Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Amazing David Lee (Jackdaw Magazine)

There may be several highlights of Dorset Art Weeks 2014 for me, but the most memorable will be listening to David Lee, the acerbic art critic, give a talk about the “Contemporary Art Market”. 🙂

The talk, arranged by Simon and Monique Gudgeon at ‘Sculpture by the Lakes’ was amazing, brilliant, highly witty, informative, [add your own list of superlatives here] exposé of the contemporary art auction and collectors “racket”. Anyone who missed this talk should be kicking themselves and immediately subscribing to his bimonthly magazine “The Jackdaw” to see what they missed.

After the talk I was fortunate enough to be invited by Simon to join them at their table for lunch where David proved his talk wasn’t some carefully rehearsed speech, but instead a true reflection of his wit and his opinions on life and art – rarely have I enjoyed a lunch more I really hope to hear him speak again, but in the meantime – yes I have sent off my subscription to “The Jackdaw”! (The Jackdaw Magazine)



Two and a half million years ago something exploded in our nearest galactic neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy. 😮

The Gamma radiation released by the explosion would have been enough to wipe out any form of life in half the galaxy, and was still powerful enough to get scientists on Earth all excited as the radiation was detected here by a satellite we have in orbit, “Swift”, sent up to detect these bursts.

But don’t worry, we’re 2.5 million light years away from Andromeda so in no danger of an apocalyptic event here on Earth – instead feel sad for all the life which maybe was destroyed when it blew… 😥

Annie Freud

I called in at Simon and Monique Gudgeon’s “Sculpture by the Lakes” today to listen to the Annie Freud Lecture on Lucien Freud’s paintings.

She was an interesting, informative and entertaining speaker, passing on personal anecdotes and insights about her father that it would have been impossible to get from any other source… Well worth getting out of bed for 😀

Afterwards we had a very tasty lunch at the on-site Pop-Up Cafe, which was made even more enjoyable by sharing a lunch table with Simon’s mother, who gave me enough stories about Simon’s youth to keep him squirming for months 😉

In all, a grand day out! 😀


Driven to Distraction

There are two things guaranteed to cause even the most hardened Dorset driver to sink into a state of total despair, a state where even the basic will to live is drained dry. I am of course talking about Tourist Caravans, and Horse Transporters 🙁

Caravans are a common curse and are regularly seen trundling along our roads being followed by huge queues of traffic unable to overtake… That’s annoying enough, but why do these tin-tent draggers decide to take their monstrosities down single-track country lanes without having the ability to reverse or perform any other form of manoeuvre to prevent an approaching road user having to reverse half a mile to find a wide-enough passing point? Probably poorly programmed Sat Navs which direct them through farm yards, cart tracks, ploughed fields, and country lanes that are too damned narrow for them [Grrr]

But they aren’t the worst of the Dorset road nightmares! Farm vehicles and slow tractors I don’t mind at all, HGVs and wide loads I can tolerate, but bloody Horse Transporters driven by women more used to driving Nissan Micras, possessing as much roadcraft as the average housebrick, and all the sympathy of a Spanish Inquisition Torturer I loathe with every fibre of my body…

Irrespective of the speed limit they go everywhere at 20mph, wander over lane dividers willy nilly, treat roundabouts as their personal property without ever stopping at the line, cut every corner and junction, will never give way or reverse on a single track road even if they’re only a few yards past a passing point, and they will never, ever, no way, pull over to allow you to overtake!!!

They think the world was created around the needs of these horsey-type drivers to the total exclusion of all other drivers. If you try to remonstrate or suggest they reverse the three feet into the passing point to save you the 400 yards reverse to the next one you’re treated with such contempt (and occasionally foul language) that all you want to do is find somewhere dark to hide and end your worthless life as rapidly as possible. 😥

So if you’re coming to Dorset this summer: 1. Leave your damned caravan at home and rent a static instead, and 2. Forget your smug “Baby On Board” car sticker if you want to be treated with any respect – only a “Horse On Board” sign will hack it! 😆


Sue has decided I need to go on a “serious” diet – not just an everyday diet, but an extreme reduction in calories…

I’m sure there’s some Human Rights legislation banning cruel and inhumane treatment 🙁


Happy Cinco de Mayo

Why am I being assaulted by dozens of “Cinco de Mayo” emails? The last time I checked, Dorset was quite a distance from Puebla specifically, and Mexico in general so I shouldn’t be caught up in one of their regional celebrations 🙁

It’s bad enough that Yule and Halloween have been perverted by crass American commercialisation, but now advertisers are trying to get me to spend money to celebrate a bunch of Mexicans thrashing a bunch of French in a battle for independence 🙁

On second thoughts though, I quite like the idea of celebrating France getting a kick up the bum… HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO EVERYONE! 😀