen would have opposed us in this quarrel if they had understood their own good, so may we safely promise to ourselves that when our common rights and liberties shall be cleared, their endeavours will be disappointed that seek to make themselves our masters. Since therefore our former oppressions and scarce-yet-ended troubles have been occasioned either by want of frequent national meetings in council or by rendering those meetings ineffectual, we are fully agreed and resolved to provide that hereafter our representatives be neither left to an uncertainty for the time, nor made useless to the ends for which they are intended. In order whereunto we declare:

That the people of England being at this day very unequally distributed by counties, cities and boroughs for the election of their deputies in parliament, ought to be more indifferently proportioned according to the number of the inhabitants: the circumstances whereof, for number, place, and manner, are to be set down before the end of this present parliament.
That to prevent the many inconveniences apparently arising from the long continuance of the same persons in authority, this present parliament be dissolved upon the last day of September, which shall be in the year of our Lord, 1648.
That the people do of course choose themselves a parliament once in two years, viz. upon the first Thursday in every second March, after the manner as shall be prescribed before the end of this parliament, to begin to sit upon the first Thursday in April following at Westminster or such other place as shall be appointed from time to time by the preceding representatives, and to continue till the last day of September then next ensuing, and no longer.
That the power of this and all future representatives of this nation is inferior only to theirs who choose them, and doth extend, without the consent or concurrence of any other person or persons, to the enacting, altering, and repealing of laws; to the erecting and abolishing of offices and courts; to the appointing, removing, and calling to account magistrates and officers of all degrees; to the making war and peace; to the treating with foreign states; and generally, to whatsoever is not expressly or impliedly reserved by the represented to themselves.
Which are as follows:
That matters of religion and the ways of God’s worship are not at all entrusted by us to any human power, because therein we cannot remit or exceed a tittle of what our consciences dictate to be the mind of God, without wilful sin. Nevertheless the public way of instructing the nation — so it be not compulsive — is referred to their discretion.
That the matter of impressing and constraining any of us to serve in the wars is against our freedom; and therefore we do not allow it in our representatives; the rather, because money (the sinews of war) being always at their disposal, they can never want numbers of men apt enough to engage in any just cause.
That after the dissolution of this present parliament, no person be at any time questioned for anything said or done in reference to the late public differences, otherwise than in execution of the judgements of the present representatives (or House of Commons).
That in all laws made or to be made, every person may be bound alike; and that no tenure, estate, charter, degree, birth, or place do confer any exemption from the ordinary course of legal proceedings whereunto others are subjected.
That as the laws ought to be equal, so they must be good and not evidently destructive to the safety and well-being of the people.
These things we declare to be our native rights; and therefore are agreed and resolved to maintain them with our utmost possibilities against all opposition whatsoever: being compelled thereunto, not only by the examples of our ancestors — whose blood was often spent in vain for the recovery of their freedoms, suffering themselves through fraudulent accommodations to be still deluded of the fruit of their victories — but also by our own woeful experience, who having long expected and dearly earned the establishment of these certain rules of government, are yet made to depend for the settlement of our peace and freedom upon him that intended our bondage and brought a cruel war upon us.

For the noble and highly honoured the freeborn people of England, in their respective counties and divisions, these:

Dear countrymen and fellow-commoners,

For your sakes, our friends, estates and lives have not been dear to us. For your safety and freedom we have cheerfully endured hard labours and run most desperate hazards. And in comparison to your peace and freedom we neither do nor ever shall value our dearest blood; and we profess our bowels are and have been troubled and our hearts pained within us in seeing and considering that you have been so long bereaved of these fruits and ends of all our labours and hazards. We cannot but sympathise with you in your miseries and oppressions. It’s grief and vexation of heart to us to receive your meat or monies whilst you have no advantage, nor yet the foundations of your peace and freedom surely laid. And therefore, upon most serious considerations that your principal right most essential to your well-being is the clearness, certainty, sufficiency and freedom of your power in your representatives in parliament; and considering that the original of most of your oppressions and miseries have been either from the obscurity and doubtfulness of the power you have committed to your representatives in your elections, or from the want of courage in those whom you have betrusted to claim and exercise their power (which might probably proceed from their uncertainty of your assistance and maintenance of their power); and minding that for this right of yours and ours we engaged our lives (for the king raised the war against you and your parliament upon this ground: that he would not suffer your representatives to provide for your peace, safety and freedom that were then in danger, by disposing of the militia and otherwise, according to their trust); and for the maintenance and defence of that power and right of yours, we hazarded all that was dear to us. And God has borne witness to the justice of our cause.

And further minding that the only effectual means to settle a just and lasting peace, to obtain remedy for all your grievances, and to prevent future oppressions is the making clear and secure the power that you betrust to your representatives in parliament — that they may know their trust, in the faithful execution whereof you will assist them.

