January 20, 2006

Quarter of a century

My birthday tomorrow – I will have been alive for quarter of a century and so, according to Andrew S, am about to enter my LATE twenties. This doesn’t please me but it doesn’t do to dwell on it – in my mind I am a perpetual teenager, certainly no older than 20. Haven’t blogged for ages, partly because I’ve been really busy but mostly because it took ages to sort out my WGA login post-Warwick.

Good news is that I got a distinction in my MA! Bad news is I didn’t particularly care (not being snotty about it, just had enough of academia for one lifetime)...

The novelty of being in London is definitely starting to wear off. I had a wonderful three months before xmas – it was exciting and busy and bustling – such a contrast to the monotony of my MA year! But now reality is seeping back in and I’ve been feeling strangely vulnerable, lonely, sad… Having said that, I took myself off to the Tate Modern this evening after work and enjoyed wandering round by myself for a couple of hours. It was nice to be alone but not lonely, and to not NEED other people in the desperate, anxious way I sometimes do.

I spent quite a lot of time roaming in and around the fantastic new sculpture in the main hall – “Embankment” by Rachel Whiteread. It consists of hundreds of plaster casts of boxes heaped up into a sprawling landscape that is both urban and organic, ordered and disordered, impersonal and intimate, not to mention strangely mystical and pure – the “ghosts of interior space” piled up into an immense monumental structure in the Turbine Hall. The scale of it is quite deceptive. From the bridge above, the sculpture appears solid and reassuring, self-contained, almost neat (if that’s not too trite a description), but once immersed within the labyrinthine passages and spaces of the structure itself the boxes start to loom precariously, threatening to smash down and engulf you at any moment.

I also went into a couple of the other galleries and spent a while revisiting some of my favourite pictures – most memorably Matisse’s Snail, Dali’s Persistance of Memory and a whole roomful of Rothko – and watched Un Chien Andalou as well as a couple of other Surrealist films. I then started feeling dizzy (possibly at the prospect of someone getting their eyeball sliced open with a razor), so my visit to the Tate Modern had an abrupt finish and I rushed home immediately to cook lemon prawns and mange tout.

Tomorrow I’m going bowling in Lewisham (ooh the glamour!) followed by dinner at Zizzis on the Strand – part two of my three-week-long series of birthday celebrations! I’m really looking forward to it, especially seeing my out-of-London friends. Martin is coming from Oxford, Naomi from Rugby, Rebecca and David from Birmingham. And then of course there’s all my friends who live in London – friends from school, Oxford and Warwick. Then it’s off to Warwick in the evening to see Adam. I feel so very lucky to know them all. I love weekends, especially birthday weekends!

Oh god. Quarter of a century. Happy birthday to me.


- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Happy Birthday!

    21 Jan 2006, 09:42

  2. Happy Birthday! So sorry missing all the fun… :( But I will make it up to you on Wednesday!! Can't wait. Haven't seen you for ages, and not been properly lathered with you since sometime in the summer. We must reflect on how clever we are for having MAs despite being so prone to fleeing to Varsity. So Wednesday for Birthday and Graduation celebrations!

    a xxxx

    21 Jan 2006, 15:45

  3. Hey, halfway to 50…

    21 Jan 2006, 20:16


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