View from the window, Tangier, Matisse, 1911
The view through my windows has been pretty grim, for weeks . . ..and weeks . . . and weeks. But that is so often the case in England. And it probably explains why a wall in one of the rooms of my house is home to a collection of Matisse prints, all of paintings from his time in Morocco - like the one above and the one below, which is one of my favourite paintings. However bleak it is here in England, I have only to look at the Matisse wall to remember what a sun-drenched city by the sea looks like. The original hangs in the Hermitage in St Petersburg and must bring some welcome sunlight into those long, harsh Russian winters. I saw that original at the memorable Henri Matisse 1904-1917 exhibition held at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 1993; it is quite breathtakingly beautiful and mesmerised my companion and me. We found it very hard to drag ourselves away.
The casbah gate, Matisse, 1912
But back in gloomy old Devon . . .a visit to my dear friend, M, of Random Distractions to meet her gorgeous new grand-daughter, Millie, brightened up yet another damp, grey and miserable Saturday but torrential rain set in again (boring) as the Edinburgh Boy and I drove home. Once all the dogs were walked, nothing for it but to hunker down with some books, music and today's papers. But at least there is a treat in today's Guardian review section for Bob Dylan fans among us: an interview with Suze Rotolo. Suze was just 17 when she first met Dylan; 45 years ago, they were the golden couple of Greenwich Village. She was the young woman with long dark hair, who appeared on the front of Dylan's Freewheelin' album, and now, at 64 and an artist, has just published her memoirs of those Greenwich Village days, A Freewheelin' Time.
An excellent interview, as usual, by Richard Williams, which will keep me going until the book arrives (as it will, ASAP). And, yes, I read it while listening to this album. What else? Here's a taste:
And for an hour or so, I forgot that it was raining.