Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Mystery Portrait, 1969

As we were walking to the Bethnal Green tube station from Lisa and Xan's house a few weekends ago, we passed this painting propped up against a building. It's signed "E. Sharland, 1969." As an example of found amateur art, it's not terrible. You've got to wonder who that girl is. She'd be my age by now, if not older.

Anyway, I hope someone rescues it. I like its battered wabi-sabi look. I'd have taken it myself, but we were headed to lunch and I didn't really want to carry it around.

One of my readers helpfully posted an update about the restaurant in yesterday's photo, with information from its web site. Apparently the place is closed for renovation after a "kitchen accident." That tweaked a dim memory in my mind. I did some more Googling and sure enough, the Gung-Ho was involved in a fire almost exactly a year ago. I didn't mention it on my blog at the time, I don't think, even though it happened right around the corner, and I'd since forgotten about it. But anyway, that's why it's closed. (In addition, one suspects, to the fact that it was always empty -- although maybe it did a booming takeaway service. Clearly they were cooking something.)

I am still cranky about work. This time of year, when you'd think we'd all be happy with vacation right around the corner, is always so stressful for me. I had a mini-meltdown yesterday, in which I had to go take a walk around the building because I got so angry at my co-workers. (It's a long and boring story.) We've still got one more week after this, although not all those days are with students.

It doesn't help that we're at the time of year when the sun comes up at 4:30 a.m., prompting Olga to begin whining and beating her tail against the bed in an effort to wake us up so we can HUNT SQUIRRELS which, after all, is the meaning of life, as far as she's concerned. So I've been awake since shortly before 5 a.m. And darkness doesn't fall until almost 10 p.m., and I'm lying awake at night strategizing about how to get back all the rest of our materials within the next few days (which sounds silly, I know, but it's a fact) -- which all adds up to not getting enough sleep. Which makes me cranky.

At least we got some rain yesterday, which was much needed. The garden is still going gangbusters. Pictures to follow!


  1. it has just gone 10:35 here, and is finally dark! Sleep has been illusive lately but I do not have to get up with a dog, get ready for work and then actually go to work. I feel for you! That portrait is fabulous! I hope some body saved it! You find the coolest stuff!

  2. I like this, I would put that on my wall. The fabric reminds me of some of the stuff I made in the 60's.

  3. That's a great painting - the fact that it is a mystery and that its condition has deteriorated with age and that it was just left against that wall for someone to discover. I hope it didn't end up in a bin wagon.

    Couldn't you get a squirrel DVD so that Olga could watch it in a loop while you are sleeping? Failing that perhaps one can purchase eye masks for dogs - then Olga would not be woken by the early light.

  4. Oh my. You must have been very upset to have to go walk around the building. It'll all be over soon!
    Can you get Olga some eyeshades?

  5. I always found the end of year to be the most stressful of the year. The kids are finished. They are only putting in time.

  6. i remind myself... i can't change others i can only change my attitude and action toward the situation.
    of course it doesn't always work!! haha

  7. I don't know why but this post reminded me of some lyrics of a song by Phil Ochs from the mid-1960s:
    ...Oh, soon your
    Sailing will be over
    Come and take
    The pleasures of the harbor...
    In a few days you will wake in the too early morning light and all this end of school stuff will be done. Ah, summer.

  8. What a great painting. I too hope it was rescued by someone and I also wonder about the girl in the painting. Where is she now?
    I can relate to your sleep problem. Yesterday I walked around like a zombie. I feel better today but I think it will still be a couple more days before my sleep routine gets back to normal. I used to be able to recover from jet lag much quicker when I was younger.
    Keep thinking about all that time off for the summer!

  9. A tad of rain here yesterday, too. It made the air smell good for awhile.

  10. Blackout curtains, maybe? Or blinds? Blocking the light somehow might help and I'm not sure eye shades for Olga would be successful, even though she would be adorable :) Lack of sleep makes everything worse. Hope the work situation resolves. Good idea to remove yourself to avoid making it worse. But it doesn't feel good to be in that position, that's for sure.

    It would be interesting to know the story behind that portrait.

  11. perhaps you need to let go a little. It's not a reflection on you if all the borrowed books and materials aren't turned in before the summer break.

  12. At first I thought that Ms. Moon was advising you to get Olga some eye shadow, which, while really cool, would probably not solve the problem. I have the same kind of work anxiety you do - which is why I had to leave my last job. I just couldn't handle the stress. I'm sure that the more I get immersed in my new job the more I'll stress about it too - but at least i don't have to worry about whether they can meet payroll!

  13. Linda Sue: Isn't it great? I too hope someone saved it. It's kind of an artsy-fartsy neighborhood so chances are good.

    Briony: The fabric is what caught my eye, too! I love that '60s pattern!

    YP: Some animals pay no heed to a television -- they don't even seem to see it. Olga is one of those. She ignores the TV no matter what's on.

    Ms Moon: Counting the days! I think we probably need heavier curtains more than anything else.

    Red: It's true. We're all just barely hanging on!

    Vivian: Well, that's true too. I went in yesterday hoping to maintain a much more positive mindset, and it did seem to work.

    Robin: Ah, summer, indeed! I haven't heard Phil Ochs in ages.

    Sharon: I'm sure it will take time to recover. I hope Milan was fab!

    Catalyst: I love that after-rain smell!

    Jenny-O: I think the blackout shades would help a lot. We probably need to invest in some window treatments. Maybe when we sign our new lease.

    Ellen: Well, that's sort of true, but it IS a reflection on me in my boss's eyes if I don't get stuff back. I have to make the supreme effort because it is, after all, my job. I ultimately can't force people to return things, but I have to use every available form of coercion!

    Bug: Ugh! That WOULD be a worry. Glad it's behind you! Olga has natural eye shadow -- or, more like eyeliner, actually.

  14. Our dog is up early too, standing on top of the big guy. I never thought about squirrels, we don't have any in or yard, but she is in a big hurry to inspect the backyard every morning.