Monday, 12 January 2015
One of the things I know about Africa is that most people have no idea about how big it is. It turns out that I was one of those people. Africa is really, really, really big. This map is stunning.
Periodically I find myself reading a book or going to an art exhibition where the loose cast of extraordinary characters who were the background for parts of The Dazzle and some possibly even more famous works like The Childrens Book. Every time, I meet some people I had forgotten about or missed. Like, for instance, Selwyn Image, which is such a brilliant name that I can't believe I didn't know it. He was a priest, left holy orders, founded art magazines and made stained glass.
Thomas Okey is woefully underserved by Wikipedia, and you can't say that often. I have to do more research and I don't have time right now, but what I remember from the biographical note about him at the National Portrait Gallery was that he apprenticed to a basket weaver at 17, was ferociously committed to self-betterment, got a scholarship to read Italian at Cambridge where he became an in Italian professor. He went back to baskets when he retired from Italian. Once the baskets have you, they never let go.
On the great names front, I am currently loving Fozzy Whittaker of the Indianapolis Colts. It's a good name, in and of itself, but what makes it art is that it is shortened from Foswhitt.
For a play I wrote before Christmas, I had to come up with an amusing schoolboy name. I went with Nut-Pitcairn Minor. If you type Nut Pitcairn into Google, you come up with a sort of sponsored gyrocopter piloted by Amelia Earhart. I am close to certain I had never even unconsciously heard this, but I enjoyed finding it.