Travel theme: Dry – Everywhere in Northumberland is saturated but we should not complain, compared to the Somerset Levels and elsewhere, we are having it easy. The only ‘dry’ image I could come up with was taken on the road between Fenwick and Matfen on Sunday morning. The tarmac is damp but there are dry patches developing on the right:
Look into the fields and they are awash. This is the view east from the narrow, private road that leads out to Fenwick Grange:
From Fenwick Grange a bridlepath leads back to Matfen – this is mud from beginning to end. We encountered several mountain bike riders along this stretch and they were all dismounted, it was easier on foot – one is just visible in the distance (click on the images to enlarge):
We had gone to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to see the Jack Vettriano Retrospective. He has his critics but I love his paintings – they are accessible, instantly recognisable and memorable. Some of his images have suffered from over-exposure and in the way that popular music can lose its edge after the 500th time of placing the needle on the record (metaphorically), the same can apply to the visual arts. The great thing about this exhibition was that there was so much I had not seen before, so much to appreciate for the first time. By helpful symmetry, many of his paintings take their inspiration from song lyrics and titles.
Fifty years ago the album With the Beatles was released, by dreadful coincidence, on the same day as JFK’s assassination; that 1963 Christmas, the album was under the tree. I played it endlessly and despite the mono sound and the monochrome album cover, the coloured lights came on and have stayed on ever since; as an exception to prove the rule, the tracks remain as fresh as they ever were – “the same as it ever was”.
David Byrne was born twenty miles west of Glasgow in Dumbarton; a boy of a similar age, I imagine him listening to the same music that long ago December (although by then he was living in Maryland):
(click on the image to enlarge)
(The Kelvingrove installation is better known as the Hanging Heads but I will conveniently ignore that).