I’ll be honest gang. Things have been a bit bleak of late, not going the BEST way they could be. On top of it all, I only went and got WRITER’S BLOCK didn’t I, hence the silence over here at bloody hell HQ.
What I thought I could do was write about how rubbish things have been and vent. But then I thought, “no-one’s going to want to read that you BLOOMING MOANING MYRTLE”, so I thought what I would do was write a piece about some nice culture things I’ve been doing recently, to remind myself (and maybe you dear sweet reader!) that things are actually not as bad as they seem.
I’m unemployed at the moment and so at the time I would normally have been commuting to work I’ve been sat outside in the garden in my nightie (I bought full-length floral Cath Kidston-esque nighties purely so I could walk around outside in the sunshine in them feeling earth-mother like and romantic. I do this. My neighbours think I’m pretty bonkers).
Some Garden Fun
Being unemployed is interesting. One has no real purpose, (HA I just realised when reading that through, I had originally typed ‘porpoise’ which would make the sentence have a totally different sentiment. I’ve changed it now to the right word.) HOWEVER luckily it’s finally Spring. The sun’s out and the daffodils are dancing. So, I have been very much contented to sit outside in the garden, reading whilst Toby prowls around my feet, my nose turns a not-so-subtle shade of pink and my freckles start to have a party on my face. On these days, I have felt decadent. Opening a cheeky Sol and stuffing a lime into it at lunchtime, knocking together a crab salad for lunch (I went to WAITROSE in CROUCH END. That was a mistake) listening to Barbara Streisand sing her best ballads at me whilst the frogs that live in our pond had a particularly vigorous mating session (god, seriously. Looked like a Saturday night outside Liquid nightclub in Luton circa 2003.)
However, pleasant garden antics and frog-dogging aside, when I am bored and my brain isn’t busy, I tend to get a bit anxious. I try and combat these things by getting involved in some culture to stretch my brain in the same way gym fanatics stretch out their quads. I went to the Lichtenstein exhibition at the Tate Modern. I like art very much, but find I often feel intimidated as I don’t have the right vocabulary to discuss it. But then I thought, fuck it DON’T BE AFRAID OF TALKING ABOUT CREATIVITY, I’ll use my own vocab to chat it. It was COOL. The colours were so bright it was sometimes like being poked in the eye with a crayola (in a good way). My favourite paintings were the ones in which he had transformed famous works by other artists, Matisse, Mondrian, Picasso etc. It felt like looking at a visual representation of listening to a really good tongue-in-cheek cover of your favourite Beatles or Rolling Stones track. Nice one Licht. PUNCHY POP ART. This particular trip was then nicely rounded off by a couple of pints and a Scotch egg (fuck me I’m a sucker for a Scotch egg guys) at a riverside pub in the fledgling early spring sunshine. Delish.
I also went to see the Light Show at the Hayward Gallery. Now guys. This was mega cool. I was early enough to sit and have a coffee on the rooftop garden at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, looking over the Thames and sitting amongst ruffled commuters who’d stepped out of the office to undo a top button and grab a morning dose ray of the sun’s good stuff and a croissant and sat amongst the herb garden on the roof tapping away on blackberries. (I do actually imagine business men and women sometimes answering actual blackberries like they were phones. Hahaha.) The show itself is pretty magical to be honest. The light installations are trippy and beautiful and clever and poignant, sometimes all at the same time. I walked through solid light, felt seasick in a solid room, had my eyes and a bunch of fluoro colours play tricks on my perception and stood in a tardis-esque phonebox looking at illuminated infinite images of myself. Go see it before it closes, it’s awesome. (We then had coronas and Mexican tapas at Wahaca. Thoroughly recommend the Cactus Tacos.)
Wahaca on the Southbank
Another BOSS of a day was nipping into the British Museum to check out the Pompeii/Herculaneum exhibition. Mind-blowing. I looked at this stuff and thought to myself, “WOW a Roman literally painted this sign/made that bread/laid that mosaic”. IT MAKES ME GOBSMACKED. Like, it actually SMACKS MY GOB. It punched me in the mouth with it’s incredible-ness. It’s a bloody cracking exhibition, passionate, haunting and humorous- it even includes a statue of a hammered Hercules pissing in the street and another of the God Pan shagging a goat. You naughty scampy Romans. On my way out I popped in to say hello to the Mummies in the Egyptian rooms and take a snapchat of Cleopatra. She says Hi to all my readers.
A Roman Rubber Duck found in Pompeii
I also went with my family on an outing to the National Portrait Gallery. We actually went to see the Man Ray exhibition which was pretty cool, though the best part of the day was wandering through the other galleries with my younger brother (who is by trade a heavy metal drummer. Check him and his band out at http://heartinhand.bigcartel.com/) . Though wildly bright, he’s not one for padding around museums much, and his astonishment and interest was both deeply touching and very, very funny. Prize comments included: “Who is this bender?” to a portrait of the Duke of Essex wearing particularly figure-hugging blue tights, “Who is this chumpy kinder?” to a portrait of a baby King Charles II and my personal favourite, “OH MY GOD. Bill Shakespeare had an EARRING?! He looks so G!” which might be my favourite comment about Shakespeare made, ever. Topped off with a trip on the London Eye and drinks in the Udderbelly Gardens in the blazing spring heat, April has never looked so good. Well done London, you are perhaps the biggest love of my life.
So yeah, there you go. When things are bad, on reflection, if you make an effort and fill your days with brain stretchy things, things that remind you that the world is a gorgeous place to spend your days, perhaps things aren’t then that all bad after all. And also, I thought to myself: Listen- if Britney can get through 2007, then by Jove, you can get through this dry patch. Let that be philosophy to live by, eh chums?
Huge love pals
Links to all the above places are as follows:
Lichtenstein Retrospective @ The Tate Modern
Light Show @ The Hayward Gallery
Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum @ The British Museum
Man Ray @ The National Portrait Gallery