Tuesday, 9 June 2009


The first day of June and it really feels like summer. The sun is shining, the breeze is warm, and the bugs are out in force. For the last couple of nights Lysander has been subject to a pincer-movement orchestrated by an alliance of midges and suicidal moths - the moths try their luck in a dance of chance around the citronella candle (4.99 from Netto) whilst the blood-sucking midges swarm off the port side - frustrated at the smokey midge equivalent of a crucifix. A few more days at Springfield Marina along the riverbank and we have our own little back yard to attend to (well, about a metre by 20 - a narrowyard no less). We have bought ourselves a little more time at this nice spot on the Lea/Lee (confusingly this stretch of 'canalised' river has two different spellings depending on whether one is referring to the river proper or the canalised bit. Love that word 'canalised'. It's like caramelised and carnalised rolled into one. Still can't remember which spelling refers to which. If your talking about it it doesn't figure anyway.

Some kind soul has temporarily given up their mooring for us whilst we mentally repair ourselves following the break-in. I almost feel that we shouldn't show that we are enjoying it so much. But Sally loves it and is already imagining how she might develop our little strip of back yard by the river. I feel touched by her aspiration - and it would be great to get a permanent mooring here. We have both resolved to do it.

The marina manager has been very helpful - flying in the face of the anecdotes we had been exposed to about how surly and downright obnoxious he normally is ... And the people at the marina are an interesting and engaging bunch. We shall join their cruising club methinks. Better than that lot of white-middle class curtain twitchers at St Pancras (of them, more some other time)..

I recently discovered - in the notes to a book I've had on my shelf for some time - that Duchamp met two other painters whilst he was in Munich (in addition to Max Bergmann). There he met the Romanian painter Lazker (Lasker) Vorel and another, M Blocman whom he knew from family holidays on the Channel coast at Veules-les-Roses. I will do further research around this note.

The meeting with Gabrielle in the Jura was an event kept largely secret from the art history community until - when in her last years she revealed this event in an interview : the meeting came on the back of two lovely letters that Marcel had sent Gabrielle whilst she was on holiday on the south coast of England. In these letters he compared their relationship to the bitter-sweet platonic goings on between the two young 'lovers' in Andre Gide's early novel, 'Strait is The Gate'.

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