Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Euphorbia, fictional names and the village smithy

Brightly coloured flowers have their place in gardens. So do modest,  pale yellows and greens like euphorbia. Every year I feel more at home with it as I hope it feels in our garden. Wild varieties usually have spurge in  the name as in wood spurge. It is a family that deserves attention.

Choosing names for fictional characters always seems to me to be a challenge. A name in a story has to be both appropriate and memorable. But what happens when it coincides with the name of a real person? Can it be libellous particularly when  characteristics in the fictional person  happens to fit the real person? I should know the answer but I don't precisely. These thoughts come to me today as I watch names come up on a screen in the hospital waiting room. Novelists looking for inspiration must find such sources of value. Today I think to myself that the name, Verity Bolter   which pops up for  a moment  could on its own inspire an interesting character. But she is a real person, and in the  unlikely event that she reads this I hope that  she will accept my apologies for the brief intrusion.

Sprouting from a wall in the garden a horse chestnut seedling. Who buried a conker there? A squirrel perhaps. Meanwhile a spreading chestnut tree comes to mind where..
"The village smith stands;
The smith a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as  iron bands..."
The seedling will have to go alas.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Flames, Darth Vader and dedication

After a cold spring the tulip bulbs which I planted in this pot in October now provide warmth with  flame-like petals.

In The Grove a small boy in a Darth Vader black Helmet  and cloak pursues two pigeons. He shouts at the top of his voice. The pigeons rise in the air and land a few yards away. They have seen it all before.

From the  bank counter I have a glimpse through an open door into a sort of large common room. The room is dominated by a green notice board on which someone has written  in caps with a black ink marker the words "Dedicated  Empathetic Knowledgeable". I imagine the training session where these qualities are proposed as models presumably to the bank staff and management.  But what do they mean? What do they really mean? 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Three, Sauternes and six sixes

Number  three  stencilled on a  lamppost.

Grandson Jacob brings a bottle of Sauternes, Rousset Peyraguey 2004 when he visits us yesterday. The  name  on the  label signifies little to me, but the honeyed wine with a fine edge of acidity on the finish, lingers in the memory. As it happens I have baked a rhubarb meringue tart. It turns out to be a perfect match. Chance and generosity together  make triumphal music.

Sport doesn't as a rule feature in my notes. With exceptions it brings in its wake nowadays too much noise and nastiness . But every now and then a sporting achievement transcends the unpalatable . I read with a lift of the heart  that one Jordan Clark playing in a second X1 game between Lancashire and Yorkshire, last week became the fifth professional cricketer to score six sixes in one over. I wish I had been there.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

padlock, soaked and feather

Sinister perhaps but an item with character.

One of my two cameras had a night out in the rain. I had left it in the vegetable garden. I test it and to my surprise, so far at least, it seems to have survived in working order protected by its case.

In the ivy above the entrance to The Compasses a robin struggles with a feather which is impaled on a twig. "Look," says Geoff, as the little bird stuffs layers of feather into its beak, "it's got a nest round the corner."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ball, grandchildren and nightmare

This strange  and rather beautiful object may be familiar. It is a golf ball. I find it of all places in the compost heap and you can see the compost still clinging to it. How it got there I do not know. You don't have to be a golfer to be seduced by it.

I tell  a visitor that my grandchildren will be visiting us on Saturday. "I hope it's fine, " she says, "so that they can play outside." I am flattered  that she should imagine that my grandchildren would want to go out and play. They are well in to their twenties. I shall of course make sure that they have the opportunity.

The short film  about a world without books which  Herhimnbryn  mentions in her comment yesterday brought a tear to my eye. Hall's Bookshop has been a feature of Tunbridge Wells for many years. And has long been a favourite of bibliophiles world wide.  Some years ago the bank next door which owned the lease were refusing to renew it on the grounds  that it wanted to install a cash dispenser. Protests came from far and wide, Good sense prevailed and the bank renewed the lease. But it was a near thing. The  film which is skillfully made and acted with charm and aplomb,envisages a time when there are no more books. The  last scene shows the Hall's we all know and love hideously boarded up, its windows blank and the outside display shelves gone for ever. A nightmare scenario as though the bank had won.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fork, crow and horse chestnuts

Before the 17th Century forks where barely known as a table implement in this country. Only the smartest and richest  people used them. This thought occurs to me as Pete at The Compasses proffers one with a paper napkin  or our lunch time snack. We take for granted this trendy device never once asking, what's wrong with fingers? Or plunging our well honed knife into a piece of meat to bring it to our mouth?

