Making light work

I fixed Max and his headlight problem. For anyone with a new BMW Mini, if your headlights don’t come on automatically and you’ve never put them on manually (Mirinda says when she picked Max up the dealer asked if she’d like them on automatic but, having set it up didn’t tell her how to change it) it’s actually quite simple. As you’d imagine.

To the right of the steering wheel (or left in less enlightened parts of the world) and to the bottom of the dash, there’s a dial with four options, each indicated with a graphic. The first one is a headlight symbol with a big A on it, the second one is for off, the third is for on and the final one is so you can dip your headlights if you need to. It looks a little bit like this:

Now set back to Automatic

While it’s very obvious when you know, in Mirinda’s defence, in the middle of the night, in a light free street, it’s not the easiest thing to find. It’s particularly awkward when everything else is controlled from the steering wheel. Clearly the need to play music is more important than the need for headlights.

Anyway, that was quickly sorted out this morning after I’d returned from the shops (and a big thank you to a YouTube video for showing me where it was which is a whole lot easier than the stupid in-car manual) and the car was once more in the good books.

For a lot of the day, we were putting the finishing touches to the Thesis but, because I asked nicely, after lunch Mirinda agreed to drive me over to Compton to take photos of the Andrew Marchant work in the memorial to Fred Watts.

Detail from the exterior of the Mortuary Chapel

It also meant that we had to visit the new exhibition, Moonscapes, in the gallery.

The exhibition was very clever. It took various aspects of the moon as depicted in art, mainly during the Victorian period. It also highlighted a family of painters I’d never heard of before – the Moonlight Pethers.

They were a family of painters who specialised in landscapes in the moonlight. And they were very good at it. I particularly liked the way Henry Pether painted the Thames. While the moon is beautifully ethereal, the water almost seems to move as you stare into the depths.

Pether, Henry; The Pool of London, Billingsgate to the Tower, Moonlight; Government Art Collection; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-pool-of-london-billingsgate-to-the-tower-moonlight-29988

(Obviously I couldn’t take photos in the gallery so the above image was ‘borrowed’ from the ArtUK website.)

An amazingly haunting painting. Odd how the Pethers all seemed to specialise in moonlight artworks. I can only assume that they cornered the market because they were successful and kept doing it for quite a while.

We also bought a fantastic book about the Compton Pottery Guild which featured a few snippets about Andrew Marchant for me to use both for the Surrey Great War Project and for the post I made two days ago.

All round, a particularly successful day finished off with some delicious Persian roast chicken.

Reading about the Compton Pottery Guild in front of Mary Seaton
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