I have spent three days in London working through papers connected with Edward Burra which the Lefevre Gallery put at my disposal — an interesting experience in all sorts of ways. A whole lot of material had washed up there by way of his friend Billy Chappell, including a box file full of photographs. They are strangely saddening: many of Billy of course, a dancer, actor, and producer, at various stages of his professional life. But also a bundle labelled ‘five generations of the Chappell family’, loose photographs of all descriptions. No identifications — was I looking at Donie, the chorusgirl? Thea, the dance teacher? Was this Billy’s mother? No way of telling. A cherished collection of images, loved, or at least regarded, faces. All become as meaningless as Pictish symbol-stones.