Art Studio and Life #58

Hello lovely family and friends

I had a great question from Sarah last week– ‘when did unrequited love stories turn into romantic love stories? When did it change from wanting to hop into bed with someone else’s wife, to actually wanting your own wife?

I’m not sure. C.S. Lewis scholarly book is just about Medieval love poetry, so that isn’t covered in it.

“The Love Song for Shu-Sin” was apparetnly written around 2000BC in ancient Mesopotamia, so romantic love has been around a very long time indeed in some cultures. Mr Google recons marriage for love only became more common in the upper classes in Europe in the 18th Century, and refers to Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela as one of the first (very soppy) love stories, but Shakespeare produced most of his plays between 1589 and 1613, and many of his stories are love stories. Has Mr Google not read Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure or Much Ado about Nothing? Romantic as. He (Shakespeare, not Mr Google) wrote to please the crowds, so perhaps more of the lower classes married for love even then. Yet another great reason to be a peasant.

Add a comment on my website if you have more knowledge about love through the ages, then we can all read it.

We were sitting at the breakfast table the other morning and I commented that Davy is looking slightly plump (Hobbsie, of course, is fat. Not obese, but fat, we all agreed.) My husband then asked “We’ve had the cats for almost a year, and how have we become the family with fat cats and three bowls of cat food in the passage?”

Well, the answer is very clear, in the words of Taylor Swift:

“It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.”   

I am the guilty cat overfeeder. Because they sound and look so pitiful when they plead for food, and I was worried that they were malnourished as kittens…

You will be glad to hear that I have taken stern action. Now there are only two bowls in the passage.

I saw this great video of a project between a maximum security prison and a cat shelter. If the prisoners behaved for 3 months they got to own a cat from the shelter, cats that would have been euthanased because they were unhomeable. The cats live with them in their cells, and it was great to see those scary dudes cuddling cats. Both the prisoners and the cats were happy as. The prisoners learned carpentry to make cat gyms, and knitting to make cat jackets and toys. They did check that no one was being mean to their cats, in case you are worried about that. Perhaps dressing a cat in a sweater with a duck face flap does count as cruelty though? I’d sure like to see a video of the sweater being put on. Violence went down by 300%, and one of the few fights that broke out happened because someone said someone else’s cat was ugly. I don’t know what happened with the dog people? Maybe they were the few prisoners dressing their cats up. If I can’t have a dog or a duck, I’ll just dress my cat up to look like one… 

And I have been working on a painting of some big cats. Still lots to do…

I’m SO HAPPY to be painting again! Even though I forgotten some skills due to my sabbatical, I’m loving it. BnB guests who stay for days are the best – no cleaning and more time to paint! Our BnB guest have been great, and leave it in good shape, which makes the resident cleaner a happy camper.

And so, this week, may you read one of Shakespeare’s plays! May you knit a jumper for your cat! And may you make something you love!

XX Barbie


  1. Francis Podmore

    Barbie: you write (wrote?).” Violence went down 300%..” A 100% drop would take it down to zero, so what does the next 200% drop take it to?? A negative double amount???

    • Barbara Podmore

      This is why we need mathematicians in our lives…

  2. Bruce

    I married you for love – a long time ago! (and for your car – we have talked about that previously…)

    I appreciate the (small) reclaimed space in the passage. And will appreciate any (small) reclaimed space in the house as these fur boys shrink…
    Those aren’t all the reasons you mentioned during our discussion – there was also “expensive cat food from the kitten shelter” that we successfully weaned them off – with no ill effects, as I recall.
    Note who they plead to – and who they don’t bother with. And you still say that they are “Daddy’s boys”?!


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