Enjoy this romantic scene at full volume and full screen
Well romantic February has been fun fir me!
Enjoy this romantic scene at full volume and full screen
I find travel very romantic - even by erratic public transport! I can just visit Edinburgh in a day, usually, but midweek I found myself back in Glasgow around 6.30pm being told the bus did not go as far as the ferry. Driver shortages and changes of timetables. Fortunately a hospitable Glasgow friend put me up for the night and we had fun watching the romantic comedy Falling For Figaro - lighthearted with spectacular Scottish scenery and beautiful music, and we went out for breakfast the next morning.
In Edinburgh I met an old Art School friend and we had lunch at The National Gallery, and then visited The Scottish Gallery (where I photographed the above), The Open Eye Gallery and and had coffee in The Ntional Portrait Gallery where my friend bought me this card. All thiese galleries are within easy walking distance of each other.
We both love this brilliant portrait of Tilda Swinton by John Byrne. Thank you Ian!
As you will know from recent posts I got caught up in the medieval Romances and really got interested in the tapestries and stained glass images in the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.
I take photographs of things in order to see them better (I have little central vision) so apologise for the poor quality of the photographs here - I had noot intended to publish them on the blog. They were just a kind of notetaking for me. Having said that, I will share them anyway and hope you can make something of them, which will in part depend on what device you are using .
Here are some details about the images I posted recently. The first the tapestry three days ago, the second the stained glass four days ago and the third today's image of the mille fleurs tapestry. I hope they are of interest!
The literary genre of Romances - the epic stories, legends and fairy talses are not represented in book or manuscript form in the Burrell Collection but there are images in the tapestries and stained glass, like the 'mille fleurs' ta[estroes of meadows with fantastical creatures among the plants, there are damsels in distress and kinights in shining armour aplenty.
I need a few days to sort out my photographs and look up links etc (a visit to the British Library would be wonderful!) So much to see, so much to learn...
A wonderful visit today to the Burrell Collection and the chabce to learn more about Chivalric Love and the Romances of the late medieval period through the fabulous collection of stained glass and tapestries.
This is Princess Cecily of York, who at a time when the daughters of the aristocracy were treated as commodities, appears to have married for love.
My grandaughter sent me this for the anniversary of Barry's death.
What a sweetheart!
Grief, I've learned, is really just love. It's the love you want to give but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners o your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with nowhere to go.'
(attr. Jamie Anderson)
If this is true then I will use up that unspent, leftover love on life..I will be in love with life. I am in love with life.
Did you know that the beautiful iris reticulata smell strongly of violets?
I have just discovered this. I cut one and put it in a tiny bottle on the tablee and found myself looking around to find out where the delicious perfume was coming from. Although I have had them in the house before perhaps I've not had them in quite such a warm room. Gorgeous!
So far in my exploration of my inner romantic I have been entranced by beautiful flowers, soothed by the log fire, relaxed by romantic music, swept away by romantic films, enchanted by watching the sunrise, delighted by my daily chocolate (I kept that up for two weeks, then scoffed the rest one evening!). Thank you for the suggestions of music and films some of which were new to me. You have added to the romance of my February.
I wondered if I could find enough romance for 28 days, but there is still the romance of travel, and food, of clothes and of the home to think about...
Are you exploring your inner romantic? Or your inner poet/diva/dancer/adventurer/writer/drama queen/whayever?
You dont need to move to some la-la land, you just need to make sure you give a little time and thought each day to a part of yourself that doesn't usually get e xpressed. That can be an adventure in itself.
I first heard this when working for the National Trust at Beningbrough Hall near York. I was teaching a watercolour class on a perfec smmer day in the walled flower garden and this song came floating out of the shop! Idyllic! Utterly romantic. I felt I was in heaven.
This beautiful image is from Anna Potter's book Flower Philosophy.
Happy and romantic Valentine's Day!
Here is somthing from the archive..
Today a friend and I revived Affogato Sunday - a thing we devised during the dark days of lockdown to help keep us sane.
First set a pretty table, then make a pot of espresso and get the ice cream out of the freezer. Get changed and put on some relaxing music. Meet on Zoom/WhatsApp whatever.... Enjoy. Romantic in its way, no?
