was in london last weekend visiting the ikkle sis. who is now very grown up with her own little apartment and masters dissertation under way. what ever happened to shared rooms and fights over the light being switched on or off? or teddies going sailing through the night air to bring snoring to an abrupt stop? i tell ya that time marches on so it does.
we filled our (short time) with many the cultural event-a trawl of oxford. no no i jest....although that did happen a little bit. things got off to a great start at the southbank centre with a janette winterson lecture. we were even lucky enough to over-hear a conversation, conducted in perfect toffy accent, about 'provincial dublin'. what a treat that was. anyway back to the talking that was actually of interest .... winterson spoke about the impact of books in her life and shared a horrific story about her mother finding all of her books hidden under her mattress and quickly bringing them down to the garden and setting them on fire. the sheer violence of such an act seems to be inconceivable. the questions and answers section was be far the most entertaining. she quickly quietened the people that were only talking to hear the sound of the their own voices. i lost count of how many times she responded with 'so what exactly is the question?'. or how she silenced droning academics with her quick witted pragmatism. it was a joy to watch. we of course queued for a stupid amount of time to have my books signed. felt very selfish having two to be signed so sent the ikkle sis up with one (i'm a big sister to the last). after that a meander and a glass of wine was in order.
the next day we checked out the sally mann exhibition on in the photographers gallery which is just off oxford street close to the circus. (hence the oxford street trawl). although most people find her work disturbing i find it amazingly beautiful. most of whats disturbing about it is our own ideas and cultural shite forced onto the work. if you don't know her i highly recommend checking her out.
needless to say the rest of our time was filled with much drinking and eating and of course a very hung over flight home.
at which point i get around to the little conversation with the little person. as is some what of a bi-monthly ritual i meet the parentals in town for coffee. when i was leaving the house on what was a sunny sunday afternoon a little girl (age: about as high as my hip) was loitering by my house....
girl 'it's a lovely day isn't it?'
me 'hello! it sure is'
girl 'i was just playing in the park it was fun'
me 'i'd say it was'
girl 'do you have any children?'
me 'no' (very broad grin at this stage)
girl 'well don't worry you can enjoy the peace and quiet in the park'
me 'that's true i can' (even broader grin)
girl 'i like playing in the park but i have to go home now cos i have to go to the toilet'
me 'well sometimes that happens'
girl 'ok bye.'
and off she trotted to her mother who was standing across the road and waved to me. of all the talking and conversations i heard and had over the weekend it was by far the best.