Girls, travel, rockets, transport, hotels, films, Martinis, wine, music, food and ranting!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Hungarian Bathing Beauty: 1


This is the companion picture to Syrinx in my cloakroom: Fürdő nő (bathing woman) by Károly Lotz. I bought a nice reproduction of this, printed on canvas, at the National Gallery in Budapest.

Lotz (1833-1904), studied in Vienna and was mostly famous for his murals, many of which you can still see today in places like the Academy of Sciences, the Casino and the Parliament building in Budapest.

Most of his nudes, like this one, After the Bath (1880), were done earlier in his career but Fürdő nő was painted in 1901. A late but very welcome addition!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Why I hate Andrew Lloyd-Webber..

No, it's nothing to do with his annoying TV appearances on BBC reality music "talent" shows on Saturday evenings. It's not to do with the fact that he looks like a shrunken head from Borneo. It's not even to do with the fact that he has never written an original note in his life but cribs most of his tunes from little known chamber music by Hadyn (allegedly).
No, it's the fact that he owns so many of my favourite paintings. He has good taste in art! So much so that he is snaffling up all the best paintings. Grrr!

These ones are up there in Agent Triple P's top favourites of all time!

Dolce far Niente by John William Godward, 1904


Pandora by JW Waterhouse, 1896

The Baths of Caracalla by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1899


The Cave of the Storm Nymphs by Edward Poynter, 1903

Friday, April 27, 2007

Lunch with a Bulgarian Babe

So went to a nice Michelin one star restaurant today with the lovely V; a Bulgarian beauty with gypsy looks and a bodacious bust. Now Agent DVD is always asking for pictures of my acquaintances and does not believe me when I say most girls hate having their picture taken. So here is V reacting as most girls do! Had Fois Gras, tournedos and cheese. A bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and a bottle of St Nicolas de Bourgeuil disappeared as well. We also had an Armagnac but that was purely medicinal. V and I have now done both Michelin star restaurants in the City so will have to look further afield next time.







On the train this evening was one of my favourite regular commuter blondes. I don't think she is English and so is fair game for a sneaky shot. Foreigners aren't people. More Agent DVD's type than mine but look..she can read!

Major General Sir Redvers Buller VC


Agent Triple P is currently reading an excellent book about the wars in the Sudan in the nineteenth century: Michael Asher's Khartoum

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Khartoum-Ultimate-Adventure-Michael-Asher/dp/0140258558/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/026-6038913-1805230?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1177671534&sr=8-1

We particularly approve of Major General Sir Redvers Buller VC because, whilst he could not gather enough camels together for the Gordon relief expedition desert column, he did manage to procure himself 46 camels just to carry his personal supply of Fortnum & Mason delicacies and magnums of Veuve Clicquot on campaign. We salute you Sir Redvers. What a jolly fine chap!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Girls in the News Today

Well a number of women in the news today for sundry different reasons:

Lindsay Lohan

Well, alright, she's always in the news but I'm never quite sure why. Like Sienna Miller she is another "actress" who's appeared in a lot of films you've never heard of, let alone actually seen.

Mostly she's famous for staggering drunkenly out of nightclubs with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, none of whom seem to own a pair of knickers between them (look carefully at this picture of her getting out of a boat). Today the binge drinking, underwear averse freckle-skinned daughter of an investment banker is in the papers for being caught snogging a girl-friend. Quite normal, she explains, for those times they don't have a boyfriends. This should excite me a lot more than it does. Despite being a natural redhead (although any evidence of that has been waxed away) Agent Triple P is getting sick of her.

Incidentally, my cousin has a friend who works in a CGI company in Australia. He had to digitally reduce the size of her breasts for LL's appearance in a Herbie film (he had to do the opposite for Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider). That was after she reputedly had silicone implants to boost them, of course. Hollywood, good grief.

Lana Clarkson

Murdered four years ago by weirdy sixties record producer Phil Spector (allegedly) at least I have actually seen one of this D-list actress' films. The epic Barbarian Queen, supposedly about Romans attacking a Celtic (or some such) village and Lana and her frequently topless (and even more unknown) girlie co-stars setting out for revenge. Had absolutely no authentic props, costumes or sets at all and looked rather like a tits out episode of Xena (which it predated by ten years). Honestly, there are few enough attractive women without nutcases shooting them. Hope he gets locked up for a long time.
Hollywood, good grief!

