Friday, 7 August 2009

Weekly Round Up

A day of pure culture on Wednesday August 5th kicked off (yes I know hardly art speak) at the Tate Britain, which I shamefully have never been to before in London. I've been to the Tate Modern and the Tate in St Ives but not the Tate Britain at Millbank. It is slightly out of the way, as if this is any excuse. It's just Pimlico is not on my daily radar! I was venturing to this distant part to look at a John Singer Sargent painting - Ena and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer to be exact. The portraiture in the Tate is wonderful and I happily lost a couple of hours there. Then I needed to meet Mr MDS to go to Somerset House for the Film4 Summer Screen.
I decided to make like a tourist and go on the boat that links Tate Britain to the Tate Modern. I realised as I gazed out at the Thames waiting for the Tate to Tate boat I'd never been on the Thames. Not even at Henley or Kingston and I have no idea why not. I've walked along it, crossed over it, run by it and dipped my toes in but never on it.
The boat was in serious need of air con. It was sweltering on board and I would never catch this boat again as I felt like I couldn't breath. However it was fun to see some landmarks from a different angle.
Big Ben and Houses of Parliament(above)

London Eye (below)
Once I'd recovered form my interesting but sweltering boat ride I pushed my way through tourists over the Millennium Bridge to St Paul's to get picnic food and drink for our evening at Somerset House. Our viewing choice, or rather my viewing choice was Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now (1973) one of my top ten films if not in my top three.
We plonked ourselves down on the bl**dy blanket I'd been hauling around and were glad we got there at the start 6:30pm as we could choose our space, get to know our neighbours (picnic hints a plenty - resourceful people decanted champagne and wine into plastic water bottles as glass bottles aren't allowed. We read no bottles of wine as no alcohol) and nip to the bar for drinks to go with our M&S picnic.
The event was sold out, which meant 2000 people came to enjoy open air cinema. It was a lovely evening though we were besieged by flying ants. One knowledgeable person said it was because a storm was coming, which it did but in the middle of the night not that evening thank goodness. A few people got badly bitten and were in need of antihistamine which I always carry as I'm allergic to prawns. My dispensing of drugs got rewarded by wine from canny decanted alcohol and boxes of wine people!
When it got dark at 9:10pm the film started! I have to say lying down on a blanket with a shawl as a pillow for your head watching a film is the perfect way to spend an evening.
We were instructed not to take photos during the film which I duly respected but here are some images of the beautiful Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. Although I'd seen the film many times on telly or dvd I was too young to see the film on screen in 1973! It was a rare treat to see it on the big screen and I realised how influential my love of it has been in my own style. I hate to be a style know it all but whilst the fashion journalists are crediting Balmain wide shoulder jackets with Michael Jackson - they'd do better to view Don't Look Now and see the suit worn by Christie as she departs Venice for England.