Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Family album, white flowers and love letter.

1. In a dark landing at Plas Newydd there is a row of seven chalk drawings of seven of the First Marquess of Anglesey's 18 children. They are dated 1823 (the children are in their late teens and early 20s). The pictures capture the texture of their skin and the shine on their noses.

2. We come out from under the dark, heavy leaves and the waxy red and sticky purple flowers of the rhododendron garden, into a clearing where sunlight picks out a slender waist-high bush dotted with neat white blossoms.

3. My aunt calls me over to read a love letter written by the artist to his patron's daughter. He begs her not to throw him over: 'You're such a chucker. You're the chucker queen.' Later, when I have moved into the next room, I hear other people reading the letter aloud to each other.