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Tuesday 12 May 2015

Out of Lewisham

Captions by C.C-M. (Above) RR looking glum in the face of a (very nice) glass of wine. (Below) VR drinking water while there is wine on the table.
London is England's main cultural swimming pool but out-of-towners like us need a diving board from which to plunge. Ours is in Lewisham a south-eastern suburb, home of the C-Ms.

Apart from being friends dating back to seventies, the C-Ms also represent strong cultural ties in themselves. P.C-M, once a journalist on a mag I worked with, has published Gorgon Times and Out Of Arizona. C.C-M was commissioned to sculpt two of our grandchildren and never was cash more rewardingly invested.

We arrived last Saturday lunchtime, later took a taxi (driven by a former Kosovo-an who was a history in himself) to the Noel Coward theatre in the centre to see Death Of A Salesman. On Sunday a piano-violin recital (Mozart, Brahms) in swanky Blackheath followed by a pretty comprehensive display of paintings by English painter Eric Ravilious in even swankier Dulwich. Then, as the photos prove, we dropped culture and espoused hedonism, drinking three bottles of wine in the C-Ms' sunlit garden. Back to Hereford, Monday morning

Each of the three events would have been worth the journey. I have misgivings about the second half of the Miller play but none at all about Anthony Sher as Willy Loman. The acoustic at the recital grossly favoured the piano (possibly because of large windows behind the players) but the performances, especially in the Brahms, met all my requirements. The Ravilious, my first exposure, was a complete delight. And then the wine... and the sunshine...

Driving home I suffered an attack of yawning. But I had a specific for this: a bottle of Coca Cola kept in the car for at least four years. The taste was much adulterated but the caffeine was as strong as ever. After one glug the yawning ceased. All this under a Tory government!
My favourite at the Ravilious show


  1. Good to see you pressing on after the election catastrophe. I'd envisioned you slumped in a dark room, drinking for the wrong reasons.

  2. Old friends, good art, and wine sipped in sunlit gardens. A fine strategy when times are dark. Prost!

  3. Lucky you! VR seems to know when enough is enough.

  4. Bringing a Renoir to life........

  5. MikeM: In such stressed times what are the right reasons?

    RW (zS): We were among political friends. That helped.

    Ellena: There are times when oblivion is the only solution.

    Stella: Quite, quite enigmatic. Which of us has the appropriate flesh tones?

  6. Celebrate another day, lubricate the wheels of protest.

  7. Obviously you were happily busy and well entertained but I wish I'd known in advance that you were going to be in London. It would have been fun to meet up with you and VR and I'd gladly have invited you over for a drink.
    Maybe next time?

  8. Natalie: Our visits to London are comparatively rare and frequently have to be squeezed into periods bounded by fixed and regular appointments here in Hereford. This is further complicated by the fact that it takes almost half a day (whether by car or by train) to get there, thus consuming a whole day in mere transportation. This most recent visit, for instance, had to be arranged round a weekend

    I urge you to see this as a benefit. Written RR is far superior to RR in person. You say - without qualification - "it would have been fun" but there are others who would have insisted on including a "might" (at best) in that sentence. My friends who have endured are characterised by extreme social resilience and might well have recommended you to stick with Tone Deaf. I am not proud of this reputation but one of the contributory reasons, exacerbated over the last decade, is that almost all my waking hours are devoted to writing. To the point where I might even now be labelled "a writer". Writers on the whole aren't good company, mainly because they are always writing, even when detached from the keyboard. Most are lacking in charm.

    Some of the characters I have created are charming, but I've also created liars and cheats. I am not saying you would not survive a visit, you would probably live to dine out on it at a later date. But professionally (unless your art is currently concerned with monomaniacs) and socially the experience would be unrewarding. Far better to engage in controllable dialogue via the blog.

    How much of what I've said here is true? Some. And therein lies another problem.