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Rude Britannia

August 28, 2010

So. After two weeks of work placement I’m back to largely doing nothing. I was working in the offices at my towns magistrates court, which is handily where my mum works, but she’s a legal clerk rather than admin. It went really well, they said they would hire me if they could (the hmcs have zero money) and I got a box of Roses and a really sweet card at the end. It wasn’t exactly thrilling stuff, although I did watch a trial which was hilariously tragic, but the OCD bit of me loved it. Stapling and filing have never been done so systematically.  I’m pleased with my self for doing it and not freaking out tooo much although I’m still not sure I could handle a real job. Hmm. However I can now say  I have admin experience on my CV so a job may be easier to find in the future. Also found it interesting to observe the effects of working on my body, had a cold most of the time I was there and developed really dry skin on my hands and face, all of which are gone now. Clearly laziness is much better for you.

Last Sunday my parents and I went up to London to see the Rude Britannia exhibition at the Tate Britain. Cultural. It’s a showcase of comic British art running all the way back to the 1600s, that encompasses sculpture, film, photography and paintings along with cartoons and graphic art. It was arranged into rooms according to theme, such as Politics, Social satire and the Absurd. The Absurd room was curated by Harry Hill and you could really tell, just had little touches of him. I don’t know why but I found it weird that the political cartoons from the 1600s were so similar to modern ones, like I didn’t expect people to have a sense of humour then. Nice to know politicians have been mocked for centuries. It was a really good exhibition, I’d seen some of the cartoons before at the Cartoon museum but it was nice to see them in this context, celebrating British art and humour, two things I think we’re rather good at as a nation. While we were waiting for our slot to see Rude Britannia we had a look round the Romantics exhibition which was good in a entirely different way. The Tate has a permanent Turner collection but currently has additional works by his contemporaries. Turner is all well and good, but he obviously went blind towards the end of his career and I’m not sure to what all the fuss is about, it’s not genius it’s age.  Discovered I like Constable quite a lot whereas I’m not a fan of William Blake, all right we get it, you’re god-fearing, now paint a tree or something. I think I’ve missed my calling as an art critic. Also had a look at a pickled sheep courtesy of Damien Hirst. I find taxidermy hilarious, there used to be a museum in Cornwall which housed a Victorian man’s extensive taxidermy collection. He’d put kittens in wedding dresses and posed ceremonies. If that’s not funny I don’t know what is.

Anyway. After the Tate we  met my sister and her boyfriend for dinner in Covent Garden.  We went to Wahaca, a restaurant I’ve wanted to go to for ages. Now, I’m quite a fussy eater and would be much happier if eating wasn’t a necessity for survival, but for some reason I like reading restaurant reviews so I follow several food blogs and Wahaca has been praised pretty universally. It serves Mexican food, something I quite like and wanted to see how its done properly. I had a chicken enchilada with mole sauce, which is traditionally Mexican  and involves chocolate. Was nice, not amazing but I’m glad I tried it, although it was rather hot. Wahaca is a really nice place though with a good atmosphere and a clear purpose, to deliver good quality Mexican food at a decent price whilst still caring about animal welfare. I like this, I want my meat to be happy 🙂 Went to a pub afterwards which has a massive range of beers from around the world. I don’t generally like beer but a good Belgian fruit beer is a different matter so had a Floris Framboise. Lovely end to lovely day.

I’m heading back to Soton in just over two weeks and am so excited, although it does mean a switch to missing a different set of people. Hopefully will visit my friends from home a little more this year, or have them come to Soton. There’s one place I most certainly won’t be visiting, as I’m trying to make a fresh start and that place is everything that made the last year so bad. If he wants to see me, he can come to Soton.  Until then, I’m probably going to spend my time reading, baking and eventually organising my stuff to take back. Trying to pack a little lighter this year, not sure how easy that’s going to be! Have mundane things to do as well, like opticians and dentists appointments to make and attend. Am putting off the latter because I’m afraid I’ll go and the dentist will find a reason why my wisdom teeth are taking such a long time to come through and deem it necessary to rip them out or something equally awful :S They’re really hurting atm, am mainlining bonjela. Apart from that I’ll be spending as much time with my friends as possible, probably mostly drinking coffee and watching disney films. It’s been discovered that I’ve not seen a lot of disney classics so I’m being educated. So far have watched Aristocats which was as amazing as expected and Pocahontas which was dreadful and had a fucking scary talking tree.

In other news my riding school have installed mirrors at the end of the ménage I ride in, which has lead me to question whether horses have a concept of self? Answers on a postcard. I’ll leave you with a picture of my favourite exhibit from Rude Britannia: It’s a sculpture by David Shrigley and is called Cat.

Cat, 2007, David Shrigley

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