In which I go rowing on a roof
London Travel Blog› entry 79 of 87 › view all entries
today I had a meeting in London, which finished slightly earlier than I was expecting, but late enough where by the time I left London I would be too late to go back to work anyway. Accordingly, what with it being daylight and the Hayward being open til 10pm, I thought I would go to the Psycho Buildings Exhibition that I had hoped to see but thought I wouldn't have time to go to. I am really glad I did, although it does get this month's Sarahelaine prize for random experiences.
Today was one of the first sunny days in weeks. It's been torrential rain for at least a fortnight. So I was glad of the time to get some fresh air, even if it was London air so possibly pushing the definition of Fresh a bit! I crossed the Hungerford footbridge to the Southbank, which is about my favourite place in London.
As a side point, what on earth is the point of living statues? I mean, please. Buskers, fine, they provide a service, and the weird guys who juggle or balance stuff, I mean, hell, even the illegal find-the-lady game and the woman witha fortune telling budgerigaar make some sense.
OK, I'm done. The buskers were cool, and the illegal find-the-lady game might have been interesting but I have the sense to get out of that sort of crowd whilst I still have my purse and my mobile.
Psycho Buildings is the summer exhibition at teh Hayward - it's a set of large scale, totally bonkers installations that wouldn't fit in most galleries. I loved it. Nooooo idea why it's art, but it is epic cool. First up was a sort of tent made of waht looked like a giant set of tights, that smelt really strongly of cloves. There was a steel tube you walked through, a maze made of coloured paper, a big plastic dome that was meant to be a cloud (but if you've ever climbed a mountain, you know that clouds are not hot dry plastic greenhouses!), a whole room full of empty doll's houses, and many things of that ilk. But best of all...
I got to row on a roof, and I got to jump a queue to do it! The artist has flooded one of the Hayward's terraces and put rowing boats on it! Now I am sure this is meant to say something really meaningful about the human condition, and I could make a convincing point for the value of doing something so unexpected in terms of, oh, challenging the nature of space or something.
There was also a free exhibition of a coral reef made of crochetted wool. Apparently, the forms that are made by coral cannot be convincingly replicated by traditional space - something to do with hyperbolic curves? No idea what that means, except that it has something to do with coral not being either flat or spherical. And apparently, for centuries, noone could model hyperbolic space until a Lithuanian mathemetician in America found out you could crochet it. So she did - adn they have a whole crochet coral reef to highlight environmental issues.
It has been a difficult couple of weeks, and this is exactly what I needed. I strongly recommend rowing across the sky next time you need a quick shot of relaxation. And I would like to thank Joanna-from-Sweden for her part in it, and wish her a good holiday.
Then I did two of my other favourite things - I had an elderflower presse in the sun, then I had dinner in Yo Sushi. Alas, the interim did involve a deep line on the Tube, which is as close to Hades as I will ever need, but there were empty seats and a nice person gave me their newspapers.
I don't know if I am becoming more approachable, or if Londoners are melting, but I have spoken to strangers the last twice I've been on the UNderground. Weird.