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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Veering off High Street Ken

This week I ventured twice into West London's cultural heart with friends. First to tiddly om pom Proms. I don't know a huge amount about classical music, I wish I did but sometimes it is just lovely to sit back and listen to something beautiful. I got a pair of tremendously cheap seats sitting right at the back in the Alps to Holst's Planets. The tickets were only £7.50 each so the argument that the art form is elitist is redundant,  besides good old Auntie is screening this years season on television and radio. I love The Planets, having only ever heard it on my tinny laptop hearing it at The Royal Albert Hall is something else quite entirely. Mars made we want to invade France or something.

I only did realise there and then that the middle section of Jupiter sounds suspiciously like I Vow To Thee My Country,   which to me thoroughly explains why they use it on on sentimental TV adverts.

My second outing to that  part of the woods wad for an outdoor (this is England, it was under a waterproof tented construction so it was essentially indoors) of Breakfast at Tiffany's in Holland Park. Free Häagen Dazs, nom! Is it bad that sometimes I watch films just for the clothes, because the Givenchy in it was deliciousness? I absolutely love that film. I think it was. the best thing that Audrey Hepburn ever did. If you watch too many of her films you come to realise that she is playing herself in a different circumstance.  Nonetheless she is glorious in BaT. There was some talk a few years ago about a remake starring Keira Knightley but nothing has been mentioned as of late that I'm aware. I wonder how close to Truman Capote's original novella it will be or if it will stick to the same romantic lines that the Hepburn version did?

Monday, 5 August 2013

Game of Thrones

I've bitten the bullet and have started reading the books.
Hello geekdom, it's been awhile!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Hampton Court Shoes

When the summer weather is so fine, there is nothing I prefer more than a wander around a creaky old building of notoriety. Hampton Court, marketed as the home of Henry - don't marry me or you're for it - VII (and y'know later less BBC period drama inspiring monarchs too) beckoned. I'd been told that the Tudor kitchens would leave a lasting impression, but I have never really been one for social history - or the history of what the people used to eat - so found it really only vaguely interesting. I enjoyed the banqueting hall and chapel much more, partially because they were aesthetically much more pleasing. I like pretty things.

I did love Mantegna's Renaissance masterpiece The Triumph of Caesar, as all who know me will testify that I am both an art geek and classics freak. Thankfully, yet also sadly, the exhibit had very few visitors when I went so I got to drink the procession in in relative solitude. Mantegna was the first painter to become famous, in the modern sense, outside of his own city. The lack of footfall for such splendid and historical importance made me think of a documentary I had seen by the late art historian and critic Robert Hughes, The Mona Lisa Curse. I feel this may warrant a post of it's own at some point.

The Secrets of The Royal Bedchamber Exhibit was quite interesting, although I had noticed some foreign visitors, who have no need to have knowledge of the throne's succession over the last 400 years or so, struggling somewhat as the exhibit to an extent assumed that the visitor would be able to jump across time as easily as walking into another room. I was very grateful of the chance to lie down on the giant mattresses provided at the beginning of the exhibit as by that point my silly shoes had started to rub. The film, cleverly being shown on the ceiling, imparted very little clever knowledge. 

In all truth I can get quite snobby about museums as I always assume that average person must be aware of history to a much greater extent than the curator presumes and that the public are being treated like children (same goes for most TV documentaries).

All in all a lovely day was had, I bought some pear drops, wandered round the gardens, paid through the nose for a sandwich and saw the early modern tennis courts. Being unpatriotic though I have to say that I preferred visiting Versailles...