back and forth

National Portrait Gallery, via Vanity Fair

A mixed week. Engrossed in two things in completely different ways: a new book ("The-Post Birthday World"), and the Boston attack and news coverage. Found time to exercise more, but ate badly. Finished an assignment, but felt I didn't do the subject justice. Had a promising meeting with my boss, but got told off by someone else for a work-related matter. If everything is one step forward and one step back, that does leave me in the same place, and is that a good or bad thing?

One unequivocally good thing - Maggie Smith's portrait for the National Portrait Galley, by James Lloyd. I found it elegant, but unfussy, contemporary and classical, and thought it captured that playful dignity I've always admired in her. I also like the decision not paint her as a idealised, smooth-skinned figure - the textures of her face and elsewhere in the painting seem to reflect a rich, well-led life no?

And what a great outfit.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Re: work, sooner rather than later someone else will screw up and they'll forget about whatever you did.

Maggie Smith is awesome
miss sophie said…
i'd say focus on the positives at work, and like PPP said, the negatives will fade away sooner than you think.

i've had the worst week in a long time, personally and otherwise as an american. feeling grateful for the good and utterly exhausted. looking forward to the weekend...

i love the portrait of Maggie Smith - she looks so self-possessed and unapologetically herself.
Lindsay K said…
To quote Pattie Sellers and Sheryl Sandberg on careers “It's a jungle gym, not a ladder;)" I don't think that's ever been more true. It's a great reminder when things veer off course.

It's been a long and harrowing week. I'm feeling incredibly grateful... The Boston attack was a block from my brother's office and earlier that afternoon he had been texting me pictures from the finish line with his team. So thankful that he is ok and heartbroken for all of those affected...

That's an inspiring portrait. Maggie Smith's inner grace shines through so well. And yes, it's a great outfit.
Aïssa said…
About work, I think everyone experiences that back and forth position. It's better to focus on the positive even if the screw ups taught me valuable and memorable lessons.

What a beautiful painting of Dame Maggie. I agree with your analysis of it. Lloyd translated her elegance so well. It's almost tangible.

I've been so tired, apathic and irritable (a great combination!) this past week that this week-end is about relaxing, working out and comfort.
Wish you a great week-end too!
Ammu said…
I am sorry you have had such a rough week at work. This too shall pass, as wiser folks say :)
The NPG was one of my favourite places in London. Such a lovely jewel-box of a gallery, and this painting is wonderful. Thank you for posting it!
Maja H said…
That portrait of Maggie Smith is stunning! She's such a cool lady.

Like you I have been working out very well lately, but my diet has been utterly useless - I have made myself some pretty bad habits while I was sick, and it is time to pick them apart and make them better. They say it only takes 21 days to form a new habit though, so hopefully that is true :)

Whenever I have a week like yours I try to remember this handy little picture:

It is basically the cheesy drawn version of Lindsay K's quote ;)
Eileen said…
Hello Lin, I am sure things will look brighter soon. Lately, I had a really difficult client who kept hurling verbal attacks at me. But I know it is clearly not my problem, although it affected me quite a bit. But every time the thought crosses my mind, I will just decide that I will step over the pile and let it slide.

I have a secret resolution and I am not sure how it will come to pass.. I hope to be able to use my arms to lift my body again. The last time I managed to do that was during the Physical Fitness tests in Primary school..
hannah-rose said…
what a great outfit - exactly my thoughts when I saw the image. There is something wonderful about portraits that capture soul and spirit rather than just image. Portraiture seems particularly able to do this, I think.

Your week sounds frustrating, but hopefully you enjoyed the weekend and the weeks to come!

rachel said…
Thanks for sharing the portrait - it's beautiful. I guess I've tried to stop seeing things as being steps "forward" or "backward"...they're just steps, and we're moving forward whether we want to or not! I hope more positive steps come your way soon :)
lin said…
Thanks everyone for the words of reassurance! I sounded a little worse than I felt haha, and have stopped feeling sorry for myself.

hannah-rose: I admit, I secretly hope that happens.

And hurrah for Maggie Smith. I love this old movie called Grand Hotel starring Liz Taylor and Richard Burton where she had a supporting role. Very glamorous movie but Maggie Smith even then, was her dependable no-nonsense self.

lindsay k: That is a terrfic quote haha. I've been wondering whether to buy Lean In.

And it must have been very sobering for your brother yourself, and your family.

Aissa: I just had a good comfort weekend as well. I started on the first season of the The Killing (the Danish version) and found it very compelling...perfect for stormy afternoons.

Ammu: I have managed to never visit it, can you believe it? There are so many great museums in London that I can only do one or two each trip.

Maja h: So good! not cheesy at all.

Eileen: I have poor upper body strength as well so I can relate! I hope you achieve your has helped me a lot. Would love to know how you're doing it!

hannah-rose: I have a couple of holidays lined up, very excited!

rachel: You're right. I should really take a more positive and constructive view of things...

Popular Posts