Spring is (nearly) Sprung

I’m back in my own home after two weeks looking after my parent’s dogs whilst they celebrated 40 years of being married in Cuba (say what you will, they celebrate in style). After losing mine at the beginning of this year, it was a bittersweet experience but I relished the chance to get my boots muddy walking and laughing at their antics. Much as I love my cats, they do not chase tennis balls or rush to the door when I get home.

Next weekend, I’m taking myself off to London to visit an old friend: we’ll do the one cultural thing (visiting the Grant Museum to see the Glass Jar of Moles), and then devote the rest of the weekend to drinking, eating and drinking some more before I catch the train home the next day. I did request dancing but he looked terrified at the prospect, so I suspect that’s not on the agenda.

To tide you over till I return with tales of daring-do (i.e. I got on the right train at the right platform without looking up, realising I’m at the wrong one and having to perform the Mad Dash of Panic across the station), here’s a Sunday Summary for you:

Oh hooray, it’s March! There are catkins, the promise of bluebells, crocuses under trees and a different smell to the air. And a beautiful article by Robert MacFarlane (still my favourite nature writer) about the unusual words we have to describe the natural world. Now I just have to find a way to use ‘clinkerbell’ in conversation. Warning: contains the information that bluebell is a less used word than block-graph. I don’t think I’ve ever read a sadder statement.

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This great article in the Independent reignites the debate around free museums. A much needed one as cuts to the arts means museums are still hemorrhaging staff and resources. Dame Liz Forgan referred to the sale of museum collections as “selling the family silver to buy a sandwich”; once collections are gone, sold into private hands, they are gone for good. Ed Miliband’s “free museums for all” hyperbole is so much piss and wind if he’s not going to promise to undo the damage the cuts have caused.

A lovely exhibition at my friend’s gallery featuring the work of Welsh artist, Aneurin Jones: wonderfully evocative of a landscape and people that are changing and altering every year.

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Today, the Teen and I packed away the television and started our two week trial of living without it. Mainly because I realised she pretty much already was (AS exams, stuff on tumblr being more interesting, etc etc) and since Wolf Hall had finished (all hail to the superlative Mark Rylance), I had no interest in switching it only to watch repeats. I can waste my time far more productively than gawping at a re-run of the Big Bang Theory.

This may be more difficult than the time I gave up smoking. Or sugar.

A lengthy but utterly brilliant interview by the Paris Review of PD James.

And, in case you haven’t visited it yet, the fantastic Standard Issue is well worth losing a lunchtime over. It’ll make you laugh, promise.

Have some French cats with attitude till I get back (hopefully, a bottle or two of Cuban rum to the better).

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