Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It’s educational!

2011’s going out trend continues.

Saturday: to Borough Market, Southwark Cathedral’s Refectory (to catch up with CH and eat a marvellous scotch egg), then on to Dulwich to the Picture Gallery. Dulwich has three stations, one of which is about fifteen miles from the Gallery. Guess which one we chose to alight at first…

Norman Rockwell is an acquired taste. So much of what I saw at the exhibition was utterly cheesecakey. I can’t deny that it had an astonishing quality to it, but it didn’t move me. There was a wall crammed full of his covers for Picture Post, but the gallery was too crowded for me to really spend any time looking at them. Instead, I went out into the general gallery and studied the Reubenses and van Dycks and Rembrandts, and found myself drawn into this fabulous portrait of Sir John Soane.

It also occurred to me: how have I never been to Dulwich before? Even on a grey, freezing day, it was as gorgeous as Hampstead (but without the arseholes).

Monday saw a lovely but long-overdue trip to the boozer with Merv. Which was about bloody time.

Last night we went to see Dan Maier do his talk Ideas Man: The Stranger Notions of Francis Galton. Galton was a Victorian polymath and scientist. He had some properly good scientific ideas (including work in fingerprinting, meteorology and [whisper it] eugenics), but also some very odd ones: these included Arithmetic by Smell and a categorisation of the size of women (six categories from ‘Thin’ to ‘Prize Fat’). Other matters he concerned himself with were dog whistles, an estimation of whether all of the world’s gold would fit in his house (conclusion: it would, in fact it would completely fit in his dining room, with space to spare), and the killing a number of exotic animals through carelessness. Find out more about Galton here.

The remainder of this week: a band, some gastropub action, and a sleepy weekend (I hope).

I also just wanted to comment that I was sad to hear about the death of Trish Keenan of Broadcast. I’m not qualified to discuss her work – I don’t know enough about her. However, it’s clear that she was a warm, wonderful human being who was loved by a lot of people, and it’s always sad when one of those slips away.

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At 8:40 pm, Blogger Paperback Tourist said...

Some bits of Dulwich are nicer than others.
Former Resident of Ladlands Estate, SE22

Incidentally, fact fans, Bon Scott died outside these flats and parts of 'Sweeney!' were filmed there.


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