Matchstick Men

Tate Britain

Tate Britain (image from Wikipedia)

We were very impressed to be able to take in an enabler (my son) free of charge to the Lowry Exhibition at Tate Britain in London last week.  So, in spite of not being able to see most of the darker paintings, I could understand the context and social history.  Even if you don’t like Lowry, this exhibition works on many levels and is worth a visit.

There have been a lot of improvements at the gallery since my last visit.  The new configuration of exhibits seems more accessible and the lighting is excellent.

Especially enjoyable was seeing the permanent exhibition through the eyes of two 10 year old girls.  Their sometimes shocked response was entertaining and enlightening.  ‘I could do that’ turned to ‘why?’ And ‘how?’  Of course, most shocking to them were the nude sculptures!

A visit to Cambridge, travelling across country again by train, was more of a challenge.  Why does the signage have to be so poor? In spite of the difficulties, I am pleased at my growing confidence in travelling alone.

The weekend started with a book launch and continued with a lot of socialising, food and drink.  Lovely to be with such hospitable friends.

Negotiating the streets of a tourist hub proved hazardous and infuriating.  Teenagers from all over the world were glued to their phones and MP3 players.  Even a white stick wouldn’t have helped.

Back in London, lunch at a special restaurant with my teenage grandson was a treat.  I bet him a book that he could not eat all three courses on the menu.  He lost because he said he ‘just wasn’t feeling it’.  But we wandered up Charing Cross Road to Foyle’s and he got his book anyway.

Now all shiny and new, Foyle’s is still an Aladdin’s cave of nooks and crannies.  Even though I can’t see small print, I still love being in bookshops. Long may they survive!

Recent reading and Listening

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn on Kindle.  A good holiday read but it didn’t take me long to figure out the ending.

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew on Playaway tape free from my local library.  I can’t read the name on the label of the superb narrator of this story of a Kurdish family in A Turkish earthquake.  Loved it.

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5 Responses to Matchstick Men

  1. Coral says:

    My mother suffered with Macualar Degeneration and the frustration with poor signage is a familiar tale. While she enjoyed talking books, going to a weekly shared reading group meant that she not only accessed literature, but made new friends too.

    • Signage anywhere is a nightmare. I wonder if they every consult people with VI? Actually, in some places signage is difficult even for people with good vision because there is sometimes just too much of it! Book groups are a great way of meeting people but Im not sure I could manage a book a week. our group meet once a month to discuss the book and in between for coffee and socialising.

      • Coral says:

        Signage: agree there is sometimes too much and is poor in so many places, in the library we worked with with a VI group to ensure what we produced was suitable. When Mom became a wheelchair user she became invisible, people would just walk in front of her and tut if we held them up. When I was with her I ensured they got a bruised ankle as a reward for their rudeness.

        The shared reading group my mom went to was called Make Friends with a Book based on this model . Sometimes we have a short story and a poem for pudding, read aloud by the facilitator and other members of the group if they want to. We have also read novels, most recently Persuasion at Smethwick Library and The Secret Life of Bees at Bleakhouse Library, both over a number of months. It is ‘slow reading’ and is very relaxing and stimulates interesting discussions. Not sure there is one where you live though. I wrote about the group here

  2. Your post reminds me how much I love being in book ships. The museum sounded fun, I have not been to the Tate Britain since 2003. And you’re so right — white sticks do not combat cell phones!

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