|The River Thames and Kew Bridge with Brentford Eyot in the Foreground, JMW Turner|
On my walk this afternoon I came across the house - now a pub - where JMW Turner lived with his uncle, a local butcher, during his childhood. This is where he began painting. I sat in the garden (so much for walking!) with a glass of cider and my book, looking over the weir and thinking of young JMW learning to paint.There is still a tiny artists' colony on the canal nearby. Whenever I'm by the canal, I remember the Idle Women, who weren't idle at all, the 'land girls of the canals' who chugged up and down here during the war. Emma Smith told their story in Maidens' Trip, now a Persephone title - but this book is far better.
Sue has corrected me: Persephone republished not Maidens' Trip but another title by Emma Smith, The Far Cry. (Lingering unread for the past several years on my bookshelf-of-shame but one of these days I'll get round to it...)