January 9th, 2013


Cultural Notes

I quite like Bowie's new song. What an arch-manipulator he is- dropping it on us out of the blue after letting us believe he'd gone into a retirement home! Melancholy old man is a novel mask for a rock star to wear but Bowie has always been novel (if sometimes a bit cheesy). That it is only a mask is suggested by the images towards the end of the video of him looking trim and slim (if a little frail) in a comedy T shirt. But who is that woman? Is it Bjork? Probably not. Probably some random person from an agency.

Richard E Grant gave us a warming programme about artists and the Riviera last night. I din't exactly watch it because I was too busy losing a string of games of spider solitaire but I listened with interest. I didn't know Renoir and Cezanne palled around together; I have them pegged as temperamental opposites, which doesn't, of course, preclude friendship. I was surprised to learn that Monet struggled to come to terms with the Mediterranean light; I wouldn't have expected him to be fazed by anything.

Judy tells me she's teaching the Mendelssohn and Wagner wedding marches in a course on Jewish music. I had to go to YouTube to remind myself which was which. When I was a kid we used to sing a lyric to the Lohengrin that went-

Here comes the bride
All fat and wide.
Had to take the doors down
To get her inside. 

I Can Remember Fogs Like The One In Bleak House

There was icy slush on the windscreen this morning. It had no substance and the wipers shifted it. The temperature stood at one degree centigrade. Also there was mist. "Just like the good old days," I said. "No," said Ailz. "In the good old days it would have been black." Am I nostalgic for the industrial pollution of my youth? Yes, I suppose I am- just a bit.