Upon all these grounds we propound your joining with us in the agreement herewith sent unto you, that by virtue thereof we may have parliaments certainly called and have the time of their sitting and ending certain and their power or trust clear and unquestionable; that hereafter they may remove your burdens and secure your rights without oppositions or obstructions and that the foundations of your peace may be so free from uncertainty that there may be no grounds for future quarrels or contentions to occasion war and bloodshed. And we desire you would consider that as these things wherein we offer to agree with you are the fruits and ends of the victories which God has given us, so the settlement of these are the most absolute means to preserve you and your posterity from slavery, oppression, distraction, and trouble. By this, those whom yourselves shall choose shall have power to restore you to, and secure you in, all your rights; and they shall be in a capacity to taste of subjection as well as rule, and so shall be equally concerned with yourselves in all they do. For they must equally suffer with you under any common burdens and partake with you in any freedoms. And by this they shall be disenabled to defraud or wrong you — when the laws shall bind all alike, without privilege or exemption. And by this your consciences shall be free from tyranny and oppression, and those occasions of endless strifes and bloody wars shall be perfectly removed. Without controversy, by your joining with us in this agreement all your particular and common grievances will be redressed forthwith without delay. The parliament must then make your relief and common good their only study.

Now because we are earnestly desirous of the peace and good of all our countrymen — even of those that have opposed us — and would to our utmost possibility provide for perfect peace and freedom and prevent all suits, debates, and contentions that may happen amongst you in relation to the late war, we have therefore inserted it into this agreement that no person shall be questionable for anything done in relation to the late public differences after the dissolution of this present parliament, further than in execution of their judgement: that thereby all may be secure from all sufferings for what they have done, and not liable hereafter to be troubled or punished by the judgement of another parliament — which may be to their ruin unless this agreement be joined in, whereby any acts of indemnity or oblivion shall be made unalterable and you and your posterities be secure.

But if any shall inquire why we should desire to join in an agreement with the people to declare these to be our native rights — and not rather petition to the parliament for them — the reason is evident. No Act of parliament is or can be unalterable, and so cannot be sufficient security to save you or us harmless from what another parliament may determine if it should be corrupted. And besides, parliaments are to receive the extent of their power and trust from those that betrust them; and therefore the people are to declare what their power and trust is — which is the intent of this agreement. And it’s to be observed that though there has formerly been many Acts of parliament for the calling of parliaments every year, yet you have been deprived of them and enslaved through want of them. And therefore, both necessity for your security in these freedoms that are essential to your well-being, and woeful experience of the manifold miseries and distractions that have been lengthened out since the war ended through want of such a settlement, require this agreement. And when you and we shall be joined together therein we shall readily join with you to petition the parliament — as they are our fellow-commoners equally concerned — to join with us.

And if any shall inquire why we undertake to offer this agreement, we must profess we are sensible that you have been so often deceived with declarations and remonstrances and fed with vain hopes that you have sufficient reason to abandon all confidence in any persons whatsoever from whom you have no other security of their intending your freedom than bare declaration. And therefore, as our consciences witness that in simplicity and integrity of heart we have proposed lately in the Case of the army stated your freedom and deliverance from slavery, oppression and all burdens, so we desire to give you satisfying assurance thereof by this agreement — whereby the foundations of your freedoms provided in the Case of the army shall be settled unalterably. And we shall as faithfully proceed to — and all other most vigorous actings for your good that God shall direct and enable us unto. And though the malice of our enemies and such as they delude would blast us by scandals, aspersing us with designs of ‘anarchy’ and ‘community’, yet we hope the righteous God will, not only by this our present desire of setting an equal just government but also by directing us unto all righteous undertakings simply for public good, make our uprightness and faithfulness to the interest of all our countrymen shine forth so clearly that malice itself shall be silenced and confounded. We question not but the longing expectation of a firm peace will incite you to the most speedy joining in this agreement — in the prosecution whereof, or of anything that you shall desire for public good, you may be confident you shall never want the assistance of,

Your most faithful fellow-commoners now in arms for your service.

Edmund Bear
Robert Everard (Lieutenant-General’s Regiment).
George Garret
Thomas Beverley (Commissary-General’s Regiment).
William Pryor
William Bryan (Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment).
Matthew Weale
William Russell (Colonel Whalley’s Regiment).
John Dover
William Hudson (Colonel Rich’s Regiment).

Agents coming from other regiments unto us have subscribed the agreement to be proposed to their respective regiments and you.

For our much honoured and truly worthy fellow-commoners and soldiers, the officers and soldiers under command of his excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax
Gentlemen and fellow soldiers,

The deep sense of many dangers and mischiefs that may befall you in relation to the late war whensoever this parliament shall end — unless sufficient prevention be now provided — has constrained us to study the most absolute and certain means for your security. And upon most serious considerations we judge that no Act of Indemnity can sufficiently provide for your quiet, ease, and safety, because — as it has formerly been — a corrupt party, chosen into the next parliament by your enemies’ means may possibly surprise the House and make any Act of Indemnity null, seeing they cannot fail of the king’s assistance and concurrence in any such actings against you that conquered him.

