September 25, 2004
sunday, not saturday
My iBook has suffered the same fate as most I know; the logic board has gone (apparently the graphics chip starts extricating itself from the motherboard), meaning that it is currently winging its way to Holland. I wish it better luck than others have had.
I managed to transfer my reality off the hard disk onto my iPod - just pictures and a few documents. Most reality is on the network now: email, now almost unused due to spam, sits on server and web service, subscriptions sit in Bloglines.
Due to forgetfulness and an office move, my iPod charger and PC cable is inaccessible at work. Therefore I can only document last Sunday, not the Saturday before with 2 weddings and me in a suit. Or two weekends before that, with one wedding and me in tails.
So, the Sunday. The original plan had been to go up 30 St Marys Axe. It opened at 10am, I got there just before 9, and the queue went round three long sides of the block and back to the skyscraper. Sure, I would have probably got in within an hour or so of opening, but I decided that there were better things to explore in my limited time in London.
A quick soujourn to Brick Lane - try to ignore the market, and the cigarette profferers. Brick Lane Beigel Bake, for a salt beef on rye with a schmear. Best breakfast.
A long decision to go to the V&A, my favourite museum. When I got there, I remembered the new exhibition of Christopher Dresser. It's fantastic (if, as always with the V&A, short), showcasing probably the first industrial designer. Lots of incredible sleek minimalist design, with pretty much the complete ouevre of toast racks, coupled with some rich kitch from around the world. This guy was destined to design tiki. Completely at home designing and drawing wallcoverings, housewares, vases, glassware, botanical diagrams, furniture, even retail, Dresser should be an inspiration to every designer out there.
For what its worth, the catalogue of the exhibition reveals far more about Dresser than the exhibition, though of course there is nothing like goggling the objects in reality. I managed to resist buying a handmade Alessi remake of the toast rack for just over 3000 pounds.
A trip up Exhibition Road (past the completed Imperial College facelift) to the the Royal Geographical Society, part of the Open House Weekend. The opening of the archives to the public is really an amazing achievement.
Finally the earth galleries of the Natural History Museum (Geological Museum to us oldtimers). The main exhibitions are fluff, modern exhibition design that does illustrate a few important concepts and actions, but at the loss of the museum of things. Well, I thought so, until I found the incredibly hidden Earth's Treasury gallery, featuring most of the collection that used to be displayed in the Geological Museum, presented pretty nicely with excellent lighting. There's the usual De Beers propaganda (however, having parts of the largest diamond ever, and the best examples of rare coloured diamonds is quite spectacular).
Then a tube, taxi and train to the plane... I do miss parts of London - the incredible visceral reaction to the food and cultures, such as exhibited in Brick Lane, I miss some of the people, but I really don't miss the infrastructure, the crowds. I feel like a tourist now, smiling at the insanity of Soho, the craziness of commuting.
Glad to be home.
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