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Friday, May 16, 2008

Waterhouse

Mermaid by Waterhouse
I was searching for an image of a knight, a picture I had in my head of La Belle Dame Sans Merci (Poem: John Keats, Painting: Waterhouse) and I stumbled upon this. It was then I remembered that, 10 years ago, I went though a phase of collecting postcards of fine art, particularly Romantic and late 19th Century pieces based on scenes from Classical Literature and from the canon of English Poetry. I wondered if this mermaid was behind my persona in some way - she was one of the postcards I had collected - wistfully looking out to sea, alone, pensive...

But thinking about my collection reminded me of The Wanderer Above the Mists. This was a picture that had such an impact on me as a student. It was at the epicentre of my collection, posted in the middle of my room and surrounded by the other paintings. It is a powerful portrait of a man who looks like he has been transported to an unknown place, to a situation for which he was not prepared (his clothing is hardly that of an intrepid explorer!)... a man facing a task unfinished, a path unseen, yet he is not shirking from his challenge. He will go into the great unknown, he will venture into the mist though he cannot see the dangers, because he trusts in the One who does know the way, who will guide him through the paths of his life.

Wanderer Above The Mists

For me, this is how I have always seen life. I am not really the pensive mermaid sitting around, combing her hair, waiting for a mer-man. I am the traveller, the wayfarer, the journeyman and the lone crusader. I am a lot stronger than people think, even if I have to pour out my siren songs from time to time.

Yet I have never had a 10-year plan, or a 5-year or even a 1-year plan. I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future and I am confident that I, too, can face the future with its trials and with its joys, because I know where my ultimate destination is, I have a shepherd to guide me and I have been given the key.

"I know who holds the future
And He'll guide me by the hand;
With God things don’t just happen
Everything by Him is planned.
So as I face tomorrow with its
problems large and small
I’ll trust the God of miracles,
Give to him my all."

52 comments:

idle said...

Idle, hewn of Highland stock and a sometime infantry officer, recognises the Wanderer Above the Mists, and approves. However, my barnet is not red, and is under better control than the laddie seen here atop his rock.

As for your own mermaid representation, merms, I hope it is not ungallant to say that there are early signs of a sprat in the oven, if you get my drift.

If the beast were commenting, he might opine that, given that a mermaid's nether regions hold out little obvious attraction to the red-blooded male, it is crucial for her to have good baps.

mutleythedog said...

I think he is sat upon a rock by the Salcombe waste incinerator and abattoir landfill site...

Nice honest religious sentiments in a blog... I shall have to write like that one of these days...

Scroblene said...

Afternoon Merms - glad to see you're getting pensive; it always helps when you've spent all that time in La Belle France, and can't remember a few things which might matter...

Anyway, the picture of the mermaid is drawn using a model (Ethel Borage - lady of some note), and depicts the famous stone arch just outside Dawlish.(You risk death getting there as the rail line passes very close).

By coincidence, the gentleman surveying the scene is Electro Kevin pretending to be Jeremiah Dixon, (before he met 'Baker' Charlie Mason). Elecs is clearly wondering where he left the 4.55 while he stepped out to paint a portrait of a mermaid near a famous stone arch near Dawlish...

The rest is history! Lovely idea, looking at old memories...

The Old Tarf said...

I thought it was a one legged snipe who are known to roam the back woods and dales of Scotland.

I guess, as a wild colonial boy. I must have missed the art appreciation class and took recess instead.

Went for a walk up in the Mountain yesterday, came nose to nose with a brown Bear. We both turned around and went our respected ways. It was too warm to wrestle him for his fur coat.

It is five O'clock somewhere. We are heading to the US tomorrow to the San Jaun Islands to see some Orcas.

will keep an eye open for you on some rocky outpost, Merms.

Lilith said...

Cool. No point in having too many plans or you miss opportunities :-)

My hair was like that in my late 20's. What a fag! All that getting the tangles out and plaiting it up at night to avoid an Amy Whitehouse look in the morning. Not to mention the tri-annual henna ritual...nightmare. Did it for 25 years. I always wanted to be a Ginger.

As to Mick Hucknall on the rocks...I'll drink to that..

electro-kevin said...

I know the mermaid scene well and it is indeed a cove near Dawlish (by Phillot tunnel to be spotterish.)

It is heartbreakingly beautiful and, like the Mermaid, never diminishes despite frequent lashes from the elements.

Mark your time - you've yet to realise quite how fast it's passing.

