Monday, November 19, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Shakespeare - staging the world
The Shakespeare exhibition at the British Museum ends on 25 November but is worth a visit if you haven't been. There are some fascinating objects on display, three of which particularly took my eye. There's a very handsome Spanish rapier, made in Toledo with an intricate sparkling silver handle. There are four large Scottish brooches dating from around 1600, each with a substantial polished crystal in the centre and with pearls around the frame. They were used for warding off disease and one of them has a much earlier heritage: it belonged to Robert the Bruce. There is also an obsidian mirror used by Dr Dee, Elizabeth I's astronomer which he got from the Aztecs. I gazed into this mirror for some minutes but I am sorry to report that the future remained black.
Monday, November 12, 2012
It was my father's 94th birthday on Saturday and we had a couple of small parties to celebrate. He said at our wedding that he wouldn't be making another speech until his 95th birthday so we're all looking forward to that. I hope that there will be some improvement in his eyesight by then. As well as the retinal vein occlusion in his only working eye, he had an operation on a detached retina. He therefore looks darkly through the oil which is holding the retina in place while it heals. We hope that his sight will improve when the oil is drained, next March. There is a one in three chance that the blood clot will clear naturally. Hope springs eternal.