Sixteen Snippets Of Happiness In Trying Times

Be happy in trying times

The International Day of Happiness is on Friday 20th March in 2020 – happiness has never seemed so important or elusive.

I’m sharing sixteen more of my favourite happiness quotes as a gesture of solidarity. Every little helps as we try to reach out as cheerfully as we can to others, in a world where society is hunkering down.

Please join in and commemorate the day if you can. Continue reading “Sixteen Snippets Of Happiness In Trying Times”

Valentine’s Day Roses And Embarassments

Shrub roses with red splashed flowers
Shrub rose

Whatever our feelings about Saint Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to ignore. We all know we should let our sweethearts know that we love them all year round, even when they are walking mud into the house, let’s say, or leaving jam on the fridge door.

For those of us who find it hard to express our affection every day, Valentine’s Day can be a good thing. For those of us who get a sweet little extra something we appreciate, it’s a good thing. For people who sell cards, chocolates, flowers and meals, it’s definitely a good thing.

I’ve never been wildly keen on the day, perhaps due to several embarrassments it has occasioned. Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Roses And Embarassments”

On John And Yoko’s Double Fantasy Exhibition At The Museum Of Liverpool

Mosaic with the word 'Imagine'
Imagine mosaic at the Double Fantasy exhibition

Whenever anyone is taken from us through violence, something we can never measure is lost with them. John Lennon’s death made us poorer and more vulnerable but Yoko Ono has been determined to keep their message alive in the public mind. Liverpool’s free exhibition, Double Fantasy, on until 3rd November 2019, is part of that.

Continue reading “On John And Yoko’s Double Fantasy Exhibition At The Museum Of Liverpool”

Fragile

Tombstone in the woods with Fragile inscribed on it

Visitors who walk through the woodland at Ian Hamilton Finlay’s old home, Little Sparta, in Scotland, happen upon a mossy tombstone placed at an angle between the ferns. Like many of Little Sparta’s artworks – paths, blocks, even beehives – it bears an inscription.  Continue reading “Fragile”

J. W. Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs: A Modern Debate

The Manchester Art Gallery recently removed what is probably their best-loved painting ‘to prompt conversation’. The story of Hylas and the Nymphs dates back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans and has come down to us in a variety of tellings which means the story can be interpreted more than one way. I like J.W. Waterhouse’s painting of the subject and was sorry to learn it had been taken from view.

Controversy was intensified by this Guardian interview with the curator Claire Gannaway which included the quote:

“We think it probably will return, yes, but hopefully contextualised quite differently. It is not just about that one painting, it is the whole context of the gallery.”

By the time my sweetheart and I called in to the gallery earlier this week, the picture had been replaced, now above a sea of post-it notes.

People looking at a Pre-Raphaelite painting with post-it messages

Continue reading “J. W. Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs: A Modern Debate”

Piglet Demonstrates Air Sneck

A soft toy with his nose in the air

Some silences are companionable; others, less so.

Do you ever signal the fact of your being offended by lifting your nose towards the heavens, pursing your lips, and adopting the mock saintly expression of one cruelly mistreated, misunderstood (or both)? My sweetheart and I do. At first we used to ignore this haughty little signal, with predictable consequences, but a few years ago, we worked out a plan.    Continue reading “Piglet Demonstrates Air Sneck”