August 2, 2011

Slow Tuesday

It's been a bit of sleepy Tuesday round the old Frederick Street Flat. Some sleeping off jet lag, some sleeping off Guinness, and some just being lazy (I am of the latest party.)

Good time to catch up on some blogging.


Although I have done very little in the productive arena this afternoon, aside from making myself this heart-attack sandwich (a fried egg and mushrooms sauteed in safflower oil, sandwiched in seed bread with a small spread of Boursin cheese), two eventful things did happen recently that are worth mentioning.

The first: Yesterday's visit to Professor Richard DeMarco.


It was kind of like meeting Dumbledore and Bilbo Baggins at the same time. This guy is amazing. For one thing, he lives in a CASTLE upon which an addition has been created solely to house his archives. Most of his collection is composed of avant-garde artwork and I believe most of it has to do with the Fringe Festival -- which, oh yeah, was his brain-child. If it wasn't enough just to meet the man who brought me to Edinburgh, he managed to reaffirm my opinions of art and purpose over the course of a 3 hour lecture/tour.


We also learned a lot about this man, Joseph Beuys. I thought I hadn't heard of him before, but this picture reminded me that we discussed his work in an Art History class I took freshman year.


 Sometimes I find art this avant-garde to be off-putting, but DeMarco made everything so accessible. He could talk for days if uninterrupted, but the three things that will stick with me are as follows:

"Art must be dealing with reality. It cannot just be for the sake of production."

"Always deal with the impossible, never what is handed to you on a plate."
"Kunst ist kapital."


When we were leaving Craigcrook, an incredible thing happened: Having just informed us that a plethora of great writers have used this for a retreat (including Hans Christian Anderson, George Eliot, A.L. Tennyson, and Charles Dickens), Mr. DeMarco pulled me aside (me, for no other apparent reason that I was standing there) and pointed to the castle's southeast tower. "Just imagine," he said to the air, "all those great writers...here." I turned to him, feeling he'd read my soul or something, and said "I'd like to write." He smiled. "Then you must."

If anything, this trip is making the decision between writing and drama all the more difficult. Or maybe it's telling me it doesn't have to be one or the other.



Important thing that happened Number Two:



This.

We went back to the Elephant House for elevenses today, and this ginger-pecan cake just about stole my heart. I split it with a friend over peppermint tea and almost regretted sharing.


Some visitors had just come there to work or munch, but most were alive with a happy buzz of Potter fan chatter. The bathrooms were covered from floor to ceiling with thank-you notes and praises.


And I finally got to see the inspiration for Hogwarts at J.K. Rowling saw it:




 After this we went to the Museum of Childhood, which I think I enjoyed more than anyone else.
There was a fantastic dollhouse display which I know as a six-year-old would've totaled me.

This one was nearly as tall as I was:




Katie Kowalski, I know you would've loved these miniatures. That teacup was about the size of my fingernail. 

The ham hock on the counter in this one reminded me of Beatrix Potter's Tale of Two Bad Mice.


Then there was the creepy doll room that no one really enjoyed much...


I did have a good time finding the most of the Secret in the Wings cast, though:






Jay, you're some combination of these three.




Not so bad for a lazy day.

Over and out,
R.B.

2 comments:

  1. Ah yes, I do love those miniatures! Everything looks so magnificently wonderful! And the account of your interaction with the professor gave me little tingles down my spine : )

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  2. Both! It must and will be both. A life with only one is a boring life. Enrich, Enlighten, and live.

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