Sunday, 21 September 2014

Feeling my age

Trafalgar Square has hosted A Place Called Home
during the London Design Festival.
I am discomfited by the installations.
Two flickering screens in Ilse Crawford's house,
What Does Home Mean To You? were as difficult to focus on
as those banks of television sets in a department store.
You were invited to Tweet your impressions
which were added to a further scrolling display.
140 characters didn't seem to offer enough scope for my feelings.
Also I don't have a Twitter account.
Also I had a headache brought on by Swivel Eye Syndrome.

It smelt nice though. She had commissioned Azzi Glasser to develop
a scent to waft around the space because,
'every home has its own distinctive smell.' 
My home smells of Sunday lunch at present
and faintly of drying oil paint.

A pigeon themed house from Jasper Morrison.
Witty at least.
Sadly the actual pigeons have been banish├ęd from Trafalgar Square.
I say sadly, but actually I was terrified as a child
when they landed on my head.
This was a popular photo opportunity
for those with a Box Brownie.

I'd intended to walk to The Design Museum near Tower Bridge.

The River Bus was an entertaining and more direct alternative.
It was also a chance for a sit down.
My Freedom Pass was accepted,
but she wanted to see it first.
Which was nice.

A sobering sight. So many poppies.
So many deaths.

The Design Museum had this pop-up exhibition.
I was not impressed by the £12.40 entrance fee.
'No age-related concessions,' said the girl at the desk
a tad presumptuously.
(I hadn't asked for one.)
One of the displays was a tray of Lego with some half-made models on a table.
A guard had been positioned near it to bark at people who believed
they had been invited to play with it.
Elsewhere the exhibitions were interactive 
so they were naturally confused.

I looked for an i-phone cover in the shop.
Not finding one, I interrupted a conversation behind the till
to ask if they stocked any.
It was as though I had asked for a Union Jack place mat with
'I heart London' on it.
I walked back to London Bridge feeling thoroughly deflated by it all.
Rather longing for more of this:

No entrance fee.
All ages welcome.


  1. Exhibition charges are always startling , I find . So when the person behind the till says condescendingly , " The added donation is voluntary . " I decline and refuse to feel guilty ... or less worthy .
    Yes , poor old pigeons have rather outstayed their welcome everywhere , haven't they . The ones that are left all seem to be " martyrs to their feet " .

    1. I got stung for the voluntary donation I now realise. It wasn't flagged up. Yes the feet are rather a distressing sight. As are the pigeons sitting forlornly in puddles.

  2. I went to a museum the other day, paid my money and the young gentleman rather helpfully told me where the toilets were and said it might be useful as it could take a while to get round and I might need to "go". It was a very small museum actually and it left me wondering if I looked the sort of woman who would wee myself.....................


  3. Indeed, just where I'd like to be myself.

  4. I've always liked a good ending. Yours is beautiful.

  5. London is so full-on - I love to visit and then return to the countryside with a sigh of relief. Sorry the day was a tad disappointing.

    I always hope staff will query my concessionary status but they so rarely do - chastening really.

  6. We visited London for the first time in 13 years this summer and though I enjoyed it, it wore us out, we much prefer the countryside.

  7. What a dispiriting outing, and not at all like you, who usually manage to find something glorious in every trip. Time to go the the seaside or the woods....

  8. You are a great reporter! Your photographs make great companions to your excellent choice of words. I'm pretty sure that I would have had exactly the sames reactions as you did. Designs for living depend on whose life is it anyway.


  9. If you put out a tray of lego, the message really is 'come & play'. It's a shame you couldn't. It's a shame you didn't receive a friendly welcome, especially to a JohnLewis exhibition. Have to say travelling by Thames clipper is great.

  10. Wistful commentary aside, I am glad you took us along on your outing. London is truly a stunning city. That one photo of the poppies spilling out like blood was rather arresting, and an imaginative use of the evocative flowers.
    I was reminded of a recent BBC adaptation of Austen's Mansfield Park - the swooping, swirling camera angles made me a bit seasick - felt my age then, too.

  11. I don't go to that there Lunnon any more, too many people, too much noise and too much dirt. I like living in the country.