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Girl with the pierced eardrum

Some tw@t has vandalised Banksy’s latest piece of graffiti, the wittily entitled Girl with the pierced eardrum. What do you call it when illegal art is treated illegally?


DIY Regret?

I’m off work for a couple of days and was looking forward to a nice quiet lie in on Monday morning, but as usual it was not to be. The peace of a warm, sunny late October morning was spoilt by loud banging, hammering and grinding noises.

I looked out my window to see this.


The owner’s is there – trying to fix the garage door which had presumably became stuck.
45 minutes later, improvement was not evident.


The last bit of banging I heard, was his car door being slammed as he stormed off, presumably to call a garage door fitter.

Bill Posters

Did you know, they actually still make these!


Mauritshuis room


A room with two special ladies, although I suspect most people will not pay the lady above the door much attention.

She is Caesar Van Everdingen’s Bust of Venus, set as a trompe-l’oeil above the door, to appear as if there’s a real statue there.


UKIP Bigots

There’s news that a christian bigot is joining UKIP. He should feel right at home with their enlightened views, particularly on gay marriage. This cartoon is unlikely to help open his mind, but it’s probably an accurate interpretation of the underlying reasons for his position.


Bea Campbell – Hypocrite

I was listening to Radio 4 the other day, when the members of a panel programme were being trailed. The phrase “Bea Campbell OBE” struck a discordant note. Bea Campbell, in case you don’t know, is a strident/ardent (take your pick) feminist, campaigner for women’s’ rights and a former Communist but now a Green Party activist – so she’s swapped one politically irrelevant party for another.

Given her general political position, she didn’t strike me as being the sort of person to have accepted an “honour” from an institution like the Monarchy, harking back to the days of empire. A little digging on the net found that she’d penned a long piece in the Guardian back in 2009, attempting, most unconvincingly in my republican opinion, to rationalise and justify her acceptance of a bauble.

You can read it below.

The piece attracts some fairly ripe comments from the Guardian readership and I’d like to add a couple, nothing original but sincerely felt.

The irony of being awarded an OBE for “Services to equality” is exquisite. “Radicalism is recognised as necessary,” comes the excuse. I translate that as seeking acceptance from the state and the monarchy, which is hardly the strongest of motives. She then goes on to criticise New Labour for not reforming the constitution!

“….getting gonged confers recognition of “citizens” contributions’ to a good society – in my case equality – and the gesture affirms our necessity; the radicals – not the royalists – are the best of the British.”

The hypocrisy, egotism and self-congratulatory tone are simply staggering and nauseating.

In contrast, have a look at this list of luminaries, who’ve refused a variety of honours.

Continue reading Bea Campbell – Hypocrite

G&T @ B&B

I just found this snap on my phone. A reminder of the best gin & tonic I’ve ever tasted courtesy of the good folk in the Black & Blue restaurant in Amsterdam. Yummy – I could do with one now!



One of my favourite paintings which I saw on my holiday in the Netherlands was a small painting of a Goldfinch by Carl Fabritius. The image below (click for a zoom in) does not reproduce the colours of the original but it does show the skill with which he captured the “Jizz” of the species, or if one were an adept of Gerard Manley Hopkins, one my say the “haecceitas” the “thisness” of the bird.

If one looks closely in the film of Tracey Chevalier’s novel The Girl with the Pearl Earring, there is a shot of the interior of Vermeer’s house, which shows the Goldfinch hanging on the wall. That’s a nice touch by whoever in the production team thought of it.

Sadly Fabritius was killed in the 1652 explosion of the Delft gunpowder magazine, which destroyed much of the city.