Being very much older than 70 and having an impressive medical history, I am designated as vulnerable and have to be confined for 16 weeks. I can set my inexpensive Lescom Sports Watch not only to time my exercise but to calculate the distance I travel and the calories I use. It certainly makes me realise how much exercise I need to do to work off one of my favourite chocolate digestive biscuits or a few peanuts!!
Our flat is arranged around a corridor – about 15 of my short steps – and I try to do at least 10 minutes of exercise a day, including pacing up and down it and touching my toes umpteen times. I do a mixture of exercises from the NHS website some from the class that ran at my GP surgery and some given me by the various physiotherapists who tried to deal with my painful hip following a fracture and hip replacement. The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes exercise a week but I don’t manage two sessions every day, but apparently even 10 minutes of exercise a day is better than nothing.
Josh and I go for a walk every weekend along the Thames Embankment, often resting on a bench outside Tate Britain. We leave the steps clear for exercisers – cheering them on and exhorting them to go up and down 100 times. So far no-one has done more than ten times. This Sunday an old Chinese grandfather guided a pretty little toddler up and down and round the corner.
We live on the 9th floor with a balcony, so the lovely weather we’ve had recently has allowed me to get a bit of a tan. Unfortunately, I’ve finished all 13 of my library books so I’m now reading on my Kindle –books from Kindle itself and some from our free local Cloud Library.
When I bought my Kindle Fire I also got a matte screen to apply so I can even read in bright sunshine. It’s a great device, but I think I’ll always prefer real paper books.
I quite liked his earlier more representational art, but it is his heavily textured abstract paintings that are so amazing. As you gaze at them you are drawn into some faraway place.
Art exhibitions always tempt me to take up drawing and painting again but what with Classical Greek, the Piano and Writing the sequel ’25 Houses’ to my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’ I just haven’t found the time.
I’ve liked Rachel Whiteread’s work ever since I saw her House in Bethnal Green and though I don’t care for the insides of rubber hot water bottles shown on the Tate Britain poster I pretty much liked everything else in her exhibition.
I think this resin hive was my favourite though I found it hard to choose. I loved the way the light was reflected inside it.
It made me want to crawl inside.
I’d forgotten that Rachel Whiteread’s Untitled Monument 2001 was the third project to be placed on Trafalgar Square’s 4th plinth.
The first project in 1999 was Mark Wallinger’s Ecce Homo, a life sized figure of Christ and the 2nd was Bill Woodrow’s Regardless of History 2000 which is a head crushed between a book and the roots of a tree.
You can read my memoir Woman in a White Coat on Amazon Kindle as well as Google, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.
We always book tickets for as early as possible, usually as soon as exhibitions open. In that way, they’re not still full of the viewers from previous slots. We were amazed at the long queues in both directions from Tate Britain’s side entrance. There is usually a gaggle of people waiting to get in but we’ve never seen crowds like these.
I booked rather as a duty than because I was thrilled at the thought of the exhibition. When I think of Hockney it’s of very pink nude male bottoms in a swimming pool but this exhibition was of much, much more, charting Hockney’s progress from his early student wok – more like graffiti than anything – up to his more recent exciting landscape videos – previously shown at the Royal Academy – and his iPad images.
Hockney’s painting of Celia and Ossie Clark is definitely my favourite. It was interesting seeing Celia Birtwell – now in her mid-seventies – interviewed on television and by the Independent, though for me she will always be that fresh-faced blonde in Hockney’s painting.
Note: Now that my memoir Woman in a White Coat is well on its way to its a final edit, if you email me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org I will send you the first chapter and if you comment I will send you another. Hope to hear from you.
What a fantastic, shaming, inspiring, huge exhibition. So much to read; so much to think about.
At school in the 1940s and 50s, we had a pageant every Empire Day, May 24th – Queen Victoria’s Birthday. We celebrated the amount of pink colouring on our map of the world showing which countries or states were under British Rule, and we repeated that The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire. The prettiest girl would be Britannia, symbol of British values, complete with Neptune’s trident, lion and British Union Jack flag, while the rest of us would be dressed in various ‘native’ costumes and sing Rule Britannia – confirming that Britain rules the waves (hence the trident) and that we never never shall be slaves – though we did jolly well out of the slave trade in its heyday. Rebadged in1958 as Commonwealth Day, Empire Day was changed in 1977 to the second Monday in March.
The iconic portrait by the Austin artist Rodolf Swoboda shown in the Tate Britain poster was one of three portraits commissioned by Queen Victoria. Though exhibited at the Indian and Colonial Exhibition in London in 1886 as ‘Genuine Artists’, they are of prisoners in Agra gaol who were being rehabilitated by training in a variety of handicrafts. Ramlal, a 9-year old boy, (and what crime could a 9-year old have committed?) was a carpet weaver while Mohammed Hosein was a 26-year old coppersmith.
Paintings, photographs, cartoons, banners, sculptures, Benin bronzes and wood carvings – a lot to take in during one visit.
Another excellent tour, this time at Tate Britain, with familiar paintings given a different slant by our guide.
In this portrait of Queen Elizabeth 1st her jewelled dress, the gold background, the expensive imported carpet and her stance are all the attributes of a queen but her face is a white characterless blank. I had thought it was because ladies in the 16th century painted their faces white but the tour guide told us that until much later royalty and aristocracy were painted with these bland faces so as not to show the effects of ageing.
These two Cholmondeley Ladies (pronounced Chumley) were married to two Cholmondeley brothers. Born and married on the same days they gave birth on the same day.
They were previously thought to be sisters, rather than sisters-in-law, and I had been under the impression that they were twins. it’s those bland white faces again!!
You can’t take photos in the Barbara Hepworth exhibition so this is Henry Moore’s Family Group which is situated off the main concourse in Tate Britain.
I think I have always undervalued Barbara Hepworth’s work – I’ve mainly seen large formless works. I particularly liked her use of wood, especially those with threads like László Moholy-Nagy’s works. Like him, she was also interested in photograms – images produced by holding an object in front of a light sensitive plate.
Another of the fantastic museums we have in London. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!!