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Hello! Me and my self-diagnosed SAD are extremely pleased the summer is finally away with and are much looking forward to the winter months, full of days cold, and dark, and dreary; it rains, and the wind is never weary. I am yet to recover from an extraordinary intense week spent in Birmingham for the #cpc12 (as you do), where I mostly gate-crashed receptions trying to consume my body weight in wine (and half-succeeding one might add). I did get to rub shoulders with the high and mighty although am gravely disappointed that I did not get satisfactory close to BoJo AND that both Hugh Grant and Brian May escaped me entirely. Oh well, better luck next time.

I had one mission and one mission only in Birmingham (well, I had many to be honest but only this one succeeded) and that was to visit the Birmingham Art Gallery. They’ve got an absolute goldmine of Pre-Raphaelites there. Except for the fact that I was insanely hung over it was definitely the best gallery show in ages. I went to the big-ass PRB exhibition at Tate but wasn’t overly impressed. The narrative (Victorian Avant-Garde) was completely lost on me. Or rather, it is so obvious and tedious that it brings about nothing new. I also blame my own endurance, or the lack of it. I lose focus rather quickly, so after being bored to death through half of it (the bold, bright and bad stuff), by the time I got through to the PRB that I like (that actually isn’t very PRB at all) I was too tired to really appreciate any of it. Maybe next time I’ll start from the end.

A most splendid thing at the Tate show

And a little something from Birmingham

I’ve spent a rather wonderful weekend in Wal… eh, Somerset, trawling though picturesque villages, pubs and fudge shops, climbing up and down hills, exploring caves and excavation sites (did you know…no, just kiddin’ I’m not gonna go there). Again, drinking my body weight in wine seemed like the only proper thing to do. This weekend I had a rather splendid time at the Battle of Ideas at the Barbican. Again, I was too hung over to get there at a decent hour but I managed to catch a mucho interesante discussion on creativity, originality and tradition (meaning, is it good to have a canon? Yes, of course it is!). It’s so awesome when panelists actually debate rather than just agree with each other all the time (consensus is usually given at Westminster “debates”). But then again, I found myself less impressed with the liberal arts crowd (yes, I have definitely become a snob since the days when the NT was my second home). Now, leaders’ speeches analysis and Downton.