Thursday, 12 April 2018

Holland Park

I think I talk on behalf of all UK citizens when I say that I think we’re ready for spring now. This winter has lasted way too long, and there have been far too many days of drizzle and dank greyness of late.

I was out all day yesterday and by the time I’d got home, the cold and damp had entirely got into my bones. It’s incredibly rare for me to actually feel the cold, but when the air is wet, all bets are off.

I had a lovely day, however, which was centred around the London Design Museum. I remember visiting this particular museum in its old premises in a fabulous white building on the South Bank. I went there with Fiona, I think, to look at an exhibition on Bauhaus.

The new building, which is on the south side of Holland Park, is, as you might expect, a design statement in itself, with giant weirdly-angled columns, a huge, austere atrium, balconies, and ceiling tiles creating optical illusions. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think it’s the greatest museum in the world. Quite a number of the displays didn’t seem to be working, and, perhaps in an über reference to design itself, everything felt a bit “style-over-substance.” The exhibits were beautifully displayed, but highly minimalist and I didn’t find myself feeling a great deal of nostalgia for the things I was looking at, nor did I feel I was learning anything or looking at anything particularly stylish, if I’m honest. There are far better, much larger, highly similar displays at the Science Museum. And the cake is cheaper in the cafe there too!

There was an exhibition on Ferrari, but it cost £28 to see, which I thought was daylight robbery. I was there with Tanya and Raily, both of whom have families of five. I’m sure there were family discounts available, but it felt a bit steep. People tell me that musicals are expensive to see at that price, so I think a Ferrari exhibition would need to have a massive light and sound display and a handful of dancers to justify that sort of price. Fortunately, I have no interest in cars...

It was so lovely to see Tanya, Raily, Iain, Mez, Hils, Paul, Sam and their associated families. Their kids grow taller every day, it seems. They’re all such good friends. They stride off, like the Red Hand Gang, on mini-adventures: always enthusiastic, never bored. If I had kids, I’d want them to be like them. Sparky. Intelligent. Stylish. I look at them and think the future’s safe.

We had tea in the cafe in the middle of Holland Park, much of which is under scaffolding. I don’t really understand Holland Park. I find it a little claustrophobic. There’s nowhere to sit and eat a picnic, it’s just a series of paths through trees, with a few sculptures, a stately(ish) home, an opera tent, and an impressive Japanese water garden. Hampstead Heath it most certainly isn’t!

I had to dash away from the fun and games a little too early for my liking to get myself to a quiz which turned out to be a lot of fun. I randomly bumped into Michael at Holland Park Station so we travelled West on the tube together.

When I got back home, all the lights were on, the door was open, but no one was around. I recognised Abbie’s coat and bag on the sofa. There was a lamp in the middle of the room. I rang Nathan’s phone and it sounded in the bedroom. The whole place smacked of the Marie Celeste!

About half an hour later, Abbie and Nathan appeared carrying pizzas and laughing loudly. They’d spent the afternoon recording a knitting podcast and were treating themselves for all the hard work they’d done. I was fairly relieved that the aliens hadn’t abducted them. I can always be relied on to jump to the wrong conclusion!

I weighed myself today. I have lost a stone and a half since Christmas. I’m quite impressed with that!

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