måndag 25 september 2017

Grattis Shel!

Never explain what you do. It speaks for itself. 
You only muddle it by talking about it.

Sheldon Allan "Shel" Silverstein 
25 september 1930 – 10 maj 1999

Cloony The Clown  
I'll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown
Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall,
But he just wasn't, just wasn't funny at all.
And every time he did a trick,
Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke,
Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe,
Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head,
Everyone screamed, "Go back to bed!"
And every time he made a leap,
Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie,
Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money
Simply because he was not funny.
One day he said, "I'll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown."
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no,
They laughed until they shook the trees
With "Hah-Hah-Hahs" and "Hee-Hee-Hees."
They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks,
They laughed all day, they laughed all week,
They laughed until they had a fit,
They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around
To every city, every town,
Over mountains, 'cross the sea,
From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter,
Lasting till forever after,
While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
And while the world laughed outside.
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.

“Said the little boy, Sometimes I drop my spoon. Said the little old man, I do that too. The little boy whispered, I wet my pants. I do too, laughed the old man. Said the little boy, I often cry. The old man nodded. So do I. But worst of all, said the boy, it seems Grown-ups don't pay attention to me. And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand. I know what you mean, said the little old man.”

“I asked the zebra, Are you black with white strips? Or white with black strips? And the zebra asked me, Are you good with bad habits? Or are you bad with good habits? Are you noisy with quiet times? Or are you quiet with noisy times? Are you happy with sad days? Or are you sad with happy days? Are you neat with some sloppy ways? Or are you sloppy with some neat ways? And on and on and on and on And on and on he went. I'll never ask a zebra About stripes Again.”

“All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin' In The Sun,
Talkin' 'Bout The Things
They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done...
But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All Ran Away And Hid
From One Little Did.”


dagar kvar

söndag 24 september 2017

Dagens konstrunda

Stockholm by Night 
Alfred Wahlberg 

ägnade jag huvudsakligen åt svenska konstnärer som jag inte kände till sedan tidigare. Som Herman Alfred Leonard Wahlberg (1834 - 1906). Okänd är han ju inte, men jag kan tänka mig att landskap inte är det mest gångbara på dagens konstmarknad — och är det vad en konstnär ägnat sig åt, är risken stor att man blir bortglömd.
 Alfred Wahlberg 

Så hittar jag  Martin van Meytens, och inser efter en stund att jag tidigare sett hans två bilder på en bedjande nunna — framifrån hur sedlig som helst, men bakifrån med rumpan bar. Men mest tycks han ha målat porträtt av alla Europas kungligheter och adel.
självporträtt, ca 1740
Kröken på hans lillfinger får mig att förmoda att han gillade att dricka kaffe ur lövtunna koppar, med krökt lillfinger, och skvallra med hovet.
Men bilden som fångar mig är Ladies' Carousel från 1746.

Jag undrar vad i all världen damerna håller på med, och hittar så småningom den här förklaringen:
The Ladies' Carousel in the Winter Riding School, painting, after 1743
Schloß Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.Schloss Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H.
The Ladies’ Carousel was part of the festivities held to mark the re-taking of Prague by Austrian forces during the War of Austrian Succession.
Det finns många sätt att roa sig på.


