Thursday, September 29, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

I'm going fishing to Angus for a few days. I'll be thinking of you as I cast a fly over my favourite pool, with skeins of geese passing overhead and the yellow and silver leaves of the willow trees dancing merrily in the breeze. Either that or it'll be blowing a gale and I'll be standing up to my proverbials in freezing water with an icicle suspended from my nose.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Andy Warhol

I was at an orgy, and he [Warhol] was, ah, this great presence in the back of the room. And this orgy was run by a friend of mine, and, so, I said to this person, 'Would you please mind throwing that thing out of here?' And that thing was thrown out of there, and when he came up to me the next time, he said to me, 'Nobody has ever thrown me out of a party.' He said, 'You know? don't you know who I am?' And I said, 'Well, I don't give a good flying fuck who you are. You just weren't there. You weren't involved ...'

Ondine, one of Andy Warhol's Factory 'stars', gaining an early insight into the artist's somewhat detached persona. More shocking tales of art, depravity and general bitchiness here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
~ I had a tragic childhood. My parents never understood me. They were Japanese.

~ I made my way downstairs. The stairs lead all the way down onto the street. They lead all the way up too, of course. Saves me having two stairways.

~ I met this chap at the Olympics and I said to him, 'Excuse me but are you a pole vaulter?' He replied, 'No, I'm German, but how did you know my name was Walter?'

Chic Murray

Monday, September 26, 2005


Inscrutability is represented by the dragon. The dragon is energetic, powerful, and unwavering... According to tradition, the dragon abides in the sky in the summer, and hibernates in the ground during the winter. When the spring comes, the dragon rises from the ground with the mist and the dew. When a storm is necessary, the dragon breathes out lightning and roars out thunder. This analogy gives us some feeling of predictability within the context of unpredictability. Inscrutability is also the state of settling down in your confidence - remaining solid and relaxed at once. You are open and fearless, free from longing and doubt, but at the same time, you are very interested in the movements of the world. Your wakefulness and intelligence make you self-contained and confident with a confidence that needs no reaffirmation through feedback. So the state of inscrutability is conviction that doesn't need confirmation. You feel a sense of genuineness, that you are not deceiving yourself or others. That notion comes from being settled.

Chogyam Trungpa, from 'Authentic Presence' in 'The Sacred Path of the Warrior'

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Tommy Cooper

A couple of Tommy Cooper jokes:

~ A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet and says, 'My dog's cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?' 'Well,' says the vet, 'let's have a look at him'. So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth. Finally, he says 'I'm going to have to put him down.' 'What? Because he's cross-eyed?' 'No, because he's really heavy'.

~ A friend of mine almost drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.

~ So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me 'Can you give me a lift?' I said 'Sure, you look great, the world's your oyster, go for it.'

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A man of sound mind is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
Paul Valéry

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Whether they give or refuse, it delights women just the same to have been asked.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I see my beauty in you. I become
a mirror that cannot close its eyes

to your longing. My eyes wet with
yours in the early light. My mind

every moment giving birth, always
conceiving, always in the ninth

month, always the come-point. How
do I stand this? We become these

words we say, a wailing sound moving
out into the air. These thousands of

worlds that rise from nowhere, how
does your face contain them? I'm

a fly in your honey, then closer, a
moth caught in flame's allure, then

empty sky stretched out in homage.

Jelaluddin Rumi
The Glance Songs of Soul-Meeting

Monday, September 19, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm off for a few days in the country. See you later.
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
news from round the world
A school in Romania is using the skeleton of a former headmaster to teach anatomy. A German inventor has found a way to make cheap diesel out of dead cats. Romanian police caught a female mobile phone thief by dialling and hearing it ringing from her bottom. Keith Richards has apologised to Mick Jagger for saying he has a small penis. A Devon couple's snow white cat has turned bright pink. An Indian man is annoying his neighbours by eating their mud.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

No Regrets
I know your leaving is too long overdue
For far too long I've had nothing new to show to you
Goodbye dry eyes, I watched your plane
Fade off west of the moon
And it felt so strange to walk away alone.

No regrets, no tears goodbye
Don't want you back, we'd only cry again
Say goodbye again.

The hours that were yours echo like empty rooms
Thoughts we used to share I now keep alone
I woke last night and spoke to you
Not thinking you were gone
It felt so strange to lie awake alone.

Our friends have tried to turn my nights to day
Strange faces in your place can't keep the ghosts away
Just beyond the darkest hour
Just behind the dawn
Still feels so strange to lead my life alone.

No regrets, no tears goodbye
Dont want you back, we'd only cry again
Say goodbye again.

