Reviews

‘I opened this book with high expectations. They have been admirably fulfilled.  Here we have a stand alone thriller about two lonely people who pursue a relationship of monthly weekends together in remote spots.  Suddenly one of these two fails to get to the rendezvous-vous and the other realises how very limited her knowledge of her  companion is . . . Gradually the reader pieces together some of the facts as an atmosphere of rising tension envelops everything. The intelligent way Jay, Lisa and others plan their actions is enjoyable and the suspense of the tale is palpable.’

- MYSTERY PEOPLE

Eric Ravilious

ravilious_tea_at_furlongsThere is a hugely enjoyable exhibition of the work of Eric Ravilious at Dulwich Art Gallery. It’s on until August (and the gallery itself is well worth a visit). As I looked at the pictures some lines from Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, ‘Pied Beauty’ came to mind. They so much seem to sum up the subjects Ravilious was drawn to:

 

‘Glory be to God for dappled things . . .

Landscapes plotted and pierced – fold, fallow, and plough:

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who know how?) . . .’

Ravilious loved to see rusting farm equipment in a field, boat tackle in a harbour, the contours of the cultivated landscape. His was a quintessentially English sensibility.

For all the pleasure that his work offers, there was sadness, too. He died at thirty-nine, when the reconnaissance plane that he was on was lost over Norway.

It’s a gallery that very familiar to me from the years that I lived in south London – I used to take my Open University students there – and I always enjoy going back. I went on what turned out to be the hottest July day on record and the air-conditioning was welcome. There’s a good cafe and afterwards we sat outside and drank tea in the shade of a tree.