This week I had to go to Epsom hospital and have an injection in my eyeball which, I have to say, I was not looking forward to. This is because the laser treatment I have had around the edge of my eye can't be done in the centre of the eye. I have noticed a real deterioration in my vision in my left eye since June, to the extent that not only couldn't I paint figures but I was having trouble using the PC if there was bright light out in the garden backlighting the screen. . I had to shut my left eye to be able to see clearly and couldn't paint figures as I had lost my ability to judge distance. Well the two nurses at Epsom looked after me very well indeed and after some anaesthetic drops all I felt, as they had explained, was a slight pressure on my eyeball for a second. I did not need, as I thought I might, a piratical eye patch and the only inconvenience is the ointment I need to apply to the eye every three hours, which makes it a bit blurred and gummy feeling.
Today, for the first time since June, I had a good half day's painting (my vision is certainly improved) and got on with the Sikh artillery, to the extent that I may be able to finish them tomorrow. They are not brilliant but they will do for me. I am, at least, now contemplating getting back to finishing the next batch of ACW confederates.
I have also got two coats of grey onto my aquarium rocks for Savage Core and The Lost World. I reckon they need another two shades of paler grey before they are done and then I will add some follidge with the hot glue gun. I really like the cave in the one at front left and need to work out some sort of dicing table for what will spring out of there to take on my explorers or whoever; ape men? velociraptors? saber tooth tiger? under-dressed cavegirl? Unfortunately, I am going abroad next weekend for the first of two consecutive trips and by the time I get back and then go up to see Charlotte in Edinburgh it will be well on the way to Christmas!
My friend Bill suggested we go and see Blade Runner 2049 this week which we did at Esher cinema, which has recently been turned into an Everyman. I don't go to the cinema very often (I haven't been to Esher since Titanic!) and as soon as I got in I realised why. The entrance hall is now a full on restaurant and you get your tickets at what looks like (and is) a bar. Inside, the seats are large and comfortable but they all had little side tables attached and everyone was eating. They had (very pretty) waitresses bringing hot food into the cinema auditorium. This is disgusting. The noise is bad enough but the smell! People who eat in cinemas should be killed and their bodies used for organ donation. I didn't really enjoy the film either as I am getting sick of the unremitting trend for gritty and dark in visual entertainment. In addition, there were a number of foreign actors in the film and I had trouble understanding what they were saying. Despite superior special effects, I didn't think the production captured the feeling of a teeming, multi-ethnic city like the original did. There was too much space. I won't bother with the DVD and the music was awful.
Today's music is an old favourite, Carmina Burana, which I haven't played for some time. I first heard this when the German TV version, by opera director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, appeared one Saturday night on the BBC in October 1976. What on earth is this, I asked myself at the bizarre mixture of musical and visual styles in the TV version (prepared in co-operation with Carl Orff, who always saw it as much a theatrical as an orchestral piece). Recently, I saw another German TV version from 1996 by Hohlfeld which was better photographed, slightly racier and less straight to video looking but didn't have such a strong orchestra or singing cast. On CD I prefer the Previn version, which is very good indeed.
Today's wallpaper is by the Polish painter Jan Ciągliński (1858-1913). Although born in Poland, he spent most of his career, other than a brief time in Paris. based in St Petersburg. In his will, however, he bequeathed most of his works to Poland and many of them were on exhibition in Warsaw over the last few months. He visited North Africa and the Middle East and painted a number of orientalist pictures, of the realistic, rather than the harem fantasy, type. He taught at the Imperial Academy in St Petersburg and became a professor there in 1911; teaching many well known Russian painters.