Wednesday 7 June 2017

Cléo de Mérode

I have a new heartthrob - Cléo de Mérode.  (Interestingly, the word heartthrob has been used to describe someone who makes people feel romantic since the 1920's but in many dictionaries it is only used for a man.)  She does not, of course, replace Audrey Hepburn!

Cléopatra Diane de Mérode (27 September 1875 – 17 October 1966) was a French dancer of the Belle Époque.  She was born in Paris, the daughter of Austrian landscape artist Carl (also Karl) Freiherr von Merode (1853–1909). At the age of eight, Cléo was sent to study dance and made her professional debut at age eleven.

Cléo de Mérode became renowned for her glamour even more than for her dancing skills, and her image began appearing on such things as postcards and playing cards. A particular new hairstyle she chose to wear became the talk of Parisian women and was quickly adopted as a popular style for all. Her fame was such that Alexandre Falguière sculpted The Dancer in her image, which today can be seen in the Musée d'Orsay. In 1895, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec did her portrait, as would Charles Puyo, Alfredo Muller, and Giovanni Boldini. Her picture was taken by some of the most illustrious photographers of the day, including Félix Nadar.

In 1896, King Léopold II attended the ballet and saw Mérode dance. The 61-year-old Belgian King became enamoured with the 22-year-old ballet star, and gossip started that she was his latest mistress. Because the King had had two children with a woman reputed to be a prostitute, Cléo de Mérode's reputation suffered, and she had to live with it for the rest of her life. Nevertheless, Cléo de Mérode became an international star, performing across Europe and in the United States. At the peak of her popularity, she chose to dance at the Folies Bergère, taking the risk to do something other elites of the ballet had never done before. Her performance gained her a whole new following.

Monday 5 June 2017

The key to happiness

Saturday 3 June 2017

Packing a Suitcase for the Afterlife

Anyone who has known my blog for a long time may have visited some of the 'Blogs I enjoy visiting' in the left hand column.  In August 2013 I added Colleen Redman's 'Loose Leaf Notes' to that list.  The by-line on her blog header is  "A blog is to a writer what a canvas is to an artist."

Colleen has recently written 'Packing a Suitcase for the Afterlife', a poetry memoir published by Finishing Line Press (FLP), an award winning small press out of Georgetown, Kentucky.  Colleen writes and provides photography for The Floyd Press newspaper in Floyd, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and for other regional publications. Her poetry has been published nationally, regionally, online and most recently has appeared in Artemis Journal, Floyd County Moonshine, The Front Porch Review and The Poet’s Haven.

If you would like to hear Colleen read a couple of her poems please click on this link -

Thursday 1 June 2017

The Election

June 8th sees another UK election.

After listening to the candidates on the hustings I have at last found one I can wholeheartedly support.

Taylor Swift is just one of many who have demonstrated their support for him.

                    And he's promised that if he makes a mess he'll clean it up himself...


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