Thursday, March 19, 1981


Hotel breakfast. Everything predictably hotelish.

We walked to to the V & A which was closed when we got there, so we wandered around the shops nearby. Julie discovered Mitsukiku, a rip-off shop specialising in Japanese stuff; she was really enthusiastic, which I enjoyed, and we wandered about the shop for ages. She bought a weird massage thing, a rubber ball on a flexible piece of wood with which you beat yourself gently on the shoulders. On the way the the museum, Julie gave a homeless woman an orange.

We went to the downstairs galleries first and looked at/talked about the Constables, before seeing the Michaelangelo casts, the Raphael copy and discovering – much to Julie’s joy – a whole room specialising in Chinese and Japanese art. She ran around like a little kid, emitting little cries of excitement at the pottery and carved Buddhas. We paused at the museum shop and she bought loads of postcards.

We ate and took the tube to the Tate Gallery. The modern art was really interesting but hard to understand. Are Naub’s two boxes really art? We had a long discussion with Hine about their merits and afterwards had some tea before the coach arrived outside at four. Filthy jokes on the way back and we rolled up in rainy Easterby at nine thirty.

Within an hour of getting in I was embroiled in a savage argument with Dad, who bemoaned the “Europeanisation” of the true-Blue British passport which I said was a pretty trivial thing to get upset about and didn’t bother me. I was met with the familiar suicidal, annoyed and angry sighs – “No wonder we’re in such a mess if the youth of today is like you. What’s the point; no wonder Jesus wept,"  etc., etc. Of course I responded and then Mum blew up because, she says, she’s sick and tired of me and Dad arguing.

I came to bed angry.

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