Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's the connection between a horse, a yak and a toucan?

(sama suomeksi: skrollaa reippaasti alaspäin)

Believe you me, there IS some sort of connection between these three.

I just wonder where I should start this time. After seeing the David Lynch exhibition I labeled him as disturbed - and now I'm a bit worried about the eventual conclusions you'll draw after hearing that I went to London this weekend and saw the stirring play "Equus" with Daniel Radcliffe in a leading role. Naked. And no, I'm not a pervert, just a middle-aged woman who wanted to see this play. I'm not going to bore you trying to analyse this controversial play, there are plenty of others who have done it by now. Let me just say that the boy is good. The fact that he is naked is just essential for telling the story, yet D.R. is (or at least seems to be) so relaxed about it that you almost forget the whole thing. Rather interestingly, it's not the nakedness that seems to shock the audience, neither the storyline that the main character, a young disturbed boy attacks and blinds six horses... but put the young Radcliffe on the stage and see him light a cigarette - that's when the audience gasps. There were moments which gave you chills and made your hair stand on end. It was hard to believe that he is only 17 - he may have earned enough by now but if/when he's looking for an acting career after the Harry Potter movies, there should be nothing stopping him. -- And by the way, here's a quote from the psychiatrist who tries to find the reason behind this wild boy's behaviour is reminded of his own youth and his passion which he seems to have lost over the years. He and his wife have grown apart, and the husband can only say "what the woman knits, night after night, I do not know".

reviews, interviews and such

So, that's the first animal explained. What about the yak? A visit to The Handweawers' Studio has been high on my list forever, but it's situated quite far from the city and there doesn't seem to be enough time to go there. Now I was rather determined, but as often happens, the metro line was under renovation work and I had to find an alternative route to get there. To cut a long story short, I took a local train towards Chingford, hopped off the train and found the studio within minutes. And within a few more minutes I'd become a happy owner of some yak fleece, as well as camel and alpaca. As you can see, I just haven't given up the hope that I might start enjoying spinning some day.

Other weekend activities included several visits to the vast London bookstores, but despite the current knitting book hype, there was no single copy of Victorian Lace today or Lace Style left in any of them. Undeterred, I found some other interesting titles which will be introduced later, otherwise today's posting will become far too long. And as always, just had to check what John Lewis and Liberty had to offer; luckily there was nothing really special. I had anticipated buying a colourful selection of wool for a swatch which should be ready next Monday but once I started counting how much that swatch would cost, I just put the yarns down. And now I'm kicking myself: how on earth can I make that swatch - where will I find the yarns and above all the time to make it?)

Sunday's main target was to ride the huge chutes of Tate Modern - something I didn't find time for during my previous visit in October. The chutes will only be open for a couple of more weeks, so it was now or never. Riding the chutes is free but you need to have a ticket indicating a time slot, otherwise you'd spend the whole day there. I wasn't among the very first to enter the museum on Sunday morning, there were a couple of groups of schoolchildren from France and Italy, and at that point the waiting time was about two hours. By the time I'd climbed up and queued amongst the childre, it was more than three hours. The ride itself is so much fun I'd love to have done it several times but it simply wasn't possible. Just have a look at this webcam at daytime - there's a constant stream of riders. Tate webcam

While waiting for my turn, I visited the galleries showing the current main exhibition there, Gilbert & George. Thinking back, one could have spent their time somewhere else and been happier after that. Like at the Globessa, which is right next to Tate. The G&G exhibition didn't really lift my spirits, maybe I've passed a treshold and can't tolerate the idea of body fluids as art any more. Having said that, there was one more piece of art in this category. The British Museum has recently acquired Romuald Hazoumi's work of art La Bouche du Roi which was also on display there. It symbolises a ship taking slaves from Africa, how those vessels contained humans in inhumane conditions, and it even includes some realistic smells. The commemoration of the abolition of transatlantic slavery took place at the British Museum, and there were lots of other experiences and happenings, like a collection of colourful printed pieces of clothing from Ghana (photography not allowed), and a crafts corner for children with materials from all the corners of the world. In the background there was a chorus singing Amazing Graze so beautifully that it'll be etched in my memory.

Slave trade abolition exhibitions
and more

Finally, a couple of snapshots from the city, although I missed the best one. Having recently encountered some car problems, I just couldn't help smiling smugly when I caught a sight of a Ferrari which had a flat battery. There was an AA man with cables who seemed slightly amused as well - too bad that I was on a bus and missed the opportunity of making a photo. There we are, it does happen in the best of families. However, here's another unusual car: it's the singing handyman, and in the lower photo we have knitted tea cosies. Just couldn't see the price - making the photo was difficult enough when the shop was closed and I had to manouvre through metal gates.

So, this is what I had time for this time. There were a couple of places I would have wanted to visit but the timing wasn't right. For instance, the following two opened only after I'd left London. V&A Museum's surreal things Gorillas at the zoo

Now, we've covered a wide variety of animals in this posting, but what's the story of the toucan, you might ask. The mascot for the London Olympics of 2012 hasn't been presented yet, and just as the mascots of the Beijing Games were introduced a while ago, the BBC asked the locals, what would symbolise the games and London at the same time. Here's one suggestion: "How about a Toucan? Like the Olympics, a Toucan has a great big bill."

1 comment:

särmä said...

Ihan hyvä, että huhuilit lankavaihdosta. Olen tässä kuumeisesti yrittänyt miettiä, mihin tahtoisin sametit vaihtaa. Kahta väriä siis löytyy, tummansinistä ja mustaa ja vaihdan ne oikein mielelläni. Jos sinulla on ehdottaa jotain, josta haluaisit päästä, ehdota ihmeessä. Luonnonkuidut olisivat kuitenkin kova sana.

Minä matkaan pääsiäisen viettoon Tampereen kautta Virroille. Käsittääkseni vaikutat Suomessa Tampereen lähistöllä, että jos satutaan samaan aikaan samaan paikkaan niin voitais vaikka käsipostillakin vaihtaa..