Saturday, 14 July 2012

I can't stand the rain.....

I think I've gone straight into winter mode so this week......
I watched TV:
The lovely June Brown, octogenarian thespian Dot Cotton of Eastenders fame and budding national treasure, explored the prospects open to her when she gets old, in 'Respect Your Elders', on BBC1. She is 85. What she reckoned was, young kids should hang out with old people because they like each other quite a lot; if you get them early enough the kids grow up valuing their knowledge, humour, patience and the old folk get to have some fun. Her theory is the children would then learn respect for their elders. All elders. Not a bad idea. She thought a rent-a-grandparent scheme might be good. She also came to the conclusion that she wanted to die in her own bed in her own home. And to that end she had a dog-tag engraved with 'Do Not Resuscitate' in case she collapsed elsewhere. Except the engraver spelt it wrong, allowing the show to end on a humorous note. I like June a lot. She is much older than she appears. Her still slender frame hangs from her sharp cheek bones, her hair is cut into a chic bob she can artfully disguise for any roll. She dresses with flair, is lipsticked and nail-polished, lives in her own home and works. Is lucid and active. And still smokes. Is it the portion control she clearly adheres too that keeps her fit and alert? Or the fact that she has a large family of children and grandchildren with whom she regularly interacts, she is obviously a huge part of their lives? Or is it because she still works, goes out into the world, brings home the bacon, has a job to do?

I went to Margate: 
I saw the Tracey Emin show: She Lay Down Beneath The Sea, at the Turner Contemporary. Her work juxtaposed with Turner’s and Rodin’s drawings of nudes is alarmingly effective. I felt transported from the grey world outside as I walked through the high ceilinged rooms, letting the sun into my soul. We had lunch in the gallery’s restaurant. I had a delicious seafood chowder and through the huge picture window, the clouds scudded the sea making Turner’s view our view. It was quite electrifying.

I took the bus:
I saw Eric Clapton on the bus .... well I say Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton if he worked in IT........

Top tip: what to do if it rains..... go to Margate to see the Tracey Emin show: She Lay Down Beneath The Sea, or any gallery near you and make your own sunny day.


  1. I love these insights into your life; Eric Clapton in IT; what a notion!

    I love Margate - wanted to have a proper look round last time I went but the now-ex had left his phone in his car and we had to scarper back, and he decided he didn't like Margate. "must like margate" will go on the wishlist for the next one, lol xx

  2. I think it's a combination of all the things you list that keep June Brown alert - but probably largely down to the fact that she still is mobile and healthy and can continue to work/interact with people.

    Tried to see the Turner exhibition in Margate but went to the beach in Ramsgate first & by the time we got there, the gallery had closed!

  3. That "Do not resuscitate" idea is great--I'm pinching that one. I can't imagine anything worse than going whilst wired up to tubes and pipes, not recognising anyone and pissing my pants.

  4. I think she must have great genes. I think that controls so much of our corporeal lives.

  5. I might go to Margate its not far from me purely because I fancy that Seafood Chowder. I don't like Tracey Emin, she needs a lip wax but wouldn't mind seeing her exhibition.

  6. I was sitting today reading an article and looking at the wonderfully decorated wall in an AA Gill visited restaurant. Was loving the choices of the artist, when I realised that this was the place you went to a few weeks ago and about which you wrote!

    Loved his line: "This is the pointy light at the end of life's laser pen."

    You were obviously in the right place at the right time.

  7. Agree about June, she is one of lifes radiators. I want to get to see Emin show, maybe in the hols. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I'm wondering if I could track down this "Respect your Elders" in the states.

  9. I missed that show - sounds good - my wife watched one of the others in that series with John Simpson the reporter talking about getting old and meeting some people, Gloria Hunniford was on it too I think.

    I don't want to think about getting old - to be honest now is the time I should think about it while I can plan/save etc. for it... but I'd rather not think about it!

    Funny I worked not far from Margate for 20 years and now I work in London I regret not spending time there... but I work in London and frankly miss out on all it has to offer as well!

  10. Here in France finding 3, or even 4, generations in the same home is still common. I'm sure that it breeds a certain respect; I can't imagine someone who's been brought up living with grandparents going out and beating up someone else's.

  11. Oh, I miss having TV, indeed I do. We only get cable here, so it was one of those things that seemed easy to economize out of my life. Now I'm not so sure. (By the way, I think I've run into IT Eric Clapton in Los Angeles.)

  12. Oh I missed that June Brown programme drat I wanted to see it. Rent a granny is a great idea. when my kids were little & the grannies lived far away I would have happily rented one to bake cakes with them something I hated ! I would have swapped dog walking for cake baking.
    Husband played pool with Eric Clapton several times & didn't know who he was. When asked what he did for a living, Eric said, "I play the guitar" Husband asked if he was in a band & he answered, "This is me playing" Which it was & the penny dropped. A modest man.

  13. That's a beautiful picture of Margate. I love Tracy Emin, when you see her stuff live, you realise how original her mind is. I miss having people of all ages around. So weird in the vacations here to get the over-20's crowd around, running endlessly through the streets in sports gear,

  14. It's the Gin that keeps Dot going, plus the dehydrating effect of the Eastenders script.

    Now look YaH, everyone has their own ideas about art, but I think that putting the crap produced by Emin in juxtaposition to Turner is unfair to Turner and especially to Rodin.

    Hope you has some whelks while you were down there.

    Well I suppose it beats an unmade bed.

  15. Me too!! This weather is beyond funny now!!!
    Didn't make it to Margate but went to Salcombe at the weekend and guess what...the sun shone ;-)

  16. I've been prejudiced against tracy emin without having actually been to a show of her work.Your post has finally tipped me into realising that I need to actually explore some of her work. I'd like to go to the place in Margate although it is a long way and I don't know when I will have time to go. It really does sound as if it has changed since my last visit, years ago.