I find there are few pleasures in life greater than sitting in the foyer of a gallery, museum or some other cultural institution in some foreign city. There is a calmness that comes with being away, being alone. Being anonymous in a place. A few weeks ago I was sitting in the foyer of the NGV Australia in Melbourne and I was feeling an immense feeling of calm and happiness. Having just come from the NGV on the other side of the river and viewing the Napoleon exhibition, life felt pretty good. I always find it amazing to be standing looking at something someone so famous wore, touched or used, so long ago, It is at once humbling and inspiring. It feeds the soul.
The time in Melbourne was fun and I am very glad I went and stayed the weekend. It fed my soul, which I have been truly needing. By the time I left I had a calmness and energy about me which I had not felt for some time. Of course it all felt like a million miles away by about two days back at work. However, for that weekend I had it and it was a reminder of how valuable it was to do that.
I am a sucker for gift shops at galleries and museums too. I love looking through the stuff. There was lots of Napoleon tat across the river at the NGV and the sheer plethora of books in the stores is always lovely. What a sad world it will be if we ever end up in a time where gallery shops had no books but just lists of e-books. Or indeed a sad world, if the stores were only online. In all honesty I cannot see that happening. On a positive note. I just bought a book on moustaches. Well, of course I did ;-)