Love, painting, a boat, muppets and air conditioning…January 30, 2007
As I alluded to in my last brief post its been heavy going around here lately, mainly because of my dayjob, the stressful workload causing me to neglect the blog for too long, and also a few other things in my life at the same time.
To try and make up for any neglect I may have shown my long suffering yet unswervingly supportive girlfriend Julie, we took off last Saturday for a day in London together, leaving the stress of work to fend for itself and with only the task of having a good day together to worry about.
Julie’s taste in music and other arts is shall we say, slightly different to mine. Whilst we have many things in common, our musical and artistic interests differ a great deal, although she goes out of her way to try and understand what her slightly deranged boyfriend finds to enjoy in this odd noise etc.. as much as she can. In truth though, whilst I may be playing a Radu Malfatti CD, she is just as likely to be playing a Rick Astley album, so trying to find a cultural way of spending a day out together could seem a tough thing to do, but we managed it Saturday. Sort of…
We started the day at the Tate Modern, something we have done together before, but not since they rehung the main collection, pulling some good stuff out of storage. Our wander around was highly enjoyable as ever, the new Minimalism room with Carl Andre’s Equivalent VII (the infamous pile of bricks) attracting a lot of attention, and nice to see some Agnes Martin up close, but as ever we came to a rest in the Rothko room and those eight paintings that suck you in and envelope you from all sides. I sat there for half an hour or so, whilst Julie sat with me and listened to me waffling on rubbish about the art that she has heard from me far too many times.
A while later, after lunch overlooking the Thames in a French café we wandered very slowly north and across the heart of town to go and watch a west end performance of Avenue Q, a musical, and perhaps not my first choice of places to spend the afternoon, but overall it was fun and had me laughing. The sight of watching a bunch of Muppet-type puppets onstage swearing their heads off in a Sesame Street parody was enough to keep my mind off of work, and a good time was had. We then went on to a cosy little Italian restaurant just around the corner which served the best starter course of garlic mushrooms on toast I’ve ever had (and trust me I’ve had that a good few times!)
So why mention all of this? Well during the walk from the Tate to the musical an odd but lovely little moment happened. As we walked along the Victoria embankment we passed by a building that had an external air conditioning unit that was humming away gently in a pleasing manner. As we passed, a ferry boat making its way up the Thames crossed past in the opposite direction, its engines emitting a soft purr that combined at that moment with the air conditioner to create a nice collage of sounds that caused me to stop dead in my tracks and take in the moment.
I do these things all the time when something grabs my aural attention, but what made my day is that Julie had stopped still at precisely the same moment, and when I turned to look at her she was smiling at me, knowing fully well what had caught my attention, just as it had grabbed her too. We carried on walking without mentioning this again, but if I ever needed a sign that we are meant to be together that was it!
OK, enough of the slush!this weekend I’m off to Dublin to catch a concert of The Sealed Knot and say hi to some good friends, so Alastair will be on his own presenting audition whilst I will for the first time get to listen live from afar. That should be an odd experience, but at least its one way of increasing our listener figures…