Sunday, 21 November 2010

day on the southbank

just spent a lovely day down the Southbank with my friend Jo and her gorgeous son Zaki (he has the cutest natural beauty spot and the sweetest nature) and his PG Tips sock monkey!  there was a "Cologne Christmas Market" all along the promenade so we strolled down in the cold wind until we reached Tate Modern.  we saw Ai Weiwei's amazing Sunflower Seeds which consists of millions of hand-crafted husks in the Turbine Hall. each one was hand-painted individually; a truly mammoth task taken on by residents of a village in rural China with a history of specialist porcelain work.  sadly you can no longer walk or lie on them as they were found to give off too much dust when the exhibit first opened.  consequently the urge to reach over the cordon and fondle them is excruciatingly overwhelming - but there are guards everywhere to halt anyone who cannot resist the compulsion!
we then went upstairs to see the beautiful Gauguin exhibition - an extensive collection of paintings, woodcuts, sculptures and sketches - a delight to see so close up, but sadly just too full of people so we rushed through in order to get to the exit.
then we walked back along the river to the christmas market so that Zaki could try a huge bratwurst hot dog...but poor thing burnt his lip in the excitement of the first bite!  the atmosphere was great, despite the usual tourist hordes, and its days like today that just remind me how much i love London - wonderful.

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