For the second day in succession I surprise a crow on one of the beds in the veg garden. Pigeons are a common sight, but in 20 years this is the first visit of a crow that I have witnessed. It flies off heavily carrying a twig. And very welcome it is.

The  first horse chestnuts are in leaf in the south-facing patch of Common facing the Church of King Charles the Martyr. Late but oh so welcome.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Feathers, jogging and nesting

Beside the lake at Groombridge.

An elderly man, grey hair, round shoulders, track suit, lopes by in The High Street. He clutches a bottle of mineral water.

End of April yet the trees  with very exceptions are still bare. The shadows of their branches make an unfamiliar sight so late in the Spring  with the sun at a  point in the sky when it usually looks down on leaved canopies. It is a busy time for birds, and for those who like to watch them  the absence of  cover makes it easy to follow them nesting and choosing nesting places

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shadow, National Geographic and lesser celandines

Photographer's shadow with dandelion.

In Hall's Bookshop we discuss the stack of National Geographic back numbers which arrived in the shop recently despite the prohibition imposed by the owner. Does anyone buy used copies? Apparently not. I declare my love of the magazine and its wonderful photographs. Above all I look forward to opening a new issue when it arrives smelling of printing ink and new paper. As to back numbers I do not keep many of them. Instead I cut out photographs which have particularly appealed and use them in my scrapbook.

Apart from the discussion on nomenclature this is the year of the lesser celandine. The late Spring must suit them. The shining yellow flowers with the dark green heart-shaped leaves  have taken over corners of my  garden and are most welcome and seem to be flourish  elesewhere in the neighbourhood.  Except in one place where they were once prolific.  I still recall how the flowers were wantonly grubbed up in the triangular shrubbery known locally as The Village Green by Council gardeners. Bare earth now testifies to this piece of vandalism. What would William Wordsworth have said? He wrote two poems to "The small celandine dated April 30 1802 and May 1 of the same year. The first begins:
 Pansies, lillies, kingcups, daisies
Let them live upon their praises;
Long as there's a sun that sets,
Primroses will have their glory;
Long as there are violets,
They will have a place in story;
There's a flower that shall be mine,
'Tis the little Celandine..."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Reluctant spring, nesting and parking

Now that it's here although reluctantly, Spring greetings.

A pair of crows fly over the vegetable garden. One has a long twig in its beak. Another welcome sign of spring, and  of the world getting on with its prime  business of procreation.

In The Grove,  where no cars  intrude and  there is nowhere to park them, a parking warden takes time off on a bench toying with his mobile phone. Long black hair escapes from under his hat. A  moustache and glasses add to a faintly comical impression.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Optimism, hot chocolate and Ficaire

It seems a supreme act of optimism  to sow potatoes this year after last year's disastrous crop and in this year's icy spring.

They were talking in The Compasses about a couple who came in on Saturday night when the place was awash with revellers and asked if they served hot chocolate. "This is a pub," said the indignant landlord. "Next thing you'll be wanting is biscuits and a blanket."

Ellena's comment on Ficaire drove me to my prized copy of Le Petit Robert.  First it indicates a link with "ficus verrue", a wart or verruca, (Ellena's ampoule, I suspect) accompanied by the words "it is believed to be a cure for them".  It continues petite plante de printemps, à fleurs jaunes. It continues to say that it is called "false ranunculus". Ranunculus is of course the generic name for buttercup, which the flower of the lesser celandine resembles.   But that is not all.  This wonderful dictionary invariably gives examples of  usage. Hence,  "La ficaire est appellée faussse renoncule, éclairette "Les ficaires vernies,  étoiles jaunes parmi les feuilles grasses, dont chacune a la forme de coeur." "The lesser celandines, varnished yellow stars among  plump leaves of which each has the form of a heart."The quotation  from Genevoux (who he?) describes the plant perfectly right down to the heart- shaped leaves. To get back to Robbie's original comment, ficaire is alas not nearly as pretty a word as chélidoine, defined in Collins Robert as "greater celandine, swallowwort". The egregious Carol Klein and her co-presenter Monty Don were talking about the culivated as well as the wild variety of lesser celandine but should I think have made the distinction.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

