March 30, 2009
On Saturday Paul and I fulfilled one of our longstanding London plans and went to John Soane’s Museum on Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It was really great. And free! Soane was an architect and a collector and his house is chock-full of interesting things. Go here to have a 360 degree look at some of it. Soane (1753-1837) was the son of a bricklayer, the personal architect of two prime ministers, and the designer of the Bank of England, the Dulwich Picture Gallery and Westminster’s Law Courts, as well as Britain’s red telephone box. The house has the sarcophagus of Seti I, other really old stuff and lots of paintings, including three Canalettos (‘Riva degli Schiavoni, The Rialto Bridge from the North and Piazza S. Marco) and two series of Hogarth paintings, A Rake’s Progress and An Election – I was so excited to see the Hogarths. Soane had a country house in Ealing, Pitzhanger Manor which is now a museum, so I might have to go pay it a visit.
Above and below, the entrance to the John Soane’s Museum.
On Saturday night we went to a housewarming party for someone from Brisbane who we met over here (through a friend from Brisbane).
On Sunday we went to the Photographers’ Gallery (which has moved to just off Oxford Street) and we saw the finalists for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2009. There was some good photography there. They also have a good bookshop and a nice cafe (I must remember that for if I’m ever near Oxford Circus and want a coffee and don’t want to go to Starbucks).
Then we met up with Cheryl and Alex and wandered around Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, and surrounding streets, including the Gherkin and the Leadenhall Market.
I recently read that the Whitechapel Gallery is about to reopen after being closed for a couple of years. I’m excited about that. I’ve seen some pretty cool art there.
August 12, 2008
I just realised that I didn’t blog about the London Literature Festival.
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July 1, 2008
Paul and I are going to a couple of talks at the Southbank Centre in the next week and a half. We’re going to The Hayward Anniversary Talk: Tales of the City which (I think) is part of the London Festival of Architecture. Architect Zaha Hadid and artist, Antony Gormley (among others) are speaking.
We’re also going to see a talk by (comics legend) Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie about their new(ish) work Lost Girls. I’m really excited about getting hold of this three-volume set of graphic novels (which costs £50!!!). Set around the time of the first world war (I think) the books’ main characters are Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz) and Wendy (from Peter Pan) and they explore the sexual awakenings of the young women – it sounds really interesting but definitely one for the grown-ups. The books have been released in other countries but couldn’t be released here (in the UK) until this year because Wendy was still under copyright!
June 25, 2008
While I will often complain about London and its bad weather, dirty city (from pollution and people throwing their rubbish on the ground! Yes, I have witnessed this many times), terrible service (in cafes, restaurants, shops, post offices, government departments, you-name-it), there is soooo much to do here that I love doing. Last night I went to the ICA where I got to hear the french feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray talk about her latest book, Sharing the World. While I didn’t really understand much of it, I did get to buy discount tickets for the four of us who went, as I’m a member of the ICA! I think I’m going to give up on Luce Irigaray. This type of philosophy is not for me (Paul and Jess really enjoyed it, Helen and I didn’t really get it).
There are lots of places I am yet to visit in London but want to:
The Chelsea Physic Garden (I have been listening to some podcasts of lectures to the Royal Society which is how I found out about the Chelsea Physic Garden) (official site)
The Sir John Soane’s Museum (official site)
The Museum of London
The Royal Academy of the Arts and their Summer Exhibition
The Museum in Docklands and their Jack the Ripper and the East End exhibition
For the next month there are lots of events for the London Festival of Architecture.
Helen told me about a feminist theory reading group which I am quite excited about (if they read theory I understand).
Helen and Jess are keen to go with me to see the film Her Name is Sabine at the ICA. It is a documentary by a French actor about her sister who has autism. It sounds really good.
And my friend Jen is coming to town next week which is exciting (she lives in Edinburgh). It will be nice to see and her partner and their two kids.
June 25, 2008
A few weeks ago (June 6-8) I went to Spain for the weekend with a friend from work as a pre-wedding party (she’s getting married next month). Below are some photos.
Having dinner. From left, me, Lucja, Mireille, Ling and Sing. Ling is the one who is getting married.
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