Anya Hindmarch



Apparently she is the "Queen of Bagland" (does that make her a bag lady?) and her I'm not a Plastic Bag bag sold out in minutes at 450 Sainsbury's stores today as women queued from 3.00 am to get one.. They cost £5 and are now selling on eBay for £50 plus. Of course the idiot women who bought them proudly took them out of the shop..in plastic bags!

This is why men rule the planet.

Queen Nefertiti


Well, not actually her as she is sealed up in tomb KV35 in the Valley of the Kings (allegedly) in rather poor condition. No, the marvellous scupture of her whisked off by the Krauts in 1912. By recording the find as unimportant and burying details of it in pages of tedious paperwork they fooled the Egyptians (and indeed the French who ran the Antiquities Department at that time) in to letting it go to Berlin where it has since been displayed. Except it hasn't lately as whenever Agent Triple P went there the museum was under renovation. Now the Egyptians want it back for their new museum near the Pyramids. The Germans won't let them have it. Perhaps they should play a game for it, winner takes the statue. Marbles, perhaps.

Jessica Alba



Jessica has just been voted FHM's sexiest woman of 2007. Now, purely for research purposes, I decided I better get a copy of this publication. Disappointingly, the photo they used to illustrate this fine looking young woman had her rather overdressed in a brown dress. Why do people wear poo coloured clothes? So here are some of my favourites. She even looks good in paparrazzi shots like the awesome one at the top.

Now I am very fond of Jessica. I have 137 pictures of her in my computer. Agent Triple P spotted her potential in Dark Angel long before she became a superstar. But sexiest? I'm afraid she is too clean cut for me. All this non-nudity clause in her contract stuff. What's the point of a beautiful young starlet who won't take her clothes off? I suspect she is a bit vanilla in intimate action too. I'd rather have a less attractive slutty, European woman. Sexiness is not just about appearance. And Scarlett Johannsen is still the sexiest looking.

Hollywood, good grief!

Maserati Alley

Agent Triple P enjoys returning to his old haunts so was delighted to find himself wandering up Sloane Street this morning. Haven't been there since dinner with the Danish Ambassador.

Now, there are a number of Maseratis around at home and in fact my acquaintance I owns one. But this morning in a ten minute walk from Sloane Square I saw three and another one on the way back. All different vehicles. Amazing.

Agent Triple P does not like the modern Maserati as it is so patently a copy of the Aston Martin DB7, however.

He has always preferred the early seventies Maserati Bora, especially the yellow one, with its stainless steel roof. An aggressive looking 175mph sports bomb. Now all you need is a girl in a horrible 70's print minidress to go inside it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This Spring's Fashions..

Well, after a couple of warm weeks Agent Triple P can make his observations on the rather radical new Spring fashions as interpreted by young women in London.

We like:

Mini skirts (and the nano-mini in particular -I've seen two now, worn to great effect in both cases: especially the one preceding me up the stairs at Knightsbridge station the other night. Things are definitely looking up!)

Pleated skirts. Flirty and floaty ones especially.

Shorts. Not those dreadful long baggy "culottes" we saw last year (has there ever been a more offensive item of women's clothing - except pop socks?) but proper short, tailored shorts.

Boots. Especially with shorts and miniskirts.

Low cut tops. (but see below) We like the sweetheart neckline.

We don't like:

Empire line dresses. They just look like maternity wear, especially as they seem to have such voluminous skirts. Do you really want to look six months gone or is it just a cunning plan to blackmail men to give up their seats on the underground? It's hard enough to tell pregnant women from fat ones these days, anyway, without compounding it.

Psychedelic prints. I'm sorry but this return to early 1970's Habitat curtain material is awful. Especially the horrific black/turquoise/lime green one which seems so popular. Inexplicably.

Hippy chic. It makes you look like a hippy-convoy, tree-hugging eco-loon. More seventies. How quickly people forget..

Footless tights. Especially under miniskirts. Destroys the whole point of miniskirts which is to show off well toned legs.


Trousers under skirts. Make up your minds, women! Oh, and of course it makes your behind look HUGE!

