Still time to put your name down for the give-away folks - see last entry. Add your comment to that post, then I won't get muddled - it happens so easily, these days! Thank you all for the magnificent response. So encouraging.
We have had such an exciting time over the last few days. We were supposed to be going to Paris for a few days but the agent had a muddle over our booking form and, by the time we realised this, there were no places left. Despondency. So on Thursday I suggested to Clive that we go up to London to see the Bacon and the Byzantium exhibitions. He said that was pushing it a bit and why not stay the night. This turned into two nights and we have had such a good time. It is not easy for us to be spontaneous, due to all the commitments but this just squeezed in fine. (Suitable arrangements were made for cats in case you are worrying).
The hotel was great and we parked the car and took to tube, foot, taxi and river bus. The Byzantium exhibition was amazing, especially the icons. Lots of them were on thick slabs of wood in a very distressed state and Clive kept muttering about catalogues. It's true that they did look just like killed catalogues. There was a whole room full of icons from St Catherine's monastery in Sinai. I have drawn them so often in my sketchbook and it was a real wow moment to see them in the flesh.
It was late night opening, so we went around tea-time and it wasn't too crowded. There was a lot of criticism of the labelling which was very sparse (I think they want you to hire the audio-thingys) but it caused everyone to talk to each other and pool their knowledge and it made it all very friendly. We kept going back to the beginning and starting again. I will do some drawings of a reliquary that I really fell for and post it tomorrow.
When we eventually tore ourselves away from the RA we walked up Regent Street to see the lights and these driftwood horses were in the window of the National Geographic Shop. Fantastic, aren't they?
They were made from driftwood collected by Balinese schoolchildren and are an allegory of the four horses of St Mark's in Venice.
Here's a close up from another angle.
Then we found a lovely little Italian place for dinner. We walked up to Oxford Street and then it was back to the hotel.
Having slept like logs we breakfasted well and set off for Tate Britain. The Bacon exhibition really blew us away - we're both big fans. Spent our coffee break discussing scale, perspective, artistic devices, tortured lives, man as meat, non-narrative descriptions and the meaning of life. This was exhausting and we had to have another coffee to recover. We soon reverted to normal and enjoyed a drawing exhibition in another part of the gallery. Thanks to Jane Wild for telling us about that - would have hated to have missed it.
Then on to the river bus that travels between the Tates. Proper tourists and here's a shot to prove it.
After that little sit down we went on a tour of the city, where Clive slaved for so many years. There was a lot of 'I used to work in that building' and he realised to his horror that one of the buildings he'd worked in had been pulled down and rebuilt THREE times since he was there. What a waste. No wonder the city is in such a mess - how can that be justified?
Soap box over. Here's something really good. Can you see it peeping out shyly at the top?
And a bit closer?
Yes, it's Foster's wonderful gherkin.
.Love those reflections
I've never liked the Lloyds building as it makes me think of pressure cookers.
But it makes a great Displacement map.
More on London next time.