Thirty Thousand Streets

Thursday, January 19, 2006

London Eyechild

Well, I said today promised excitement, and by my standards these days it delivered.. as I went on the London Eye, which is a personal first, even if the weather was 'as bleak as a cheek seeking beak'. I went with my mum and dad who are in town at the minute, and duly met them as arranged at 11 in the morning, where we stopped for a coffee and danish while being mobbed by a crew of greasy pigeons, which kept getting a little close for comfort – hoping I suppose that we'd trade them some crumbs for interesting bacteria; Salmonella anyone? There was a crew of Schoolies on day release sat at the next table, one of whom was feeding the flying rats bits of his crisps, which eventually got them away from us at least.

And then the eye. With the spectre of terrorism looming over London a bit like the Overfiend from that Manga film, there is a phalanx of staff at the gates armed with metal detectors and X-ray machines, and I'm glad to report that they managed to find my crappy Sony Ericcson phone whilst totally failing to locate my (admittedly small) pocket knife. I was almost tempted to go on the rampage with its lethal one-inch blade and/or Phillips screwdriver attachment to teach them a lesson but didn't instead.

Anyway, the ride was good, though It'd maybe have been better if London wasn't shrouded in grey wetness. I was looking to see if I could work out where my flat was, 'cause I can see the eye through my bedroom window. Unfortunately the vista my window affords is somewhat more limited than that gained from ascending the eye, and I couldn't spot anything looking vaguely like Camberwell, unless you count the rest of South London, if you see what I mean.

Took some picures as well with my ageing digital camera, which probably look like most tourist photos taken from The London Eye on a moderately miserable morning in January, ie not that good. I'll see which are worth salvaging.

Once we'd disembarked we wandered up the South Bank Tate-wards. There was a chap writing something in the sand at low tide, which was along the lines of "Everything doesn't suck, love etc." except longer and not as well spelt. He'd got quite a crowd watching him, but once he'd finished he simply got his coat and departed with the minimum of ceremony. Personally, my money had been on him transforming into a huge two headed swan and ascending heavenward, to further spread his message of love throughout the cosmos. No such luck, and he probably just went back to his flat to watch Trisha, or at best to shout at some people on a high street somewhere.

Got to the Tate, where Rachel Whiteread's got an installation in the turbine hall. It's made up of lots of white plastic moulded boxes, and is pretty good, though it does feel like you're walking amidst a load of huge sugarcubes in 'Land of The Giants'.

Also checked out the Henri Rousseau ehibition, which I really enjoyed. his stuff is almost naive in style, but pretty wonderful all the same. Lots of tigers and leapords and men biting and fighting each other amidst luscious looking foliage under blood red suns. It's almost amusing that Rousseau actually never went anywhere tropical, and acquired all his material from second hand sources – which probably accounts for the dreamlike, fantastical element that makes them so charming. One of his later works, 'Snake Charmer' I think, also really reminded me of the cover of 'Tango In the Night' by Fleetwood Mac. What do you reckon? The 'charmer' seems to have metamorphosed into a herd of elephants whilst the snakes have got bored and fucked off, but all the same..

Anyway, that was that, and the rest of the day was quite dull. I wanted to buy a copy of Design Week from the shop but there were none in stock. One of my housemates is having a baby (or his girlfriend is, to be precise) and the two girls I live with are working so hard and getting so stressed it's not even funny. Arg.


Zeno Cosini said...

Sounds like a good morning. "Wealth is beautiful moments in your life!" as Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke once shouted at me from the stage of the Manchester Academy in about 1996.

Anne said...

Some wonderful photographs there! :)

The Eyechild said...

Thank you 3.1, just me and my folks having fun :)

gridrunner said...

Manchester Academy – god I’ve not been there for a LONG time. I shaved a few years off my life there in the late 90’s...

And Eyechild – yes, the similarity between the Fleetwood Mac cover and the Henri Rousseau painting is uncanny, especially the reeds. Hmmm...