Critical Pink Floyd

>>  Sunday, June 04, 2017

So Manchester happened and the government raised the security threat level to critical and even though your Facebook friend's statuses say "we will not be cowed" (they are all the ones that live on farms in the middle of nowhere) it leaves you feeling slightly jaded about the trip to London you've been looking forward to for some time.

Having laid awake overnight deciding that I would definitely not be going as there are lovely places to be in the middle of bleeding nowhere with no people anywhere near, we diligently got on with it and stood next to the armed police on our local train station platform.  Armed police there! Seriously?! Even I, in my cowed state knew that the only gun related incidents we are likely to have there are farmers gone loopy but hey-ho.

There was one odd person on the train, I pointed him out to the train manager

because I had his ticket.

It was a purposeful 'lets stay out of the crowds' that took us out of the train station quickly and eating sandwiches at the rejuvenated area near the  University of the Arts

with 100s of others!

It's really nice around there now though.

Cog perked up with a credit card hammering at the Nike store and we headed down a tube tunnel I'd never been down before.

The tube was pretty empty which made light work of it, if slightly perturbing.

We stopped off in Knightsbridge ('because you don't shit on your own doorstep' was my probably rather bigoted thought process) and had a wander around Harrods.  We had a cursory bag check there but nothing too lengthy to get in the way of getting the wallets through the door.

Before going onto the V&A for the Pink Floyd exhibition 'their mortal remains'

They were taking security very seriously and we queued in for a full bag check of the tampax included variety.  We left Cog in the sunshine in the cafe garden and joined the queue for the exhibition.

I wasn't much in the mood for it to be honest and the staff did not help.  I didn't understand why HWMBO'd was given earphones and I wasn't despite me standing in front of the lady holding them.  I had to ask for them twice before I appeared from under my invisibility cloak of middle aged woman  beigeness. I then asked another member of staff how long it takes to go round (I wanted to know so I could pace myself to not leave Cog alone for too long):

"we don't ask you to leave"
"yes, but how long do you think it will take?"
"I have told you there is no time limit"
"yes, but on average how long does it usually take?"
"I have already explained that"
"No, I would like to know if it takes an hour or 2 hours on average to go around"
"yes you can take one hour or two hours, you can take as long as you like"
"are you being obtuse on purpose?!"

So, as I said, I was now definitely not in a great place mentally.  As usual with the V&A they let a huge amount of people in at each time slot, they don't stagger it and their audio is location sensitive so you can't stand back from the crowd without the sound dropping out.

So I shuffled with the crowd hitting them with Nike bags I had forgotten to leave with Cog.

I left HWMBOd miles behind as he likes to read every thing on every exhibit in everything we have ever been to including who printed the signage.

I used to worry about it being OCD but after all these years I now understand him, it is about getting his money's worth.

I think maybe I was a bit too young for it all (judging by the age of the people around me) and most of the early stuff I was interested in about Syd I felt I had seen in the many documentaries HWMBOd had subjected me too in our early courtship days.

There was enough technology to keep me interested.

And as a teenager of the 80s, The wall obviously had an effect on me so was fairly interesting.

But mostly I scooted around it at a pace thinking I bet this would be interesting if you had been to see them live.

So after being impressed by the art work, technology and some of the technical stage drawings  I went to the final area where they show the huge walls of visuals.  At the Bowie exhibition that had been pretty impressive but I was confused at this one by what I was looking at.  I wondered again if I was too young and had I tripped out a few times to the music I might have had a whiff of nostalgia.

The barriers confused me and there seemed to be ageing hippy wish-they-weres all over the floor, so I gave up and went out to the sunshine.

 and a sterling cream tea.

and watched the V&A staff telling happy little children to get out of the water and stop enjoying themselves.

I think the V&A need to move away from the 'we are entitled' school of staff training to 'lets make this a pleasant place to be' staff awareness program.

Once HWMBOd had finished reading the carpet cleaning instructions we all headed back down the tube.

Cog's anxiety decided this would be a great moment to have a panic attack.  Bless the people around us that offered a seat (a young guy that looked as hard as nails, home made tattoos and the gentlest politest voice I'd heard all day),  chocolate (an American couple) and more space around her (an elderly couple that needed the lean area more than she did).  She breathed through it and we headed back into the train station to out.

Seats were as rare as rocking horse shit but there was one occupied by a bag. I asked the man sitting next to the bag if I could sit down. He was loudly insistent he sat in aisle seat. It was VERY important and he snapped it at me twice and made an issue of bag moving. I said nothing. I felt it was best. Life is sometimes very very kind. About 30 minutes into the journey he ran out of power on his phone, he was watching TV programs on it. I was sat next to the plug. I said nothing. I felt it was best.

I love a day out in London, as you know, but just for once I was glad to be home in the fields and not a soul around.


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