Morning, noon and night

Three random things I learned, or remembered, today

Archive for Art




I love Monet.

“My sensitivity, far from diminishing, has been sharpened by age, which holds no fears for me so long as unbroken communication with the outside world continues to fuel my curiosity, so long as my hand remains a ready and faithful interpreter of my perception.”

Claude Monet






If you don’t believe in magic, then you have to believe in the power of coincidence.

Here is a tiny, tiny, tiny, coincidence.

On Sunday, I mentioned I had bought my daughter the Folio edition of “The Blue Fairy Book.” Funnily enough the illustration on the inside cover was very familiar to me. I used it a couple of weeks ago for a Powerpoint presentation. I knew it was from a Folio Society book but I didn’t know which one.

Yes, it was a tiny, tiny, tiny coincidence.

I bought the book partly because of it.

My daughter was well pleased. She informed me that we had come across an original first edition of one of the “Fairy Books” when we visited a book show a couple of years ago and it cost thousands of pounds. I had forgotten about that but eventually managed to retrieve the memory of the event from the depths of my brain.

I had a search in Abe books and, sure enough, there was an original first edition of the Blue Fairy Book selling for a lot of money. A lot.

Now, that is a “three tiny” coincidence. When I bought this book , there was another coincidence – a “two tiny” one this time. But that can wait till noon.

The Blue Fairy Book



It was my daughter’s birthday today and I gave her money. A boring, boring money present.

However, I visited a book fair yesterday and found a Folio Society copy of “The Blue Fairy Book” edited by Andrew Lang. I loved it, and although my daughter is an adult, I knew she would too. It is beautifully presented and contains wonderful illustrations by Charles van Sandwyke.

Here is an extract of something Lang wrote in 1891.

” There are not many people now, perhaps there are none, who can write really good fairy tales, because they do not believe enough in their own stories and because they want to be wittier than it has pleased Heaven to make them……..”

I wonder if “Harry Potter” has been so successful because J K Rowling believed enough.

Carmine allergy



Carmine is a beautiful shade of red and as well as an art pigment is frequently added as a dye to foods and cosmetics. It is obtained from the cochineal insect.

In Europe this dye is regulated under the food additives directive and is known as Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines and Natural
Red 4 or as additive E 120.

An individual may develop allergy to carmine because of sensitivity to the protein residues from the cochineal insect present in the dye.






At the moment, to me, Turner is the greatest artist of all time, but I change my mind about this every few years or so.

For me, Turner is to Art as Beethoven is to Music, – strong, powerful but exquisitely sensitive.