?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Triple-decker Wednesday - News from Nowhere [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
shewhomust

[ website | The Shadow Gallery ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Triple-decker Wednesday [Jan. 23rd, 2016|06:25 pm]
shewhomust
[Tags|, , , ]

Since we were going to Newcastle on Wednesday for an early-evening poetry event, we took the opportunity to visit the 'The Arts & Crafts House: Then and Now' exhibition at the Laing. I'd heard good things about it, but was underwhelmed: blame some of this on my eyesight, which is currently making it difficult to see detailed books in glass cases, or architectural prints on walls. Also my resistance to shows which bring together classic instances of something and modern examples in the same tradition: I am always liable to respond that the original is better, by a mile. Some examples of modern craft tools and artisan ceramics were attractive enough, but I completely failed to see the point of Rosa Nguyen's contribution. What I learned from this exhibition: there are a number of Arts & Crafts houses in the care of the National Trust which I have not seen, and I should plan a holiday in England to remedy this.

The poetry reading - the launch of Lisa Matthews's The Eternally Packed Suitcase was just across the road at the City Library, and our plan was to fill the time between the Laing closing and the event starting with a cup of tea and the crossword at the library café. This wasn't quite as neat as I'd thought, because the event wasn't, as I had (mis)remembered it, 6 o' clock for 6.30, but 6.30 for 7.00; still, I was less inconvenienced by misjudged timing than the organisers, who had apparently planned a reading to run from 7 until 9 o' clock, not realising that the library closed at 8, and we'd have to be out by then.

So the reading was short, but good. Lisa's poems are deceptive, they look as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, no fancy vocabulary, simple narratives (she did this, I saw that) that drop you into something unexpected. She doesn't use elaborate forms, but then you open the book at a prose poem, a little block of text looking across the gutter at a page of short-lines, singly or in pairs or longer stanzas. I can't quote examples, I want to quote whole poems. Here's one I prepared earlier (which is included in the new collection).

We'd assumed that the reading would drift on into the evening, and we'd linger and talk to people, then wander off and find something to eat - and that would be Wednesday evening gone, we'd just have to miss the pub quiz at which we have become regulars. But given the 8 o' clock curfew, we decided that rather than join the general move to the Tyneside Cinema Café, we had time to go home and go to the quiz after all. So we did.

It's not so much that we have a busy social life (though things are beginning to wake up after the midwinter break, there's that, I suppose) ao much as that the things that do happen, happen at the same time. As if to prove a point, while I took a break from writing this to make a pot of tea, durham_rambler took a phone call - as a result of which he has driven off to Tyneside to collect a friend from hospital (they were willing to send her home, but didn't have an ambulance free). He is confident that there will be time to do this and still be in time for our dinner date in Sunderland (with my cousins who are making their annual visit to the Stadium of Light). I'm less confident, but it can't be helped, we'll get there when we get there.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2016-01-23 06:28 pm (UTC)
I so nearly went to that event! I'm going to bump into you some time. I may be reading at the Lit and Phil on March 9th with the other Dark Matter poets from Black Light Engine Room, if you are interested.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-24 11:56 am (UTC)
I'm trying to keep Wednesdays clear for the pub quiz: we have joined friends who are part of a very established team, so I'd like to be as regular as possible. But it would be good to meet...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lamentables
2016-01-23 07:44 pm (UTC)
I went to the Arts & Craft House exhibition last summer at Compton Verney. It was not my favourite thing ever, but there was a table covered with handcrafted artefacts to touch and admire that gave a lot of pleasure to my friend and I. The attendant was most surprised when we knew what the bone folder was.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-24 11:47 am (UTC)
Yes, that table would be my "examples of modern craft tools and artisan ceramics" - and you're right that being allowed to handle them was a bonus: I stood for quite a while petting the chopping boards. As ever, more craft and less art works better for me!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-24 11:52 am (UTC)
Thank you for that link. I didn't know that house, and would love to visit. Lutyens and Jekyll (the architect and garden designer) worked together on Lindisfarne Castle.

You're right that Arts & Crafts seems to be back in favour after a period of being disdained; everything has to pass through being 'old fashioned' before it can be antique and 'heritage' (for the British do heritage the way the French do terroir).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: durham_rambler
2016-01-24 01:21 pm (UTC)
The family were trying to sell in 2011 in order to get round French inheritance laws, and they were keen for some English institution to take it over, hence there were two reports on the BBC, one on BBC1 and the other on BBC2, both available on YouTube via those links.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2016-01-24 03:44 pm (UTC)
Probably the article in the magazine had a similar purpose and one can't help wishing them luck in finding the right 'patron' for such a place. I hadn't seen the BBC features so thanks for those!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-24 10:26 pm (UTC)
I recognised you, despite your disguise -
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2016-01-24 11:14 am (UTC)
Then there are the Mackintosh houses........

Done all those! :o)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-24 11:52 am (UTC)
*All* of them? I'm impressed...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2016-01-24 02:48 pm (UTC)
Yup- we found the lot.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)