Past Squares 15: IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art)

The Past Squares challenge, hosted by Becky at Life of B, runs to the end of October.

It has been a wonderful opportunity for self to go on trips down memory lane.

Here are self’s pictures of an institution she visited for the first time in October 2019: the Irish Museum of Modern Art, or IMMA.

On the Laying Out, Planting, and Managing of Cemeteries

1843: “The first — and apparently still the only — treatise on the subject, On the Laying Out, Planting, and Managing of Cemeteries and the Improvement of Churchyards” was published, by a man named John Claudius Loudon.

Cemeteries of London:

  • Kensal Green
  • Highgate
  • Norwood
  • Tower Hamlets

Kensal Green today: “at twilight on a winter’s evening, deserted except for the old jogger, it is still a place of peace and, nowadays, a refuge for wildlife, migrating birds, squirrels, hedgehogs, and even a weasel.” (p. 44)

The History of the Royal Gardens

Self is reading about all the wonderful improvements made to London’s public parks by Charles II, James II and William and Mary.

  • “Each royal generation tried to outdo the one before.” — England’s Magnificent Gardens, p. 26

Reading that sentence, self can’t help being reminded of the “improvements” inflicted by Melania on Jackie Kennedy’s beloved Rose Garden. It would seem she was driven, not by a wish to outdo her predecessors, but by a wish for VENDETTA!

Back to England’s Magnificent Gardens: The improvements made by the various monarchs did not come from “their own money. That came from the government of the day and, ultimately, from all the nation’s taxpayers.”

Darn it! WE the people probably supplied the funds for Melania’s hack job — with our tax dollars!? Didn’t Omarosa say in her book that Melania was not a victim, she was always in control? She knew how to get her point across. In fact, this Master of the Passive Aggressive didn’t just use gardens to make a statement, she also used fashion! Who can forget the green military style jacket (vaguely reminiscent of Fidel Castro’s garb) she wore to almost everything during The Former Guy’s last year in office? Or what about the blood-red Christmas trees that looked more like they belonged in Handmaid’s Tale or Halloween Kills?

Stephanie Grisham in her book corroborates Omarosa: yes, Stephanie says, the First Lady was very very passive aggressive. And SHE TOOK IT OUT ON CHRISTMAS. (Melania was probably thinking, I’m miserable as First Lady. I’m going to do the White House Christmas decorations in RED, like the inside of a bordello! Because I don’t like Christmas! Christmas is off the table! Christmas is nuts! I’m going to destroy Christmas!)

Self wonders where Melania learned how to be the Queen of Passive Aggressive. Was it something she picked up in Slovakia? Or later, when she was accompanying the Donald on his private jets? Or was it something she was born with?

When TFG had to entertain, she left him very much to his own devices, which is why he had to improvise with take-out from McDonald’s. Maybe they fought earlier, and this was her revenge.

Melania for the win!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: England’s Magnificent Gardens

“The new king had plenty to do. He had to reestablish the monarchy, appoint his ministers and courtiers, call a new parliament, and cement relationships with the Anglican Church, which was still suspicious of his Catholic mother; not least, he had to pursue and put to death the men who had killed his father.”

England’s Magnificent Gardens, p. 23

Yet, despite all that, Charles II still found time to work on the Royal Gardens! “In St. James Park in central London, only a few hundred yards from Whitehall, he made use of unemployed soldiers to dig a huge rectangular lake, 850 yards long by 43 yards wide. He was soon “able to enjoy himself feeding the ducks on the new lake.”

He’d been king for less than a year.

Next: England’s Magnificent Gardens, by Roderick Floud

Shakespeare, writing between 1590 and 1612, does not mention “peach” except as a colour . . .

England’s Magnificent Gardens: How a Billion-Dollar Industry Transformed a Nation, from Charles II to Today, p. 7

Water Water Everywhere (WWE) Challenge # 1

Yet another new Photo Challenge: Water Water Everywhere.

This one’s hosted by Photos by Jez. Enjoy his gorgeous photos of trees reflected in the Forth & Clyde Canal.

Guidelines for Water Water Everywhere are here.

Below: the last time self took a picture with water in it was at the Strybing Arboretum, 23 September.

It was a somewhat chilly day, not unusual at all for San Francisco. Note the flock of geese in the background.

Gates and Fences: A Photo a Week Challenge

Self is fascinated by gates and fences. All kinds of gates and fences.

For this week’s Photo a Week Challenge, she went browsing through her archives and selected three: two from a friend’s garden in Menlo Park, one from the Gamble Garden Center in Palo Alto:

Menlo Park, California

Menlo Park, California

Gamble Garden, Palo Alto, California

A Photo a Week Challenge: Multiple Shapes

Self loves this challenge. Thank you, Nancy Merrill, for hosting A Photo a Week!

An Airbnb in Carmel

July Birthday Party

Sandy’s Garden

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 7: Central Coast

Self still playing catch-up on the Photographing Public Art Challenge, co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao, which she adores.

She just completed a road trip to the Central Coast. She loves doing road trips because it’s a break from the unrelenting heat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Robin’s, 4095 Burton Drive, Cambria: Each Table Top is a unique patchwork of tiles. Mine had a plane.

Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eaton Road, Cambria

Fence as Art: Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eaton Road, Cambria

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 160: Your Inspiration

Wow! Self LOVES the quote from Agnes Martin that inspired this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge!

She had a lot of fun going through her archives to identify her sources of inspiration.

Which are MANY. Here are a few:

  • Gardens

Front Yard, May

  • Beaches

Ocean Beach, Carmel

  • History

The Jesuits in the Philippines, by Horacio de la Costa, S. J. (Harvard University Press)

Self is so glad she can share her inspirations with dear blog readers.

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