And by the same means, your freedom from impressing also may in a short time be taken from you though for the present it should be granted. We apprehend no other security by which you shall be saved harmless for what you have done in the late war than a mutual agreement between the people and you that no person shall be questioned by any authority whatsoever for anything done in relation to the late public differences after the dissolution of the present House of Commons, further than in execution of their judgement; and that your native freedom from constraint to serve in war, whether domestic or foreign, shall never be subject to the power of parliaments — or any other. And for this end we propound the agreement that we herewith send to you to be forthwith subscribed.

And because we are confident that ‘in judgement and conscience’ ye hazarded your lives for the settlement of such a just and equal government that you and your posterities and all the freeborn people of this nation might enjoy justice and freedom; and that you are really sensible that the distractions, oppressions and miseries of the nation, and your want of your arrears, do proceed from the want of the establishment both of such certain rules of just government and foundations of peace as are the price of blood and the expected fruits of all the people’s cost; therefore in this agreement we have inserted the certain rules of equal government under which the nation may enjoy all its rights and freedoms securely. And as we doubt not but your love to the freedom and lasting peace of the yet-distracted country will cause you to join together in this agreement.

So we question not but every true Englishman that loves the peace and freedom of England will concur with us. And then your arrears and constant pay (while you continue in arms) will certainly be brought in, out of the abundant love of the people to you; and then shall the mouths of those be stopped that scandalise you and us as endeavouring anarchy or to rule by the sword; and then will so firm an union be made between the people and you that neither any homebred or foreign enemies will dare to disturb our happy peace.

We shall add no more but this; that the knowledge of your union in laying this foundation of peace, this agreement, is much longed for by,

Yours, and the people’s most faithful servants.

Postscript

Gentlemen,

We desire you may understand the reason of our extracting some principles of common freedom out of those many things proposed to you in the Case of the army truly stated and drawing them up into the form of an agreement. It’s chiefly because for these things we first engaged against the king. He would not permit the people’s representatives to provide for the nation’s safety — by disposing of the militia, and other ways, according to their trust — but raised a war against them; and we engaged for the defence of that power and right of the people in their representatives. Therefore these things in the agreement, the people are to claim as their native right and price of their blood, which you are obliged absolutely to procure for them.

And these being the foundations of freedom, it’s necessary that they should be settled unalterably, which can be by no means but this agreement with the people.

And we cannot but mind you that the ease of the people in all their grievances depends upon the setting those principles or rules of equal government for a free people; and, were but this agreement established, doubtless all the grievances of the Army and people would be redressed immediately and all things propounded in your Case of the army stated to be insisted on, would be forthwith granted.

Then should the House of Commons have power to help the oppressed people, which they are now bereaved of by the chief oppressors; and then they shall be equally concerned with you and all the people in the settlement of the most perfect freedom — for they shall equally suffer with you under any burdens or partake in any freedom.

We shall only add that the sum of all the agreement which we herewith offer to you is but in order to the fulfilling of our Declaration of 14 June wherein we promised to the people that we would with our lives vindicate and clear their right and power in their parliaments.

Edmond Bear
Robert Everard (Lieutenant-General’s Regiment).
George Garret
Thomas Beverley (Commissary-General’s Regiment).
William Pryor
William Bryan (Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment).
Matthew Wealey
William Russell (Colonel Whalley’s Regiment).
John Dober
William Hudson (Colonel Rich’s Regiment).

Agents coming from other regiments unto us have subscribed the agreement to be proposed to their respective regiments and you.

Sunday 23rd July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 23, 2017 by bishshat

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Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love

Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser

If I had to live my life without you near me
The days would all be empty
The nights would seem so long, with you I see forever
Oh, so clearly, I might have been in love before

But it never felt this strong
Our dreams are young and we both know
They’ll take us where we want to go

Hold me now
Touch me now
I don’t want to live without you

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
One thing you can be sure of
I’ll never ask for more than your love

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
The world may change my whole life through but
Nothing’s gonna change my love for you

If the road ahead is not so easy
Our love will lead the way for us
Like a guiding star
I’ll be there for you if you should need me

You don’t have to change a thing
I love you just the way you are
So come with me and share the view
I’ll help you see forever too

Hold me now
Touch me now
I don’t want to live without you

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
One thing you can be sure of
I’ll never ask for more than your love

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
The world may change my whole life through but
Nothing’s gonna change my love for you

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Summer in February

Summer in February is a 2013 British romantic drama film directed by Christopher Menaul. Novelist Jonathan Smith adapted the screenplay from his 1995 eponymous novel. The film stars Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning, Dan Stevens, Hattie Morahan and Nicholas Farrell and focuses on the early 20th century love triangle between British artist Alfred Munnings, his friend Gilbert Evans and Florence Carter-Wood. It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 June 2013.

