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Tony Grist

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Boulevard Of Broken Dreams [May. 24th, 2016|10:35 am]
Tony Grist
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The Mother Hive [May. 23rd, 2016|10:54 am]
Tony Grist

I was sitting on the patio, watching the wild bees coming and going from their nest in the eaves- and this was the result
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Michelham Priory [May. 22nd, 2016|10:48 am]
Tony Grist
An Augustinian Priory- near Hailsham-  that became a country house after the Dissolution, it has a moat, fed by the Cuckmere River, that is supposed to be the most extensive in the country. It belongs to The Sussex Archaeological Trust.

The 14th century gatehouse.

The South front

15th century Flemish Madonna.
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A Comedy Of Errors At The Globe [May. 21st, 2016|10:31 am]
Tony Grist
The Comedy of Errors is an oddity- farce rather than comedy- and not much like anything else in the canon. We know it was presented at a big shindig at Gray's Inn and it's my guess the lawyers commissioned it specially; They'd have been grammar school boys and therefore Latinists- and I can see them going to the players and saying, "We want something as much like Plautus as you can make it". It's a heartless play- by Shakespearian standards- but with the potential to be genuinely funny. Right at the end- with the families reunited- comes a chance to do something other than merely amuse- and echoes bounce back- across the breadth of a career- from Cymbeline and A Winter's Tale.

This Globe production (2014) majors on knockabout. It's a big stage- with plenty of room to go large- and there's chasing and beating and throwing and shouting.  Much violence is done- but no-one is really hurt- and no doubt this sort of thing went on at the original Globe as well. Shakespeare's clowns were big stars and to get there they must have done a lot more than is preserved in the play texts. A wordless opening sequence- quite unShakespearian- involving a Dromio (Jamie Wilks) and a clothesline- is slow burn physical comedy and worthy of Buster Keaton.
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Pro And Con And Ho Hum [May. 20th, 2016|11:23 am]
Tony Grist
Jeremy Paxman was explaining the EU last night.

The sun was shining in Europe- as it does. Nice buildings they've got there in Brussels and Strassbourg. Then we came back to London and the sun wasn't shining- as it doesn't.  Obviously Europe is where we need to be.

Young people like the EU because they get to travel all over Europe without passports. Happy, thoughtless young people!

But old people dislike the EU because, you know, Maggie Thatcher and straight bananas. Stupid, thoughtless old people!

We met some busyworking MEPs and a UKIP goon and David Cameron's top man in Europe who is a PR guru and has that laugh they teach you at Eton and Michael Gove who looks just like that children's TV character POB who used to spit on the camera lens. Gove talked about sovereignty and made me think of wigs and dusty law books. Nick Clegg came on and bounced around like Tom Cruise on Oprah's sofa, proclaiming his love for the EU.  Oh God, has he no shame!

No-one had anything much to say about Greece and austerity or the refugee crisis or the Ukraine or any of that bad stuff that's going on a long way away from sunny Brussels and its handsome architecture. And no-one had much to say about the Euro and what a pickle it's in.

I watched in the hope someone might say something that would clinch it for me- but nobody did.  The EU is anti-democratic and plutocratic- but the little Englanders are much the same. Did we ask for this referendum? No, we didn't. It's a Tory thing- a regrettable tiff in the House of Mammon. The millionaires are squabbling about the best way for them to get richer- and about whether the plump Etonian or the very plump Etonian should be Prime Minister- and it's clearly of great importance to them- but I don't know why any of the rest of us should care.
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Purgatorio [May. 19th, 2016|10:38 am]
Tony Grist
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Icarus [May. 18th, 2016|09:31 am]
Tony Grist
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Little War That Castle Knew [May. 17th, 2016|10:58 am]
Tony Grist
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Things I've Learned About Painting In Watercolour [May. 16th, 2016|12:54 pm]
Tony Grist
1. Don't overwork the paint. OK- you can, but then you'll end up with something that looks like an early Rossetti and you'll have lost the fluency and transparency that makes the medium distinctive.

2. Brushstokes are beautiful in themselves.

3. Don't correct your mistakes. Corrections always look like corrections. If the thing really isn't right then start again on another piece of paper.

4. Some mistakes are actually happy accidents.

5. Don't dither . Go big and broad.

6. Don't overthink. The image in your head isn't the image you'll end up with. The image you end up with will be bolder and better. If it isn't, chuck it away.

7. Trust the brush.
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Not The Removals Men [May. 15th, 2016|10:03 am]
Tony Grist
Woke up at six because someone was moving furniture around- or that's what it sounded like. Didn't investigate. All I wanted was to go back to sleep again.

Sleeeeep! Don't get nearly enough of it these days.

Came downstairs at eight to find a young starling in the kitchen. I suppose it must have been there all night, roosting- and had then woken at dawn. The useless cat hadn't managed to get at it (though there was evidence he'd been climbing on the units in a vain attempt) and it was hammering away at one of the windows. I opened the sliding doors and Ailz picked it up and carried it to freedom.
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