Okay. So it is the morning after the Ice Bar incident and I have woken up with a banging head and a mouth like a Turkish wrestler’s jockstrap. Shabby is not the word. It’s okay though, because as I lie comatose on the bed wondering how long it is going to take me to get upright, my head is swimming so much, I remember that it is Friday and I am still on holiday! Huzzah! Then I remember that it is the last day before the Shah starts his new job and that he too has the day off and we are due to spend it together....oh God.
Yes, we have promised each other that we will go up to town (again – hurray. Not.) and spend a happy day in each other’s company. I could wimp out and spend the day in bed, sipping tea until I feel human again, but this day out was the Shah’s idea and those ideas are, let me tell you, like hen’s teeth.
So I stagger out of bed and lurch around a bit, feeling totally dreadful but pretending to be FINE. We get the train up to Waterloo and I can go no further. My head is swimming, my stomach is rumbling and I know that the only thing that is going to get me through the day is a large, greasy meal. Ideally, we are talking a full English but, in the absence of bacon and eggs on the concourse, we settle for Burger King. Never has anything so vile tasted so good and hit the spot in quite the same way. 2 minutes after finishing it, I am a woman transformed! We head to the taxi rank (well I wasn’t transformed quite enough to consider endless Tube journeys...have a heart.)
First stop was Tate Modern. Just so’s you understand, any outing that involves both of us, has to be very democratically arranged because our interests are so totally and utterly divergent. The Shah avoids matters cultural like the plague. His interests are basically technology and sport, both of which send me into a stupor. So, in order to keep us both happy, we have agreed to a gallery, a film and a curry.
So, like I said – here we are at Tate Modern. I absolutely love it – there’s always something interesting going on – loads of different things on offer – The WeatherProject installation by Olafur Eliasson in 2004 was stunning and I could have stayed there for hours just watching it. The Shah pronounced it to be shite. What a surprise. According to him, anyone could have bought a yellow light bulb and bunged it into the Turbine Hall. As if. However, the good thing about dragging him around such a place is the monologue he keeps up all the way round. In his defence this time, I have to say that quite a few of the exhibits we saw were um, inexplicable and (whisper it if I dare) *crap*.
Here are a few examples. It’s not the exhibits themselves per se, it’s more the explanation that sits on the wall beside them explaining their meaning, or attempting to:-
|How quaint - a melted elephant.|
|This one, I like to call 'Teenager's Bedroom'|
The Shah meandered from room to room becoming more exasperated by the "Art" on show with every footstep. The sighing grew louder, the cries of "what the actual f...?" came more often. He declared himself a mug because, if only he had thought of banging a few dozen nails into a piece of wood and painting the whole lot white like this...
and calling it 'White Field' he could have made a mint.
Here is a particular favourite called 'Some broken sticks adorned with fluff.'
But this one really stole the show...
|Yes, this is a piece of paper stuck to the wall|
The Shah rumbled on. I decided it may be time to leave - via the shop, of course as this allows him yet more grounds for huffing and puffing over the inflated prices charged and give him immense satisfaction in the process.
Later on, over a well-deserved curry at Masala Zone, we fell to discussing cultural differences after I had to spend 10 minutes convincing a sceptical waitress that, yes I did like my food spicy and that, if she brought me some pap like Chicken Tikka Masala, I was likely to stick her with a fork. The Shah wondered if he would be treated differently if he changed his name to an Irish one. I suggested he give Phil O'Stine a try.