Summer in February was shot during January and February 2012.
The cast and crew spent four weeks filming in Cornwall from 15 January. Shooting locations included Penzance, Lamorna and Prussia Cove. National Trust beaches Holywell and Porthcurno provided “a dramatic setting” for a horse-race sequence and a beach party scene respectively.
Producer Jeremy Cowdrey explained “We could have filmed it anywhere in the world but we were determined to do it here, where it all happened. It’s a true story and, because it’s about a Bohemian artists’ colony, the exciting thing is to recreate it, splash Cornwall and bring the county alive.”

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Summer in February, Jonathan Smith’s novel relating the turbulent events in Lamorna on the eve of the First World War, is an absorbing read. A film of the same title is due to be released in the UK later this year. Penlee House’s latest offering is a beautifully crafted show which links the two, locating both book and film within the context of a unique artistic community whose members are pictured at work and play.

The exhibition was opened last week by Jonathan Smith, who has written the screenplay for the film adaptation. A window display at the Gallery’s entrance includes stills from the forthcoming film, together with the wedding dress worn by the actor Emily Browning.

A delicately rendered landscape in watercolour entitled ‘The Moor’ testifies to the fact that Florence Carter Wood came to Cornwall to study art. This image, a rare canvas by the aspiring painter, is the first of many visual delights which offer an intimate look into the lives of the Lamorna artists and their friends during the closing years of the Edwardian era. ‘Lamorna Cove’ below, by one of the earliest residents of the valley, Samuel ‘Lamorna’ Birch, is undated yet conveys the atmosphere of an era of innocence which was soon to disappear forever.

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The community had grown since the founding in 1899 of the Forbes School of Painting in nearby Newlyn. The active involvement of Stanhope Forbes’ wife Elizabeth made the school particularly appealing to women seeking art tuition, and Florence was one of several female students attracted by its reputation. A further incentive for Florence was the fact that her brother Joey was already studying under Stanhope Forbes. Among her fellow students she found companionship and acquired the unflattering nickname ‘Blote’.

Much of the detail of Florence’s life remains undocumented. She is best known as the subject of a number of portraits by the artists of Lamorna. A pair of oils by Harold Knight (one dated 1911) show her in profile, a fine-looking young woman in her early twenties, whose bearing is somewhat aloof. Those who knew Florence found her introverted and prone to depression. Harold was a man of few words who enjoyed working quietly in his studio, so it is likely that the two were comfortable in each other’s company. Laura Knight, while deeply committed to her art, was in many respects the opposite of her husband. She was an extrovert and loved being part of a social circle whose pursuit of pleasure included a great deal of late-night revelry, in which the flamboyant Alfred (AJ) Munnings played a conspicuous role. Florence’s quiet beauty proved irresistible to Alfred, with whom she shared a love of riding. She proved ideal as a model for his equestrian paintings, most famously in ‘The Morning Ride’ on loan for this exhibition, which forms the cover image of Jonathan Smith’s novel.

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The narrative of Summer in February unfolds from the point of view of Captain Gilbert Evans, who kept diaries of his time in Lamorna. The highly respected and well-liked local land agent, he was torn between loyalty towards his friend Alfred Munnings and his growing love for Florence, in whom he found a kindred spirit. But his lack of confidence prevented him from declaring his feelings for her, and he was devastated when the pair announced their engagement. It was evident not only to Gilbert that Alfred and Florence had little in common. They were considered an ill-matched couple by Lamorna Birch, and by the Knights. Beneath his brash charm Munnings could be insensitive and cruel. Spending a great deal of time away in London or visiting his family roots in Suffolk, he led the life of a carefree bachelor, leaving Florence behind in Lamorna, where Gilbert could be relied upon to keep her spirits up. Gilbert and Florence were in the habit of taking walks together in the beautiful Lamorna valley or along the clifftops, and it was one of these occasions, described in his diary as taking place on a ‘summer’s day’ but dated in February, which inspired the title for the book.

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The companion piece to ‘The Morning Ride’ is ‘Portrait of Florence Munnings at Sunset’ by her husband, painted soon after their marriage. Clad in a pale flowing dress, the subject sits atop a stone wall, scarcely distinguishable from her surroundings, flecked with the last rays of the dying sun. The loosely applied brushwork lends her form a remote, ethereal quality.

Florence was already deeply unhappy in her marriage. During Alfred’s frequent absences she and Gilbert found solace in each other’s company. Gilbert’s background comes to life in the exhibition through photographs of him posed with fellow players in the 1st XV rugby team at school (c.1899) and later as a member of the Monmouth Militia. Displayed in a cabinet are his medals, including those awarded for service during the Boer War. Also on show are his regimental sword and his fishing rod.

Although his love affair with Florence remained a secret to all but a few, Gilbert was finding the situation intolerable. Early in 1914 he resolved to resign from his job in Lamorna, to join the colonial service in Nigeria. On the eve of his departure, he and Florence met in London. A poignant memento of this occasion was retained by Gilbert. It is the receipt for their lunch, headed ‘14.4.1914, Trocadero Restaurant, Piccadilly Circus’. Afterwards, Florence accompanied him to Paddington Station, where they parted. His diary continues the narrative: ‘I went to the train alone and very sad.’ Later, he added: ‘This was the last time I saw her alive.’