Tom Rush

Many years ago Scott Walker did a great version of this song, but Bedford Falls do it even better. It's a melancholy song, but uplifting at the same time, and the lyrics are beautifully simple. Sometimes when Bedford Falls play it the whole pub joins in on the chorus.
Andrew Flintoff
So congratulations to England on finally regaining the Ashes. Thanks to the weather the 5th Test didn't quite match up to the previous ones, but it was still gripping stuff and the outcome was in doubt right up to the last session of play yesterday. There was a nice little scene midway through the match when the English batsmen, aware that a draw was all they needed, were asking the umpires to allow them to go off for bad light. The crowd at the Oval began putting up umbrellas to reinforce the point, in response to which a bunch of Australian supporters removed their shirts and pretended to sunbathe.

In any sport, for a team to achive greatness they must have a couple of big stars, and there's no doubt that England have the genuine articles in Flintoff and Pietersen. Flintoff made a massive contribution right through the series, and Pietersen's 158 runs yesterday were probably all that stood between England and an undeserved defeat. Australia have two superstars of their own in Warne and McGrath, but yesterday was their farewell to Test cricket in England. McGrath will be hard to replace, but Warne - the greatest spin bowler the world has ever seen - will be irreplaceable. Several times during this series the game was reduced to a straight contest between him and the English batting order. England on the other hand are a young team on the up, and, with a little fine-tuning, it should only be a matter of time before they knock Australia off the top of the world rankings.

Yesterday also saw the farewell broadcast of Richie Benaud, former captain of Australia, and one of the greats of the game both on and off the pitch. The bookies were taking bets on what his final words would be, and in the event he closed with 'It's been a lot of fun'. At the very instant he uttered the words McGrath clean bowled Pietersen, forcing him to add, 'unless of course you're a batsman'. Cricket seems to throw up great characters, and Benaud and Warne are certainly among them.
When the day is done, and the ball has spun
In the umpire's pocket away,
And all remains, in the groundsman's pains,
For the rest of time and a day.
There'll be one mad dog and his master pushing for 4 with the spin
On a dusty pitch, with two pounds six of willowwood in the sun.

from 'When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease' by Roy Harper - which, incidentally, is the song John Peel wanted played on the radio if he passed away.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Picasso nude

Tony Hancock on modern art ~ to Sid James:
I quite like it. That's how the artist sees his model in his subconscious; it's symbolic. I mean, the pear-shaped motif is obvious to the perceptive eye, and his cubist conception of the over-all form is quite enthralling - a clearly defined attempt to reduce life to a pattern of basic mathematical formula. On the other hand, it's a very good likeness of that bird you took out last week.
mountain stream #3
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Every man gets a narrower and narrower field of knowledge in which he must be an expert in order to compete with other people. The specialist knows more and more about less and less and finally knows everything about nothing.

Konrad Lorenz

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Friday, September 09, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Everything comes to us from others ... To Be is to belong to someone.
Jean-Paul Sartre

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Clairwil's blog - as recommended by Robin, and me.
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1951

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Waiting in line, Mr Palomar contemplates the jars. He tries to find a place in his memories for cassoulet, a rich stew of meats and beans, in which goose-fat is an essential ingredient; but neither his palate's memory nor his cultural memory is of any help to him. And yet the name, the sight, the idea attract him, awaken an immediate fantasy not so much of appetite as of eros: from a mountain of goose-fat a female figure surfaces, smears white over her rosy skin, and he already imagines himself making his way towards her through those thick avalanches, embracing her, sinking with her.

Italo Calvino, from Mister Palomar, 1983
does she cook beans, does she cook rice?

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Monday, September 05, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

You love a city not for its seven or seventy-seven wonders, but because it has an answer to your special question.
Italo Calvino

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Francis Bacon self-portrait

I realised on Friday that the big exhibition of Francis Bacon 'Portraits and Heads' which I've been meaning to visit all summer was about to end, so I went to see it. I used to really like Bacon's painting but lately I've felt less enthusiastic for some reason. I think I hoped that seeing this show would rekindle my enthusiasm, and in a way it did. However, I don't think seeing his paintings en masse is necessarily a good thing. As an artist he's pretty much a one-off, a maverick, and that may be one reason why his paintings seem to work best in isolation or small groups. Seeing so many hanging cheek by jowl tends to emphasise his stylistic limitations. It's not that when you've seen one Bacon you've seen them all, but in the portraits you do become aware that he constantly projected his own tortured self-image onto his sitters. Even so, I came away with a renewed respect for him; for the uncompromising way in which he explores the mysteries of painting itself, and - like his Irish contemporary, Samuel Beckett - the darker side of existence. Bacon's vision may be bleak, but the portraits from the middle of his career (usually 'studies', in groups of three) are strangely beautiful too.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thursday, September 01, 2005

flies like horses, wagtails like flies, horses like wagtails

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction