Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Joy Of Joys!

Diana felt so much better,

we caught a bus into town,

to the Beckenham Beacon Hospital to drop off a sample,

and walked back through town, doing a little shopping on the way,

Diana went into the shops whilst I waited outside in he blazing sun, it was the warmest day in March for 54 years according to the news reports, if only The George was open, a larger and lime would have gone down so well,

we made our way up the hill towards the church,

stopping for some more window shopping and actual shopping opposite the Beckenham Green, where lots of residents were enjoying the sun,

as we arrived back in the park, the garden at Foxgrove Lodge,

was putting on a nice display of magnolias,

one of the rhododendrons,

 was also out in flower,

another magnolia just about to open its flowers,

this early white cherry tree already putting on a good show, I was so happy that Diana had gotten over her influenza, as of course she was as well, 

after our evening meal it was feet up for Skylines (2020), which somehow just did not measure up to the previous 2 films in the series, great special effects, an adequate storyline, but half way though the film we both thought it was too long, it went on for nearly two hours, but there it was, we followed that with a New Tricks and rounded off the evening, off or I should say early morning, with one more from The Irregulars, which we are now really enjoying before we were off to bed.

Going, Going, Gone,

and gone again, and nearly gone again for the third time!

we mentioned the up coming sale of a little seen painting by Vincent Van Gogh titled “Street scene in Montmartre (Impasse des Deux Frères and the Pepper Mill)” (1887), oil on canvas,  46.1 x 61.3 centimetres, image courtesy of Sotheby’s, on the 10th. March, and it sold, worst still I missed the auction, and an exciting one it was too, the painting was not sold once but twice, and the telephone cutting out before it could be sold a third time! it was estimated to go for €5m to €8m, which we posted here, but after the double sale finally went for €13m (with fees) at Sotheby’s in Paris on 25 March which broke a record for the artist in France, but here is the thing, the item was sold three times in less than an hour with three different price tags! The confusion cast a shadow over the auction and may even have attracted attention from French law enforcement authorities, it is too early to know if the magistrate in charge of the auctioneers' regulatory body will react, but French law is quite strict on the matter. When an auctioneer pronounces "adjugé", the sale is final. Furthermore, there can be no inequality of treatment between bidders. If a buyer defaults, the lot may be put up for auction again, but only with the formal agreement of the seller. And in the case that the final sale price is less than their bid, the defaulting buyer has to pay the difference, and there was a price difference between bidders, in this case Sotheby’s declined to comment on whether it will compensate the seller for the €2.75m price difference, for the full story of the painting that was sold twice, and nearly three times in the same auction, (damn telephone), have a look here.

If There Is One Game,

that lacks humour,

in my book it must be chess, at least that is what I thought until today, image credit chess24.5/ YouTube, it happened like this, the Berlin Defence is usually used by grandmasters in order to draw a game, in this particular game, Carlsen and Nakamura both expected that their game would be a draw, but Carlsen had a better way of drawing the game than the Berlin Defense — the Bongcloud. As Carlsen (the white pieces) moved his king immediately in the game, Nakamura (the black pieces), taken by surprise, couldn’t help but burst into laughter. Nakamura then accepted Carlsen’s invitation and moved his king, too, and if you do not think they found it funny,

look at their smiles in the YouTube video, I never thought chess could be that funny!

Great News,

for art lovers all over the world,

the Louvre just launched a new online database compiling more than 480,000 artworks from its collections and those at the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix and The Tuileries Garden, above the most famous of the Louvre's treasures, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Portrait of Lisa Gherardini” known as La Joconde or Monna Lisa, the 1st quarter of the 16th century (1503-1518), who we saw on our visit to The Louvre in March 2018,

and here are a few more to be found online, Brick panel from Achaemenid: Darius I (circa 510 BC) (-522 – -486), found in Susa apadana palace of Darius

Marguerite Gérard’s “The interesting pupil,” created in the 4th quarter of the 18th century (around 1786)

Tablet from Archaic Dynastic IIIB: Entemena (XXVth century), (-2420 – -2400), from Girsu

