On the train to London (to see the Cindy Sherman exhibition). We are delayed at Royston: no way forward; no way back; no way of escape. I look out of the window and the words from The Ballad of Reading Gaol remind me I’m not trapped: I never saw a man who looked / With such a wistful eye / Upon that little tent of blue / Which prisoners call the sky, / And at every drifting cloud that went / With sails of silver by.
Photo: Royston Station, September 2019
This may be number 100, but it’s not the end of the line. There’s a last film to be processed (see post 20th August) and then the final edit to choose the 100 that will go into the book.
Saw the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery yesterday. Excellent and much more illuminating and rewarding than the recent TV programme. Catch it before it ends on 15th September.
There is something admirable in true eccentricity. C. A. Morris’s decision to build a one-ninth scale model of Bourton-on-the Water in the 1930s was eccentric (and why not one-tenth scale?), yet the result is admirable in its own way. Exclude the Gulliver-like visitors from the view and with a little suspension of disbelief the Lilliputian buildings take on a charming reality.
Step back and the illusion is shattered by figures towering over the houses. It’s both eccentric and ironic. Morris built the model to encourage tourists to visit his pub. The visitors to his village now mirror the Brogdignagian spectre of tourism that stomps all over the village outside, turning it from a real place into an erzatz Cotswold theme park with all the charm of an Orlando version of Olde England.
Photos: Model Village,
Bourton-on-the Water, September 2019.