Really, really low cut tops. Ones which are so low cut that they reveal the architecture of your bra. I had to deal with three of these (six?) recently. One in a supposedly serious government meeting, one at dinner and the other on the station platform. You try not to stare, you really do but.. The term, "asking for it", springs to mind.. Actually so much detail becomes visible that the person's own physical shortcomings are revealed and what a clever push up bra can camouflage these tops confirm, often deleteriously. No doubt Agent DVD would have a different view (ideally at chest level from about ten inches away).

High waisted trousers and shorts. Agent Triple P enjoys the slices of tummy displayed by hipster fashions, even if some of them are tummies that shouldn't be displayed at all. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the pendulum swung again but, nevertheless, we are sad to see this swing starting.

Platform soles. Great, if you want to look like Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Last Girl on Earth

Well, came back from a lunch with that rare thing an Essex girl solicitor today (very low cut). The sun was shining, the girlies were out and I had had received several dubious suggestions from Belgian A so I decided to call Agent DVD and ask him whether he wanted to go out scenery spotting. This would provide me with a watertight alibi if A turned up in the office. Actually if she had Agent DVD would have lapped her up, but fortunately she was obviously pursuing mussels and chips with some other poor individual.

DVD was in a somewhat reflective, not to say apocalyptic mood tonight. This despite the record breaking scenery in l'Archivec ce soir. Indian girlie, pink top girlie, dress and jeans girlie, low top black top girlie and above all blonde girlie with boyfriend even older than us (hope springs eternal). But Agent DVD's mind was on which one I would grab given 20 minutes to live.

But in reality a nice bottle of Champagne and a view of the river would have done. Although it would be jolly annoying to get immolated by aliens on Salute Eve.

Talking of Vicious Alien he reminded me of all sorts of incidents I had forgotten about from our holiday with Vicious Alien and the lovely J in the Loire in 1982 (I think). I remember some of the towns, a few of the hotels, more of the meals, quite a lot of the wine and VA going like a rocket (one with big boosters). I think my memories of her lovely bust have supplanted more cultural activities. Never mind Agent DVD can remember it for me..like in Fahrenheit 451.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rockets




Well, I'm not sure if it was thinking about A and her posterior or famous fictional Belgians (more of which in due course) that got me thinking about rockets. I was a child of the Apollo age and watched live as man landed on the moon. I followed every Apollo mission and knew every astronaut's name.




I even still have my copy of Peter Fairey's Space Annual. Peter Fairey was the ITV space correspondent and was not, of course, a patch on the BBC's James Burke who is, of course, a genius and should have been on TV much more than he has been in the last three decades. I actually saw James Burke filming inside Lloyd's of London once. He was wearing, inevitably, a cream suit and a dark shirt. I was very excited.




I collected all the Airfix space kits: Saturn V, Lunar module, the Sikorsky capsule recovery helicopter. I even had the rare Saturn IB and, my favourite, the Soyuz/Vostok kit.




I always felt that the Soviet rockets were sexier than the American ones. Not in a Freudian way (at that time I would not have understood the allusion) but Sergei Korolev's R7 launcher (originally an ICBM and still today the basis of Russian launch vehicles) had all those strap on boosters. It looked like a space rocket should look and still does. It is, in short, a design classic and rather like the Porsche, however much they change it the basic design fundamentally remains. The later models had a far more slender looking body because of the extra height added above the boosters, whereas in the earlier rockets the boosters made up more of the total height and gave it a hulking, brutal sort of look.








Before men took colour pictures in space we had to rely on artists like the great Chesley Bonestell.  His books with Willi Ley such as The Conquest of Space and Beyond the Solar System were some of my favourite books to borrow from the library. His spacecraft often had exactly the sort of pods and boosters seen on the Soviet rockets so perhaps it was the influence of his paintings that led me to appreciate them more than the rather dull American designs.






I couldn't really read these books, of course, as I was only six or seven at the time but his paintings of future space craft were extremely evocative of a cold, clean, technological future which, of course, never came to pass. Viewed now they are more alternate history than anything else.




