Thursday, November 3, 2011

Canal, teddy bear and Halloween newt

A London birthday weekend - my birthday this time. We were staying near the Regent's Canal again - oh joy for the walk from Shoreditch to Islington. Friday was a beautiful day. I didn't realise this photo had such great reflections - I was too busy looking at the boats and the willow tree.

Later we walked back the same way and were easily waylaid by a secondhand bookshop in a boat. Ok so it meant we had to wear another layer of clothing on the Ryanair flight home to offset the book weight but it was worth it. Here's the splendid craft (beyond the green narrowboat):

Joe had arranged for us to do a house swap, though our swapees have yet to come to us - they'll do that next spring. It was a perfect place for us - part of a terrace (Georgian?) in Shepherdess Walk, everything we needed, such a lovely house,  park behind,  canal at one end and buses at the other. And from the roof garden this was the view:

A highlight (apart from the canal) was the Grayson Perry exhibition at the British Museum. I hadn't realised what they'd done to the museum for the Millenium. This roof over the courtyard was stunning:

Called The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, the exhibition had Perry's own fantabulous pots and other pieces next to astonishing craftsman(woman?)ship from within the Museum.

Here's the motorbike Perry travelled round Germany on, with his teddy bear Alan Measles in the 'popemobile' at the back (I know, it sounds weird but it wasn't).

Unbelievable detail on Perry's pieces and those he chose. And I loved his descriptions and explanations of everything. So articulate and they really did make sense of a grown man travelling with his old teddy bear and dressing up as a little girl. Hmm. That sounds weird altogether but it wasn't.

The strangest exhibit, perhaps, was the delicate earring which I was admiring in its case. I read the information about it and realised it said there was a section of ear attached. The ear was very black due to age. This was not one of Perry's works.

A play at the Almeida in Islington on Friday - 'My City' by Stephen Poliakoff which got very mixed (read bad) reviews on the BBC review show but which we loved. They just didn't understand metaphor I think (says she disappearing up her own arse). It's always different when you go to a production knowing you have to appear on television or write something erudite (not that I have) than if you go following a good dinner with the expectation of having an interesting time.

We went to the Tate Modern but found we weren't in the mood - enough, I think, of exhibitions. But we did have a look, on the way there, at the protest outside St Paul's.

I'm glad to see the Church has come to its senses and is no longer stuck in confrontation and attempts at eviction. Whatever you think about the protesters methods, how can you call yourself a Christian and not support their arguments enough to at least get into a discussion with them.

We had dinner that night at Sabor, a South American restaurant in Islington. If you live near there and haven't been (oh all you Islington readers of my blog) then go! It was wonderful. Of course you wouldn't normally have the parade of Halloweeners passing the window in various stages of dismemberment/witchery/zombiedom. A newt went past at one stage (a newt? for Halloween? Surely they're hibernating by now). After the dinner I had a chocolate martini. It was that sort of night.

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