No sooner had the Grandmother suggested we sell the Royal Institution, but someone is actually wanting to do that very thing.
Although, I suppose not the RI as such. The RI are the ones being forced out of their ‘home,’ the rather nice building in Albemarle Street, where Michael Faraday used to work.
I hope it’s a false alarm, and by that I mean perhaps someone will come up with the money to save it. But why do I feel like this? In most cases I would shrug my shoulders in a pragmatic kind of way, because I’m not surprised by either mismanagement or hard times. ‘These things happen.’ All the time.
But this is the Royal Institution. It’s the Faraday link.
But as I said, we were thinking of selling the very same building, albeit in the shape of a painting. Apparently it was commissioned by Faraday. And according to family lore, once it was painted, it lived under his desk for a very long time.
It was eventually framed by the Resident IT Consultant’s grandfather, and is currently hanging on our wall. At first it was on sufferance, because as pictures go I didn’t like it much. But once the idea of selling it was broached, I realised I’d got used to it.
I suspect we will keep it, because it’s not worth a lot. The story of it being close to Faraday’s knees is probably more valuable.
As for the other building, I hope someone nice and rich will find they have money to spare. The problem though, is that by doing the place up, the RI have priced people like us out of going there, even if we lived close enough to consider frequenting it for talks and other events.
Every now and then I come across this inexplicable baby bear picture book on the floor in Daughter’s room. I think to myself, ‘what is she doing with that?’
And then I actually worked out what the book was. Not a favourite from childhood or anything sweet like that. It’s the one she got from the charity shop to ruin. I mean, she got it to be thoroughly educational. I believe I complained here earlier about the Art teacher who instructed the students to get an old picture book that was to be painted white and then have various arty things happen to it. I felt it was sending the wrong signals to young people.
Recently I happened upon this wall in my house magazine (and what a wonderful source of material it is for a book blog!) and had to have a long think about whether I thought it was OK to use pages from books in place of wallpaper. I suppose it might be. But…
At that point I remembered reading about two people who shared a flat once. One of them produced an expensive coffee table book on art and then cut all the pages out and stuck them on the walls, like paintings. The other at first thought this was sacrilege, but realised when they came to move out after some years, that this way they had got to enjoy that art properly. If it had sat in the dark inside the book on a shelf, or even on a coffee table, the pictures would rarely, if ever, have been looked at.
That struck me as quite deep, at the time. So on that basis I suppose cutting up a book for wallpaper is fine.
But can I see myself pulling pages out of books? No. Although if I did, I’d make sure I arranged them in a considerably neater way than the people in my magazine did.
And then there is the rather special picture presented to Keren David on Saturday. That too, was a former book, so to speak. But very nicely done, complete with witch.
I’m nothing if not inconsistent.