The Coronavirus Diaries, 7th July 2020

Two days, two walks, two pubs, two glasses of draught cider, one exhibition.

This morning I went to Bloomsbury on a nearly empty bus, walked to the Oxfam bookshop through nearly empty streets, walked down to the Strand through a nearly empty Covent Garden and caught a nearly empty bus home to a much busier street. There’s an irony in that I think.

Not busy

Some punters

Preparing for business


Welcome to Covent Garden

Last night’s problem with the new laptop is fixed, but while I continue to find my way around it I suspect there’ll be others. I restrung the middle, much scratched, section of one of MasterB’s scratching posts, and Joe obliged by stapling the sisal to the post. I don’t think the boy has tested it out yet. He’ll probably ignore it for a few days in favour of the other one which will also need restringing soon.

Celia and I walked over to Vauxhall and the Museum of Garden History which is housed in the disused church of St Mary’s Lambeth. It was founded in 1977 by John and Rosemary Nicholson, who are remembered in this plaque.

In memory of John and Rosemary Nicholson, founders of the Museum of Garden History

It was all very quiet, very calm. The exhibition was great. Although I have never visited Prospect Cottage I have seen photographs, and parts of the cottage were recreated here. Our neighbour Cynthia had explained how Jarman came to adopt the term Modern nature, but annoyingly I have forgotten. I shall have to ask her again. Continue reading

South London Girls

I got stood up again for a visit to a gallery. My friend Steve had succumbed to a lurgy and was confined to bed. So for a second time this week I visited an exhibition alone, for the second time this week I enjoyed it immensely.

Bridget Riley

There were more coincidences. Reading the biog of Bridget Riley (it was her exhibition at the Hayward I went to today) I saw she was born in west Norwood. Quant was born in Blackheath. So they were both south London girls. Both received part of their art education at Goldsmiths, just three years apart.

That may not seem much of a story, but compared to the nonsense being bleated about a ‘crisis’ in the royal family with the Sussexes deciding to relocate and withdraw from public life, or the desire of some deranged few to mark Doomsday with the sound of Big Ben, it’s mega. I’m being more than a touch unfair about the royal story, but the one that the tabloids seem keen to deny is that they have kept up a relentless stream of negative stories about Meghan Markle all characterised by an unsavoury flavour of racism.

Anyway back to the art. Riley’s work is mesmerising, and makes my eyes go funny. It’s meticulous and cerebral, yet playful and perceptive.
I love this spiral, it seems to twirl and shimmer. It feels alive, changing, moving as you look. I forgot to take my camera, only had my ‘phone, and now I have reduced the size of the photo files, they’re not as sharp as I’d like.


Spiral: detail

How does an artist conceive of something like this? Fortunately we got a little insight.

Spiral plan

Continue reading