dagar kvar
President Harrison's Bedroom

lördag 23 september 2017

Lördag med Gutenberg

September Edmund, 1915
 Blair Leighton

Min päronskörd är bärgad  tack och lov ville några grannar ha en stor del av den, vilket betyder att allt jag nu har kvar är en skål med ätpäron att frossa i. Inte ens tillräckligt för att prova alla Henriettas päronrecept (inalles fem stycken).
Redan efter förordets första mening, förstod jag att det här är en bok för mig: 
BEFORE dipping into this book very far, reader (pray note that I cozen you with neither “gentle” nor “dear”), allow me to suggest that you familiarize yourself with the spirit of Emerson, who has allowed that the truly consistent person changes his mind whenever occasion offers
Så jag läser vidare i Henrietta Sowles "I Go A-Marketing" från 1900:
Is it necessary, I wonder, to say that this compilation of persiflage and cookery is not intended to be the whole culinary library of any housekeeper? In case it may be believed that I have any such inflated idea of its value, let me say at once that any housekeeper who secures this book, by buying or by borrowing, will want just as many of the old-line “cook-books” at hand as if she had never heard of it. Its mission is a supplementary one. It is for those dark and dreary days when the housekeeper “wants something good,” but cannot say what. It suggests. Therein is all of beauty and use, for “beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all ye know and all ye need to know.”
Furthermore, it is for the housekeeper who knows by experience, or intuition, how to lay a fire, and how to broil a steak. With kindergarten methods it does not deal—it rather takes it for granted that it will fall into the hands of those who have been graduated from kindergarten cookery. Neither does it attempt to set forth the duties of butlers or of housemaids. It goes on the principle rather that the housekeeper who supports these factotums knows what their duties should be. [ix]And is there any necessity for those who cannot attain to such appointments burdening their minds with knowledge never to be used? Think on all these things omitted when you are getting inspiration from this slender source, and be thankful that I have shown so much consideration for you.

Boken har ett kapitel för varje månad och jag skyndar vidare till september.

 “But the fruit that falls without shaking  
Indeed is too mellow for me.”

Går snabbt förbi alla ostronrecept och fördjupar mig i frukten:
Of late years, when the subject of home-made preserves and pickles has been referred to in my hearing, I have been wont to assume a very superior and quite top-lofty air, and to remark in a know-it-all tone of voice: “Oh, life’s too short for me to bother with anything like that; give me the fruits and vegetables and all other edibles that one can buy preserved in tin or glass the year round; they’re better than home-made nine times out of ten, they cost no more in the end, and there’s slight necessity for guesswork when you are to open a can as to the condition of its contents.” Sometimes, if I had a very tractable audience, this would end all discussion for the time being. At others it would fairly set the advocates of domestic preserving by their ears, and then you may be sure they  defended their cause in good earnest. But they never induced me to go in for anything of the sort. Still, I now have on hand a very fair array of jars and bottles and tumblers filled with jellies and jams and pickles, and they are home-made, and they are old-fashioned and I am proud of them. And I’ll tell you how it happened. Out in the country, three weeks or so ago, I was passing a farmhouse where the door opening into the kitchen stood wide open, and through that open door came a fragrant breath that called to mind numberless sweet woodsy smells. There was in it a suggestion of sweet fern, a reminder of bayberry, a hint of sassafras and a distinct likeness of grapevine blossoms. And this divine odor was conjured up, I learned, by the stewing of grapes—wild grapes, of course; the cultivated varieties being quite out of it when it comes to preserving. That settled it. Within twenty-four hours from that time there was issuing from my kitchen an odor of wild grapes a-stewing.
Grapes, Peaches and Quinces in a Niche 
Frans Snyders

