Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-06-20 - 6:58 p.m.
I don’t really think of myself as an archivist – but I take pains with some material and then forget about it. Looking at the Humphries bio made me think that I ought to listen to the Elton John recordings that Boyd had done on his way to the decision to join Warners. I knew they were in the archive box – alongside 6 similar. As I went through through the boxes I came across a box of portraits that I had sensibly put together who knows when – including that master of the portrait I did of my father just before he died about five years ago – to the week if not the day. Then at lunch with Ruth she mentioned that she had started drawing classes in Bath and that she had done two self portraits that had come out well. I mentioned that a portrait of Vita as a sick child is on the Highveld site Lullabies page.
I discovered that Reg Dwight did Day Is Done – not quite the same as N Jones but you could do an interesting comparison.
We met R&S once again at Old Sarum. I had looked up on the next to see whether we could find an alternative to walking round the site – also on the 1 inch OS. I thought just how many good walks I have done in that part of the world. Up the River Nadder to where the greensand landscape starts; or along the chalk road above that valley and then across to the north west old Saxon Road which leads to Wales above the Wylie Valley; or from Salisbury to Winchester which takes in the Roman Road which leads to Old Sarum; or up the dry valley which leads from the Avon to Stonehenge; or on the long straight path which you reach from Wilton – where the Nadder and Wylie meet through the Forest towards Fonthill, famous for its part in the Gothic Revival.
We had lunch by the Avon which was amazingly clear as a chalk river should be – and then walked along to the mill to stand on the bridge look down into the clear water and try to spot the fish hiding in the shadows.
We drove back up the west bank of the Avon – some very interesting Jacobean buildings which I hadn’t seen before – a bit like Lowsley which is over the hill from my house. Terse and Flinty – Webster like.
I asked Stuart about his take on US poetry in the 20th century – he did American Studies at Sussex. He said that he thought Pound was important but very very hard work. I talked a bit about Adrienne Rich and how she emerged triumphant from confessionalism and rivals to meet her Sapphic Muse.
We also talked about Regency houses – they are just buying one in Bath. I mentioned the one in NYC which is I think on Eighth Street – maybe a bit later – but the same basic three bay pattern – stairs up the side and a room front and back – kitchen in the basement. I also talked about the Georgian brick houses in South Warwickshire that aren’t country houses but are more like transposed town houses. I used to live in a Regency three bay house one Summer when I was studying at Sussex. Its just round the corner from where Paul Wheeler and Beverly Martin now live. That Summer I did a lot of restaurant gigs with Peter Crowther who I must write to.
Wrote to Larry about Chelsea.
James went partying in N7 last night with Cambridge English students and overnighted in Harrow. North London can be tricky – not that he’d listen to me.
Actually the party seems to have been quite near where Totton held his last book launch. I mustn’t grumble as I have been invited to a Principal Edwards party on the beach of the town where the Martins used to live at the time he did Solid Air.