Monday, May 05, 2008

"Things I Have Been Doing Lately" ***( With thanks to the wonderful Alan Ahlberg)

But first, before all that : Here's Yoko Ono on her recent visit to Liverpool, when she appeared at the newly furbished Bluecoat Centre, 40 years after her original visit. She's pictured in the Bluecoat's courtyard, standing beside a tree of swishing, glittering lilacs....except, no, it ISN'T lilac, it's small pieces of paper adorned with messages and wishes made and written by numerous Liverpudlians. A lovely idea, and I read some, and they were moving, humourous, tragic, heart warming; you got the lot ( rather like the myriad of peoples of this famous old city...)

Last week, a friend and I enjoyed a Jolly to L'pool. Our first stop WAS the Bluecoat, where we perused galleries, admired the refurbishment. The Bluecoat's now a super arts space, with open areas, small, informal ones; it'll suit exhibitions, meetings, it will cater for all sorts. And yes, lunch WAS delicious ( always a priority) served in a classy top floor bar/restaurant with wooden floors, dark decor....by a pretty ginger haired waitress with posh voice (bright as lemons)...who made us feel like visiting film stars.

And after the Bluecoat, we took a stroll to the Walker, where we saw the "Art in the Age of Steam" Ex; it's there til Aug 10th.
I'd expected dryness, I'd expected boredom...but in each room, we woke memories.... and sometimes we celebrated. Often we stared at characters peopling fabulous stories and sometimes we glimpsed the history of an essential mode of transport steaming through Britain, Europe, Asia, the Americas.
We saw paintings by Monet ( swirling smoke, St Lazaire).... by Manet ( girl, peering through railings, also St Lazaire).... we saw Frith's crowds at Paddington, their faces telling countless stories.....so that in Liverpool, in 2008, we peered hard into the picture, imagined we recognised people we knew........and then we saw Honore Daumier's 3rd Class carriage, where three dowdy women travelled in gloom, where life itself was depicted as the sad cycle of generations, journeying on and on ...
But sometimes the images were glorious, they sang of optimism, then sometimes they were merely a whisper....but always, they moved us, .....and that night when I was sleeping, I heard the whistle of a train hurtling through a dream and I was very glad I'd been....

**** The title of this piece refers to Ahlberg's poem " Things I have been doing lately". He lists lots of stuff his 10 yr old self has been up to....stuff like " Eating my own cheeks from the inside" OR " Keeping a good dream going" OR " Picking a scab on my elbow" OR even "Saving the best to last"... I've "done" adult versions with my writing groups ( you can imagine the results!!) but today I was just going to list stuff I've done since last blogging...BUT ( Hmm) as usual, I got carried away and have only had time for just ONE thing ....More later (hopefully/perhaps..)

7 Comments:

Blogger Stay at home dad said...

Lovely. Everything a blog should be. Good to see you back...

10:34 pm  
Blogger elizabethm said...

Sounds a great day out (with thanks to Wallace and Gromit) and loved your response to the pictures. Yoko is looking pretty good too. Have lost count of what her age might be and doesnt seem to matter.

11:40 pm  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Sounds like you have been doing wonderful things lately. The Bluecoat especially sounds like a great place to visit - hopefully I'll get myself there one day. :-)

6:39 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

I enjoyed this very much - thank you for such fine, entertaining writing. Good to have you back.

12:05 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

SAHD:
And good to see you!
Your comment much appreciated too!

Elizabethm:
I suppose when someone has "style" they keep it for ever...age is irrelevant.
Yoko MUST be 70, but she grows into her OWN style as she ages..

Vanilla:
Hopefully, yes, but I think you're enjoying lovely new things in YOUR life at present!

CB:
Thanks, CB.
Always nice to have a CB visit!

9:08 pm  
Blogger Jon M said...

I love the Bluecoat Chambers, scene of many a comic mart when I was a lad! Love it.

10:22 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Jon:
Come on, EXPAND!!

4:26 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home