Last night was great - the Royal Academy's (http://www.royalacademy.org.uk) "Citizens and Kings" exhibition was wonderful. I felt really calm wandering round. The star picture for me was "The Death of Marat", which took my breath away. I stared at it for ages. It's the one they're using to advertise on the website and which I attempted to be witty about yesterday. Hell, it's had its own back. I couldn't take my eyes off it. I've bought the catalogue so I can keep staring. I think it's something to do with Marat's arms and the whole bath thing and the true story behind it. Like a secular Pieta indeed. And there was also a good scattering of female artists of the time, which to our shame you don't often see. I was particularly taken by Vigee-Lebrun whose paintings hit you in the eyes with sheer luminosity. In front of her picture of Charles-Alexandre de Calonne, I thought: yes, you liked him, didn't you? You got on with him and the two of you probably had a laugh together while you were painting it. The affection shines through the canvas. Great stuff indeed. Slight amusement at the end of the exhibition when I picked up our stuff from the cloakroom; I strode right up to the counter, completely and utterly not seeing the small queue to the left and started collecting my stuff. When I gazed round, I suddenly saw one of the men in the queue, coloured up and started apologising but, quick as a flash, he came back with: "don't worry about it - it's good to know who the kings are and who the citizens are", and then we all got the giggles. Love it! And lovely to see Jane W too - I can really talk to her. Also the curry was grand.
However, I feel shattered today. I really have to attempt to get an early night sometime or I can see it's all going to go to pot. As they say. Had strange dreams in the night too - about being back at University again (as a student) and having no idea what I was supposed to do or how to get to speak to my tutors - typical stress stuff. And in the middle of it all, a woman was walking by holidng a baby tiger. God only knows what that was about. No wonder I could hardly get myself out of bed this morning.
Went to Guildford for my regular Clarins facial today, and stocked up on some stuff, which I really shouldn't do as I'm trying to save money this month. Lord H picked me up and we made a quick detour so he could give his theology essay in at last. Hurrah! Just hope he's got the right house to deliver it to. Then back to the house to get some cleaning done, and then to the Cathedral for lunch. Rather busy today, as some of the refectory was being used for a graduation lunch. Consequently we made room on our table for two lads who had nowhere else to go - and got absolutely no acknowledgement, smiles or conversation from them at all. What is it with some people? If someone makes room for me under any circumstances, I feel the least I can do is say thank you. Rude buggers! Probably one of our Science student lot - they have no finesse.
Then into Guildford again - where I bought more books in Waterstone's, when I really shouldn't have but what the hell - and onto the Yvonne Arnaud theatre to see Antony Sher in "Kean". I love Sher - I think he's one of the best actors of our generation and I try to catch his stuff whenever I can. "Kean" was incredibly good and made my toes shiver while I watched it. My knees too. It's sooooo good to see a real play well done. Honestly, it's one of the best things in life. I was tempted to hang round the stage door afterwards to get his autograph, but was overcome with an attack of shyness, so slunk (slinked?) away instead. Am really regretting that now. Damn it!!
Back home, we've finished off the cleaning (almost) and then glued ourselves to the sofa to watch the first episode of the latest series of "Dr Who". Loved it - it was great. I think the new woman assistant is going to be seriously hot. I loved her.
Tonight, I might do some more scribbling to "The Gifting", or maybe type the stuff up that I did on the train to London yesterday - we'll see. Oh, and I've just finished Erastes' (http://www.myspace.com/erastesdotcom) homoerotic historical novel, "Standish", which I really enjoyed. Two great main characters and a gallop-along plot (does that make sense? Hell, you know what I mean). The sex scenes were good too - especially in the way they showed character. Love it when that happens. Also I particularly liked the secondary character of Fleury, and hope he might have his own book one day - he could definitely carry it! At the same time I've also finished Spencer Johnson's "One Minute for Yourself", which was okay-ish, but not as meaningful for me as his "Who Moved My Cheese?" which I thought was really good. Ah well, can't win 'em all.
Today's nice things:
1. Reading "Standish"
2. Antony Sher in "Kean"
3. The "Citizens and Kings" exhibition (which was yesterday, but never mind).