Friday, November 04, 2016

Art, curries and awards

Sneezing and coughing this morning, but this abated once I got going. A smidge of work and a general faff before heading off to Olympia to meet Mum and her pal Pat. Journey fine and I was able to work on the train, cunningly avoiding the worst of the train strike and getting to Olympia early.

Met Mum on the platform, then Pat, who I'd not seen for many a year. Off then into the winter antiques and arts fair, bags checked on entrance and leaving. Interesting stuff there. And several scruffy scraps of drawings from well known artists at exorbitant prices, including, hilariously, a doodle by Lowry which must have taken him a ten seconds to draw with a five figure price tag. Buying this would not be about art, but about art as money. This curmudgeonly thought apart, it was fun. Mum and Pat trying and failing to be methodical about going up the aisles. After a while they grew keen for the next phase of proceedings.

I followed Mum and Pat to their normal routine, of buying a bottle of wine then popping into the curry restaurant. I scored a couple of cans of lager, and we partook of their all you can eat buffet. Mum said she only wanted to eat fish these days.  She also seemed to do a deal with the restaurant about replacing their rubbish art with Margaret Hamlin pieces, but details remained sketchy. After the food was seen off, a skip next door to the pub,  and we chatted there till I had to make off. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into Mum and Pat's regular liaisons.

I tubed down to the Grand at Northumberland Avenue, where there was the YMCA Youth Matters awards. Met Mark and Jo from 11 London outside and went in for the four hour bash, being offered soft drinks and a good meal. Lots of inspirational stories, and a lively awards ceremony, hosted by June Sarpong. A young guy on our table was one of the finalists for the young achiever awards, Dan had turned his life around after suffering from anxiety, being homeless and using cannabis. He volunteered to work in a YMCA scheme in Romania, then has become a youth ambassador. A really nice lad, full of positivity and still only 19. An example of how the YMCA are a really positive influence on some people.

Home very slowly on the train from Blackfriars. Lorraine just about awake still on the sofa. Beth it seems may have another job in the offing, so much happier too. Very happy to be home at around half ten.

Below Mum and Pat in the restaurant. Plus a haunted-looking guy photobombing in the middle.

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