These two paintings by an unknown artist are of scenes on the North West Arm in Halifax, Nova Scotia around the year 1850. The one above is labelled "Melville Island Prison, North West Arm, Halifax, Nova Scotia". The other is "The Dingle, North West Arm, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada". They are held by the National Trust in the UK, at Greenway, Agatha Christie's house in Brixham, Devon. Their round format makes me wonder if they were painted in England from photographs. You can view damn near every oil painting in Britain at BBC Arts/Your Paintings.
James Cadenhead, Lady With Japanese Screen and Goldfish (1886). Has that folding screen been identified? It seems to show the butterfly dance from chapter 24 of The Tale of Genji.
The SPFL 2013-14 season concludes today with the playing of the second leg of the new Premiership play-off. This other opportunity for a second-tier club to make it up to the top level was part of the price of football league amalgamation, but as with all things Scottish football, it's tilted in favour of the haves. The have nots are required to play four or even six games to win promotion. The haves need only play two to avoid it. First leg, Wednesday: Hamilton 0 - 2 Hibernian. [Sunday: Hibs 0 - 2 Hamilton. Accies win on penalty kicks! Rangers, Hearts and Hibs are all in the Championship next season!]
The Championnat National schedule ended Friday as US Boulogne beat Bourg-Peronnas 5 - 0. Les Boulonnais finish in 14th place out of 18 and just avoid relegation. They tallied 11 wins, 7 draws and 16 loses, with 36 goals for and 40 against.
The UEFA Champions League Final was played yesterday between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. It's not the first time two clubs from the same league have met in the final (that was Real v Valencia, 1999-2000) but it is the first time two clubs from the same city have. Real won 4 - 1.
The World Cup begins in Brazil in less than a month. So far the Brazilians have spent 14 billion dollars to prepare for it, but they are a great soccer-playing nation, so presumably the infrastructure will serve them for years to come. But that's nothing beside the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which is estimated to be on course to top off at 220 billion dollars. Yes, that's right.
Absurdly, Soccer Canada is bidding on the 2026 World Cup. 2026 is CONCACAF's turn, and as CONCACAF is one of the smaller confederations, Canada does actually stand a chance. Just take a look at this Canadian proposal. Soccer Canada suggests the tournament could be done for a bargain basement $875 million by adding temporary seating to existing venues. Existing soccer stadiums? Well, no, CFL stadiums. In Soccer Canada's imagination the Canadian Football League will gladly curtail its 2026 season to help establish a rival summer sport in Canada. Because ... red mittens? [I'm wrong. The CFL clubs are tenants, so they'll be evicted.]