;-)

Scroblene said...

Are the black swans still on the water in Dawlish Elecs?

I love that area, we had a lovely holiday there when the girls were very young.

It was tha place where someone snapped off my car aerial, and also the first place where Younger Daught (8) said 'bloody' out loud while playing tennis...

Also remember the pub at the top playing 'Big Log' by Robert Plant every night, and ever since then, I've loved it!

electro-kevin said...

Yes, Scrobs. The black swans (with vivid red beaks) are still there - so long as someone remembers to paint them.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

EK - you mean they're white swans but someone comes along to paint them? People are sick

Scroblene said...

Morning Merms,

True - they are there! I think Elecs was being economical with the description back there...

http://www.dawlish.com/Page/Standard-9.aspx

Sadly for me and Mrs S, I still recount - in monotone - Peter Cooke's immortal line to Dudley Moore, when they were trying to stop his gliding car...

'Land...there...'! Wherupon they crash...

The car was 'The Dawlish Flyer'.

Blimey, I am coming out with the good stuff today arn't I...looks like a good day already...

Daisy said...

i have had a knight...quite literally...and they are not all they seem to be...you can't cry on their shoulder as it might tarnish their armour...as always be careful what you wish for...you might just get it...

Trubes said...

Arh Merrms that was a lovely post.
Have you really got a Knight and doesn't he make awful clanking sound when he's moving around your home ?
I married my Knight in Shining Armour(DT) and he's clanking around a bit now..poor old fellow..

Hope you're well and you sound really happy, which is good.

Di.xxx

Scroblene said...

Glad he's still clanking Trubes!

Nothing wrong with a good clank now and then...!

As the Duuuuke of Edinborughhhhhh said once when spearing a medal on some lady who obviously deserved it...

'Eeeeergh, how many children do you have Mrs Erghhhhhh'

'Eighteen your worship/kingness/lordoftheringsetc...'

'Blimey' says Dukers...'He should have a Knighthood'!

'Well - he's got one' said poor lady, 'but he never wears it...'

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Still the funniest joke ever made and I dare anyone to challenge it!

You are first Merms and I want at least a small chuckle in return, otherwise I'll go to the foot of our stairs...

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

it is very funny indeed Scrobs, you get the first class garvits for today!

idle said...

My favourite story concerning the Greek was when he asked a Glasgow Driving Test Examiner:

"How do you get the natives to stay off the booze long enough to sit their test?"

Quality.

Scroblene said...

And he farted on camera Idle!

Bring back 'Spitting Image' I say; their servant was called Lickbottom!

Lilith said...

Hilarious Scrobbers!

fleetofworlds said...

I have always felt that the UK as a military dicatatorship with Phil the Greek as Dictator would be an option worthy of further exploration!

Trubes said...

Ha ha Scrobs: That was a champion joke, I say, I say, a champion joke.
Keep away from the foot of our stairs because.....

All of a sudden a penny black pudding came rolling down the stairs,
It missed me Ma and hit me Pa, and knocked him off his chair......Tra la la la la la la...ta la la la la la lay..

Pip Pip!

Scroblene said...

Trubes!

That's the fifth verse from 'Billy Bean' isn't it - just wait till I tell Mrs S - she'll go totally bananas!

May even be in for a chance...

Blue Eyes said...

This is all fascinating stuff, but what I want to know is: are you coming to the Blue Eyes shindig tonight?

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

what blue Eyes shindig? What have I missed? black puddings, duke of edinburgh, missed jollity... oh dear I need to sort myself out!

Blue Eyes said...

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?! You don't keep a close enough eye on my vitally impotent blog?!?!?!?!?!?!?

The Mug House, Tooley Street SE1. All the important bloggerati are coming (except for those with valid excuses).

Sorry for the short notice

idle said...

Me?? A member of the important bloggerati, at a public house in London South East?? With MY reputation?

What time?

Blue Eyes said...

6.30 onwards! hope you can come!

idle said...

Pulling your leg, blue eyes. Am off home to the idle daughters, freshly back from their country club for half term. But I'll come next time, I promise.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Blue Eyes!!! I have missed your shindig! But I do have an excuse - I teach a youth group on a thursday...

Blue Eyes said...

Which probably means you are feeling slightly more sprightly than I am this morning!

electro-kevin said...

What do you teach the youth group, Mermins ?

I expect whatever it is your class is full of adolescents swooning in your presence and not paying too much attention to the lesson.

