LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
27 March 2016
Rock On

The Rolling Stones gave a free concert in Cuba and Tracy Emin married a rock.
Yes you read it right - not the bit about The Rolling Stones of course. But a rock.
Not a rock star.

Turner-Prize-winning, TE has married a stone in her garden in France. TE calls
it “an anchor, something I can identify with”. This rock is her rock – figuratively
and literally of course. Her latest exhibition
I Cried Because I Love You opens in
Hong Kong, of course. So her rock is a shoulder to cry on then?

She married it last summer, under an olive tree, in her father’s funeral shroud -
as a wedding dress of course, but no mention of a bed sheet. And the rock? A
small bowtie? No word on the honeymoon or how they will celebrate their first
anniversary or how they will go on holiday together. Rock climbing perhaps?
Beginning to doubt your sanity? Or hers?

“Somewhere on a hill facing the sea, there is a very beautiful ancient stone, and
it’s not going anywhere. It will be there, waiting for me.” No heart of stone then.
“It just means that at this moment I am not alone.” OK. Doubt hers.

In another interview TE said, “It’s very nice and very impressive and I like it a lot.
The other thing about the stone is that it could be quite monstrous and scary…I
saw it as a projection.” Her own self-created psychological projection? What? Is
this a conceptual piece rather than her usual self-referring, self-indulgent, self-
absorbed stuff then?

Hopefully for her husband’s sake, she won’t be inspired to take up sculpture.
Ouch! Could she then be guilty of spousal disfigurement? Evidently in her more
recent work (you can call it art if you want to), she says she is now functioning
as celibate. Now that explains it doesn’t it? No rock bed for Tracy; she and her
rock will live in separate environments. He’ll be living outside we assume, unless
she has made a special place on her bed for him.

Evidently rather – raaaatherrr – ultra-traditionalist MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was
asked in regards to possible polygamy: “Is she married to the one rock or
several rocks? Because several rocks would be polygamy – you have to stay
within the realm of the law.” No response from J R-M.


Leave No Stone Unturned

Archaeologists have claimed Shakespeare's skull “was probably stolen”. Really.
2016 commemorates 400 years since his death - with headless remains. Who
knew?

A published gothic story that his skull had been stolen by trophy hunters in 1794
has intrigued archaeologists/historians. Phrenology and trophy hunting of
famous skulls were very popular. Jonathan Swift, Hayden and Mozart were all
ultimately headless corpses. Now ‘ground-penetrating radar’ has shown ‘an odd
disturbance at the head end’; as in head missing.

In Stratford-upon-Avon a tombstone inside the Holy Trinity Church marks the
place where Shakespeare is thought to rest. It bears the inscription: "Good
friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the
man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones." Oh
dear. It suggests a curse then.

One theory is that evidence of a significant repair at the head end of the grave
may have been needed to correct the sinking floor, possibly the result of grave
robbers.

The archaeological project manager at Staffordshire University said: "We have
Shakespeare's burial with an odd disturbance at the head end and we have a
story that suggests that at some point in history someone's come in and taken
the skull of Shakespeare.”

"It's very, very convincing to me that his skull isn't at Holy Trinity at all." Now we
want to know exactly where it is don’t we? The mystery continues….


A Heart of Stone

A day without disheartening politics? Never.

Fleet Street Fox reminded us of the ‘real’ Iain Duncan Smith: “Now look, let's be
sensible about this. Yes, Iain Duncan Smith has presided over six years of
swingeing cuts to the welfare system.

Yes, he's been found to have twisted statistics, lied on his CV, claimed £39 for a
breakfast, presided over a department that found 2,500 people close to death "fit
for work" and objects to removing £30 a week from people who can't use the
toilet mainly on the basis of timing.”

Should IDS be casting the first stone? Clearly not.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Georgie-Boy was found hiding in his wardrobe when
called to explain his decisions. Well, hiding somewhere. Cowardly? Yes.
Immature? Yes. Pathetic? Yes. But then again, it is Boy-George isn’t it?
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