Saturday, March 11, 2017

To London for culture and Katie

Lorraine and I had an afternoon zoom up to London today, by way of doing something cheery. We went to The National Gallery and then into the Portrait Gallery. Just a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. Gallery behaviour so different these days, and it does make me feel like an old curmudgeon.

I'd not been to the National for years. People walk up to deathless masterpieces of art, take a photo of it on their crap phones and wander off without giving it a second glance, or perhaps take a selfie with themselves in it with Van Gough's Sunflowers over their shoulder. The fact that you can download better images of the pictures from the internet. Anyway. Lorraine and I found ourselves sitting down near the Constables, and we looked at these over familiar images for some time. I've not really looked deeply at them since I was a child, as my tastes have moved on somewhat. But they really are astounding in lots of ways.

Great to see the picture of Moulin Huet too by Renoir. Also extraordinary is the picture by Joseph Wright of Derby of An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump of 1768. In it a white cockatoo is being suffocated in a bell jar as a demonstration of the effects of a vacuum.

Left the National, just as a feminist march against male violence was culminating in Trafalgar Square. A lively scene, and I was interested by how they were going to go about this, beyond the slogans. I think it is a radical idea.

Thence to have a sandwich and a cup of tea, in Pret a Manger, before popping briefly into the Portrait Gallery.

Then we strolled down to Embankment and made our way to the Bag O Nails pub to meet First Matie. Katie and I have used this pub as a place of emergency drinks in the past, to discuss life important life events at critical times. Great to see her, in a non-smoking very healthy and cheery looking Kate. Lots to discuss, including her gradual moving into a new home in the Forest of Dean. It had been too long. A few drinks there then fond farewells to Katie, who was heading back to West London, and Lorraine and I scored a couple of guilty chicken burgers and measly fries to eat on the train back to Brighton.

Found ourselves falling into a conversation with a father and son from Jersey, who were Arsenal fans, proving two wrongs don't make a right.

Home at a good time and lay on the gold sofa sipping sparkling waters.

Obviously I took an idiotic shot of the Renoir too. Lorraine standing by a statue for nurses, not wearing a pigeon on her head fortunately. And the scene at Trafalgar Square, with a floating Yoda and many protestors and David Shrigley's giant Thumbs Up statue, which makes me think of Dr Seuss for some reason.

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