Iman

David Bowie and Iman were together for 26 years and they were the loves of each other’s lives…

Iman has now released a perfume called Love Memoir, which is a tribute to her and David’s love and for the first time ever, I feel very tempted to buy a celebrity fragrance.

There has always been something about these two and how they felt about each other that felt very real and warm. In interviews David did he always spoke so lovingly of Iman and I have seen a few Iman interviews where she spoke the same way about him. Yesterday evening I came across this interview Iman did for the Today Show and it brought me to tears. I also read this little article in Vogue where Iman talks about only really confronting her grief recently while staying in their beautiful upstate New York home during Corona lockdown and that too resonated with me.

My grief for Bowie is somehow also always tied to my grief for my father. I still haven’t listened to Bowie’s final album more than two or three times because of it. My dad and David Bowie were both very important figures during a very low point in my life and they both passed not so very far apart, my dad 10 months before Bowie. These emotional ties between my father in real life and what being a Bowie fan meant to me in my late teens/early twenties, and their passing not so very far apart, is I think why I feel that connection to Iman now so strongly too. Missing a husband is different in many ways from missing a dad who lived to a decent enough age of 81. Yet, the loss of both is very real and can still feel like a stomp in the stomach at times.

So, now Iman has developed a fragrance to commemorate that love and that too is a part of the process of grieving but also of celebrating the life of someone you continue to love even after they are gone. I can so imagine her wanting to bottle David’s scent in a bottle. I don’t have a very strong sense of smell but I do sometimes say to Mr. Esther that if his scent was a perfume, I would want to wear it all the time. I guess it’s a pheromone thing. The description of this new scent sounds intriguing…

“Called Love Memoir, the eau de parfum—which is exclusively available on HSN—blends notes that read like a chapter in Iman and Bowie’s life together. Vetiver, the zesty scent that he wore the day they met and every day after, is balanced with hints of bergamot and blackberry, which bring to mind the Italian countryside where they were married.”

I never want to pay that much for perfume ($85 and I don’t know how much for shipping) but, because of the story of that scent, the ingredients sounding good and the emotional attachment I feel to the David and Iman story, I find that for the first time ever I am interested in actually buying a designer fragrance. Maybe for Christmas?

A hole in the stomach

I came across this image of a statue a little while ago. It’s called Melancholy by Albert György and is apparently situated in Geneva. The moment I saw it, before I knew or read anything about it, it really hit home for me because instantly to me this showed what grief feels like…

It’s been six years today and that sounds way longer than it feels. I miss you, papa.

The Richard mask

We are going to the most southern point of The Netherlands next week to a rented self-contained cottage for our holiday and we plan on going for outings into Belgium and Germany as well, maybe even drive to Luxemburg for a day. We know the mask rules are stricter in those countries than they are here, so Mr Esther wanted to order a few extra face masks to take with us on holiday. He is a heraldry geek and ordered masks with the coat of arms he had once designed for himself and had registered as his own…

(Yeah, his ‘Corona beard’ is getting long!) He ordered them in three designs but as they came in a set of four, he had a special mask made for me as well. Ever supportive of me and my fangirling, he ordered a mask with the painting my mother had once made for me of The Crucible

Here is the mask in more detail..

Pretty cool, right?

Masks here in The Netherlands so far are only mandatory in public transport, not in other public spaces. Restrictions here aren’t as tight anymore and this week the news came that Covid 19 cases are on the rise again. It won’t surprise me if masks become mandatory here in public indoor spaces like shops and restaurants as well, which means I may be using this mask far more than just our holiday. So, Richard Armitage on my mouth and nose – not a bad way to walk around this summer.

Spot the difference

Michelangelo…

My cats…

Uncanny, right? 😉 Almost good enough for the “Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine” (“Between Art & Quarantine”) project over on Instagram. The project started during quarantine as a lark where this lady invited people to share images of art works re-created at home. Click on the above link, if you’re so inclined, it’s so very entertaining to look through all the fun entries.

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

Before I go into a whole “Armitage fan experience in London” post, I’m first posting about something else I was able to do there. I had arrived in London last Sunday morning and spent a lovely day just hanging out and chatting with my brother and some with my niece.

Then on Monday I had the day to myself and I decided to finally visit the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington. I had never been there and had always meant to go there one day. It was a good day to pick that, as it was a cold, dreary and very wet day. Picture taken from the bus I was on; the window was wet, it almost looks like an impressionist painting.

20200224_124333I got to the museum and somehow it seemed much larger than I had thought. I mean, I knew it housed a very diverse collection but this was much bigger than I had expected.

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I wandered around on the ground floor a bit, particularly liking the statues gallery…

… and then went in search of the café for something to eat. The old café was beautiful, but alas there was no space for me to sit there…

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So, I sat in the more modern section and really enjoyed my scone and cup of tea.

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Even going to a bathroom at the café was a museum experience with old tiles and fawcets bearing Georg Vth initials, which indicates they were somewhere from the beginning of the 20th century.

Speaking of royalty, on my way to the medieval section I passed the car Harry and Meghan had used at the end of their wedding day

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It was basically an ad for the vintage cars exhibition that was also on at the V&A but that I didn’t end up visiting.

In the medieval section I was struck by this early 16th century tapestry from Brussels depicting Queen Esther (she after whom I have been named):

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I also love looking at old books, like this early printed book from 1521, not long after the printing press had been invented.

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Some more nice vistas as you walk through the museum:

I have seen lots of medieval art and statues and the like in many museums over the years, so for me the high point of the museum was something I have not seen that much of: an exhibition on early photography. Even just looking at all those cameras before you enter the room was fascinating.

I was in awe seeing an early heliograph image of Christ carrying the cross from 1827. You can barely see the image but it’s there (click to enlarge)…

… and an 1840’s daguerreotype image of a collage of famous faces.

I liked this 1850s image. Imagine keeping that little dog still enough for long enough to create this image!

An early camera was on display…

And there were more fascinating 19th century images, with one image also of Alice Liddell, who was the ‘real’ Alice in Wonderland.

Absolutely fascinating, including some early 3D imagery you could see through this viewer but that I couldn’t take pictures of.

The other section I was fascinated with was the theatre collection (with a little movie glam thrown in).  The horse for the War Horse production was there…

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And other theatre costumes…

There was the Henry V costume as worn by Richard Burton…

And a costume designed by Dior for Vivien Leigh in a movie…

Vivien Leigh seems to have bequeathed some of her memorabilia to the V&A. The Oscar she had won for A Streetcar Named Desire in the 1950s was on display…

… as was a telegram addressed to Laurence Olivier (Vivien Leigh’s husband at the time) from Lillian and Dorothy Gish, movie stars of mainly the silent movie era, congratulating Leigh on her brilliant acting performance in Streetcar.

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There were more awards on display from other actors for other performances:

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And some music related memorabilia of David Bowie…

and Madness…

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This is just a tiny impression of all there is to see at the V&A and I saw way more than I took pictures of. It’s a great museum, very diverse and I by far haven’t seen everything. I may have to return there again sometime.

By the time I finally emerged from the musem at the end of the afternoon, it had stopped raining. I again took a bus, this time to Piccadilly Circus, and the view was somewhat less impressionist:

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I was off to go and meet Hariclea for evening theatre shenanigans at the Harold Pinter Theatre. More on that in my next post. 🙂