I'm behind on a lot of things at the moment. Partly it's my very important role as a catstand, but I also blame BBC4, who have been doing a season on architecture, of the modern and exciting variety. It's been fun, and the sort of viewing that uses your brain, the laptop, the pause button and occasionally the audio record on the phone for particularly choice snippets. I've also found myself sensitised to buildings, not just the ones that demand attention but the bread and butter bricks and mortar all around.
The oddest insight recovered from this slightly odd mindstate is that different supermarket brands exist in different styles. Tescos is very much the post-modern, faux-cottage, 80s village-meets-sportshall style. Oh hai let me put a turret on that. Sainsburys is Hi-Tech, metal and glass walls with tented roofs and a welcome lack of compromise. I wonder if they focus grouped that to appeal to their audience? Which would be tragic, because (as I regularly tell Yougov) I would consider myself a natural Tescos shopper, but of the two architectural styles, no prizes for which I would choose.
The half-term art marathon took in Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy and Martin Creed at the Hayward. The former has turned the RA into a slightly bonkers funhouse full of towers, forests, mazes, chaises and oppressive/non oppressive ceilings. The latter featured a pile of old balls in the middle of the gallery and a cock on the roof. And the room half full of balloons, of course, which was just... massively fun. The occasional person had snuck a sharpie out of their pocket and left a message on the balloon, sometimes in their own voice, sometimes in the voice of the balloons. We were late and the room lightly populated. But we still got the occasional pop. As I glanced down to see the effect of the static on my clothes, I felt/saw my coat tag exit my pocket, swam down through balloons, recovered it. A minor miracle in the art room.
In evening we ate at Pizza Express, using tokens I had extracted from Tescos clubcard vouchers. It was better than using the discount schemes, but only just. I must sadly conclude that for me a vital part of the pleasure in eating out is affording it.