Druvor och kvitten kommer inte på fråga  visserligen odlar min granne druvor, men vilda har vi inga i mina trakter, och vad beträffar kvitten så är det bara rosenkvitten som går att odla på mina breddgrader. Och har du försökt att ta dig in i en sådan frukt, så förstår du varför jag låter dem vara kvar på busken. 
Have you ever made a salad of apples and celery? frågar Henrietta, visst har jag det, faktum är att jag gör det rätt ofta, fast jag aldrig har provat det med kapris och oliver. Och inte bryr jag mig om vad min kniv är tillverkad av för material.
Nothing can exceed the joy-giving properties of an apple salad if it be rightly concocted. For myself I prefer that there shall be a judicious mixture of celery with the apple, that the pepper, salt, and oil be added with a sparing hand, and that without fail lemon juice shall be used in place of vinegar. It hardly seems necessary to say, and yet one never knows just what is the proper stopping place in giving advice, that a steel knife must not be allowed to touch the apples, else what might have been and should be a thing of beauty is a damaging blight to an otherwise perfectly appointed table. 
Use sour apples cut into dice-shaped pieces, and cut the celery into half-inch bits. Arrange in the salad dish in this way: A layer of the apple, then a sprinkling of capers; next a layer of the celery, and over this three or four olives cut in thin slices, and so on till the dish is full. Make a dressing of a saltspoonful of salt, a good dash of cayenne pepper, the juice of a lemon, and six tablespoonfuls of olive oil. Pour this over the apples and celery about ten minutes before serving. Be sure that you let the youngsters have all of this salad that they want, for it will be hard to concoct a more wholesome and healthful one.
Visst skulle det vara trevligt att få en krysantem i utbyte mot en god maträtt, men jag kan nog tänka mig att prova "Broiled Tomatoes on Toast" utan några blomsterbaktankar:
Cut some round slices of bread and fry them delicately in butter till they are brown. Slice firm, ripe tomatoes to match the sizes of the bread slices; broil the tomatoes just a wee bit, and then lay a slice on each piece of the French bread. Season them with pepper and salt, scatter grated Parmesan cheese over them, spread them with a layer of fine bread-crumbs moistened with melted butter. Brown in a hot oven and serve piping hot. And if the man o’ the house is the right sort you will get a vote of thanks in the shape of a big bunch of the earliest and brightest chrysanthemums to be found in town.

Chrysanthemums in a Woven Basket, 1906
Paul De Longpre


dagar kvar

fredag 22 september 2017


dagar kvar

torsdag 21 september 2017

I dag för 120 år sedan

publicerade "The Sun" ett brev med en fråga, som Virginia O'Hanlon skickat till tidningsredaktionen.
Virginia O'Hanlon

 Lite då och då, särskilt i jultid, skrivs det om Virginia, som skrev till tidningen "The Sun" och frågade om tomten verkligen existerar. Svaret från tidningens redaktör har blivit en klassiker: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus".
Det var alltså den 21 september 1897 som frågan, och svaret publicerades i tidningen.

Virginia O'Hanlon var åtta år när hon ställde frågan till sin far, som slingrade sig ur situationen genom att föreslå att hon skulle skriva till "The Sun" och fråga hur det förhöll sig. Men ljög gjorde han likväl, för han tillade "står det i "The Sun" så är det så".

Svaret kan man läsa på den här sidan, där man även kan höra en intervju med Virginia, från 1937. På den tiden spelade man in på "stenkakor", så ljudkvaliteten är inte den allra bästa, i synnerhet inte de första 30 sekunderna.
Nu sitter jag här och funderar på hur en redaktion skulle svara på en liknade fråga i dag  framför allt undrar jag vad dagens åttaåringar skulle tycka om det här svaret, skulle språket gå hem?


dagar kvar

onsdag 20 september 2017

fler pelargoner

Geranium am Fenster
Auguste Macke

Från C. C. Gjörwell till fru Lindahl.
Stockholm, den 3 juni i 8o8.

Tusen tack, bästa Stafva, för ditt sista kära bref och den vackra blomman; — men jag skall väl också skicka dig en blomma,
säkerligen oss bägge ganska kär. Jag har plockat den med sitt blad af en Geranium, som söta mor skött och hållit vid lif hela vintern. Den står nu uti full grönska och fägring uti mitt fönster samt fyller det liksom det vore ett vinträd. Det gläder mig otroligt; jag sitter och skrifver bredvid detsamma alla dagar, äfven dessa rader, liksom uti dess skugga, åtminstone ännu uti ett lycksaligt lugn. Måtte detta aldrig af brytas, nej, blifva långvarigt!!
                                       ur Svenska memoarer och bref II (1900)


dagar kvar
White House Map Room, ca 1943

tisdag 19 september 2017

I dag för 124 år sedan

fick Nya Zeelands kvinnor rösträtt, de var de första kvinnorna i världen som genom idogt kampanjande uppnådde denna självklara rättighet.

The world turned upside down? A typical anti-suffrage 
cartoon warns that tampering with men’s and women’s 
‘natural’ gender roles could cause the breakdown of 
society – or at least screaming babies, burnt dinners 
and cats in the milk jug.


dagar kvar