Thursday, 6 November 2014

like gold


That September day was golden. Like so many late summer days in this town.

Last week I finished the biggest project that I've worked on so far. Since then I've been to the National Gallery to look at Italian art from the 16th century, and spent another perfect weekend in East Sussex, where we did precisely nothing. I went to Erlend Oye's gig in London, which was absolutely fantastic, and I flew to Vienna, where I'm currently curled up in bed, getting ready to walk through those same streets that you can see above, bathed in grey almost wintery light instead of the golden glow of a late summer.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

great museums


A couple of weeks ago my friend texted me to meet her in the Scottish National Gallery. I was there a bit early, so I just sat down with a book and immediately felt at home. There's something soothing about big galleries and museums, especially when they're not packed with people. I miss working in a museum, the behind-the-scenes glimpses, wandering through a massive building after it has closed or before it had opened. The tranquility of big, empty rooms. The repetitive soundscape of installations and videos. Work based around objects and stories.
The galleries we went to in Copenhagen were wonderful, and this is were all the snapshots are from. I wish I was there now to spend more time looking at Danish art and Roman sculpture. As a short trip to Copenhagen is not an option at the moment I'm looking forward to The Great Museum instead: a new documentary about the biggest art museum in Vienna, which is being screened at the BFI film fest this week. I can't wait.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

dogs and horses


All I can say is that this is a pretty perfect way to spend a weekend. Excitable small puppy? Yes. Farmers market? Yes. Sunday papers? Yes. Good food? Yes. A soft bed? Yes. Holding hands? Double yes. Discussing the Scottish referendum and almost missing our stop? Triple yes.

Monday, 29 September 2014


My yearning for the countryside increases day by day. Give me a lake and a mountain over rows of identical terrace houses any day.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Was this really just two weeks ago?


A Friday evening on the hill overlooking our city: it was warm, someone had brought two tiny puppies.  It was a good week, that first week of September. Later that evening I would go over to my friend and watch the Loki supermix because I'm a Serious Adult. Earlier that day I had had breakfast (twice) and seen a photography exhibition I really liked. I was so happy that I didn't even feel gloomy about my impending return to London. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

the good kind of transit


We had taken several trains around Italy, but in the weeks leading up to the trip I had been looking forward to this particular train journey the most - indeed it was the only ticket I had bought in advance, before I had even booked a flight to Italy: the train from Venice to Carinthia in Southern Austria, where I was planning to meet my brothers for a couple of days by the lakes and mountains. There are few things that are lovelier than sitting on a quiet train - with a compartment to oneself! - and watching the mountains come closer and closer. Slowly, the landscape changed, from flat land to stark stony mountains, until it eventually turned into hills and mountains covered in deep forests. We drove through tunnel after tunnel, and every time I looked up, the landscape was more familiar. Everything was sweet and delightful: the small piece of peach cake that I had bought that morning in Bologna from a friendly baker, now crumbling; the guitar solo in the song I was listening to, ‚Impossible Germany‘ by Wilco; the books I was reading: ‚The Baron in the Trees‘ by Italo Calvino, which I had started reading on the train to Ravenna, and which I now finished on the train to Austria, having thoroughly enjoyed every single page; and ‚My Salinger Year‘ by Joanna Rakoff, which I had bought in Bologna. This was the perfect book to read on a trip that would include my attendance at a conference where I would represent my institution, a task that seemed daunting and made me feel both very young and very much in control. A book about a young woman trying to figure out what work, and life, is all about? Yes please. (It also felt like a Nora Ephron film turned into an autobiography, which is a definite plus.)