celandine, lesser and greater; rooks and Harvey's bitter

Here is the lesser celandine, Ranunculus ficaria. I have a feeling that this is is what Robbie and the egregious Carol Klein are talking about (See yesterday's comment)  It is one of my favourite spring flowers though at this time of year it could  also be accused of being egregious. I was about to say , as someone obsessed to know foreign names of flowers,  thank you for the pretty word chélidoine, as indeed I do. So thrilled am I that I  consider further research which leads me to check the lesser against the greater celandine. Here I find that the greater celandine, a quite different plant, with quite different leaves and flowers has the the Latin name Chelidonium magus and belongs to the family Paperveraceae. It sounds therefore that Robbie's source quite understandably  took the lesser for the greater. Perhaps the search for the French name of the lesser celandine should still be on*

In Groombridge today I hear rooks calling a sound which evokes my childhood. One of my younger brother Michael's first words was "car" and I remember his waving his baby hand in the air when hearing rooks building in neighbouring trees under the impression that they were speaking of automobiles. He must have been about 10 months old and I about four.

A pint of Harvey's outside The Crown in Groombridge in the spring sunshine (at last) is worth a bottle of Champagne. Or so it seems.

*As an afterthought I  have just turned to Collins Robert  to find against Lesser Celandine, ficaire. I feel almost embarrassed but once on the track I couldn't stop.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Monster, wamth and peas

Same monster but the right rather than the left side of the peeling area. The last of the present run of abstracts.

It's been so cold and so grey for the last few weeks that when occasionally the sun emerges and blesses us with its warmth you hear people talking about it as though it were a new or extraordinary phenomenon.

As last year  I sowed some garden peas in a length of guttering under glass a few weeks ago. The other day I slid the seedlings  in their compost into a trench in a vegetable bed and covered them with netting to keep the pigeons off. Now it's pea sticks I want. For some reason finding bits of shrubs and trees of the right size for the peas to wrap their tendrils round is always a problem. Hence the sight of this old geyser wandering about and picking up detritus  after the wind has pulled down branches from the trees.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Abstract, paws and discretion

Abstract paintings strictly speaking  should not in my view resemble anything in particular but as music  does with rhythm, time and harmony entertain or amuse by virtue of  shape, colour and texture alone.This time looking closely at the photo of paint peeling posted the other day I see  a shape which I find interesting in itself, though it is possible that various animals will appear to those more  imaginative and perceptive than I. I haven't yet considered turning the image through 45 degrees.

Robbie is acquiring or has acquired a bust of Goethe. Good for him.  The news sent me to my Penguin Poets Goethe's selected verse. I like this:
Dichter gleichen Bären,
Die immer an eignen Pfoten zehren.
"Poets are like bears, always gnawing their own paws".

When I was six I was like many children eager to be seven, and as soon seven grew closer I claimed to be six and a half. Seven was important I remember because they told me that seven was "the age of discretion". Quite what discretion meant I was never  quite sure, and seventy three and a half years I can claim to be no wiser.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wear and tear, turf and hands

Looking close at Nature's wear and tear.2. I am tempted at a later stage to separate the bird perched on a container top right. Perhaps I will later.

Only readers of The Financial Times are deemed to deserve a review of the current Durer exhibition  in Washington (Last Saturday's edition). Delightful it would be to be able to drop in to see The water colour called The Great Piece of Turf painted in 1503.  It shows a square meter of what I suppose we would call weeds: grasses, dandelions. lungwort and the like growing out of boggy land. A simple transcendent composition revealing the beauty  that resides in what is considered ordinary and is so often overlooked. The reproduction from the article is in my scrap album, but how good to be able to pop on to a plane and see the original and the other work displayed including wonderful studies of hands, as you might expect from the draughtsman responsible for the famous drawing of praying hands.

