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Saturday, October 15, 2005

This just seemed so English, somehow. Not sure if you can read the sign on the tree : it says "Tall Vehicles Beware Leaning Tree Trunk". A sign that manages to combine politeness and a certain strangeness quite neatly.

The girls and I took the train in to London today, to take advantage of the fun family activities that were happening at the Tate today. The trip was really quick - a little under half an hour - and for the three of us, using a family railcard, it worked out cheaper than driving. And a lot easier.

The walk from the station to the art gallery was pleasant; the sun was shining, the sky was blue (a novelty, since it's been dreary for the last week or so) and we had fun swishing through all the fallen leaves.

I was impressed by all the things going on at the Tate today. The London Philharmonic Orchestra was singing freedom songs, there was a very cool hands-on installation - a kind of forest of bendy poles, which, when you push them, sway and light up and make a humming noise, there was Frisbee-throwing (because the day had a "dot" theme), there were several art activities inspired by this exhibition, there was a sort of scavenger hunt type thing where the kids were given photos of various dot shapes from around the museum (the end of a flute, a saint's halo, a bicycle wheel, to name but three) and had to track down the originals - and it was all free. They also offer free children's audio tours routinely, and we did one of those too. Very interesting.

Poor Bobby has completely succumbed to the flu, so he couldn't come. But he is left completely cold by activities involving glue, fabric, glitter, and paint, or any combination thereof, so if he had to miss out on anything, it should have been this anyway.

Stephen is similarly unmoved by arty-crafty things, and was also exhausted after a long morning of newspaper delivering. Long not because there were particularly many newspapers, but because he kept getting lost, poor kid. Bobby said that he went straight back to bed once we'd gone, and pretty much stayed there all day. I think he must have had a giant sleep deficit to make up.

A couple more pictures :

Old building and new building - the old one is the Tate Britain
The girls on the lawn outside. Sophie was exhausted after what she describes as "too many pictures". She got a bit obsessive about the scavenger hunt thing; there were a couple that we simply couldn't find. She was completely unwilling to give up, but eventually Emily and I were so sick of it that we practically dragged her out.

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