Loving your suggestions for romantic films - keep them coming please.
I would add Out of Africa, Girl With A Pearl Earring, This Beautiful Fantastic..
Pure escapism on a winter's night.
Top of my list forever is Il Postino.
Your absolute fabourites please!
One way of thinking about what is romantic is that it is going beyond mere utility (which is not without effort).
To be wrrm I could switch on a radiator, or put it on automatic and not even need to do amything. Instead I have a woodburner which needs emptied, cleaned, lit, fed and attended to several times a day!
Am I mad? Sometimes I think so.
But really I am just romantic.
The lively flames, the crackling logs, the smell of the wood in the room - several senses are satisfied.
The room, and the house feel alive and I feel comforted, content.
As I often say, there's nothing like the real thing.
Make a date with the sunrise. As Lia Leendertz points out in this month's AsS The Season Turns, you don't have to get up particularly early to see it. It rose at 8.04 here this morning.
The changes may be slow, subtle..
Notice where the sunlight strikes first.
And where it first slips indoors
Take a few moments to marvel.
Do check out the link on Susan's comment yesterday!
Even the sound of the rain is romantic in this..
Ah, the food of love..
I will be listening to Oscar Peterson, Tord Gustavsson, Charles Aznavour, Steven Isserlis, Quator Ebene, Arvo Part and Jan Garbbarek, Nina Simone, Sinatra, Mozart, Pucccini, Satie and Debussy, Elaine Page perhaps, or Judy Dench, Katie Melua..
And I plan to listen again to some music posted under Simply Listen (I began my Desert Island Disc selection some years ago and didn't finish it - overwhelmed by the inppossibility of choosing eight!)
Please share your favourites!
I heard Steven Isserlis play Richard Strauss's Romance in F Major on Radio 3 the other morning and thought I should look out my favouritte romantic music this month. I spent a whole evening listening to and watching programmes about this composer - who wrote this when he was just 19 years od! He composed his fist piece aged 6.
For a few months each year I feel my garden is very romantic. I think abundance is romantic. I have not one white bark birch but ten. Not three or five plants of ox-eye daisies but 25 (so cheap and easy from seed). I really lovee that I can pick big bunches without the garden looking depleted.
Still looking for that floaty dress.
Nature gives me this romantic effect for free, every year, with wild orchids thrown in too!
My winter garden however, is not romantic. It looks like mud season here just now!
I used to advise clients and students to plant something special for winter interest at the far end of the garden, something to coax the gardener out on a winter day. Soemthing so beutiaul and exquisitely scented that made it worth the effort.
It is time to take my own advice. I am on the look out for witch hazel, daphne, sarcoccoca, viburnum, winter flowering honeysuckle....suggestions welcome.
We visiteed Anglesey Abbey winter garden on a still day and were intoxicated by the colours and the scents! See here.
Anyone else feeling romantic? What feels romantic to you?
Buing yourself flowers can be romantic
A little act of courtship? The start of a secret love affair with yourself? (A neglected part of yourself perhaps?)
Romance, like beauty, is very much in the eye of the beholder I am sure.
Extravagance feels very romantic to me. I can remember as a child the first daffodils coming into the local shop and my Mum saying No, we would have to wait until they got cheaper before we could have some. I can remember walking away from them, feeling them calling me. I must have been six or so.
Do you buy a bunch with your weekly shop? I used to get home and before I did anything else, find the right vase, arrange the flowers and put them in the middle of the table. Then I would unpack the shopping and try to make the house live up to the flowers!
The supermarket daffs are just £1 a bunch here in uk just now. Buy three and give one to a friend.
Or order some scented narcissus from the Scilly Isles or Carnwall. I sent some as Christmas presents this year.
I am spending very little on flowers this month but I am having a bouquet for Valentine's Day. One of those ones I almost swoon over before thinking How can anyone pay that for a bunch of flowers? Well, I am paying that for a bunch of flowers this February!
So if the sky falls in that day you will know it was me ...
Will you buy yourself flowers this week?
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)