Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Chances part 2 ........

   Two things happened this weekend that should in normal circumstances inspire and drive me forwards. The first was a trip out on Sunday. One of the smartest things I did last year was get a subscription to the "Art Fund". It allows you to visit tons of art galleries up and down the Country for free or at a discount. This Sundays venue was Leighton House (          Frederic Lord Leighton was born a rich kid way back in 1830. He wanted to be an artist, not the profession usually associated with the middle classes and on a par with wanting to be a rap star today . Fortunately for him, money and indulgent parents helped him live the dream. He wasn't bad at it either, Queen Victoria brought one of his paintings and came to dinner. I'm not sure if dinner was part of the deal or she just liked him but she did. He had many interesting friends and a fair bit of influence when it came to promoting the Arts. Eventually he became the President of the Royal Academy of Arts. He was ennobled (knighted) towards the end of his life, becoming Frederic, Lord Leighton, Baron Stretton. The only artist, so far, to be so honoured. The boy did good.
   Enough of the history back to the House. Leighton had the house built in Holland Park, an area which is part of what is now Kensington and Chelsea. The construction followed his design and very precise requirements. Part house, part studio, part gallery. The ground floor houses his collection of middle eastern tiles. Now he didn't just hang these tiles willy-nilly oh no. He's created an amazing set of rooms that literally transport you away from central London and drop you into a merchants villa next to a souk or amongst the palm trees and sand. It's absolutely amazing. The upstairs is a little more what you'd expect of a Victorian house but even here there's colour, wit and clever little touches to make life comfortable and relaxing after a hard day painting nymphs and cherubs in your vast studio. Which is a huge room scattered with Persian rugs a huge window to provide light, a small stage (your guess is as good as mine on what that's for) and decorated floor to ceiling with his pictures and those of his contemporaries.
   I felt pretty inspired and made little notes of things I'd like to recreate given half a chance and things go well with my up coming move.
   The second happening of the weekend, is I'm house sitting for a couple of friends. I've stayed here often, keeping their big black cat company reading their books and raiding their drinks cabinet. Here it dawned on me that this could be me soon. Living on my own again for the first time in about eighteen months. surrounded by my books, pictures, bits of furniture. If I needed a lift, a push to tie up loose ends, shouldn't this be it but it hasn't quite happened. It feels a little like a firework you light and step back from. The seconds tick by but nothing happens. You darn't approach it just in case it goes off but there's also a sense of disappointment that maybe it won't !
   I'll step away and go get mysel another bite of elephant.

Onwards and upwards in the pursuit of fulfilment and happyness :-)

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