passed over yet again
The weekend began by my picking up my car from its MOT, which it had (implausibly) passed. Giles Service Centre; fully recommended. Having spent one morning in complex pass-the-learner-driver shenanigans (thanks, tinyjo, thanks oxfordhacker) this time, flush with an unexpectedly smaller-than-feared bill I sliced the problem with a minicab. Electric, like they all seem to be nowadays. Apparently they all have to pass a special council MOT which is "fierce".
oysters for elevenses
The route to the Saatchi Gallery took us straight through a farmer's market, and this being a Sloane Square farmer's market, there was a man shucking oysters and dropping them onto silvered plastic platters right opposite a champagne bar pouring prosecco into plastic flutes. Sometimes fate forces romance upon you; and it being a farmer's market, it was also the case that cheese was available. Heart-shaped cheddar and camembert. Later on we discovered we had just enough money between us for smoked and unsmoked.
You do realise you have to stay here now
But we were here for art, not cheese! So into the Saatchi Gallery (for the first time - it's an odd building, a grand frontage bolted onto a set of concrete boxes) for Post Pop East Meets West. It is here, while I am taking careful visual notes in my Useful Work vs. Useless Toil sketchpad of an installation by Richard Woods, that a man interrupts me to tell me that I need to stay in the installation, as I match the installation. For visual reference, I have magenta hair and was wearing that coat. Most of the exhibition is excellent, but some bits of it make me queasy, in proper Saatchi style. There's a waxwork of a stuffed tennis player, a cow's arse you peer into to see a rotating Lenin-foetus, a flag chapel made of human hair and a certain amount of female torso 2; but also a lot of beautiful, mysterious, narrative, extraordinary things. We linger over lunch and the engine oil in the basement.
We'd also made a date with a tiny gallery off Oxford street, which turned out to be one of a row of tiny galleries off Oxford Street (initially we went in the wrong one) where an artist has bundled carbon nanotubes and put them on a canvas to make the blackest thing currently available. Upstairs was flickering screens and looped audio-art; a birthing pool neurotically declaiming to shelves of surgical instruments. The attendants looked a bit ragged, but one took us down the polished concrete stairs into a polished concrete basement/chapel for the adoration of the BLK NANOSQR. It looked moleskin soft, and was already dissolving from the canvas, air vibrations entropy taking their toll in a dandruff of absolute black on the bottom frame.
Fresh baked bread
Sunday was domestic, with the usual run of washing-shopping-cleaning-courseworking broken up by fresh bread baked by timscience. The cheap bread stone from Boswells worked well enough (they had a big pile, if anyone else wants one). The tomatoes in their little pots are thinking about sprouting. Our valentines lush bath bomb turned the bathwater alarmingly Bathory. That orchid continues on its merry way.
We scraped the frost off the car and went out to a late night 3D showing of Jupiter Ascending as the last wild act of the weekend. I was slumping a bit, and then the greys in the fertility clinic were attacked by a wolfman in rocketboots and from there on in it was up, up and away. Space princess makeovers, jaw-droppingly beautiful spaceships, terrible acting, inexplicable things involving Sean Bean and bees and Eddie Redmayne frothing in the midst of a squadron of attack dinosaurs (possibly they were just very butch dragons). It's terrible, but terrible like The Fifth Element, or Dune, or Barbarella or Flash Gordon, so of course I loved it. That Mila Kunis and her anime eyes. Bigger than the rest of her face put together!
And that was the weekend.