Monthly Archives: October 2016

many happy returns…

The post-Frieze afternoon [almost three weeks ago now], having missed the Heath, went to plowing through the past several days’ images; Monday was similar until Rick’s friend Sandra arrived, miraculously without  jetlag, from Chicago.  We improvised quesadillas and Accommodated the Canine…


with perfect weather for the ramble and the amble, to his considerable delight.



Tuesday morning the four of us hastened to the Royal Academy [in advance of the Queen whose Presence would require its closure at one o’clock]


for their Important Exhibition of Abstract Expressionism

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which while definitely serving to Reinforce the Canon did occasion some re-evaluations, most surprisingly David Smith, whose early sculptures, before he hit his two-dimensional “iconic” stride, were actually pretty good.


Photos were discouraged but I managed some Smithshadows;


The Usual Suspects were all of course well-represented with Superior Works in Admirable Depth, not to be missed, really.  Pollock’s seldom [if ever, unless one happens to be in Australia] seen “Blue Poles” was absolutely spectacular and as we moved through the exhibition a ginormous unfamiliar work we mistakenly assumed to be his as well was instead a heretofore unseen masterwork by Lee Krasner, one of the few women occupying significant real estate, although if one read the wall labels and looked closely the gals were, somewhat grudgingly, present. Not on this one, however…

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Serious dudes; “…In a thicket the actors might be lovers, or a murderer and his victim”…”violent mark-making…assumes a savage physical life of its own”; phew.  We took our leave of the scorched battlegrounds well ahead of the the Royal Bomb Squad, who would soon be sweeping through in advance of Entourage and Personage.



Up to the Hampstead Heath



to reprise our first steps to Parliament Hill with some exactitude, one last time.




Back on Hollycroft everyone was packing…then a toast of exquisitely rare champagne to honor Sandra’s arrival/our departure, a last round of food and burgundies with early goodnights…and goodbyes, as our friends would be gone before dawn.


Wednesday we woke alone, they already well on their way to Venezia,


and by 10:30 Rick’s assistant arrived to facilitate Tycho’s week in the country as well as get us, and a book, safely out the door.



The book went to town in one of those ubiquitous black Mercedes and we reached Heathrow with time to spare, which wouldn’t have been nearly enough had the driver not discovered my computer bag hiding beneath the rear seat before he pulled away.



As it was we managed a nice snack in the lounge before




to terminal whatever,


a brief wait to board



and then settle in until just as the safety video was interrupting our “entertainment” a fuel-pump malfunctioned and


by the time it was diagnosed, repaired and the bags of the two assholes who’d jumped ship in the interim were finally located, extracted, and everything put back together our ten and a half


hours had stretched to over thirteen before we’d left the ground.


Which we duly did, and somehow made up thirty minutes,

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getting us in to SFO around eight instead of five…customs were ok, the elevators to the garage weren’t  [A third world problem strangely reminiscent of the Tate Switch House].  Given the timing our driver had to pick up a third passenger unclear as to why, resulting in loud exchanges


back and forth between the two non-native speakers until the Offended One was dropped just before the Caldecott and we were home, ten or something, six the [next] morning in Londra, to two happy little dogs…by six in our morning we’d been awake awhile, ready to walk them as soon as the sun showed.

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Which would have been by then three in the afternoon in London, and later still in Italy for Rick and Sandra…missed ’em already.