Photograph of Edith Florence Carter-Wood by Photographer Unknownportraitofflorence

No longer able to bear her husband’s dismissive attitude towards her, Florence Munnings took her own life on 24 July 1914. A few weeks later Gilbert Evans received the news in Nigeria. In September 1914 Britain was plunged into war with Germany. The sorrow borne by Florence’s family was compounded when Joey Carter Wood was killed in battle in France the following year.

In her autobiography ‘Oil Paint and Grease Paint’ Laura Knight referred to the tragedy thus: ‘Suddenly the death of a much-loved member of our colony put an end to all joy.’

In 1920 Alfred Munnings married Violet McBride, a renowned horsewoman. In later life he wrote an autobiography in three volumes, in which there is no mention of Florence.

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Gilbert Evans became the Deputy Surveyor General of Nigeria. There he met his future wife, Joan, with whom he had two sons. He retired in 1933 and returned to Lamorna, where he died in 1966.

Gilbert was not an artist, and yet the exhibition is infused with his quiet spirit. A selection of artworks given to him by his artist friends testifies to his popularity. A watercolour entitled ‘A Winter Landscape’ was a Christmas present from Joey Carter Wood in 1913. Flanked by Harold Knight’s portraits of Florence, described above, is a beautifully understated charcoal drawing on paper entitled simply ‘Florence’. The signature ‘MCF’ indicates that the artist was her fellow student Madeleine ‘Madge’ Fawkes. This gift to Gilbert from their mutual friend was discovered years after his death, carefully concealed behind a framed drawing of a fisher boy. After Florence died Alfred Munnings, in acknowledgement of his friend’s relationship with her, left ‘The Morning Ride’ with the Knights – a gift for Gilbert on his return. This must have been a bitter-sweet moment for the recipient.

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Laura Knight was one of the most prominent members of the Lamorna community. Professional models and friends would pose for her in all sorts of weather conditions, as she loved nothing better than to paint ‘en plein-air’. A large canvas ‘The Flower’ depicts four female figures out of doors. One is believed to be the professional model, Dolly Snell, while the figure on the right is presumed to be Florence. Prior to the outbreak of war Knight developed a fascination for the ballet and theatre. ‘The Dancer’, a work in oil on paper, was given to Gilbert at this time.

A close friend to both the Knights was the beautiful Ella Naper. The show includes nude photographs of Ella, taken on Bodmin Moor, which were used by Harold for his numerous portraits of her. Alongside is one of the products of a joint artistic venture – Laura and Ella’s tiny, delicate ‘Dancer’ in enamel.

Ella, a ceramicist and maker of exquisite jewellery, is the subject of Laura Knight’s ‘Self & Nude’. Painted in 1913, it attracted a great deal of controversy as it was the first time a woman artist had depicted herself with a nude. The painting was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1971 and is one of their most treasured artworks. Alison Bevan, director of Penlee House Gallery, told me: ‘We have tried to borrow ‘Self & Nude’ on several previous occasions, without success, so we are absolutely delighted finally to have been able to bring it back to Cornwall. It is such a stunning painting and is particularly relevant for this show not only because it depicts two of the close friends of the story’s main protagonists (Laura Knight and Ella Naper), but its production was marked by a party, a souvenir of which appears in Gilbert Evans’s scrap book, on show as part of the exhibition.’

The Newlyn School

The Newlyn School was an art colony of artists based in or near Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, Cornwall, from the 1880s until the early twentieth century. The establishment of the Newlyn School was reminiscent of the Barbizon School in France, where artists fled Paris to paint in a more pure setting emphasizing natural light. These schools along with a related California movement were also known as En plein air.

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Newlyn had a number of things guaranteed to attract artists: fantastic light, cheap living, and the availability of inexpensive models. The artists were fascinated by the fishermen’s working life at sea and the everyday life in the harbour and nearby villages. Some paintings showed the hazards and tragedy of the community’s life, such as women anxiously looking out to sea as the boats go out, or a young woman crying on hearing news of a disaster. Lamorna Birch was the prime mover behind the colony and the work done there. The later Forbes School of Painting, founded by Stanhope Forbes and his wife Elizabeth in 1899, promoted the study of figure painting. A present-day Newlyn School of Art was formed in 2011 with Arts Council funding providing art courses taught by many of the best-known artists working in Cornwall today.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Lamorna, a nearby fishing village to the south, became popular with artists of the Newlyn School and is particularly associated with the artist S. J. “Lamorna” Birch who lived there from 1908.

 

Saturday 22nd July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 22, 2017 by bishshat

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Friday 21st July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 21, 2017 by bishshat

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Thursday 20th July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 20, 2017 by bishshat

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Compton Verney  today I am a little worried for the future of mankind after the rapture when reading the signs in the Clearing

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The Cat and the Canary

The Cat and the Canary is a 1939 American horror comedy film directed by Elliott Nugent starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. remake of the 1927 film The Cat and the Canary, which was based on the 1922 play of the same name by John Willard.

