When I left the house yesterday morning to go to work it was -1 degrees. This morning it was a fairly tropical 11 degrees which is absolutely ridiculous, and it's also pouring with rain so everything is muddy and miserable and not at all crispy and bright. T'uh, let's soldier on, shall we?
|End of Her Journey (1875) Alice Havers|
Look, we've all been there, especially at this time of year. Only last week, I was half way round the big Marks and Sparks in town and I just felt like collapsing in Gentlemen's Unmentionable Apparel and telling everyone else to carry on without me. It's all so exhausting and the shops are hot and crowded, and endless, endless Mariah Carey telling me that all she wants for Christmas is me. That's a lot of pressure. Also, we're still about three weeks away from Christmas, when you have to pack yourselves and all the presents you have wrestled free from town into a car and go to relatives houses which will again be hot and crowded and stressful, and there are still about a quarter ton of sprouts to be peeled and I haven't even bought my crackers yet. Are we still allowed to buy crackers? Are they terribly frowned upon now? If I endeavour to buy ones which are recyclable and don't contain plastic things, is that okay?
I'm guessing that is what killed the woman in today's picture. All of that. In fact, I think she was on the way to her relatives house for Christmas and she just thought 'Nope, can't face it' and that was it. All the relatives rushed up from the village and bewailed that fact that Auntie Maureen has gone and died on the verge, conveniently keeping the road free, isn't that just like Auntie Maureen, always thinking of others? Yes, all very sad, and with her dying breath Auntie Maureen will murmur 'Just go on without me...' and the family will sadly trail off to their homes to have a slightly more subdued but still hot and stressful Christmas without her. When the coast is clear, Maureen will get up, go back to her own home, fix herself a sandwich and get stuck into all those books she stress-bought in the run up to Christmas. And she'll have a jolly nice time too. 'Mariah Carey can have someone else for Christmas,' Maureen thinks, 'I'm busy...'
|Trouble (The Sick Child) (1882) Alice Havers|
Alice Havers was an artist and illustrator, born in 1850. She spent a good portion of her childhood in the Faulkland Islands, and there is a useful biographical page about her here. In some other places on line, there is an amount of sneering at her images of children, but to be honest they are no more saccharine than others from the same period and my Nan would have loved them. I am impressed by the gloomy images she made, including today's image and The Sick Child which is both a bit grim and a tad Biblical, always a jolly combination. She died suddenly at 40, shortly after getting her divorce from fellow artist Frederick Morgan. The marriage was an appalling one filled with numerous instances of adultery on his part, one involving him catching an unfortunate disease and bringing that home, also including with the housemaid, which is not going to get the dusting done. Also, there was quite a bit of violence, allegedly on both sides. I wondered if she had been ill, or if the stress of the divorce had affected her health, but I note that in the Faulkland's page biography, they state that she took her own life. Blimey, that's grim, even for Sobvent...
See you tomorrow.