There’s a new Turner exhibition in the National Gallery which I went to see. Genius or no, I didn’t love it. I went to a talk after my tour of the exhibition which was pretty good actually. The audience, on a Wednesday lunch time was composed entirely of elderly women. For once, I felt positively youthful.
I went to the Hugh Lane gallery – always a delight though small, sometimes that can be part of the delightfulness. My visit coincided with that of the Portuguese President who was on a State visit and at the Garden of Remembrance across the road. The members of the army band took shelter in the gallery and I must say they have quite the uniform. A little cape and a kepi – who knew?
I went swimming again with my friend who is a daily swimmer. It was a beautiful day but a bit windy. We got in on the beach side of the swimming shelter and there was a very strong undertow. We were less than two metres from the rocks when my friend said, “Start swimming for the steps.” I did and I made very little progress but eventually got back to the steps and hauled myself out but not before being pushed over the metal banister by a powerful wave. It was really surprising and I thought I was pretty lucky to be with a friend who did so much winter swimming as otherwise, I don’t think I’d have noticed how quickly I was being pulled out to sea. Two older men got in after us and one of them got into trouble. A young couple grabbed the life belt and he went down to the edge of the water (getting his trousers wet) and tossed it into the sea. I could see that the swimmer (maybe in his early 60s) was torn between a macho desire to manage without the ring and self-preservation. Eventually he grabbed the ring. Exciting times, I can tell you.
Mr. Waffle and I went on a Dublin walking tour. I was a bit worried it would be basic and, at best, I expected to learn a couple of things I didn’t know already. I was quite wrong. It was definitely the honours course. The guide took a lot for granted. For example when talking about Dublin housing stock he said in passing, ” I presume you all know about the Church Street Disaster“. There was a general murmur of assent and, indeed, I am familiar with it but I wouldn’t call it mainstream knowledge in Dublin and what on earth the four American tourists on the tour could possibly have known about it, I don’t know. However, for Dublin residents, I thought it was fantastic and I am definitely going to go on another one of his tours.
Several people I know have taken in Ukrainian refugees. I am so impressed by this but mostly they tend to, at least, mention it. I think it is stratospherically virtuous and you could at least get some well-deserved praise. I was amazed when one friend of mine sent out a message asking whether anyone wanted to come to her house for a wreath making workshop with a young designer from Odessa who is living with her. I had had no idea. On inquiry, I found that this young woman has been living with them for the past six months. In fairness, they do have a big house but they also have two primary school age children and it’s a big commitment to bring a stranger into your house with no fixed end date. I am really lost in admiration. Also my wreath? My wreath is amazing.