Cyrus Norman was a millionaire who lived in the Louisiana bayous with his mistress Miss Lu (Gale Sondergaard). Norman died ten years previous, and now an American Indian man (George Regas) paddles the executor of Norman’s estate, Mr. Crosby (George Zucco), through alligator-infested waters to Norman’s isolated mansion, where his will is to be read at midnight. At the mansion, Crosby meets Miss Lu, who lives there with a large black cat. When he removes the will from a safe, he discovers that someone has tampered with it.

Crosby and Miss Lu are joined by Norman’s survivors: Joyce Norman (Paulette Goddard), Fred Blythe (John Beal), Charles Wilder (Douglass Montgomery), Cicily (Nydia Westman), Aunt Susan (Elizabeth Patterson), and Wally Campbell (Bob Hope). As the group gathers in the parlor to read the will, an unseen gong rings seven times. According to Miss Lu, this means that only seven of the eight people present will survive the night.

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Norman’s will has two parts. The first indicates that Joyce will inherit the entire estate, under one condition: Concerned about a streak of insanity in the family’s blood, Norman stipulated that his heirs must remain sane for the next 30 days. If Joyce loses her sanity during that time, the heir will be determined from the second part of the will. This arrangement raises concerns about Joyce’s safety, since other family members can increase their chances of inheriting by murdering her or driving her insane.

After the reading, Crosby informs everyone that they will have to stay overnight; Miss Lu warns them of spirits in the house; and a security guard found prowling outside claims that a murderer called “The Cat” has escaped from the nearby insane asylum. In the parlor, Crosby tries to warn Joyce about something, but a hidden doorway opens in the wall and someone pulls him into the space behind it. Joyce becomes frightened when everyone except Wally believes she imagined this.

Amid suspicion and accusations, Miss Lu gives Joyce a letter from Norman that Joyce and Wally use to find a diamond necklace. Joyce puts the necklace under her pillow in Norman’s room, but after she falls asleep, a hand reaches out from the wall, terrifies her, and takes the necklace. At this point, Joyce is almost out of her mind with fear and confusion, but Wally finds a movable wall panel near her bed and opens a hidden door leading to a secret passageway. Crosby’s dead body falls out from behind the door.

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To help Joyce recover from her fright, Wally chats with her in the parlor. When he leaves to fetch some liquor, he hears something in Norman’s room, opens the hidden door, and explores the passageway. Meanwhile, Joyce sees the door in the parlor as it opens. When Wally calls to her, she hears him through the passageway and enters it to find him. Once she is inside, someone closes the door.

With no exit, Joyce explores the passageway, walking past a dark cranny where the security guard is hiding. The Cat also walks past the guard, who stops him and takes the necklace from him, but the Cat stabs the guard in the back and follows Joyce, who has discovered a door leading outside. After the Cat chases Joyce into a shed and threatens her with a knife, Wally arrives and calls him “Charlie”, having found the second part of the will in Charles’s coat. Charles removes his Cat mask, pins Wally to the wall with his knife, and begins to strangle Joyce, but Miss Lu arrives with a shotgun and kills him. The next day, Wally and Joyce explain the story to newspaper reporters and unofficially announce their engagement.

Wednesday 19th July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 19, 2017 by bishshat

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Reaching for the Moon

The famous person in question here is Elizabeth Bishop, the celebrated, influential American poet and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1956. Miranda Otto plays Bishop with a palpable chilliness that eventually thaws the longer she stays in Rio, the lush wonderland where she lived and loved for a fruitful and fraught period of 15 years. But getting inside her head—inside her process—remains elusive, leaving us at arm’s length.
Brazilian director Bruno Barreto doesn’t try to encompass the entirety of her life. Instead, he focuses on Bishop’s romance with famed architect Lota de Macedo Soares, creator of Rio’s Flamengo Park. Veteran telenovela actress and force of nature Gloria Pires gives a charismatic performance that provides this otherwise-safe film with much of its verve. After all, this is the kind of movie in which the title, “Reaching for the Moon,” appears on screen, and then we see Elizabeth looking longingly at the moon from the deck of a ship carrying her southward from New York City.
The script from Matthew Chapman and Julie Sayres, based on the Carmen L. Oliveira book “Rare and Commonplace Flowers,” begins in 1951 as the 40-year-old Elizabeth is struggling to compose what would become her most famous poem, “One Art.” (It begins: “The art of losing isn’t hard to master.”) Hoping for inspiration, she accepts the invitation of a former Vassar classmate, Mary (Tracy Middendorf), to visit her and her lover, Lota, at their secluded Shangri-La just outside Rio de Janeiro.
If nothing else, “Reaching for the Moon” is a feast for fans of mid-century modern design. The bold and sleekly minimalist interiors, the tailored, feminine dresses, everything down to the tea sets is carefully chosen and classically stylish – as if an entire film had been set inside a Design Within Reach store.
Initially, Elizabeth and Lota clash: The poet doesn’t get the architect’s forward, friendly manner, the architect thinks the poet is stuck-up and defensive. “You are imperious, you are aloof, and you drink good whiskey alone,” Lota announces cuttingly as a means of foreplay.

