Wednesday, July 23, 2008


My friend Pete has inspired me, reading his blog. He and Tricia went to Chiswick House recently and Pete has written about Hogarth.(Edited as Pete has been a trifle naughty!)

I often go to CH as its very local to me . Sometimes I am accompanied by a friends dog.
Its a place that Valerie walked her Labradors (when she had them) and I thought some of the things that Hogarth believed in were close to her heart too.

Hogarth may have lived three centuries ago, but his interests lay in matters which strike many chords with people today.

* Animals appear in many of his works - a pet monkey, a dog stealing food, pigs scampering away from a crowd - but his series of prints, Four Stages of Cruelty, against the horrors of London crime, show his abhorrence of their ill-treatment.

* His fondness for children is clear in his paintings, such as those of the Ranby children, who lived near him in Chiswick. And he was an energetic supporter of the Foundling Hospital, fostering some of its children each summer at his Chiswick house.

* His was sympathetic to the ordinary people of London, including the many black people who were his contemporaries, and portrays them with affection, both in conversation pieces and amongst the crowds on the street.

* He hated injustice and the corruption of his time, showing it in some of his work, such as his series of pictures of an election. He was also outraged that others produced pirated versions of his prints without any return for himself, campaigning successfully in 1735 for the first ever Act of Parliament which protected artists' intellectual property rights.

There is a sculpture of Hogarth in Chiswick High Rd accompanied by a pug. When it first went up the paintbrush in his hand kept being stolen. I must check and see what they have done to stop this!

see the sculpture here

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Valerie's funeral went as these things do...but it was a fitting tribute and celebration of her life. Afterwards there was a champagne reception in a gastro pub where the champagne did flow and the food was great.We also were able to have a laugh which was what Valerie would have wanted. Her daughter thought Valerie would have been furious to have missed it! So true. What was good was it brought a lot of people together and we are arranging other drinks and meals.Thank you Valerie.

I have been able to do a couple of fairly local trips out to finally catch up on Spotted redshank and Green Sandpipers and a lovely White winged Black Tern at Rye. Sussex being the new Norfolk!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Valeries Funeral

The local press printed this article...despite being corrected as to how long Valerie fought cancer they managed to make it longer! Still most of it is accurate.

But they did print a lovely photo

The funeral is this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Valerie Lamey. RIP

My good friend and ex fellow Cllr. Valerie Lamey died on Thursday evening.

I am very glad to have known her well and to have many happy memories of her.

Valerie was full of fun, a raconteur- sometimes so brilliant you cried and an immensely hard working and committed councillor.
She was direct and forthright as a Mancunian can be and a total MU fan.
She loved her G and T and Red wine and good food.
She was committed to environmental issues and introduced the Green Boxes scheme and composting and real nappies as Chair of the Environment Committee and Executive Member.
She was a fair and impartial Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which was recognised nationally for its development.Valerie wanted to get at the truth and mainly did!She was also Deputy Leader of the Council.

Her socialism was unquestionable, she fought hard for her constituents and worked brilliantly with me as part of the team Syon!

Her love of history and reading was often useful in her speeches and her tales.

She loved Labradors and the wildlife in her garden.
She was proud as punch at her daughters nursing career - but probably didn't tell her too many times!
Kate you had a Mum to be proud of - I will miss her very much but treasure my memories of her.She was a good and kind friend.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Nadal triumphs!

Well I'm not sure he broke sweat!

Thats actually not really true as he looked very disheveled in his interview straight after the match with Murray.

Nadal is so focused and fights every point!

A great final may be in store if both Federer and Nadal make it there!

Andy Murray will surely work on his fitness again this winter and maybe he will reach the semi's next year......

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Murray fight back!

Congratulations to Andy Murray!

I was watching the match yesterday and was thinking such sublime tennis from Richard Gasquet would it really be possible for Andy to save that 3rd set? It was and he did!

I must admit that it was great to hear the support he got from the packed crowd.

Hats off to him!

I look forward to seeing him play Nadal. Whether he wins tomorrow or not, I am happy that he has showed that he has the potential and strangth to go far!

He did after all take Nadal to 5 sets in Australia.

Still we hold our breath!