Saturday was uneventful. I attacked the grass with the lawn mower, and took a swipe at one of the walls with a chisel. The first activity had moderate impact, the second very minor indeed. The problem is, I do not want to remove lots of brick wall if I can't safely remove the concrete blocks behind it. Hmm, maybe time to rethink. In the mean time, the foxgloves are doing well, the rhubarb shows modest signs of life (which is an improvement) and the sweet peas are perfuming the garden slightly.
On Sunday kharin and I had a trip to the Royal Academy's Tamara de Limpicka exhibition (originally recommended by rosamicula).
Of course we both knew it wasn't going to be as simple as that, but it was, to say the least, disappointing to find at Reading station the departure list for Paddington all saying 'Cancelled'. There was not even a train listed to Waterloo. A voice rang out on the tannoy: "Passengers for London ... Gatwick Airport ... Guildford ... Waterloo". So, like Flanders and Swann, we did that. Surrey is quite green and leafy, but I can manage quite well without slam-door carriages, extra springy seats and bouncy track joints, not to mention a journey time about three times the anticipated length. On arrival at Waterloo the guard enunciated his apologies for the late arrival of the train, due in part to "excess passengers boarding at Guildford". Hmm.
The exhibition was a relatively small affair, but well stocked with a very distinctive Art Deco style. I particularly liked the description of the Duchess de la Salle as an "amazonian (i.e. lesbian)" (presumably in case younger viewers were pondering how e-commerce worked in the 1920s). His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Gabriel reminded me of Norman Tebbitt; Dr Boucard reminded me of David Niven. de Limpicka became less popular after she emigrated to the USA in the 1940s, and there was a clear change of style: rather blander and by comparison, nondescript.
We also visited Cleopatra's Needla and The Monument: the steps were more manageable than the Siegessaule in Berlin, but with no convenient stopping or passing points, things were momentarily awkward. The view from the top is relatively unspectacular, as there are many buildings relatively close or in the middle distance of comparable or greater height, but I'm glad I've been up it (and I have a certificate to prove it).
By the afternoon the train service from Paddington had been restored, which was a relief after the exertions of the day.