Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Artful Lodger

This morning I got a phone call from our 20 year old who normally lives at home.
‘Mum, I got here o.k,’ was sweet relieving music to my mother-worry ears. She is presently in Bristol, visiting the friends she made aged 13 on our two year adventure in Blighty. They are all grown up now, Uni students in the main but still firm friends thanks to Facebook, Myspace, chat and text. The most curious thing about her exodus to the U.K for three weeks is not that she kept in touch with her girlhood friends, or that she paid for the trip herself, but that she is intent on spending a week in London at the art galleries. Haley is in the second year of an art history degree at Victoria University and shows an exceptional skill for interpreting art and writing art speak. I am particularly proud of her for this talent which was not at all in evidence back in 2001 as the following poem, written for Next magazine at the time shows…

Culture Shock

I was hugely self indulgent,
In another life,
An egocentric hedonist
Who likely beat his wife.

Why else would I be punished
By being born again
Into the body of a mother,
With kids, thirteen and ten?

Now it’s not that I don’t love them;
They are the world to me,
Except when I’m in London
At the National Gallery.

Or the Abbey at Westminster,
The Globe, or V & A,
The Tate, St Paul’s, The Serpentine,
And the Burghers of Calais.

A lifetime’s opportunity
I find is roughly halved,
When they set up that old whining of
‘It's boring and I’m starved!’

So in my pursuit of culture,
On lengthy London marches
The only monument we went in
Was one with golden arches.

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