I’ve got to pick up my bass and dash off right after church this morning to get down to Boundary Park in Didcot, where I’m playing a jazz set with Other Way Up at about 1:15pm. The weather looks to be scorching hot again so I’ve donned a Hawaiian shirt as suitable protection…
I’ve been doing a fair amount of painting this week, although nothing particularly interesting unless you’re a Robert Rauschenberg fan. My medium has been acrylic gesso and my purpose has been to paint some photo canvases (the kind you get in bargain stores to provide instant wall art) ready to use for my own work in the future.
At the end of July, I’ve got a week long course on colour and composition for which I’ll be painting in acrylic and so I expect I’ll be adding some colour to the canvases soon. I’m certainly set up for it, with several new colours arriving today. Thumbs up to the Ken Bromley online store, which not only has decent prices but was able to tell me this morning when to expect the delivery, to the nearest hour.
I’ve got a selection of earth tones and also some pre-mixed secondaries to complement the primary and CYMK ones I had before. All white for now but full technicolour to come.
Listening to a report about Donald Trump’s present visit to the UK on Radio 4’s The World Tonight programme, and to some sound-bites from Trump himself, I was struck by the phrase: “immigration is taking over”.
Says the man who seems unaware of the irony of making such a statement while serving as President of a nation that, in modern times (ie. over the last 300 years or so), has been built on a level of immigration that truly was an invasion and, from the view of those who had lived there previously, a dangerously hostile one. I wonder what he makes of those words displayed on New York’s Statue of Liberty?
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
I can’t imagine that his appreciation of this snippet from a sonnet by Emma Lazarus would have much in common with what I see in it. Nor does his apparent view of immigration: life-blood of nations. When immigrants flock to you, it shows your country as a place of promise; the worry is not when people want to come in but when they feel the need to leave.
A gleaning from my RSS feed reading today was a webdev tool called the Pingdom Website Speed Test, mentioned on Thomas LaRock‘s blog. You enter a website and a test location and the service reports on how long the page takes to load and the details of what was involved.
For the average user, that is far too much information. However, if you run a website, it is interesting to take a look at where the hold-ups are. Unlike Thomas, I might keep Disqus on a bit more for receiving the occasional comment but there are some other widgets that probably are’t worth it, particularly since I think most regular readers see what I’m up to via either their own RSS reader or from the echoes each post makes on Twitter and Facebook as it lands. Therefore, they won’t see them and someone who does find a post of mine via a search or a link I’ve sent them probably doesn’t much care for the little bits down the side, which won’t be where they are looking.
I was busy on Friday and missed the reports about Theresa May’s Chequers accord on Brexit; by the time it came to catching up this morning, senior cabinet ministers have started dropping like flies (insert frustrated rant about the Tory cabinet here if you like!). David Davies resigned late last night and Boris Johnson has thrown his hat out of the ring this afternoon. Given the running thread of embarrassment attached to the latter, I imagine May might be tempted to utter a quiet prayer of thanks were it not for the fact it demonstrates the wheels falling off the bus.
In my mind, the ideal solution (given that we are living in what seems to be a parallel universe where past performance is not guarantee of future success or failure) would be for the UK to admit that the EU Referendum and Brexit negotiations have been a catalogue of errors and to repeal Article 50 for now. I recognise that a lot of people want to leave the EU so there should be a period to decide what options are acceptable to us and Europe (including options for close votes either way) and we can re-run it once we know definitely what the options are. Second referendum and then, depending on the result, enact the choice immediately.
Meanwhile, I wonder if Brexit is going to crash and burn anyway and if another UK General Election is looming?