Often when I take a Friday off, I tend to spend it doing things that keep me close to home. Or I clean up around the house, then do some shopping, then do some studio stuff and go and pick up my son from school.
Even when I have "time alone" it might be doing something like going for a walk down the street to do some food shopping or just having a cup of coffee. It is aimless time, and that is okay but sometimes it is just not enough.
So today I went into the city. Caught a train which was interesting. Once in the city I made my way to the National Gallery of Victoria. The NGV has two parts to it, one is Australian work only, whilst the other is generally a mix of furniture, ancient artifacts and international work. I am a member of the NGV. Even though entry is free, being a member supports the gallery and allows me discounted tickets to various special exhibitions. I also get to sit and have coffee or tea in a room for member's only. Which I did do and read lots of art books they have available. I felt rather special.
When I got into the city I felt a bit of a guilty thrill at being totally on my own. I could get used to this.
As a teenager and young adult, I always went to the art gallery on my own. I like to look at art at my own leisure. Although my husband and son like art in that vague kind of way, neither of them are really into it. Any conversation will consist of me telling them about it in detail which is followed by a "hmmmm" response. I don't mind as I know that art is such a personal thing that it is natural that the interest that people have in it can be so diverse.
So, when I am on my own I have a really good time. I can choose to stand for one second in front of one piece of work or ten minutes in front of another. My reasons for liking art can range from a great interest in the history of a specific piece or particular artist, or just the sensation that the artwork fills me with. It is deeply personal and highly emotional. When we were in the Tate Modern in London earlier this year, there were some paintings there that thrilled me so much I felt light headed and had goosebumps all over my body. The paintings were ones that I had read about and seen pictures of for years beforehand.
Today I saw two photos in an exhibition that had been done by a girl I went to school with. It was quite fascinating to see that. I recall when I had met her at a school reunion a number of years ago, she was embarrassed about saying she was a full time artist whilst I was equally embarrassed telling her that I was a bookkeeper. That was so odd how each of us seemed to measure success.
In the end, most of my time was spent at the two sections of the gallery. I made a half hearted effort to look in some groovy clothes shops but to tell you the truth, I would rather spend money on books and things like that. Although, there was a bit of an interesting clothes shop I may go back to on my next day off. Today, by the time I got to that shop I had been around people long enough and needed to get home.
There was only one tiny thing that was a bit of a spoiler. I went to the cafe in the gallery to have lunch. My safest bet was a smoked salmon seeded roll with a little bit of onion. When I got to my table I had to inspect the entire contents of the roll and sure enough, there they were, capers. I don't think there is one food I find as disgusting in appearance and taste as I find capers. I have never, ever liked them. To me they look like something you pick out of your nose and taste like something you pick out from your rubbish bin. I want to know how, somewhere along the way, some tosser decided that it would be great to infect the flavour of smoked salmon by making a caper a standard addition to it.
Today, the horrible find was only made worse by the fact that the roll had loads of butter on it (yuck) and at least nine capers squished deep in the bed of yellow, smeary butter. I picked all of them out, scraped the butter away and allowed myself to eat what was left only to find that the foul taste of the capers had permeated the normally lovely smokey flavour of the salmon, and the butter had left a greasy residue deep in the bread roll. I was left with the unpleasant flavour in my mouth and even two cups of strong coffee were unable to clear it away.
Perhaps I should have had the fennel soup instead. Or brought my own lunch!
Still, if that was the only hiccup in the day, then I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
Today made up for the grumpy old weekend I had last week. That is what I like about life, you just need one great day to make any dull days insignificant. When I have a bad day, well, it is just bad on the day. When I have a good day, I can relive that day over and over and get a great deal of pleasure from the memory of it. Bad days I just accept and then forget. They are not worth going over.
Now I am going to make myself a cup of tea. My son has gone out doing the Halloween thing with a couple of friends (husband in tow to keep an eye on them).
All this time on my own....mmmmm.
I could get used to this.