D4D

Putting the cunt in constable

Archive for the category “Travel”

Saturday – Slow

While I was walking in London two weekends ago, I posted a ranty bith on Facebook, asking

HOW DO PEOPLE LIVE, WALK AND THINK SO FUCKING SLOWLY, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE?!?!?

To which Gordon asked how I live with being so irrationally angry to others.  The answer to that ended up as a bit of a rant, but was still absolutely true, and I thought I’d add it here as well, rather than losing it to the vagaries of Facebook.

That answer was this…

In fairness, my friend, if any of them had any awareness of what was around them, I’d be fine.

I fully acknowledge I walk a buttload faster than most people, and think/move/avoid at similar pace. I take on at least 90-95% of the responsibilities for getting out the way, and for understanding/accepting that difference.

All I ask – well, hope for – is for people to have the ability to see this fast-moving juggernaut of a human being, AND NOT WALK AT ME.

Fair enough, I’m enough of a fat bastard that I obviously create a gravity well and people just fall at me. I get that, I accept it. But they could make a bit of sodding effort.

It’s not even like I’m hard to see. But still these motherfuckers walk at me, stop in my path, decide to suddenly stop and take selfies (which is how I’ll end up on fucking Crimewatch, I just know it) or just look me dead in the eye, stop, and see what I’ll do, like they’re expecting me to slam into them.

So yeah, if there were even a smidge of acknowledgement, avoidance, observation, or even just a conscious fucking thought, I’d be fine.

But no. None of it. So you get the rants.

 

All told, it was a bit of a throwback to the D4D of old…

Saturday – Chris Ofili, Weaving Magic

Following on from seeing the Giacometti and Soul of A Nation exhibitions, my final visit was to the National Gallery, to see “Weaving Magic” by Chris Ofili.

A friend of mine had seen this and really liked it, hence why I wanted to see it.

It’s a fantastic tapestry – designed by Ofili, and then handwoven by Dovecot Tapestry Studio, and based on “I know why the caged bird sings“, by Maya Angelou. It’s also been staged and displayed really well, in a room of its own, which has also been decorated by Ofili.

So you end up with a room covered in murals like this

And then the tapestry itself, the only thing of colour in the room

It’s well worth seeing – if you get the chance to go before the end of August, I’d recommend it. Even better, it’s free to go in and see it, which is… noteworthy, in the current climate.

12 Years A Driver

Blimey, I’ve been driving now for 12 years today.  That really surprises me, how the time has flown.

I dread to imagine how many miles I’ve covered in that time – all I know is it’s well over quarter of a million miles. 120,000 in the Mondeo, another 120,000 in the Saab, and coming up to 20,000 in the Kia already.  Of course, that doesn’t include the ones I covered before buying the Mondeo, or any of the hire vehicles I’ve had in that time.

However you look at it, that’s pretty scary.

It’s hard to imagine life now without driving – if I were to lose my licence, it would change things radically, including having to change where I lived, where/how I worked, and many other things.  I value that freedom and licence more than I ever actually thought I would.

I’ve no idea what the future will bring, but I’m pretty sure that whatever comes along, I’ll be driving there.

Saturday – Soul of A Nation

While I was in Tate Modern on Saturday, I also went to see the “Soul Of A Nation” exhibition, which is about Black Art during the Civil Rights movement.  It’s not one I was really planning on seeing, and more of an impulse “Oh, why not” thing, but it was still interesting.

The Civil Rights movement happened in the US before I was born – not by much, but obviously by enough.  I know the basics of it, but not a lot of the detail, and always feel I should know more about it.   It absolutely amazes me that it was all relatively recent, that it was all happening fifty years ago. In that context, it’s amazing how far we’ve come – although there’s still a long way to go.

Anyway, it was an interesting exhibition – although there was a significant amount of (in my opinion) shite stuff, there was also enough to make it worth having gone in.  I also got to learn about AfriCOBRA, the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists – most of which was admittedly bad, but still, made me laugh just for its honesty.

One of the other things I found interesting (and slightly sad) was that in an exhibition so deeply connected to Black Art, African-American History and Civil Rights, every single person viewing it was white.  There was a quote on one wall, the gist of which was that Visual Arts were the biggest bastion of White Male artists, and the exhibition visitors certainly helped to reinforce tbat.

All told, it was interesting enough. I don’t think I’d bother seeing it again, but I’m still glad I did get to see it.

Saturday – Giacometti

On Saturday, I went into London for a walk, and to visit a couple of exhibitions – which turned out to be three – as well as food and the like.  As there’s other stuff going on this week that I can’t be naffed to go into right now, I thought I’d write a bit about some thoughts related to the exhibitions. So that’s the plan.