Just recently I have noticed in myself  a need to have my hands free while out and about. The reason is simple. I want to be able quickly  to produce my camera from one pocket and, because my memory is so poor that I have to monitor what is going on round me and the thoughts which come into my head as they occur, my notebook and pen from the other.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lamb, soap and smokes

Looking Close 1. I see a lamb or something like it.

In the bus a young woman  reading a magazine called Inside Soap. Over her shoulder I see that she is following with intense concentration an article on developments in East Enders. I get the impression that in this imaginary and rather unlikely corner of east London lies reality, in sharper focus somehow than the threat of nuclear war in the Far East. As an addict of the soap myself, I can almost understand.

A true story comes up about a newly widowed woman, a life long non-smoker. Upon discovering a hoard of cigarettes among her late husband's possessions, she takes up the filthy habit with abandon. She is 80

Monday, April 15, 2013

Peeling, politics and pesto

Peeling. Pursuing the idea of abstract or semi-abstract patterns on weathered surfaces, it occurs to me that the closer you look, the more you see. It is rather like molecular patterns  revealed when a material is examined under a microscope,  In this instance  the  patterns of peeling paint framed in this way suggests to me at least three other images.  And oh my goodness don't those streaks of white in th ebackground look like  streaks of cirrus cloud! Watch this space.

The sheer venom of those who hated the late Margaret Thatcher is only matched by the unqualified praise given to her political career and achievements.  Did she destroy the trade unions or merely the power  of union leaders  who abused democratic principles and paralysed industry?   Good stories  told to her credit and nasty slogans over simplifying her destructive impact on industry, jostle for prominence in anticipation of her funeral on Wednesday.  History will judge her. One good joke meanwhile  can hardly  be be described as inoffensive. "Iron Lady, Rust in Peace".

Mother to child sucking at a piece of confectionery as they negotiate a corner of the road. "Leave it now. We're having pesto and pasta for supper, and if you don't eat it, there'll be hell to pay."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Paper flower, volunteers and green omelet

Remains of a sticker on lamp post becomes a flower.

Twenty or so people are at work on what was a shrubbery at the entrance to Calverley Ground. They are volunteers, Friends of Calverley Ground, planting a flower bed intended to charm throughout the year, containing grasses and perennials like cornus, with its bright red stems and euphorbia. The Council provides plants chosen by the Friends and the friends provide the labour. It is always a pleasure to walk home through the park. Now it will have added interest.

In the Farmers Market a stand offers cakes and tarts, sweet and savoury. Something catches my eye. "It is a green Russian omelet", says the  young woman stall holder. It resembles the frittata, an Italian omelet, which I sometimes make with courgettes. But this uses spinach and  bright green herbs and looks intriguing. A project to cook something similar forms in my mind.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Zippo, marketing and starlings

I don't smoke. When I used to  it was only because I liked the procedure. Opening the packet of cigarettes, lighting up, watching the blue skeins of smoke writhing and vanishing.  "Lighting the next one with the last one's sunset", I once wrote romantically.
I didn't realise that you were supposed to draw the smoke deep into your lungs before exhaling, or that you were could derive pleasure from the effects of the nicotine in your bloodstream. Perhaps just as well.
The idea of smoking meanwhile still attracts me. I love watching period TV series such as Mad Men where people smoke in offices and at home almost by reflex. And the image of Lauren Bacall lighting two cigarettes one for herself and one for Humphrey Bogart who is driving still strikes me a  sexy although the word sexy probably didn't exist at the time the film was made.
Which brings me to this Zippo lighter a classic design, close to, if not beautiful, which goes back to 1933, the year when I was born. True it smells of lighter fuel when you use it but its simplicity and ease of maintenance is something to nurture. This one belongs to my friend Geoff, who rolls his own cigarettes, and drinks Guinness slowly and persistently, missing little that goes on outside The Compasses with his bright blue eyes. I often think that if anything made me take up smoking again in my 80th year, it would be the satisfaction of lighting up with a Zippo.

