Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Z is an Abandoned Woman

An absolutely terrific lecture today about Bonnard. As usual I did the vote of thanks and for once I remembered the structure I planned and said everything I meant to. That is, I linked it to what we'd learned in previous lectures about Japanese art, particularly Hiroshige, whom Bonnard greatly admired, and German Expressionism, as that lecturer had demonstrated the use of colour with a colour wheel - something that anyone who has studied art knows all about but that was particularly appropriate in that lecture. Then I linked to another lecturer (yes I know, I probably spoke for too long, but it was only a couple of minutes, honestly) who advised focusing on one picture you especially liked, and deciding to remember it. I referred to three in fact, because I am greedy: a lovely standing female nude in a room with a couch with a patterned cover, another pattern on the wallpaper and sunlight coming through the window. She wore high heels and lifted her face to the light. The next was a naked woman on a bed with a nude man in the foreground. Beautifully painted and, as I said, we girls don't have half enough good male nudes to enjoy. The third was a view from a window of a mimosa tree in brilliant bloom. As I looked at it, I had a great longing to smell mimosa flowers - I looked on the market on the way back to the car but there weren't any for sale. I agreed with the speaker that Bonnard was a great, and now underrated, artist and said that if the pictures hadn't convinced us, the lecture and the speaker's enthusiasm would have.

I give praise where it's due, you see.

The thing is, I'm getting relaxed. Probably too relaxed. I'm finishing my stint as chairman in June, and then I can retire to happy obscurity and a mere three months away seems closer than it really is. I'll come down to earth when I have to write my annual report - the only written speech I ever deliver. I can't do that unscripted as there are specific occasions and people to mention and once someone was missed out (years ago, not by me) and it caused some offence.

Anyway, back to the title of this post. I could just as accurately have said that the Sage has left me, for both are true and yet quite misleading. The Sage has gone on a day trip to Falmouth. Falmouth, which is near the far end of Cornwall, is some 450 miles away and takes a long time to get to, so he's spending the night at Wink's house, which is halfway, driving down to Cornwall tomorrow morning and back in the afternoon - quite a long enough day, to be sure - staying with Wink again and then returning home on Thursday. I have a meeting tonight, but tomorrow Ro and I will cook something too spicy for the Sage, or else containing a lot of mushrooms.

We might have acquired a dog this week, but fortunately she has been reunited with her owners. A friend and his girlfriend were returning from Ipswich at the weekend and saw a lost dog running at the side of the road. She was scared and muddy, disheveled and hungry and they brought her home. Assuming they wouldn't be able to track her owner, they asked us if we would consider having her - we didn't make a commitment until we were sure of the situation. Fortunately, when they took her to the vet, it was found she was microchipped. She had been missing for more than a week and I'm so thankful on her owners' behalf that she was found by kind and responsible people. If she hadn't had the ID, yes, we'd have taken her and given her a home, but I'd rather she was with her owners - she was friendly and obedient and obviously loved.

13 comments:

Dandelion said...

I think I'm getting deja-vu. Didn't something like this happen with a dog before, not so very long ago?

Z said...

Don't think so. That is, I wrote about how we acquired Simon (the first, otherwise known as de Montfort, although I didn't mention that in the post), but that was 50 years ago - the occasion, not the post - and he wasn't lost, his owners couldn't cope with him. It was when I told you about Simon II eating the Christmas stilton.

I have been wanting to have a puppy for several years, but it's not worked out for various reasons and now Tilly is too old, it wouldn't be fair. I'm not, therefore, looking to have another dog now but I'd take in one that needed a home if it would be suitable - that is, I have several criteria it would necessarily have to meet; the first being very good with children.

Dandelion said...

No, z, for sure. It was in the last year, I distinctly remember the story of him wandering along by the side of the road, and everyone hoping the owner could be found.

martina said...

But we all know that puppies come into a person's life when you least expect it. Besides a pup would keep Tilly young!

Dandelion said...

Hmm. I'm sure of it, but I haven't found it yet. I have, however, enjoyed re-reading all your dog posts. I'd like to know what happened to poor tilly when chester died. She must have been gutted.

Z said...

Could have been this? http://razorbladeoflife.blogspot.com/2008/11/feeling-hounded.html
It was when my mother first had her first greyhound Henry and he always forgot to stop running, and once got completely lost.

I'm about to go and look after the children, Martina. I'll tell you later.

PI said...

You're better than I am. (Why state the obvious?) In the public speaking area. My son got me on small postcard prompts with headings. Worked for me and hopefully I won't be uttering in public again

Z said...

Heh, Pat. Not better in any way.

I can't prepare in advance - the first couple of times, I tried making a few notes of things I wanted to mention but it was in the dark, and then I realised that exposed up on the stage I had to speak to the audience, not look at a piece of paper, and I had to have a flow of words. It's all right before the lecture when I'm introducing the speaker and giving out information because I can consult my notes. But people say how spontaneous I sound. I thank them for using a polite expression for 'unprepared'.

The one and only time I delivered a talk in church for Harvest Festival, I made brief notes on a postcard, just to remind me of the order to say things, but I don't think I actually looked at it as I'd practised so much.

Z said...

And of course I only really have to say 'jolly good show, thank you'. it's not as if I have to know anything.

Dandelion said...

No, z, it wasn't that one, though I did enjoy re-reading it, and the cliffhanger at the end.

Z said...

I can't remember then and I can't find it either, Dan.

Sheer Almshouse said...

Z, from a PR perspective, sounds like you nailed the Vote of Thanks. Many people forget what its supposed to be and just mindlessly thank the persons who were responsible for making certain that there was ink in the printer.

On another note, we have a Falmouth and a Cornwall in Jamaica too. No surprise since we were colonised and inhereited many names from the UK. Falmouth the capital of one of our 14 parishes (Trelawny) located in the western county of Cornwall. It is a quiet and very historic town. Nice beaches too.

Z said...

I like to make it personal - to say what I enjoyed about the lecture and why I thought it was good. I also think it's good to remind the audience about specific, memorable bits - I can't be clever or imposing, but I can be sincere and personal. Or sound it, anyway, pfft.

Trelawny is a Cornish name, too!