At 8:30 this morning the sky was blue and the sun was shining. It was quite warm, almost hot. I was a little surprised as the weather forecast had not been good. In fact they have promised us torrential rain but that is for later. In fact, though, as the day has gone on the sky has got progressively greyer and greyer. Maybe the weathermen were right.
I clearly benefitted from the best of the day. I got up and ran to Uppermill, the nearest place to here with a proper greengrocer’s shop. In Vigo they are every hundred yards or so but here they are a dying breed. In the shop I chatted with a lady cyclist I see quite often. She cycles my running route. Later, as I went home on the bus (it’s difficult to jog with a bag containing oranges, grapefruit, plums, a bottle of milk and a loaf!) we overtook her. As the bus got close she moved from the road to the pavement, a wise move as the road is just wide enough for the traffic to get past the parked cars. In general, however, I am opposed to adults cycling on the pavement. This is something I see more and more frequently, in both my places of residence, and it generally causes me to mutter (and occasionally say out loud) comments about the cyclists needing to get off the pedestrian area!!
On that subject, I read recently that the actress Nicole Kidman was knocked over by a cyclist on the pavement in Manhattan. He was a paparazzo, so eager to capture the star on film that he bowled her over. A nice way of showing your devotion. Although unhurt Ms Kidman did consider bringing charges against the cyclist but changed her mind when the policeman on the scene refused to arrest him. He fined him for riding on the pavement but not for dangerous cycling! “Accidents happen” apparently. But at least he fined him for cycling in the wrong place. That doesn’t seem to happen here.
Other stars in the news: Mia Farrow has been declaring that her son Ronan could well be Frank Sinatra’s child and not Woody Allen’s, her husband at the time. Are we bothered? Is anyone bothered? Why did she tell the world? Is she trying to upset Woody Allen? Too many questions!
Spanish art is in the news as well. “Las Meninas”, the painting by Velazquez which shows the artist at work and the king seen taking at look at what is going on, is one of my favourite Spanish paintings. You can see it in the Prado in Madrid. Now it seems that that one may not be the original. A Spanish art expert has said that what was assumed to be a copy in a National Trust property in Dorset is probably the original sketch or trial run by Velazquez himself which was then copied and presumably improved by him before being given to the king of Spain. Goodness me! I wonder if it’s easy to spot the difference. It could be like one of those “los siete errores” games that you find in the newspapers along with the sudoku and crossword.
And then there’s a chap called Francisco de Pájaro who is going round London making works of art out of rubbish he finds on the street. De Pájaro moved to London to escape the economic crisis in Spain and restrictive laws outlawing street expression. "Painting trash in London is certainly not making me any money but it is great fun," he says. "I don't feel exploited by anyone in this, I can say what I want to and many, many more people are getting to see my work than if I was in a gallery. I thought it was absurd to paint pictures that no one would buy. I began to see that the art market was flocked with vultures and my notion that if I didn't hang in a good gallery, I was a nobody. I turned my thinking on its head and took to the streets." Another Spanish emigrant!
While I have been typing this, the rain has arrived. What more can I say.