My day started at Tate Britain this morning where I met Penny for tea, which became lunch, and a glorious look around an exhibition of pioneering photos, many of which were taken in the 1830s. They were quite astonishing to look at. In some cases I found myself peering into the faces of people dressed in Regency clothing. We all have a basic concept of what the Victorians looked like, as a result of seeing some of those famous shots of people like Isambard Kingdom Brunel in top hats and frock coats, but I've never seen a picture of a group of woman in empire line frocks before, or a photo of a man in white breeches a la Colin Firth in Jane Austin! It was eye-opening. Genuinely. It was also fun to look at some of the early Victorian female hair dos, with their carefully coifed great big scoops of hair sort of hanging down on the sides of the face like giant circular side burns. We're used to seeing something similar in period dramas, but in these cases it's very much the 21st Century version of the look. The original dos were a great deal more surreal and gravity-defying!
The Tate Britain is a fascinating and much-ignored little gallery, which has been utterly eclipsed by its flashier Tate Modern brother. It's actually a really nice place just to be. It sells lovely food and isn't full of insane tourists. There are a few brilliant pieces of art there as well including Mark Gertler's Vorticist masterpiece, Merry-go-round, which I was trilled to see today.
I came home and went into admin overdrive. There is so much to do in preparation for the various projects I've got on at the moment. We have a fundraising music quiz to prepare, a filming day to prep and two albums to release, both of which need press releases and inner sleeves... I've also got to find myself some paid work. Perhaps as a result of all of this, I have neuralgia all the way down my left arm, which got so bad this evening, I was forced to take a paracetamol. I also had a bath before cooking, which made me over-heat like crazy. I'm currently sitting in the front room like an elderly Cypriot lady, sitting on the doorstep, flapping my polyester skirt to keep my biddy-bits cool!
I switched the telly on at one point and got extremely upset watching one of those fly-on-the-wall ob-docs about road cops in the Home Counties. I was fairly appalled by their behaviour if I'm honest. A group of immigrants were arrested for stealing a bag of charity clothes from outside a supermarket. I think if anyone needs to steel clothes from a charity bank, they should be allowed to do so with everyone's blessing. The police behaviour felt nasty, heavy-handed and, if I'm honest, a little racist. No one deserves to be hand cuffed and taken to a police station for "steeling" charity bags. An announcement at the end of the show said the men had been let off because no one could prove who the original owners of the clothes were. One of the policemen kept saying that it was the principle of the matter that he was objecting too. He said the same thing after arresting someone else for steeling a broken cat scratcher from next to a dustbin out on the street. Frankly, I think he was doing someone a favour by taking it. Perhaps because this particular man was Irish, the policeman did that thing where he said he could smell alcohol and therefore needed to do a breast test. The test registered zero unsurprisingly. I say unsurprisingly because the same thing happened to me one night on the A1 when I was stopped and breathalysed. I don't drink. I certainly don't drink and drive, so I was actually horrified and offended when the policeman said he could smell alcohol on me. Like the man in the film, I registered zero. I think they say they can smell it, because it justifies doing the test in their mind. The programme ended and I was left wondering what police spend most of their time doing.