Jacob de Littemont’s “Dais de Charles VII: two angels holding a crown” (1425-1450)

Lion says “de Monzon”; Fountain mouth, 12th century; 13th century (1100 – 1300), found in Spain, spanning Egyptian antiquities and medieval sculpture to Renaissance and modern decorative arts, the free digital catalog includes works on long-term loan and is complete with an interactive map to pursue each room of the French institution. Some pieces are grouped into albums, including one collating 2020’s acquisitions and another dedicated to the National Museums Recovery, a collection of works gathered after World War II that’s being held by the Louvre until they’re claimed by their rightful beneficiaries. Dive into the entire archive, which is updated daily, on the museum’s site, I know where I will be spending some time over the next few weeks!

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

In The Day Diana Was Much Better,

in the morning I attended a funeral, Diana was still to unwell to attend, 

arriving home I found Diana was so much better that we ordered a Miso meal to be delivered!

a few prawn crackers to start,

and a few favourites for Diana,

including Singapore noodles,

and a Malaysian chicken curry with rice for myself, but late in the afternoon Diana started to become cold again, her doctor telephoned having been advised of her second negative covid test, and decided that Diana had one of two problems, firstly and the most likely Diana had full blown influenza, or a infection, probably in her lungs, the doctor arrange for some antibiotics to be available at Boots the pharmacist in town, so I was off to town, I also called into pick up a specimen phial from the surgery that was waiting for me, arriving home home Diana was much better again, and had a snack with myself in the evening, we watched a couple more episodes of The Irregulars, after which Diana had an early night, I was still not tired so I watched a New Tricks before I too was off to bed.

I Found This Video Totally Amazing,

virtual reality painting, 

 talented French/Russian artist Anna Zhilyaeva’s art is so special and as far as I am aware unique, using software like like Tilt-brush, Masterpiece and Anim VR, and a virtual reality headset, she is able to paint three-dimensional artworks often referred to as painted sculptures. She has performed at events all over the world, from the Louvre Museum to various technology and art festivals, and is recognized as a pioneer in the fields of virtual reality and mixed-reality painting, Anna has adopted the term “Volumism” to describe her virtual art, because of the freedom that this technology offers to create any volume and break the laws of gravity, for every one of her stunning VR paintings, Anna Zhilyaeva creates a mixed-media video that allows people not equipped with a virtual reality headset to watch her paint inside the virtual world. These videos are, in themselves, impressive works of art, with blockchain technology making digital art even more valuable in the form of tradeable and collectible NFTs, Anna Zhilyaeva’s VR paintings could see even more success in the very near future, for more of Anna’s amazing art, check out her official website, as well as her Instagram, what an amazing new art form.

25-year-old Kent Ryan Tomao,

from Kidapawan City in the Philippines,

was allegedly riding a motorbike one day last June, when he was attacked and stabbed by a gang of youths, He didn’t remember much about the incident, except that he was almost lifeless when he was brought to the hospital, where doctors managed to save him, all went well since then, although he had been experiencing sharp chest pains in cold weather, but dismissed the pain as one of those things, fast forward to now, He had undergone an X-ray exam required to apply for a mining job in Agusan del Sur, and never imagined there was anything wrong with him, but guess what the X-ray showed?












unbelievably the knife blade was still inside him! Kent had always assumed that doctors performed all the necessary tests before releasing him, and he certainly never imagined they had left a knife blade in his chest, doctors who performed the X-ray told him that he had an an “object resembling a knife” stuck in his chest, very close to one of his lungs. despite the shocking discovery, the 25-year-old man said that he has no plans of suing the doctor who treated him after getting stabbed last year, in fact, he even declined to name them, as not to make any problems for him, “I always wonder why I feel some pain in my chest when the weather is cold. But I have no idea there is a knife in my chest,” Tomao told a local radio station, all he wants now is to have the blade removed so he can apply for that mining job, imagine the lawsuit if this happened in the UK or USA, he would never have to worry about getting the mining job!

