My Epitaph; Sirens Within the Royals; Being at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Then an Encounter with a Homeless Man with No Support from Those Around

The words you have been waiting for – my wished for epitaph chosen from the pages of Cobra Clutch: Stormy Daze was a busty, cantankerous, scotch-swilling babe who was chock full of moxie.(page 51)

i shall have to either change my drinking habits or merely alter the quote. But it does beat the boring phrases; loving, kind, caring wife/mother/ grandmother of our treasured family. Do you not love the word cantankerous?

So far Stormy might be said to be my favorite character in the entertaining book but all of the characters are rather mesmerizing.

We all remain rather caught up in the royal wedding. Ted Powell has yet to make his appearance on the CBC but I am reminded of the days in class when we discussed Wallace Simpson, the American divorcee that stole the heart of the prior Prince of Wales. I brought a book to class, one given to me by a London friend. Simply Irresistible. It promised: Unleash your inner siren and mesmerize men, with help from the most famous and infamous women in history. Wallace Simpson was a case study and so I shared with the class. I remember Ann saying:

She: Alexis, I do not think you need that book.

Me: Of course I do. I am not a siren.

Well, I fear that I might have been mistaken, either that or the book worked. The book preached that there were archetypes and one had to figure out which one you were – find your inner siren. Ellen T. White named five and gave examples.

1 the goddess

2 the companion

3 the sex kitten

4 the competitor

5 the mother.

White reasoned that Wallace, Duchess of Windsor fit category number 5 – she was the mother. However and interestingly, she was not one but she mothered her (then) King Edward VIII. Interestingly Wallace did coin the phrase “A woman can’t be too rich or too thin.”

According to White, Camillia is the Competitor/Mother Siren. She is, of course, Prince Harry’s Dad’s present wife. Which archetype is Alexis McBride? I am the companion. Which famous person from history is a companion? Lady Randolph Churchill. I am not giving away anyone’s secrets. I shall not give away Wallace’s secrets, Camillia’s secrets nor mine.

So looking back on my London days, it was a difficult and serious time but it was occasionally fun and I guess I learned a lot about some things.

Today was a busy day but an extremely rewarding one. I made a decision a few days ago to ‘speak’ to some of the paintings in the Herman Levy Collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was a fascinating experience and one very different from that of my times at the Tate when I wrote In Conversation and In Contemplation. The staff at VAG were (and are) so extremely helpful. They found me a stool so that I can sit and muse, many encourage me and we speak seriously of their views of the art. One man pointed out an etching that I never would have noticed without his guidance. It seems our project, not mine. Although occasionally I did speak to other patrons at the Tate – here in Vancouver it seems I speak to many. People share their impressions, their knowledge and their feelings. it has become a collaborative effort in many ways. It is rather unfortunate that I did not get around to this project until now as the exhibit ends on May 21. But I am going to get it done, there are days left and I am a determined individual, particularly when I am surrounded by those who give me emotional support. The support comes from many sources, I feel blessed. It does help that I have a history, a record of what I did at the Tate. I continue to have the support and the expertise of Chris Jackson who ‘did’ the book on the Tate and does my blog on an almost daily basis. But his able and valuable assistance has been multiplied by my new Vancouver community. Certainly not all of Vancouver. A dreadful encounter with a homeless man who was terrorizing a young woman took place today. Who defended her – not the people who rushed away but me. When he tried to accost me I screamed at him.

Me: NO! and do not frighten other women!

He: I want dinner. I am schizophrenic and I have a broken ankle.

Me: Then seek treatment! Not money from vulnerable people.

He screamed and swore at me calling me rude and ignorant.

Me: I am not!

I said as I walked quickly away to people.

Me: If everyone said NO forcibly to beggars (always men) there would be no more begging on the streets! But it will that happen. Absolutely not – politically correct individuals will do nothing, will criticize me, not him. But do not worry about me. I am quite fit and can run faster than these types. Do not forget that I was a lawyer and I can yell and point with an enormous amount of energy. I am five foot three and i am almost 75. You Vancouverites can be such passive-aggressive cowards.

Two of the paintings found in the Levy Collection are attached to this blog. I was too busy defending myself to take a picture of the homeless man.

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