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Sunday, January 15, 2006


1. At lunchtime yesterday, Granny in search of culture headed for the Underground, clutching her Tate Friends' card and her orange-jacketed travel Freedom Pass. (Don't mock the latter. There has to be some compensation for getting old.) Line closed for weekend. No trains.

2. She proceeded (with difficulty: see above) to Tate for last chance to catch Toulouse Lautrec. Other people - many - had come up with the same idea. Tate heaving. No tickets. Granny, disappointed (but less so, she suspects, than the two schoolboys overheard outside, one saying to the other in tones of deep disgust, 'I thought there would of been some pictures of naked people') retired to the less predictable pleasures of the Turner Prize shortlist. She was pleased to see a - not naked - Granny featured; she wished this exhibited Granny had won - of course she hadn't. A shed had. A very fine, characterful shed with German writing on it that at one point thought it was a boat. But. The disappointed schoolboys cannot have visited the Turner Prize Exhibition; some bona fide naked bottoms were featured in the very next room. If they had missed them, though, noone else seemed to have done so. They featured on a large proportion of comments posted by visitors to the exhibition. Granny would have expected the tone to be loftier in a national temple to high culture. Silly her. (Not that they weren't fine bottoms. Also finer, Granny thought, than the characterful shed. Silly her again.)

3. After such a catalogue of disappointments (see above) she retired to Kensington High Street needing retail therapy; only at this point discovering that she had forgotten to put money or cards in her purse. It did not need another senior moment to tell her no money, no shopping. Curses.

4. The useful 49 bus taking her from Kensington High Street almost to her front door, she decided to catch one. Kensington High Street was gridlocked. Granny eying 3 stationery 49 buses set off walking, after all. Since none of them had made it to her home bus stop by the time she reached it, this was a wise move. In some ways. It started raining; hard. Had she thought to bring an umbrella? Guess.

(She did though discover 3 pound coins and some coppers in her coat pocket; and so, en route, was able to fulfill Beloved's request for 2 packets of nigella seeds and one bottle of rosewater from an Iranian grocery. Better than nothing.)

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