Friday, November 09, 2012

Looking At The Stars

I had to go back to the hospital in Bath on Wednesday for my check up.I usually like going because i make a day out of it.It was different though this time because it was only 4 weeks to the day since i had trudged out of that hospital in the middle of the night carrying Kim's belongings in two plastic bags.The most desolate feeling in the world.So it was with a feeling of grim forboding that i set off.I had to wait nearly an hour before i saw my consultant but i was only with him for about 10 minutes and he said that i didn't have to go back for six months which was a relief so as soon as i got my prescription i scarpered out of there and caught the bus back into town.Then i hit the charity shops.I looked in Cancer Research and the PDSA shop but didn't find anything of interest.I did find an interesting book about Joseph Of Arimathea and Glastonbury in the Dorothy House shop.

I was heading for the shops on the other side of Pulteney Bridge when i passed the Victoria Art Gallery and noticed there was an exhibition on called 'The Redev Collection'.In all the years i have lived near Bath i had never been in here but as i didn't have anything to rush home for i thought i'd have a look in.I'm glad i did because i spent about an hour in there looking at the paintings.I don't think i have looked at an exhibition since 1999 when we went to the Monet exhibition at the Royal Academy.This collection in Bath had works by Picasso,Keith Vaughan,Duncan Grant, Graham Sutherland, Ben Nicholson, Jean Millet,Armedeo Modigliani and Lucien Pisarro.I was particularly taken by the Modigliani (See picture) The great thing about British galleries and museums is that they are free.I bet they aren't free in many countries.I did donate £1.50 though.I didn't get where i am today by donating more than that.When i left the gallery i felt quite uplifted and inspired.
In the next shop i found a book of prose poems by Charles Baudelaire which contains one of my favourites of his called 'Lets Beat Up The Poor'.I stood in the shop and read it.

I also found a nice book about John Lennon.Walking back down Milsom Street i was suddenly dying for a wee so i went in the nearest pub which was The Lamb And Lion.I thought i'd better buy a drink while i was in there and bought a pint of cider and sat in the yard and had a drink and a couple of ciggies.This is the very pub where Patti Smith had the legendary lasagne incident six months ago."What was a legend like Patti doing in a place like this?",i wondered to myself.Anyway,after my pint i wandered across the road to the Oxfam Bookshop and i found a nice first UK edition of Kristin Lavransetter by Sigrid Undset and a biography of Jeff and Tim Buckley.While i was stood at the till waiting to be served i noticed a book in a glass case behind the counter.It was a signed first edition of Palm Sunday by Kurt Vonnegut one of my favourite writers.It cost me a small fortune but i had to buy it because i don't care anymore.I left the shop and bought myself a hot pasty from the hot pasty shop and headed for the station.On the train i reflected that it had been a nice day after all.It had lifted my gloom.Every day you get on this amazing little planet is a gift and you have to make the most of it.As Oscar Wilde once said,"We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars".

1 comment:

vilstef said...

Pat, I'm glad the gloomy day got better.

Looking at the junk shops is always fun because you never know what you will find, and it sounds like you had a nice little trove there, and a cultural experience at the gallery as well.

(FWIW, I've met Kurt Vonnegut. He signed several books for me, and we had about a twenty minute discussion on Mark Twain. Mr Vonnegut was delightful, funny and very humble. He's one of the writers I'm most happy to have met and shared some words with.