This brings us to our fictional famous Belgian. No, not Hercule Poirot, the other one.  The other key rocket of my childhood was the one that Tintin took to the moon in the books Destination Moon and Explorers of the Moon. The latter book was the most popular book in my junior school library and it was always on loan. I only managed to take it out once. I was not a Tintin fan nor even a comics one but the nuclear rocket ship from the book looked stupendous. It also had lots of exciting decks within it for holding stores, vehicles, crew quarters etc. This made it ideal for me to recreate in Lego. Even though, of course, in those days Lego bricks were all square or oblong so all my rockets were square columns rather than tubular. There are several very expensive models of this rocket but all are, sadly, solid so no decks to play with. Recently, however someone who designs for the Early Learning Centre got it right with this "inspired by" model.



I would have loved one of these when I was six.



Maybe once I have finished with the Croissant Sisters in Egypt I need to send them into space..

Flanders Folly

Went to the tapas bar again. Very much the A-team in: both Spanish girlies (including Agent DVD's favourite, the one with the tight miniskirt), the blonde Baltic one, The Balkan manageress in an impossibly tight pair of beige trousers) and a brand new Brazilian girl with good cheekbones and a cute ponytail, who is probably the most impressive of the lot. Hooray for Britain's liberal employment rules: more needs to be written about the positive aspects of European immigrants. Glad I wrote a nice review of the place for Square Meal yesterday.

Unfortunately, I was accompanied by the florally named A. A Belgian (which says it all, really) working for a large international organisation based in a European city which is also associated with an unpleasant seasonal vegetable.

I had an ill-considered fling with this particular vegetable during a mind-numbingly dreary conference in a Dutch seaside town a number of years ago. It was one of those towns that used to regularly appear on Jeux Sans Frontières (one of General de Gaulle's odder ideas -along with the EEC) in the sixties and seventies.





The so-called "international judges" of which, Gennaro Olivieri and Guido Pancaldi, used to drive my father into apoplexy, due to their "typically European" biased decisions which always seemed to favour any bunch of "frogs, spics, dagos or krauts" above the poor old British.

Anyway, I was in this particular JSF venue during the first week in November. The hotel was the Dutch idea of a five star establishment (i.e. like the sort of British seaside resort three star hotel which host trade union conferences) and so, to escape the hundreds of other equally trapped delegates, I bravely set out on a walk along the promenade. It was like stepping out into an industrial sand blaster. The force eight winds whipped the sand off the dunes and scoured the skin from your face in seconds so you looked like those weird plasticised anatomy exhibits that that sinister German parades around the world.
I raced back to the hotel only to collide with A who had been trying to find me all day (she claimed). It turned out she had been sent to dig the dirt by her implacable vegetable masters (like Jedi broccoli-actually more like the Trade Viceroys from The Phantom Menace). I made the mistake of having lunch with her in the only restaurant we could find not infested with other delegates which overlooked a sea that looked like the Roaring Forties in June. She was then my inseparable buddy for three long days, quickly suggesting we go for a swim in the "clothing optional" pool and other far less subtle suggestions involving cream, I seem to recall (what is it about the Low Countries and dairy products?).

The problem was that she actually had a fabulous body and was rather pretty but, unfortunately, she also had those eyes where you can see the whites all the way round. If eyes are the window to the soul then hers were a window into hell. Never mind, she went like a Belgian bunny and the most significant problem was solved by adopting a "doggie style" approach (her posterior was much more pleasing to the eye than her face).

Five (or six) years later she has tracked me down in the office and is madder than ever (I thought she was coming over next week-unreliable as well). She made it quite clear this evening that she was up for a "fun night" tonight but not being entirely sure what Belgians consider fun (probably something to do with bicycles, chips and mayonaisse) I made my excuses and left. I have no doubt that she will send me an e-mail tomorrow. I must not let on that I actually have to be in the city of Christmas veg in September or she will use Interpol to track me down.




I was discussing this (Belgians, that is, not doggie-style euro madwomen) with P at work today and the conversation got around to the "name 10 famous Belgians" party game so beloved of my sister (who actually lived in Belgium and only seems to be intermittently odd as a result). Of course fictional Belgians don't count so that torpedoes most people's first choices.He had never heard of this game (but then he has spent a disproportionate amount of his career involved in weapons of mass destruction) but being a good researcher, however, he soon turned up a few websites including the definitive http://www.famousbelgians.net/. Of course, hardly any of these Belgians are famous at all and the site shows a complete lack of irony about this (another defining Belgian characteristic).







