Count the aches
I have aches in more parts of my lower body than I knew existed. From my feet to my thighs I am a catalogue of discomfort. It’s all the bloody walking. I used to think that the Barcelona underground system was absurdly ‘connected’ and I regularly bemoaned the ridiculous distances that one had to walk between junctions, when the map indicated that they were intersections! I will complain about Barcelona no more, not after my experiences of the distances that there are between lines on the London underground!
Perhaps starting a journey in the double station of Kings Cross and St Pancras International means that there is extra walking and I do appreciate the fact that the entrance to the underground, while nowhere near the actual rails, is at the end of my hotel’s street, so at least I don’t have to wait at the irritatingly large number of traffic light systems to get over the Euston Road! But the walking that is involved in getting around has pushed my daily limit well above what is acceptable!
After an unsettled night I did decide to go to Tate Modern and was resigned to the fact that there is a fair amount of walking involved in getting to the front door whatever underground station you decide to use.
After having got mildly lost I made my usual way to the Rothko room and sat on the bench like seat and wondered, yet again, if these paintings are any good.
The room looked somehow smaller to me this visit. Perhaps it was the chatty number of Sunday people clearly unintimidated by the subdued lighting and the massive canvasses who filled the room. Or perhaps it was a function of my continuing exhaustion – these pictures are not really restful. At least not to me. There is a sort of confident expression and a satisfying monumentality, but to be truthful they left me a little cold.
I think that I was expecting more after taking a course on Modern Art and a course which spent some time on this artist and indeed on these paintings! But the frission that I have felt on previous visits was not there this time.
I am sure that I will make a beeline for them the next time I am in the gallery and it will be instructive to see if my attitude changes again!
Lunch and a lesson
I took a bus (how often do I ignore the existence of these vehicles when they could take me nearer to my destination than the tube!) to Trafalgar Square and decided to go to the pub on the corner opposite St Martin in the Field for lunch. I have this idea that they served the most reasonably priced beer in central London.
Well, I had a meal of olives and feta cheese as a starter with steak and kidney pudding with mash and veg for a main with a pint of beer – for sixteen pounds and ten pee. And not worth it, so another tradition goes down the tubes.
Much walking later I almost got to the British Museum, but I simply couldn’t be bothered and made for the Tottenham Court Road tube station and the hotel room.
The bell didn’t work or the people inside ignored it and they also ignored an increasingly forceful application of the room key on the glass of the entrance. It took minutes before the 24-hour reception service opened the door and a fairly grumpy me stomped off to the room.
And here I have stayed, resting, reading and eating the remains of the M&S goodies that survived from the gorging last night!
Tomorrow the meeting with Clarie and Mary, but before that I have decided, after glancing at a poster on the underground, to go and see an exhibition devoted to Charles Rennie Macintosh in the RIBA in Portland Street. And why not!