When I turned vegetarian at aged 13, it was due to making the connection between the sweet lambs I would help bottle feed on my dad’s friend’s farm, and the (delicious) lamb chop on my plate. I decided that I didn’t want to kill an animal if I could survive without eating them. I remained vegetarian for over twenty years until it became clear that eating that way was compromising my health. I was originally only going to add in fish to my diet, but I went to Uzbekistan shortly after ending my vegetarianism and was confronted with a (delicious) lamb kebab and that was the end of pescatarian me. Despite realising that I needed to eat meat to be healthy, the ethics around meat eating have not left me. This is why I refuse to buy cheap meat: not only for my health (no thanks to all those antibiotics and Omega
This week, I have seen a couple of recent news stories relating to Palestine and Israel: one which enraged me; one which provoked me. I made a throwaway collage on 27th February for Ephemera for the former story about how a pro-Israel lobby group made a London hospital take down art work by children from Gaza as they felt ‘threatened’. I am still struggling to find words to explain how rage-full I feel in response to that. That people representing one of the most belligerent, violent, and militarised countries on earth could consider children’s artwork threatening is an egregious farce and an abuse of the English language. What they did not want was for anyone outside of Gaza / Palestine to know the reality of those children’s lives. That the hospital would capitulate to this lie of vulnerability disgusts me. Today I read the historian Simon Schama calling for British Jews to
I recently got around to reading Austin Kleon‘s Show Your Work and thought I’d do my own version of taking his advice. Kleon recommends small daily updates where you literally show what you are working on. I’m not quite ready to do that, but I do like the idea of committing to some small share every day. So, I have created a new page on my site: Ephemera. It’s a visual, random mish-mash of things which I have been thinking about that day. It’s so far mainly been quotes from something I have read, photography, links to podcasts I have enjoyed, photos of books, or very quick five minute collages. Its tagline should probably be: you can take the girl out of Instagram, but you can’t take Instagram out of the girl. As it took me quite a few tries to find a free WordPress gallery plugin that I liked, I thought
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has an incredible collection and, when I lived there, I used to like to take advantage of the free admissions on Sundays. In particular, I was mesmerised by this painting by Giorgio de Chirico, The Poet and His Muse. I still have a postcard of it on my desk, alongside postcards of Carlo Crivelli’s The Dead Christ supported by Two Angels, two postcards of Henry Miller, one of Brian from the Magic Roundabout, and a giant badge which says ‘BE NICE, it’s catching!’ whose advice I only sometimes take. There is lots to love about this painting, but what I tend to get stuck on, is the size of the muse compared to the poet. It feels right to me that the muse towers over the poet as if it were the poet’s progenitor; but more, the muse feels protective of the poet as well as infinitely more wise. All of these are truths to me.