They Almost Look Like Uncut Diamonds,

on a background of velvet,

but they are blocks of ice on the black sands of Breiðamerkursandur in Iceland, Diamond Beach as it is sometimes known is located by the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, which is filled with huge pieces of ice that constantly break off from Breiðamerkurjökull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, the largest icecap in Europe, bits and pieces of these chunks of ice end up on the black sand and create a stunning visual effect,

it is located on the South Coast of Iceland, it is about six hours away from the country’s capital, Reykjavik. Although it’s not part of the popular Golden Circle Tour, Diamond Beach has become one of the country’s top tourist attractions in recent years,

the size of these “diamonds” can range from palm-size to larger than an average person, as can the colour, which ranges from deep blue to bright white, in recent years, its famous nickname has made Breiðamerkursandur a very popular place for marriage proposals, as well as a hotspot for Instagram influencers looking to impress their followers, if you plan on visiting Diamond Beach during the winter, it’s recommended to spend 2-3 days on the country’s south coast, as the daylight is limited, and the ice ever changing, for something totally different what a great place to visit.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Some Good And Bad News,

firstly the good news, 

the results from Diana's second covid test arrived and she is negative, and she felt much better, still a bit stiff in her joints, muscles and still had a headache, so apart from Diana's symptoms we pretty much had a normal Sunday, I have to mention our postal service again, we tracked the test kit, I dropped it off at 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon, it was picked up at 3.45 the same afternoon, the testing facility is at Milton Keynes, from us in Beckenham depending on which route you take the shortest is just over 80 miles, if you use the A12, M25 and M1, or 109 miles using the M11, in any event the test kit arrived just 5 hours later, amazing, well done the Royal Mail!

the daffodils I had bought at Sainsburys had opened,

in both vases

time for our starter,

3 huge scallops, with garlic bread,

followed by a roast of lamb, with gravy for Diana,

sans gravy for myself,

eyes down and tuck in,

for dessert cherry pie, 

with cream,

lots of extra thick cream, delicious, in the afternoon a Columbo fest,
in the evening we watched another 3 episodes of The Irregulars, towards midnight we were of to bed, and then the bad news, in an hour or so Diana was as unwell as ever, all of her symptoms returned, Diana had a retched night, I tried to make her as comfortable as I could between her shivering with fever and sweating with cold, what ever it is, it is back with a vengeance, I feel so helpless, towards 04.00AM Diana fell asleep, and was still asleep when I got up, I hope today will be better for her, I am only making this one post today, although it is still early I am just going to relax over a coffee or two.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Some Good News,

late in the afternoon Diana felt well enough to get up,

and start cooking! also look at these photographs of the house being built in the Philippines,

now up to the first floor,

even night fall does not stop the work,

a night time video of the work,

next day a look at the nights work,

during the day, lunch,

a new front gate has been ordered,

the concrete mixer must be working overtime!

ground and first floors in,

and more supplies arriving all of the time,

and it all looks like it will completed on time before the monsoon season,

and a video of work so far,

as well as Diana being up, the second covid test arrived, the doctor telephoned and decided that although the first test for covid was negative, a second test using a different kit should be completed, by 3 o'clock in the afternoon, Saturday, the kit had arrived and was back in the post, there are special priority post boxes around the UK as it happens there are 3 within half a mile of us, the Royal Mail handles test kits in these special boxes as ultra urgent, making multiple daily collections even on Sundays and bank holidays, this special service has been in operating since November last year, thank goodness we are not in the shambles of Europe!

Diana still had a major headache and pain in her muscles and joints, but as she had not eaten since being bed bound, except for a small bowl of soup, she was hungry, so beansprouts it was then,

followed by duck pancake rolls, we decided against a dessert,

after the meal we watched a film from Brazil, Get The Goat, which we both found so funny in a slapstick way,

we followed that with one episode from The Irregulars, loosely based on the gang that Sherlock Holmes employs to do his undercover work, we watched the first of this TV mini series and found it rather good, the costumes and sets we were really well done, it just seemed a shame to bring in people with super natural powers, but there it was, by now Diana was so tired that she went to bed, I watched a couple of Midsomer Murders than I too was off to bed.