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Melodrama ensues as jealousy bubbles up between these supposedly mature, accomplished women; the image of Elizabeth biting hungrily into a juicy piece of fruit as she watches Mary and Lota cavort in the yard is good for a giggle. But! Taking that bite also leads to the allergic reaction that keeps Elizabeth in Rio longer than she’d planned and gives her time to explore her curiosity about this person and this place. Naturally, opposites attract, but the speed with which Lota tells Elizabeth she’s in love with her is dizzying. In time, they settle into an uneasy love triangle with Mary and jointly raise an adopted baby girl.

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In scene after scene, Barreto shows Elizabeth as she struggles to create great art from the details and moments of daily life. She walks and talks to herself, smokes and drinks by herself and often gets drunk to the point of passing out and falling down. But we never truly understand what drives her, or what inspired her to use her powerful, verbal brain for poetry, of all things. Flashbacks to her childhood explain her emotional defensiveness and fear of abandonment in the simplest and most cursory of ways.
But at one of the lowest points in her alcoholism, Elizabeth offers this piercing bit of insight into her own behavior: “I don’t drink because things go wrong. I want to drink every minute of every day – things going wrong just gives me the excuse I’ve been looking for.”

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One Art

Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

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Elizabeth Bishop was a well-known pioneer of the English language. From poetry to translations to prose, she touched every bit of it. She is respected around the world, including Nobelists Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott, critics such as Harold Bloom and Helen Vendler and by poets all over. Bishop received the Guggenheim Fellowship twice in 1947 and 1978, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1956 and was the consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress in 1949 to 1950. Even though Bishop believed that she’d “written so little …appalled by how bad some of the things [she’d] written actually are” the rest of the world could argue otherwise.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 8, 1911, Elizabeth Bishop’s childhood was not a pleasant one. Bishop’s mother, Gertrude Boomer Bishop, was a nurse when she met William as a patient in a hospital. Her father, William Bishop, passed away in October 13 when she was only eight months old due to Bright’s disease. Gertrude wore mourning clothes for five years which lead to depression and eventually into a hallucinatory and violent mental illness. Bishop and her mother moved in with her maternal grandparents in Nova Scotia. Shortly afterwards, Gertrude developed a mental illness through a series of nervous breakdowns which first started in 1914 and caused her to be institutionalized at Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in June 1916 when she became violent (Fountain). This would later prove to be the last time Bishop would see her mother who passed away in 1934. Despite such a tragic childhood, she was brought up by her grandparents who she would later idealize in her writings.

A year later, her paternal grandparents from Worcester had Bishop moved in with them. Elizabeth Bishop loathed living in Worcester and living with her grandparents got sick after a restless first night with them. When her grandfather issued an order, it would have been obeyed and in return, Bishop did not feel love in their affection to her but more of a sense of duty and obligation. She was lonely and suffered from physical and mental ailment living in Worcester. During her time there, Bishop was never a healthy child and was so weak that she could barely walk. One day, she was sent home from school after showing severe eczema sores on her skin. In addition to eczema, she also had asthma. Her time in Worcester was recollected in “Country Mouse”. She was rescued by her mother’s sister, Maud Shepherdson and moved to South Boston in 1918. Living with Maud and George Shepherdson, she started to regain her health even though she was often ill. For her early education, she attended public school, then boarding school, and spent summers at Nova Scotia with her grandparents and camp at Camp Chequesset on Cape Cod. In 1930, Bishop was admitted into Vassar College where she first initially thought to study music, Greek, and concentrated on literature. She often wished she was a painter which can be seen from her water color paintings and casual sketches.

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In 1934, Bishop met her lifelong friend and mentor, Marianne Moore, on the front steps of Vassar library. From this relationship, three of Elizabeth Bishop’s early poems were placed between two book covers for the first time ever in an anthology introduced by Moore, Trial Balances. In the same year, her mother passed away on May 29, 1934. In June, Bishop graduated from Vassar College. In 1937, she went on a fishing trip with her classmate, Louise Crane, in Florida where she soon discovered Key West. This was the place where she wrote “The Fish” and “The Bight”.

At the start of the post-war period, just after World War Two, Bishop was rewarded the Houghton Mifflin Poetry Award in 1945 and following the next year, she published her first book, North and South. From her book, she liked every part of it except for the cover. Around this time, she became friends with poet Robert Lowell and was living in New York City. Never happily living there, she drank heavily and reluctantly accepted the position of Consultant in Poetry in the Library of Congress with Lowell’s assistance in 1950.

