qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Would you mind awfully if we had PR?

On Saturday morning, we headed in to London, where we first visited the V&A's exhibition on Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill. It's not a blockbuster-sized exhibition, but that gives it the benefit of not being packed with people, and there's a lot of interesting pieces there. Also worth noting is that the exhibition brochure contains a 2-for-1 voucher for those looking to visit Strawberry Hill itself when it reopens this autumn. Regrettably the catalogue seems only to have been printed in a hardback edition and seemed especially extortionate, so we demurred; perhaps there will be something more appropriate by the time we visit the house.

On, then, in the afternoon, to the Take Back Parliament rally. There was a distinctly amateurish and delightfully shambolic middle-class atmosphere to it all, with the organisers and the crowd quite happy to retain the moniker of "Pythonesque" attached to the campaign in parts of the media. The Police presence was modest, and Sergeant Wilson and Private Godfrey could easily have kept order in their place. The consensus seemed to be that AV was definitely worth supporting, even if we would prefer a more proportional system (on the question of which proportional system, for the time being, there was no consensus). Most of the speakers succeeded quite well in keeping the air non-partisan, though Mark Thomas certainly wasn't.

We tracked back to Oxford for the evening, to a concert in the Sheldonian. Vivaldi's The Four Seasons has, of course, been done to death, not least by the call centre industry, but combining it with Piazzolla's Los cuatro estaciones Porteñas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) made for a more interesting programme. The Vivaldi was performed well throughout by Tamás András and the Oxford Philomusica; of course, a setting like the Sheldonian is ideal for it. The Piazzola was in an arrangement by Leonid Desyatnikov. I felt the first movement performed, Verano Porteña, was a little out-of-balance, with the soloist struggling to be heard above the orchestra, but this improved in the other movements, which alternated with the Vivaldi. The arrangement - or this performance, I'm not sure which - also had a couple of snippets of the Vivaldi inserted into the Piazzolla, which made for an entertaining "Red Priest" effect, though I'm not sure it was entirely effective musically.

So on Sunday, we were visited by rosamicula, and we had lunch of jugged hare followed by Bakewell tart. The mood inside was definitely more summery than the weather outside. Certainly on my part, far too much wine was drunk, though I staved off the headache for long enough to catch up on Doctor Who in the evening. I felt this week's episode was significantly more "Old Who"; from the trailers I wasn't sure I would like it, but in the end I did.
Tags: exhibitions, food, london, music, politics
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