Thursday, July 17, 2014

my daddy says i'm his special little guy

One of the great things about having Miles with me is that, even though I'm seeing things I've seen many many times before, I feel like I'm seeing them again with a fresh pair of eyes. And with a completely different lens of interest. It's really given me a new appreciation for many of the places and things I've gotten a little used to in the last few years.

 For example, I love the V&A museum and I think it's probably among the top three museums in the city. But I felt like I've seen most everything there. Until I went with Miles, who is really into Japanese art, and then I realized I'd never looked into the Japanese wing of the V&A. And I found some super cool stuff. Mostly wood block art, but really mystical and funny and quirky little drawings. I love that stuff - and had never really acknowledged it. Do you like paintings of men fighting dragons? Get over there, Khaleesi!

Likewise the Science Museum, which I usually avoid because it's hot in there and it's always full of school groups making the most noise humanly possible. But Miles wanted to see it, and suddenly I found myself looking into fascinating exhibits of psychology, early computers, and "space capsules" that allegedly "went to the moon." All topics Miles loves, or has recently studied in school. We also watched an IMAX movie called The Secrets of the Universe, but maybe it should have been called The Secrets of an Awesome Nap, because both of us were out within about ten minutes. Soothing planets and nebulae floating around to classical music? In the middle of the afternoon? It's a recipe for snooze salad. But after we woke up we went to an exhibit called In Search of the Perfect Sound, and it was this giant black horn, built in the 30's, that plays music so clear and so accurate that you feel like there is an orchestra huddled somewhere inside of it. Really awesome. Thanks, Science Museum! Ten seconds to left brain ignition!

Miles and I had dinner in the Morris, Gamble, and Poynter Rooms of the V&A. It's just the museum cafe but with a fancy name and some beautiful 1863 deco. We had baguettes and acted really french and stuff. Miles and I keep buying water bottles and then finding out, once we've opened them, that we got carbonated water by accident. Does anyone like carbonated water? If so, explain.

Miles was done with museums at this point, but I had another one in me, so I stopped briefly at the Sikorski Polish Museum on our way back to the flat. It's basically a museum that tells you about the Poles' involvement in WWII, but it tells you in Polish whether you like it or not. This kind elderly gentleman followed me around and explained all the paintings and war medals in Polish, and I tried to indicate that I couldn't understand him, and he seemed to not care about that. So on some subconscious level, I know all about the Poles in WWII. It's a win!

The tube was even more crowded than usual tonight which makes leading a group of 19 students around an often Herculean task. I'm constantly counting heads. But this group is particularly amenable to sticking together, which I much appreciate. We lose one or two per trip, and that's not a joke, but we eventually find them. Or they find us. Or Liam Neeson finds them.

Finally, we saw Matilda tonight. For me it was the third time, and I should be bored of it by now. But I got to sit by Miles, who has never seen it. And so each joke was a little funnier and each song was a little campier and each gag was a little broader than I remember it being, and it felt like it was kinda new again.