Friday, 5 February 2010

Bit of this
Frustration in the young often is manifest in the unleashing of enegery. Kicking, punching, a three year old girl executed a perfect head butt when one of the boys nicked her doll, pinching, throwing whatever is to hand even chairs, bitting, one child even tried to push me in the canal, and the bog standard wallop using hand or a harmless object that suddenly becomes a lethal weapon. Our newest recruit blows the most spectacular raspberry, swimming goggles are needed. if you are not to loose deep and meaningful eye contact while explaining why sharing is a good idea. And to retain his dignity you must not smile.

The car door is open and much noise blasts out. The stranger and I lock eyes and decide to investigate together. He too is frustrated and cannot find his disable sticker. "They will do me for parking" he mutters. They certainly won't, because we find it.

He turns out to be an engaging young man whose face transforms and becomes alive when he smiles. United in the fact both of us are clutching a camera, we agree to explore the new sports centre together, after we have both photographed the destruction of bits of the old one. "We shall we have an adventure then", he agrees. And suddenly the day lights up from within. I am enchanted by the long bouncy bridge and so are the teenagers who are coming the other way, it responds beautifully to us all jumping up an down. And there from nowhere I am jumping suddenly for joy.
Bit of that
For no other reason than she sprang to mind. Some one once described her as having a dark light.



Gabrielle Annan, reviewing Nancy Schoenberger, Dangerous Muse: A Life of Caroline Blackwood (2001), 226pp., in Times Literary Supplement (6 July 2001), p.25, gives details:

Lady Caroline Blackwood; b. 1931, dg. and eldest child of Marquess of Dufferin and Ava and Maureen née Guinness; raised at Clandeboye; terrorised by nanny; m. Lucian Freud, Israel Citkowitz, with whom three dgs. (poss. one by Ivan Moffat), and Robert Lowell ,with whom a son; shared with him her house on Redcliffe Sq., London, and a country house in Kent while he ‘commuted grumpily to Essex University where the students wanted him to analyse the best lyrics of Bob Dylan and the Beatles’ (Annan); ‘what made her mesmeric was not just her beauty, but her wit, funniness, and her tragic, nihilistic insight which went like a dagger into character and motive. Her writing is often hilarious, and always black.’; d. cancer. Remarks that Schoenberger’s ‘own input is not distinguished enough for her subject.; quotes Lorna Sage (Bad Blood): ‘Caroline hired a succession of more-or-less disastrous people ranging from superannuated hippies to drunken professional butler-and-housekeeper double acts to do the cooking, housework, &c.; in London she ate out or picknicked [...] and ocasionally got contract cleaners in.

She lived for the most part in grand squalor [ … but] the conversation was marvellous and went on well into the night.’; quotes Robert Lowell: ‘I’m manic and Caroline’s panic. We’re like two eggs cracking.’ Lowell died in a taxi on his way to Hardwick’s house on leaving Caroline; attachment to Andrew Harvey, Oxford don; speaks of the ‘macabre factoid fairy tale The Last of the Duchess in which she tries but fails ton interview the dying Duchess of Windsor.’

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