There is one very fine Belgian product we need to celebrate on these pages (other than the saxophone) and that is Ingrid Seynhaeve who has posed for some lovely pictures for Sports Illustrated and other continental publications who are less worried about the necessity for swimsuits. Here she is patently not by the North Sea in November.




Here she is demonstrating another fine Belgian posterior. I don't even dare think about her and doggie-style.. She'd probably be nice with turkey, gravy, little sausages and bacon rolls, however. Goodness, that gets me on to thinking about I from Turkey who I saw again this afternoon. But she is a ramble for another day..and a discussion of a quite different part of the anatomy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The miniskirt is back!


Dinner with Agent DVD at the County Hall Marriott tonight. Given the recent drop in temperature I was not expecting much in the way of scenery but we were pleasantly surprised. The latest fashion is the nano miniskirt. Anyone who looks good in this particular garment is likely to be under the age of twenty but this fits with Agent DVD's ideal target market. It's certainly nice to see girls in skirts for a change, although most really shouldn't try it. Nevertheless for the small minority it is a fine summer development.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Claret, Death on the Nile and Linnet Doyle

I reconnected my televison yesterday having had it out of action for a week due to extensive decorating. They had a French wine promotion on at Waitrose and I bought a couple of bottles of claret. Now, usually, other than Champagne and White Burgundy with HMS, Agent Triple P doesn't drink French wine. Partly because it is hideously unreliable, partly because it is over-priced but largely because it is made by the FRENCH! But for some reason I was feeling rather retro so decided to get some.


So I settled down to watch a DVD with one of said bottles of claret and chose the TV version of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile starring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. Now, Agatha Christie is not Agent Triple P's usual viewing of choice but I am getting inspiration for my erotic story Les Soeurs Croissant which is set in 1920's Egypt (admittedly slightly earlier than the late thirties setting of the Christie book and subsequent films). I had recently watched the 1978 Peter Ustinov version (star studded and expensive) which was reasonably enjoyable. The reviews of the Suchet version were rather unkind about it's low budget nature but I have to disagree. It was filmed on location in Egypt, there was some convincing CGI to show the Pyramids with appropriate thirties foreground and they filmed on location in the Winter Palace hotel, on a Nile steamer and at Karnak. Indeed, the steamer used and the sets of the cabins were, if anything, rather more opulent than the Ustinov version.

But our main interest today lies with the two actresses playing Linnet Ridgeway, the American heiress who is the first murder victim.




The nineteen seventies version starred Lois Chiles who the following year appeared as the main Bond Girl in Moonraker. Lois had flowing (very unthirties) hair in the film but looked like an heiress at least. Not many pictures of her on the net and when Moonraker came out there were noticeably very few, if any, of the traditional Bond Girl glamour shots.




She has no bust to speak of but good legs and a very beautiful face and is still working today at the age of 60.





This is my favourite shot which I think is quite sexy in a healthy girl sort of way. It also looks rather 1930s. It could be a still from The Great Gatsby, I suppose, which she appeared in before Death on the Nile.

In the TV version Linette was played by Emily Blunt, an actress with whom I was not familiar (although recently she had a hit in The Devil Wears Prada, a girl's film if I ever heard of one).





She had short blonde hair and looked great, in a very skinny way.  She certainly looked appropriately thirties although her American accent was rather wayward (unlike Daisy Donovan's in the same film).





There don't seem to be too many pictures of her on the net yet which is a shame as she is rather lovely but she has a lot of films in production so who knows. Maybe she is a serious actress.





There are a few nude screen captures from her teenage lesbian flick My Summer of Love but none I could download. No doubt Agent DVD, if he reads this, will do better! I like this nice one from the same film. What a lovely looking pear! I mean apple.  All in all the Agent Triple P vote goes to Emily Blunt as the most attractive Linnet. I predict we will hear a lot more about her.





However, if I had to vote for the best girl in both films it would go to the gorgeous Olivia Hussey who at the time had a face (and a bust) to die for (as we can see here in some scenes from Romeo and Juliet).

Girls Aloud Break Up!

Well, they plan to break up in September. After a lucrative tour and DVD. They all plan to follow different careers (yes,right) but only Cheryl Cole plans to continue as a singer. No doubt her career will be as succesful as Rachel Stevens.

