ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Brexit and triggering article 50

So here we are, the dreaded day when an unelected Prime Minister actions the results of an advisory referendum and signs a letter to the EU giving notice that we are leaving. This is supposed to be a democracy, but I see no signs of it. Hard Brexit was not on the ballot paper.

I am sad beyond belief that a campaign waged on the basis of xenophobia and a great big fat lie on the side of a bus about the cost of the EU and how it could all be spent on the NHS has put us in this spot.

What other country is mad enough to have voted for the coming recession, to take away people's birthrights, and our children's future? The turkeys wanted Christmas and, to mix metaphors completely, here comes the chopper to chop off our heads.

The choice was what we know and can manage versus jumping off a cliff into the complete unknown without anything that could remotely be described as a plan. The foolish, old and ignorant have hung our country, and most especially our young people, out to dry.

I'm not just saddened. I'm extremely bloody angry. For myself. And for my daughters.

And I don't live in Scotland with a chance of independence and remaining European. London can't very well declare UDI and leave the UK now, can it ?

Monday, 27 March 2017

Hidden Paris - MK2 Grand Palais

I shouldn't really be telling you this, but the cinema in the Grand Palais is the very best and most comfortable in the whole city. It's located on the corner of the building nearest the quai and is so easily missed, even by people who have lived in Paris for decades. It generally shows three different films a day and is the classiest place to sit back and enjoy that I know of. Just keep that to yourself.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Westminster - We are not afraid

I was sitting in Paris yesterday watching events unfold at home. It was hard to concentrate on the work I was supposed to be doing. I called my daughter to check she was nowhere near. Thankfully she was safely at home studying and not trying to change trains at Westminster, as she usually does twice daily.

I am deeply saddened that my city has been attacked yet again by a crazy person intent on causing chaos and mayhem. What is the point? Really? It is incomprehensible.

I am immensely proud of our security and emergency services, swift in response and ultra efficient. That should make us all feel as safe as it is possible to be.

My thoughts are with those who have been injured, and the families and friends of those killed.

If a blog post can be a minute's silence, consider this my mark of respect.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Vermeer at the Louvre

Small and perfectly formed, this is a truly lovely exhibition of umpteen Vermeers and contemporaries, thoughtfully hung by subject matter to facilitate comparisons.

Save yourself trips to London, the Netherlands and Germany etc., buy tickets and queue up for ages even though you have a ticket. Take a friend to talk to, or a good book.

Patience is certainly rewarded, but please be tall to see over everyone's head, or be prepared to wait for those gaps in the crowd and tour groups when you will have the Lacemaker and Milkmaid et al to yourself.

Enjoy these jewels while they shine in Paris and ask yourself why all the windows are on the left.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Hidden Paris - Musee Bourdelle

If you are sloping around Montparnasse looking for a peaceful spot, go no further. This small museum, built around Bourdelle's atelier and adjoining buildings, has beautiful courtyard gardens packed with his sculptures, as well as large exhibition halls with the same, including plaster casts.

Bourdelle was a student of Rodin and there are some influences to be spotted, but mostly his work is massive, muscular, even the women, and substantial. If you like your bronzes this bold, you will enjoy this hugely.

It was encouraging to see students sketching on a sunny day. Oh, and it's free to visit, plus you may be greeted by the smiliest  and most welcoming museum staff in Paris.