Friday, November 11, 2005

Mar and Janis, thanks for your comments. Poor old Knitlist.

Non-knit, today

My new temporary crown fell off its tooth while I was eating a prawn and avocado sandwich on soft white bread in a London pub, so my first job this morning is to have it stuck back on again. I will postpone photography, therefore (of progress on the Travel Sock), until tomorrow.

It was grand to be in London on Wednesday when Parliament, so long despised by our current masters, stood up and said boo! to Tony Blair, in defence of of the principle of extending one of our ancient and hard-won freedoms -- habeas corpus, in this case -- even to men of brown complexion.

It was an interesting day in other respects, too. Towards the end of the afternoon, we were in a small Bond Street gallery, just leaving in fact, as a man arrived with an entourage. He was of slightly less than middle height, wearing a hat, tanned. I got a distinct whiff of homosexuality from the group. The gallery-owner cried "Hello, David!" with great enthusiasm several times.

When we got to the pavement my husband said, that was David Hockney -- an artist whose work I have admired and enjoyed for many decades. I don't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with living in California (the tan), or being gay, or being deaf -- all of which are true of Hockney; just to say, I had all the data, and missed it. I don't suppose my husband had ever actually seen him before, either.

Then, ten minutes later, we saw the Queen.

We had just time, we thought, to nip around the corner to the Royal Academy for a few moments. When we got there, we found Piccadilly closed to traffic, and the Royal Academy closed to the public, and the streets bristling with police. While we were still wondering what to do next, we found that we effectively couldn't do anything, so we stood there. There's a terrific show of Chinese art at the RA at the moment, and the Queen was clearly touring it with Mr Hu, the Chinese prime minister.

After a little while the great gates opened and a lot of cars and white vans came out, including a serious-looking black one. Chinese pro-Tibet demonstrators made a lot of noise, as did a smaller party of patriotic Chinese, who beat drums. The police kept the two groups apart. We thought that was it, and we had missed seeing anyone, but after a few more minutes the gates opened again and out came a very big, very shiny black car, with minimal escort, flying the Royal Standard. Prince Philip was sitting on our side and I saw him clearly. It seems safe to assume that the woman beside him -- wearing a hat, like Mr Hockney -- was his wife.


1 comment:

  1. David Hockney! One of my very favorite artists. That is very cool. The Queen AND Hockney in one day (and I thought California was exciting) :--)