Not surprising that only one of them plans to sing having seen them live on a TV programme a few months ago. They were truly dreadful . And they were supposed to be winners of a singing contest? Never mind singing is not really the point of Girls Aloud (although Love Machine is one of the great British pop songs of the last five years). Appearing in the Sun and the News of the World falling out of nightclubs in miniscule dresses, beating up bathroom attendants, swearing like squaddies and appearing in FHM in never quite as much undress as you would hope for is really their purpose in life.

I always liked Cheryl the best, with her interesting tatoo on her thigh and her ever present cleavage until she married that dreary footballer. She has rather ordinary legs however.

Nadine is quite nice too but Agent Triple P cannot stand that excruciating Ulster accent. It really is the most awful regional accent in Britain and it is, in fact, impossible, for a woman to be sexy with a Northern Irish accent (c.f. Welsh and Scottish).


Kimberley is the one everyone tends to forget. She seems to put on weight more than the others which indicates: a) she has a sensible body image and is not falling foul of the skinny is best tyranny b) she eats to much and takes in too many calories c) she drinks too much and takes in too many calories. In most of her glamour photos she has a bit of a tummy (which Agent Triple P finds quite appealing) but latterly she is looking increasingly like a currant bun or a Cabbage Patch Doll as her weight piles on.


Nicola is famously the "ugly one" and she does have an unfortunate nose but she is a natural redhead which gives her bonus points with Agent Triple P. Sadly, she has taken to dyeing her hair given all the anti redhead flak she was receiving. I have always found this odd. I had a girlfriend once, SA, who always had this dreadful bleached blonde hair. When I eventually saw ner naked (having persuaded her to join me in the shower after a run) I discovered she had a glorious auburn bush. Nicola can't sing (well, she sings even worse than the other four) and is a hopeless dancer (whenever the band are on television note how the director avoids getting her in the shot at all) but there seems to be a backlash going on which is attempting to persuade people that she is the "interesting" one or the dark horse of the group. This, Agent Triple P suspects, is because she probably puts it about more, can hold her drink and goes like a bomb. Nevertheless as a visually interesting specimen she doesn't score that highly and Agent Triple P didn't even have a picture of her in his girlie folders. I chose this one off the net as she is still a redhead is flashing her tummy and looks OK. The Scouse accent is nearly as bad as the Ulster one, however.


Finally, Sarah Harding is the class of the group (visually of course, none of them are exactly Serena Scott-Thomas) and it's not surprising that she has recently picked up a lucrative lingerie contract. She has the body, the face and, above all the legs. Agent Triple P hopes, therefore, that her post Girls Aloud career is a success! I was hard pressed to choose a favourite picture but will go with this recent Ultimo one I think.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Syrinx by Arthur Hacker

Agent Triple P Went to Brighton today where it was unusually sunny and warm for the time of year. There were many nice girlies out and about (lots of students in Brighton so the dress code was rather strange); notably a quartet of Germans who had just had henna tatoos of cats painted on their stomachs and were showing their midriffs of delightedly. You could tell they weren't British even before you heard them speak as their tummies were toned and flat! "Look at our cute pussies!" they were saying in English. I'm sure they are.

I bought a nice framed print of Arthur Hacker's Syrinx in The Lanes for a very reasonable price. Hacker was French trained and very influenced by Waterhouse (like Herbert Draper). Syrinx was a water nymph pursued by the God Pan who had dubious intentions towards her. She called for help from the water nymphs who, rather unhelpfully, transformed her into reeds which gave forth a haunting sound when Pan breathed across them. So he cut some of these reeds and made the original Pan pipes from them. Symbolically odd in all sorts of ways but then that's the ancient Greeks for you. I would have thought that however much she valued her chastity being ravished by Pan would have been a lot better than being turned into a bunch of reeds and then cut up to form pipes so a Romanian could produce an annoying soundtrack to an arty Australian film of the seventies. Anyway, all this classical inspiration obviously did the stuff for Arthur, or maybe it was the model, who is rather fine.

I saw the original painting in the Manchester Art Gallery last year. It will make a nice pair (!) with the similar picture I picked up in the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest a few years ago, as they are almost identical in size and proportion. I also bought a nice 1920's dancing girl figurine in the same shop. An enjoyably girlie filled day altogether.