Decline and fall

According to the dashboard I’ve blogged only once in 8 months. The last time was back in October 2015 when I announced I was leaving central London to return to the ‘burbs (well, zone 3), where I currently am.

I have, on occasion, been inclined to write something but as often as not I think “what’s the point?” I guess you can blame Twitter for the relative death of blogging. That medium styles itself (or at least it did in the early days) as a ‘micro-blogging’ platform and that’s where 98.5% of the old bloggers I used to interact with have decamped to. A shame. I do enjoy reading the blogs of the very few people I used to regularly blog alongside.

The biggest trouble with blogging is that the ‘lifestyle’ or ‘dear diary’ type blogging style seems almost dead. Today, you either have to be a food blogger, photo blogger or some kind of single-issue blogger. Gone are the days when people treated blogging like a casual ‘open diary’ format – which I did enjoy. Sure, a handful of people still do – but they really are in the minority. I know this because I was part of the zeitgeist of that early noughties  blogging movement when it was in its infancy and, in retrospect, at its most enjoyable. Like Twitter, it was much more enjoyable in the early days than it is now.

Hard to believe that in the early days my (old) blog was picked up by both the BBC and the Guardian. It would be inconceiveable now. I used to review TV stuff and 10 years ago it was not uncommon for those sites to link to blogs. Nowadays, of course, they are linking to Twitter posts as you regularly see.

I might try and post a few photos and just be a bit more active here if I can. If not, then what’s the point of paying for the domain name?

I called it “leaving Anna Madrigal”

Anna MadrigalFive years of my life spent at the last place in central London. I’m now a zone 1 exile, living in suburban zone 3.

In truth it has been a lot better than I’d thought it might be. Commuting by train not so very bad (or so very long). Much quieter than living in the centre. Back to the place I have owned for more than a decade, rather than a rental place.

Leaving Anna Madrigal was not without conviviality. Drinks down at hers on the last Monday. A sense of regret on her side (apparently I was “the perfect tenant”; or something like that). No rent rises in 5 years (seriously). But nothing lasts for ever. Life is but a series of chapters.

So it was the right time to move on. The place I had rented now being renovated, a few more mod cons and put back on to the market at (I kid you not) 50% more than I had been paying. London prices eh?

Remembrances of things past: of an impossibly short commute among other things.

But as I’ve said, being back in the ‘old place’ not really all that bad at all. A commuter, of course, but as suburban London goes – this is a nice area so I’m not complaining. For now anyway.

Duncan Grant – Bloomsbury Set

I’ve been enjoying the three-part documentary How To Be Bohemian currently airing on the BBC. Episode two focused on the sexual pioneering of the Bloomsbury set in which homosexuality and bisexuality were, as we know, de rigeur.

Loving the artwork of Duncan Grant and fascinated by his personal life:

Duncan’s early affairs were exclusively homosexual. These included his cousin, the writer Lytton Strachey, the future politician Arthur Hobhouse and the economist John Maynard Keynes, who at one time considered Grant the love of his life. Through Strachey, Grant became involved in the Bloomsbury Group, where he made many such great friends including Vanessa Bell. He would eventually live with Vanessa Bell, who though she was a married woman fell deeply in love with him, and one night succeeded in seducing him; Vanessa very much wanted a child by Duncan, and became pregnant in the spring of 1918. Although it is generally assumed that Duncan’s sexual relations with Vanessa ended in the months before Angelica was born (Christmas, 1918), they continued to live together for more than 40 years.

Living with Vanessa was no impediment to Duncan’s relationships with men, either before or after Angelica was born. Angelica grew up believing that Vanessa’s husband Clive Bell was her father; she bore his surname and his behaviour toward her never indicated otherwise. Duncan and Vanessa formed an open relationship, although she herself apparently never took advantage of this after settling down with him and having their child. Duncan, in contrast, had many physical affairs and several serious relationships with other men, most notably David Garnett, who would one day marry Angelica. Duncan’s love and respect for Vanessa, however, kept him with her until her death in 1961.

Angelica wrote: “(Grant) was a homosexual with bisexual leanings”.

Source: Wikipedia