Friday, 14 October 2011

15 minutes...or 58?

We managed to miss my starring role on BBC1 last night. I was delighted, but The Cat's Mother was disappointed. She is insisting we watch it on iPlayer later...I checked this morning and she won't have to watch more than 10 minutes of Watchdog to see the important bit. A couple of friends called to say they'd seen's amazing who watches these programmes.

When The Boy and I lived in Hoxton Square, we were in fact living in the trendiest area in London, and as London was at the time the trendiest place in the world, we were de facto living in the trendiest place in the world. Round the back of us was a circus training school, in front of us on the green there was regularly an old traditional circus too, there were some fantastic bars (which, admittedly, were not of much interest to an eight year old boy), some great places to eat...and it probably stimulated my early interest in street art. Our neighbours included the likes of Kylie, and any number of new wave artists. On the Square was the White Cube gallery which showed works by these people - Gilbert and George, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and so on. Every night seemed to be opening night, and there was always a glass of champagne to be swiped as I sauntered home. It seems idyllic, which is just how memories should be.

By interesting coincidence, they have now opened another White Cube gallery opposite the office. It was a nasty 1970's storage warehouse which they have remarkably managed to transform into the UK's largest private art gallery. Obviously my invitation to the opening night must have got lost in the post, and I was busy anyway trying to sleep through Playboy of the western world. Yesterday, The Cat's Mother and I decided to go and have a nose around. What I will say is that it's a lovely space, and it has a great art bookshop. Apart from that and reflecting on the contents of the galleries The Cat's Mother was spot on when she said something about The Emperors New Clothes. Still I feel it may be a place to go when I'm stressed and in need of a quiet, empty place to go and calm down.

It's a long way for me to cycle into work, so it's a good job I love the exercise. But more particularly I love cycling down the canalside...I think I've mentioned this before. So one of the challenges of the winter months (ignoring the issue of getting cold) is that it gets too dark to go that simply can't see where you're going, and by reputation you're likely to get mugged. Last week I came home that way as it was light when I left the office....unfortunately pitch black by the time I was halfway along the canal. So I've had to reconcile myself that a canal ride home is off the agenda for several months, but for a few more weeks I will still be able to go along there in the morning. Yesterday, I tried the new winter route to familiarise myself with it. It's all roads, and busy ones at that. The upside is that it's a little shorter. One of the things that has motivated me all the time I have done the cycling has been keeping a track of how quickly I can do the journey. My ambition has been to manage it in under an hour. And yesterday I achieved that...58 minutes. Not bad for the 23 km journey...quicker than the car, quicker than the tube. It'll keep me going until there's snow and ice on the roads.