With Volans closed this week, for rest and recuperation, Elaine and I trundled across to the Royal Academy’s Summer Show. Without question, the most disappointing Summer Show I have yet seen, sadly.
But I did buy what looks to be a fascinating book in the RA shop, Reinier de Graaf’s architect, verb. Hope to read it on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, next week. And we then had a delightful time in Hatchard’s, buying books like The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesteron (#495 out of a special edition of 2,000) and Mercury Pictures Presents by Andrew Marra.
(We ducked into Fortnum’s, too, to get a tin of the wonderful Smoky Earl Grey tea we had loved while with Pavan Sukhdev last week.)
Having just finished Ben Goldsmith’s profoundly moving God Is An Octopus, where I was in tears at various points in the book, it has been a particular joy to start Marra’s book. I haven’t laughed so much while reading since galloping through Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 in the school dormitory at Forrester House, Bryanston, back in the early Sixties.
The other book I have been browsing this week is the vast 2-volume Taschen edition of the works of Norman Foster. I adore great architecture: wonderfully inspirational. Foster has long been one of my heroes – and was himself profoundly influenced by another, Bucky Fuller, who I had the privilege to meet in Reykjavik back in 1977.