This is one of those days when you’d far rather be elsewhere than where you currently have to be. Which is a convoluted way of stating that I’m at work, nominally working through the huge pile of detritus that has gathered upon my desk during my recent extended three-week leave (NB I am well aware that this is a wholly indulgent span to take off work, but in fairness it was last year’s leave I was using up!).
Un-inclined to blog or write, I’ve mostly been lurking in coffee shops, in dark alleys in Edinburgh or drinking copious amounts of red wine in the back yarden. Naturally on our trip to Edinburgh it rained torrentially, whilst the sun was apparently streaming down on Whitley Bay. Naturally…
Still, Edinburgh was not without highlights, namely visiting the Titians in the National Gallery. They’re quite spectacular in their own right but I did find the Gallery overwhelming in it’s sheer content. Everything is on display. Everything! The building itself is gorgeously over the top (poshest toilets I’ve been in in a long while) but it’s all a bit too much. I found the prominence of the European painters over the Scottish painters (stuffed in the basement) somewhat displeasing. Some of the Scottish stuff was great – I particularly liked the Quarrel of Oberon and Titiana by Paton (below), with the multitude of fairies and strange animals spilling out at all angles of the painting. The He got rather upset with viewing all of the family portraits (dead people).
They also take the prize for the worst service ever in their fancy restaurant overlooking Princes Street Gardens. It was particularly shaming how badly one man in a wheelchair was firstly ignored by the staff and then rudely sent the wrong way to a place where he couldn’t get a seat. Not recommended.
Rain persisting, we hid in the Writers’ Museum and marvelled at the low doorways (which incidentally did not pose any kind of threat to my head at all) and then trolled off to the Black Rose in search of gin. There are some very drunken pictures of me splatted out on the cushions in there: they won’t be on here anytime soon!
I have also managed to read the following: Masquerade by Terry Pratchett; The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry; The Room of Lost Things by Stella Duffy; and the cruddy next volume for the book club – Welcome to Life by Alice De Smith, which is a witless meandering through the blandest of teenage lives in the 1980’s. Chick lit at its most horrific. Burn after reading, I say. Read Barry or Duffy for some absolute pleasure. Next on the pile is Sarah Waters Affinity, Late Gothic Short Stories and Wilkie Collins The Woman in White.
GD is: currently stuffed full of pasta and aubergine, listening to the dreadful new Green Day album (off cuts from American Idiot and Warning…), itchy of nose and restless of mind.