A Magic day, London-style

January 26, 2010 at 13:00 (1)

Monday was one of those lovely, just about perfect days that you only get every now and then. It started with a trip to the Royal Academy, where an exhibition about Van Gogh has just opened. Van Gogh is my favourite artist, and the exhibition brings together many brilliant examples of his work, presented in wonderful way. But what made it even more special was that Bas and I were treated to a private tour by the curator, Ann Dumas, the woman who had spent five years putting the exhibition together!! (“Why?!?” you cry. Ah — that’s a secret between ourselves and the good folk at the Academy!!!) We felt like real celebrities as we were escorted round and treated to fascinating insights into the exhibits and Van Gogh’s life.

After that we had brunch in Fortnum & Masons, one of London’s swankiest shops. (For the cost of a sandwich and hot chocolate there, you could almost afford to buy a Van Gogh!!) Both of us had always thought that it only sold food, but we were surprised to discover three more floor above the food halls, packed full of weird, eccentric, beautiful (and pricey!!) items. On one floor they had some of the coolest man-toys I’ve ever seen, including great chess sets, recreations of old binoculars and zoetropes, etc. I had a ball just wandering round and admiring it all.

We did a bit more shopping after that, then returned to our flat for a rest. While having pizza for dinner (F&M for brunch, frozen pizza for dinner — that about sums up my culinary approach to life!!), we watched Rock & Chips, a prequel to the hit TV series Only Fools And Horses. While I was a huge Fools fan, I thought the prequel would be dreadful, as these sorts of things usually are. But in fact it was a very nicely written and acted piece which worked on its own terms and didn’t rely too heavily on the built-in warmth that fans have for the original series. A sweet surprise.

After that we went to Wilton’s Music Hall, which I have waxed lyrical about on this blog before — it’s one of my favourite venues in London, an old, tired, worn-down Music Hall that makes you feel like you’re stepping into the past when you set foot inside. Tonight it was playing host to the band The Magic Numbers. We’d seen them before, in Limerick, and they were fab. Tonight they were equally brilliant, playing a great set of new and old songs, with the new material carefully worked in so that you were never too far away from a recognisable number. Although, to be honest, the new stuff was so good that I don’t think anyone would have minded if that was all they’d played. They have a new album coming out in April, and if last night was anything to judge by, it’s going to be a stormer!!!!

The nicest thing about the whole day was that I realised while it was happening that I was in the midst of a special day. Normally it’s only when you look back afterwards that you can see the times when you were happiest, the days that are going to stand out in your thoughts for the rest of your life. But yesterday I was aware that it was a lovely, magical day, and that just added to the pleasure. Life — it’s not just about trying to create good times, but about recognising and appreciating those good times when they come along. Or, as that famous philosopher Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. [If] you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

2 Comments

  1. Miley said,

    I love days like that, it gives me something to look back on and smile at. If you don’t enjoy life’s excitement, then how are you supposed to ever be truely happy? It’s great that you had a nice time, that’s what I feel like on those nice, Spring days you get down here in New England. Well, bye for now!

  2. Ashten said,

    I agree with Miley, days like this make you look back and remember the good times in your life, you can’t always enjoy life to the extent when there is always something around the corner just to ruin a perfectly good day, the days that are perfect are the ones to remember, even if your perfect day is just spending a little down time with your family. Nobody has a perfect life, enjoy life while you can little by little…

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