I was listening today to Grayson Perry giving the Reith Lectures on BBC i-player. The wonders of modern technology! Grayson Perry was apparently dressed up as his alter ego, Claire, who he declares is not a work of art. I know this because his attire was described by presenter Sue Lawley. She asked him whether he regarded Claire as art and he denied it. So there it is. He was talking at length about what makes something into art. Very thought provoking.
I wonder what he makes of vampire and zombie movies. I mention this because we went for a walk on Monday and found our way partially blocked by the paraphernalia for filming. We spoke to a friend who lives close to the filming site and he told us that they were filming part of a vampire series. I find it hard to understand why so many vampire and zombie movies and TV series are being made at the moment. But then, I am not a teenage girl.
Among other things Grayson Perry talked about a film made by Werner Herzog about a cave in the South of France full of prehistoric art. The film’s title is “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams”. What a wonderful title. This is the second delightful title I have come across in the last few days. The other belongs to a poem by Australian poet Les Murray. It’s title: “The Dream of Wearing Shorts Forever”. Another dream but calling up a completely different set of images.
I had to read the poem for a meeting of Stanza, the poetry society which meets at the Station Buffet on Stalybridge railway station. It meets on the last Tuesday of every month and this is the first one I have been able to go to for a good while. This is what happens when you go off to spend the summer in sunnier climes. We had a good meeting with somewhere between fifteen and twenty people attending.
The Station Buffet there is an amazing place, an old-fashioned real ale pub decorated with old railway signs and photos of all sorts of things such as visits by members of the royal family. I have spent quite a lot of time there recently, waiting for a train to take the grandchildren home after school. They make a mean bacon sandwich, as my youngest grandchild would be able to tell you.
Last night the Station Buffet was also hosting a knitting circle: half a dozen ladies sitting there chatting and clacking their needles. They meet there every week apparently. As a knitter I suppose I could join them and spend even more time in the buffet.
As we left at the end of the evening I noticed one of the staff toasting crumpets over the roaring coal fire in the main bar. A grand old English tradition being continued in a grand old English institution!
Is it art?