For The Archives: Saturday 28 October 2006
Myself, husband and brother went along to the China Power Station exhibition at Battersea Power Station. The queue was long because entry was staggered even though we had booked tickets in advance, it was cold and dark by the time we went in, the artworks were mainly uninteresting video installations, we got lost trying to find the right way in to the old building and were tempted more than once to just climb over the razor wire and sprint across the sodden surrounding wasteland...
... despite all of this, the long afternoon we spent there was amazing. There's grass growing on the exposed bits of the turbine hall floor. There's an incredible sense of space and history wandering around the abandoned and unused floors - I kept thinking of all the hundreds of people who would troop here to work in the morning, the wearying, noisy, hard manual labour that went on here. I saw through the uninspiring video artworks from China and saw instead the queues of tired workers at the office window, waiting to collect paypackets and eager to get the hell out of the building on a Friday evening, not unlike the queues we formed a century or so later on a Sunday afternoon - a day of rest! - to get in.
We had been walking about in the cold open air for most of the day and we went back to our local area for dinner by taxi, exhilarated and rather spent from the experience of actually having been inside such an iconic London landmark. The brother treated us all to a rich, heavy Italian meal of veal steaks, venison and beef steak with intense Italian red wine; we had such good service and though it's a local restaurant, it's one of the classier Italians places that we don't go to very often and it was a very pleasant, slightly special occasion-ish meal. I ordered the cheese plate to round off an already rich and indulgent meal and was extremely pleased with my plate of Dolce Latte and hard parmegiano that came with a little dish of Italian wild honey and a small measure of a honeymead-type dessert wine.
We went back to the flat, groaning and swooning over all the food and wine (and the bill) and I introduced my brother to my ailing laptop. The new after-dinner entertainment in my family is looking up cute videos of baby pandas and hamsters and so on; we watched a hamster running so fast on his wheel, he loses control and spins through several full revolutions before being flung unceremoniously cross his cage. He lands on his back with his tiny, stunned little paws twitching and we were on the floor in similar poses, roaring with laughter.
A giddy day. A good day.
Full Flickr set here.