A few minutes ago a man came to the door. He said that his company which sells garden furniture was moving its warehouse and that it was selling garden furniture in the neighbourhood at a discount price to get rid of unwanted stock. We didn't need  any. He went on his way. It was only as he left that I remembered that I had seen the man before, a  year ago when he  called at the front door with the same discount offer and the same explanation.  I believe they call it marketing.

In the capital of the Corinthian column set into the wall of the house opposite our bedroom window starlings are nesting again. The column is entirely decorative but its ornate capital provides perfect nesting crevices. A scene to watch, over a morning mug of tea.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fowl, flower, contraction and hail

Fowl and flower in The Grove.

Between the houses opposite ours they have taken down a line of Leylandii and a new vista opens. The back of a house which I know is there but never saw  from my study window suddenly swims into view and seems disturbingly close as if the landscape has been drawn together by an invisible hand.

Disturbed by a rattling sound while I sit reading by the window, I look up from my book. Hailstones are bouncing off the sill.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wagtail, surreal and garlic

This pied wagtail is gathering crumbs outside the cafe in Calverley Ground.

I read the opening lines of a poem by Paul Eluard .
"The earth  is blue like an orange
Never a mistake  the words do not lie..."
People nowadays say "it's surreal" when they mean, no more than extraordinary.  But surrealism, as a movement in art and literature, was something rather more curious. The use of nonsense to illuminate sense as silence opens the door to music.

Last year at this time I spotted a solitary wild garlic or ransoms plant growing among some crocuses in The Grove. When I went back I couldn't find it. Someone I suspected had taken it to make a salad.  Today to my pleasure I see that it has appeared again. There's  no mistaking the spiky allium leaves and the smell on your fingers when you squeeze them. The flowers have not yet shown. I am hoping that they will because it is a pretty plant and would if it spread  be a welcome addition to the flora of  The Grove.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lights, tumult and time

Lights with character.

"For a pure essence of being tumultuously alive, you can't beat the nasty side of existence". Philip Roth touches an unhappy truth there, I fear.

Someone,  I can' t remember who, told me once in my working days, that he had a folder in his desk drawer labelled GHT. Here he filed those tricky things to which he couldn't find an answer and items to be read "in due course". What did GHT stand for? The gentle hand of time. Every now and then I think of this when I throw out a pile of  neglected papers  which seem to have lost their relevance. Filtered as it were by the gentle hand.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

composition, piminetos and finger nails

 An interest in abstract composition leads me to watch the ground to see what chance has arranged. Is that a banana skin, blackened with age above the stick? Or a leaf.  I don't bother to look any closer. It might  spoil things.

As I have already mentioned the Spanish green  peppers called pimientos de Padron are just now available in Sainsbury's. They look like chili peppers but though they have a distinctive flavour are not hot like chilis. I first tasted them in a tapas bar in Galicia and later in a bar in Madrid, but I never expected to find them in England. You griddle or fry them with plenty of salt until they begin to brown and the skin bubbles. They are worth looking out for. Apparently I am not the only enthusiast. A man ahead of me takes three  packets from the box on the shelf in Sainsbury's  and when I have done the same he takes another.  There are hardly any packets left.

In a basement window a woman paints her finger nails. All I glimpse as I pass is her head bent over spread fingers above which her other hand hovers with a brush.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Packed, Gamay and Henry Miller

Packed and ready to open.

Over a celebration lunch a bottle of Fleurie La Madone. Yes, Gamay I am afraid. Something light for lunch but with a settled, mature palate with enough fruit and tannin to evoke a Pinot Noir. La Madone is a chapel on the hill surrounded by  vines , a pretty picture too.

On Sky Arts Channel the other night  Henry Miller talks about the pictures - mostly photographs of people -  in his bathroom and their associations in his long and richly textured life. I flatter myself a little by thinking that it has something in common with my scrapbook now half way through its second volume.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Ready, suffering and cat story

Vegetable beds ready for planting  with herb the bed in the foreground. In th ebackground, just visible is the compost bin.

The expression of suffering on the face of an elderly man  who negotiates a carpark in the wake of his more sprightly wife.

I have just posted the second part of my cat story in One Fine Day. I didn't intend  it to become a serial and I can only blame it on my feline narrator, who as you will see as little sense of morality or good bevaviour my cat story.