The next year, late in 1951, Bishop began a trip to South America stopping in Brazil to visit friends. While visiting acquaintances in Rio de Janeiro, she had a severely violent reaction to a cashew fruit that she was eating. Bishop was hospitalized and as a result, this delays her departure. While recovering from her allergic reaction, she met and fell in love with her friend who was nursing her, Maria Carlota Costallat de Macedo Soares (also known as Lota de Macedo Soares). Soares invited Bishop to live with her in Samambaia and in June of 1952, Elizabeth moved in with Soares.

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Bishop loved the life-style in Samambaia, being in the country side, the rural people and the folk traditions. In addition to that, she was with her most profound love. During her stay in Brazil, she published her second book, A Cold Spring, in 1955. Her first two books was combined and published as Poems: North & South – A Cold Spring. During her stay with Soares, Bishop learned Portuguese well enough that she began to translate Brazilian poems and stories. Over the course of the next three years after A Cold Spring, she translated The Diary of Helena Morley, written by Alice Dayrell Calderia Brant.

From her time in Brazil, Bishop was able to enjoy life. In 1965, she published her third book, Questions of Travel. Much like her previous two books, this piece of work had the theme of a lonely childhood and detachment. On a lighter note, the other half of the book reflects her intimate relationship with Soares as the speaker has with the reader, but time in Brazil was getting worse. The country was going through a rough state with growing political and economic turmoil. President Joao Goulart was overthrown in 1964 and the country was being controlled by a succession of military governments as the struggle for power continues. Soares neighbor, Carlos Lacerda, was elected as governor and Soares proposed that she could change the landfill into a people’s park. The project took a toll on Soares and Bishop’s relationship since the project captured Soares attention as there was always opposition and resistance everywhere. As Soares continued on with the project, Bishop felt neglected and began drinking heavily again. She started an affair in Ouro Preto where she purchased a house. Soares found out and ended up miserable and fell ill as she had to deal with this emotional stress along with her project. Bishop also fell ill from drinking. Hoping to recover, Bishop planned to leave the country and moved to New York. Against the doctor’s orders, Soares followed Bishop “afraid that Elizabeth was going away” . Soon after reaching New York on September 19, 1967, Soares attempted suicide the same day by overdosing on tranquilizers. She passed away a week later in St. Vincent’s Hospital on September 25, 1967.

After Soares’s death, Bishop continued with her work and published The Completed Poems in 1969 and Geography III in 1976. In Soares’s will, she divided her estate between Bishop and Mary Morse, the executor of the well. Morse inherited the house and land in Petropolis whereas Bishop was bequeathed the apartment along with seven offices in a building where Soares had invested in Rio. Soares’s sister challenged the will proclaiming that Soares was not stable mentally when she signed the will. In addition to that, as being the closest kin to Soares, she felt that she should be the executor. Traveling back to Rio, Bishop felt that she was returning to protect her interests and properties in Brazil. She started to arrange for the sales of Soares’s apartment and her offices while moving all of Soares’s possession to Ouro Preto. While Bishop was in the area, she met with Decio de Sousa, Soares and Bishop’s psychiatrist where she learned that he insisted that Soares does not travel to New York to stay with Bishop. He portrayed Soares as running away from care just to be with Bishop. From this encounter, Bishop hoped that the meeting with her psychiatrist would clear up any misunderstanding about Soares’s suicide. However, in Rio, things did not go too well for Bishop. She encountered people whom she knew in Rio who now appeared distant. In the end, became more and more cynical.

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Feeling that there was nothing left for her in Brazil, Bishop moved to San Francisco with Suzanne Bowen. She lived with Bowen knowing that she should not live alone. Two years after living with Bowen, Robert Lowell invited her to Cambridge, Massachusetts to teach his course at Harvard while he was on leave. While teaching at Harvard on and off, she met Alice Methfessel who would stand by Bishop for the rest of her life.

In October 6, 1979, at the age of sixty-eight, Elizabeth Bishop passed away due to a cerebral hemorrhage in her apartment at Lewis Wharf, Boston. She is buried in Hope Cemetery in Worcester with her epitaph is: “All the untidy activity continues, / awful but cheerful.” from her poem, “The Bight”. Growing up from a rough childhood, Bishop still manages to find love, happiness and the inspiration and strength to continue on writing. Even though she is gone from our world, her words still live on for centuries to come.

Tuesday 18th July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 18, 2017 by bishshat

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Tensions mount for the beleaguered British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Brian Cox) in the days leading up to infamous Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, France in June, 1944. Fearful of repeating his deadly mistakes from World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli, exhausted by years of war, plagued by depression and obsessed with his historical destiny, Churchill is reluctant to embark on the large-scale campaign, one that the entire war effort hinges upon.

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Clashing with his Allied political opponents U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (John Slattery) and British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery (Julian Wadham), the troubled Churchill receives support and devotion from his wife, the brilliant and unflappable Clementine Churchill (Miranda Richardson). With her strength and shrewdness, “Clemmie” halts Winston’s physical, mental spiritual collapse and inspires him on to greatness.

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