I have a two hour wait at Dublin airport when I travel to London due to bus connections from Cavan. Last week I whiled away the time very happily reading If You Ever Go, edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth. It is a wonderful anthology of poems about Dublin by a range of poets over hundreds of years. I love reading poetry about places I know. If the poem works, I immediately feel as if I am peeking out from between its lines. It gives me a strong sense of belonging. I’m looking forward to the journey home, so I can once again have hours to immerse myself in Dublin while in no-man’s land.
I emerged out of Stockwell tube last Friday into the London streets and deeply inhaled a chest full of warm petrol and diesel fumes and apparently a desert full of Saharan sand. Home! It was heavier and more of it than usual. It seems there is a health warning. London! As I write I can hear a melee of birds combined with over head jets and sirens on the Clapham Road. But despite the air, London in spring time is a wonderful place to be. The pink blossom trees and white thorn quiver gently in the warm fumes. The magnolia in the garden is magnificent. It is just on the turn; blousy white flowers hang voluptuously. There is a sense of faded decadence.
Voluptuous and decadence were not words that came to mind at the ‘Sensing Spaces – Architecture Re-imagined’ exhibition at the Royal Academy gallery in Piccadilly. There were some interesting installations but Ruthie, my companion, and I had been walking in Green Park, around Constitution Hill and The Mall, enjoying the beautifully grand architecture of Clarence House and Whitehall. The installations paled into insignificance in comparison. However, it was fun to climb and explore them. I didn’t think they were well curated. I did like the straw house and the Chinese installation: wood, light and gravel being the central components.
Having said that, I’m glad to be coming home to Cavan where wood, gravel and light lie in abundance.