The first one on the list was Tate Modern’s exhibition of works by Giacometti. Up ’til now, I’ve seen a few of his works, but not loads – and I’ve honestly never seen the appeal of them. They’re certainly distinctive, strange, and of note – but I certainly didn’t love them, and didn’t really get why he’s so well regarded.

Having seen the full exhibition, I still don’t love them, but I understand more of why he’s regarded. Oddly, his statues still do very little for me – I find them kind of odd, and kind of unsettling, but nothing more than that – and I certainly couldn’t sit and just look at one block of statues, as one person was doing. (He’d even brought along his own camping stool in order to do so, God love him)  However, I really liked some of the sketches, and some of his oil work that looked like it had been done in charcoal.

I think that in some ways I wasn’t convinced of Giacometti as being an actual artist – OK, he could do the sculptures, but that could’ve been just the one thing. Having seen the sketches, drawings, and paintings, I do realise that he’s a lot more of an artist than I’d thought, and a lot more talented.

That doesn’t make me like the sculptures and so on, and I still wouldn’t go from here to the bog to see another exhibition of his work, but all the same, I’m glad I did go.

 

Reburgered

Last weekend, I went to one of my favourite food places in London, Mac and Wild. (OK, I went to a couple of my favourite places, but that’s a different story) They had a special burger on, which was only happening ’til yesterday, and I wanted to try it.

I ordered it (along with their cocktail of the month) and everything arrived and was lovely. As expected.

But then I saw other people’s photos of their Murray burgers, and mine was… different.  I had assumed that the black pudding was mixed into the patty, which gave it a really deep meaty taste without being a dollop of black pudding – but all the photos had a layer of black pudding on them.

So I mentioned this to Mac and Wild on Twitter, along with the above photo.  And within a couple of hours they’d come back to me, saying “Oops, looks like you had the Highlander instead of the Murray Mound. We’re really sorry – if you can make it in before the 15th, we’ll do you one for free“.  Note, I hadn’t asked for this, nor expected anything at all.  So already I’m pretty impressed.

As I was already planning to be back in London on Saturday, I took them up on that offer.

And bloody marvellous it was, too.

Now, I did pay for the burger – because I insisted on doing so.  Mistakes happen, and I’m fine with that. And I don’t feel like it was fair to get a freebie for a simple mistake – I love Mac and Wild anyway, so it was actually the simple offer, and the speed of it, that impressed me, rather than getting free food.

It’s that service (well, and the excellent food!) that keeps me going to places like Mac and Wild – they always give the impression that they give a damn. To have gone straight to “Oops, sorry” rather than arguing the toss, to accept and own the mistake and make amends for it, that’s impressive.

And long may that continue.

PIDU – Ill-prepared

As I’ve said before, I tend to be ridiculously early for things, primarily so I know it’s all sorted well in advance.

However, I find it utterly amazing how many people appear to be so chronically ill-prepared for just about anything and everything in their lives.

My primary office is near(ish) to the local test centre for the theory part of the UK driving test.  By “nearish” I mean “it’s walking distance, in a straight line, but over a significant road, so maybe five minutes walk”.  On a regular basis I get stopped outside my office, and asked where the test centre is, by people obviously already running late, and get this “Oh shit” look when I tell them it’s still five minutes away.  These tests are renownedly run punctually, and they don’t have much tolerance for lateness – but from memory, it makes all that very clear on the paperwork that tells you where the test is to be taken.

So because they haven’t checked where they’re supposed to be, they’re now running the risk of not even being allowed to take the test – and you don’t get a refund on it for being late and/or disorganised.  I’ve never seen it as all that difficult to do, to be in the right place at the right time, but it’s obviously an issue for some people.

Similarly, a couple of weeks back I was with friends in London, and their son was meeting other friends of his so they could go to a concert/festival thing in Hyde Park. We’d got other plans once he was in the venue, but they were somewhat dependent on the friends actually having IQ points of their own. They’re similarly pathologically early to me, which helps – but the son’s friends…. weren’t.

Despite the concert tickets telling them where they needed to be, which entrance to use and so on, they decided to turn up to the wrong Underground station, at the wrong time, and at the wrong entrance.  There’d been no preparation, no thought, not even an understanding of how best to get around, yet still left it all to the last minute, as if expecting some fairy godmother to wave a wand and everything would be All Right.

And it kind-of was. They got there, and we got to where we were going, but a couple of minutes late. (Anyone else, it would’ve been late by twenty minutes or more, but we can all shift our arses when necessary) So it did work out OK, but only because we knew more about where they were than they did, and walked the extra to find the fucking idiots.

All told, it’s just an attitude I don’t understand.   I know I’m at the opposite end of the scale, but still, it never seems that difficult to me, to be prepared, to know what you’re doing, and get wherever on time.  But obviously it’s more of a challenge for others…

 

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