I know I had a penchant for the older lady when I were a lad. I still do, actually. I'm not sure when it'll stop - perhaps when they're 90, depends on if they have their own teeth I suppose.

I can just see a market opening up for 90+ Amateur Babes magazines as women become better preserved and ever more desperate for a bit of cash because their pensions have been ruined.

Always a silver lining in an economic downturn, see ?

electro-kevin said...

Err - I'm not saying I like 90-year-old ladies now, you understand.

I just like 'em 10 years older than me. I suppose it's a school teacher fettish ...

This is getting worse, isn't it !

I'll get my coat.

Helen Mirren said...

Kev, why don't you call me anymore?

Gorilla Bananas said...

Amen Mermaid. I knew you were a strong person right from the beginning.

The Old Tarf said...

Well, flex your muscles and give us a call sometime.

Holidays are over, so time for some gossip.

Reluctant Blogger said...

No, don't waste too much time on plans - it's like being one of those people who spent hours making their revision timetable look beautiful and then never have any time left to revise.

I like both of those pictures. The Mermaid is very beautiful and the other one just draws you in and I spent ages just staring at it (and I should be working!!).

It's good to be thoughtful once in a while.

Trubes said...

Yo Mermies, I've got another silly yarn posted for your perusal.

Kevin I've still got all my own teeth, dont wear bloomers from C+A`s...yet and I'm just a year or two (nose growing) more, than ten years older than you. Am I in with a chance ? Tee Hee!

Just going to pop over to tarf to see what he's up to !

Toot Toot!

Di. xxxx

Globus said...

where is the ultimate destination then? globus needs guidance.

electro-kevin said...

Kevin I've still got all my own teeth, dont wear bloomers from C+A`s...yet and I'm just a year or two (nose growing) more, than ten years older than you. Am I in with a chance ? Tee Hee!
(Trubes)

Hell yes ! I'll add a few more years if a bit of dominatrix gear comes into the bargain.

Trubes said...

Kevin: Would a basque and green wellies suffice?

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

basque and green wellies! now I know where I have been going wrong, thanks darling trubesie xxx

Daisy said...

i've never had one of those 5 or 10 year plans either...had a job interview years ago where they asked me what my 5 and 10 year goal was...i just said to make it through the teen years with my son...and truly that was all i had planned...and no i didn't get the job but didn't really care either it was a crappy job...i just think everything happens in it's time and no matter what plan we have...there is a greater purpose to be fulfilled and we will play our part when we are needed to...

electro-kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
electro-kevin said...

Basque, Green wellies (preferably Hunters) AND a pair of Marigolds, Trubes. Don't forget white tennis socks.

To tell you the truth - if you're anything like that older bird who won Who Wants to be a Millionnaire ? then you're in. I think she's quite hot.

My favourite is Helen Mirren closely followed by Vicky Butler-Henderson. I quite like Kylie and my all time ambition ( before I got married) was to do a free-fall parachute jump and then make love to Jill Dando.

I suppose the parachute jump is out of the question now.

:-((

The Old Tarf said...

I was asked about 45 years ago what I wanted to do with my life by my Uncle Jack at my Cousin john's shot gun wedding.

I told him I wanted to be a Bum, Sleep on the streets, grow my hair long, Beachcomb and drink wine out of a paper bag. Hey I did all that, come to think of it; so I must be a successful person after all.

He was speechless and Mom was so happy that I had the nerve to talk back to Jack. She gave me 20 bucks.

I have a 30 year plan now. To be around to dance at my grandchildren's weddings and to be a pain in the neck to my Wife and Daughter.( I guess that is no different either, I am doing that now being a pain that is).

-eve- said...

Good pics, and good post :-)

idle said...

Pot calling the kettle black, but where's the action round here?

mrgrinch said...

Well, Xmas starts earlier every year, so what the heck, I'm gonna steal a march......I f*****g hate Xmas!

Tuscan Tony said...

Merms, a moving post. Sorry not been by for a while, hope all's well in the inky deep.

mutleythedog said...

Does anyone know if 'The Man formerly known as The Hitch' is still alive?

hellengrad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mutleythedog said...

You know me too well Helengrad...

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

I think that means the hitch is alive, and well, and posting somewhere from a prison cell

fleetofworlds said...

The Hitch is not only alive but accosting and abusing his namesake (that maniac who writes unhinged bilge for a newspaper whose name I cannot bring myself to utter) in the streets. The whole magnificent escapade can be read about on Guido.