Friday, April 05, 2013

Bengal cat, gold and Gone Girl

Since I have been informed of its distinction here is  another photograph of the Bengal cat as  I now know it to be, which visits  me in the vegetable garden.

"Have you ever thought of owning gold? "asks a direct mail shot which offers to sell me one or more of  the latest  issue of sovereigns from the Royal Mint? Sometimes but not for long. Even if I could afford a hoard of sovereigns I have mixed feelings about gold. Midas and his uncomfortable fate haunts me as does that poor girl murdered by being painted in gold paint in Goldfinger before James Bond could save her.  Gold has risen in value by 140 % since 2007 and could well go on rising. And sovereigns don't attract VAT or Capital Gains Tax. So for manipulators of capital  where little else appreciates in value, it could be a good bet. And then there's something rather beautiful about the metal isn't there? Above all the sense that it doesn't tarnish and  glitters for ever in the dark or in the light. Beautiful but poncy. Gold is not for the modest and I am all for modesty and circumspection in these critical times.

I don't usually read thrillers unless on holiday. But the cold weather which has restricted outdoor activities provides an excuse for me to read one called Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It certainly keeps me riveted for a day or two, but none of the characters is particularly attractive and attracts little sympathy. When I reach the end - and here is the only reason to mention it - I find something new in a paper back novel.  At least new for me.  This is a  section called Reading Group Notes consisting of topics for discussion and an interview with the author about her views on them. So absorbed was I in the story that for a moment I think that is  yet another unexpected dramatic device. Something I decide that I can do without.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Friendly Holly Golightly and responses

 The new visitor to the vegetable garden with its tiger stripes is less pretty but more friendly than the usual  orange cat which ignores me as though I were not more than an attachment to the wheelbarrow. Pretty isn't always kind.

I  read today  that Truman Capote originally intended Holly Golightly (surely among the most inspired names in fiction) to be called Connie Gustafson. What a lucky escape for him as well as his readers, and for Audrey Hepburn too who played Holly in the 1961 movie of Breakfast at Tiffanay's! Names are important in life as well as fiction.  It is worth remembering that Adolf Hitler's uncle changed the family name from Schicklegruber to Hitler. Hard to imagine many people shouting "Heil Schickelgruber" at Nazi rallies. Hard to adjust even when dear friends change their pseudonyms. For my own part I regret ceasing to sign this blog Plutarch. I had become used to the old boy. Worse I made the change by mistake. Almost in the same way as I arrived at the current layout of this blog, which I would like a lot more if it didn't discourage commentators from responding.

One of the pleasures of life which often go unnoticed is receiving an intelligent and courteous response over the telephone or across a shop counter. Although one should I suppose, I don't expect it or take it for granted. 

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

station, whispering and yellow

Ten past eleven. Tunbridge Wells Station from footbridge.

In the vegetable garden the soundscape has and flaps and rattles in the wind. Some lighter sheeting over a huge pile of sand makes rustles. The the wind drops, the sun comes out, and  you hear robins and tits begin to chirrup and twitter.

The yellow flowers of Spring are beginning gradually, perhaps reluctantly to flower. Even the brazen daffodils are slow off the mark. Today the first dandelions and lesser celandine open their petals. The pale green and yellow catkins meanwhile slant down from the branches of trees like rain. And the wind beating down from Northern Europe still chills even when the sun is out.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Deconstructed, who is right? and cigar smoking woman


 In this bitter Spring even the daffodils are deconstructed.

Tell me, O wise one, if millions of people say something is good, is it?

My scrap book grows fat while the earth in the garden is still too cold to germinate seeds. Contrasts in scale and content continue to surprise even me who put the pages together. On the latest spread to be completed  is a Nineteenth Century photograph of a Japanese woman sitting at a desk in a long, spotted skirt smoking a cigar. Next to her is a nightingale. Below  that, Roger Federer executing a backhand;  a badger; a Rembrandt self-portrait; a photograph of The College of Cardinals in full regalia taken from behind; Stone Henge;and a Rubens picture of the Three Graces with plump, wrinkly bottoms and pretty faces. And several other images culled from papers and magazines as I discard them.