Sunday, 22 August 2010

Diary of a glass-half-empty person 4

I have been asked whether my teepee is painted. The answer is yes, frequently. Only the other morning I was awakened by the rattling of easels outside, and when I stumbled outside it was to find the ladies and gentlemen of the Dundee Art Society setting up for the day, anxious to catch the peculiar way the morning light catches my teepee and the way the smoke curls up from Consuela's cooking-fire.

“Aha!” I thought. “My teepee is about to be painted again.”

I am assured that several of these paintings will be hung in a special exhibition in the McManus Gallery. Or is it hanged? No, hung. Of course.

I have recalled some more interesting facts about Jehan Pneu de Michelin, the 15c Provençal joglar (remember?). In 1462 one of his most popular tourdions was entitled “Viens, petite enfante, faisons le tourdion” (pardon my rather rusty Medieval French). In 1463 he repeated the success of the previous year with “Faisons le tourdion de nouvel (comme nous l’avons faite l’esté dernier)”. Both of these were so popular that they were revived in the 16c as galliards; it is said that Queen Elizabeth I of England first noticed Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester dancing to the second tune, and singing as he danced: “Autour et autour et en haut et en bas nous allons…”


  1. Perhaps the follow-up question to "Is the teepee painted?" would be, "What color is the teepee?" ... or "Does the teepee have purposefully placed paint on it?"

    Sometimes English can be such a cumbersome language!


  2. Well personally I find it to be an excellent medium of communication. I always know what I'm talking about (it's usually the other person who has the problem).

    What colour is the teepee?
    That depends on the light striking it. In the night it is decidedly black.

    Does the teepee have purposely placed paint on it?
    Yes. This is a problem around here. I blame those neds from Dundee who come up here to party. You should see the things they paint! I've complained to the council and to the police but nobody seems to want to do anything about it. I shall speak to Consuela and see if she can find my old fowling piece in one of the boxes. That'll put the fear of God up 'em!