Apparently I have allowed this web-page to lie fallow for nearly two months. Apologies for that. Goodness knows where June and July have gone; certainly I have very little to show for them, though these days just still being alive and well is quite an achievement. I have indeed achieved a personal land-mark during this time, though the family celebration of it had to be postponed because two members were found to have been in proximity to someone later testing positive for covid, and so were asked to self-quarantine for a week. We’re trying again to meet this coming weekend.
Now a little catch-up, but first a correction. The machine on which I type this is very clever but it made an elementary mistake in telling me when I last wrote in May that I had written 249 blogs. It is now telling me again that I have written 249 blogs so the celebration in the last one, and the excuse for the sheep photographs, that it was the 250th was misinformed. This is apparently the 250th blog.
Two of the items I was writing about in May and earlier have developed further. The lovely little story about the bringing back to life of Wickham Market railway station at Campsea Ashe sprang splendidly into public life with a re-opening of the argument about what the station should be called. Apparently complaints have been made by travellers who found themselves in Campsea Ashe, not Wickham Market, when they had travelled in good faith to a railway station with the name of the town they wanted to be in. Faced with getting a taxi in the wilds of the Suffolk countryside where the concept of a taxi-rank has yet to evolve, or walking 4 kms to actually arrive in Wickham Market, they were not best pleased. Needless to say, local opinion about the nomenclature is split, and in any case, even if agreement was reached that a change should be made, there is a separate argument about how Campsea Ashe should be spelt on railway name-plates and in digital timetables. My spelling here is but one of at least five variables. Rapid progress in this matter seems unlikely, though I offer ‘Wickham Ashe’, a name with a certain rustic, Suffolkian je ne sais pas about it, as a possible compromise.
Another invented name I wrote about has also had a sequel. The so-called ‘Angel of the East’ down on Aldeburgh beach continues to grow and has become almost a parody of itself. I don’t really want to write about it because it has become so silly but I am being dutiful. For me, one of the enjoyable facets of the silliness is that sticking out of the shingle beside this false ‘angel’ is a small metal plate which is inscribed ‘AG’ (presumably Antony Gormley). It was part of the original Gormley sculpture which was sold, but it was left behind; so the buyer has his real Gormley but without the equivalent of a painter’s signature to give it authenticity. Meanwhile, the plate, now falsely captioned, fails to give even spurious authenticity to the circle of red stones and baked clay beside it.
Metal plate inscribed AG beside the original sculpture. The photograph was taken before the work was sold.
On the brighter side, galleries have been opening again, and two exhibitions in particular caught my eye. One was a few miles inland in a gallery beautifully situated in a shallow valley beyond Rendham; the other was at the Lettering Arts Trust at Snape Maltings. More anon on both perhaps.
I have tentatively also painted a few pictures and am trying to clear my desk so that I can spend more time in August and beyond in pursuing the activity which brought me to Suffolk in the first place. I have not felt like painting during this last year – a mysterious effect of covid and/or lockdown I suppose – but I can feel the artistic juices coursing again and very much look forward to trying to paint again. At the moment I have not the faintest idea what or how to paint, so the attempt, failure or success, could be interesting.