I like the Horniman Museum a lot. I like the bad taxidermy, the better taxidermy, the collections of musical instruments, and the gardens. I’d never seen an irl peanut plant before. I don’t know what I expected, but I was surprised.
As with the Grant Museum and the Wellcome Collection, I like that there’s so much stuff, even if I have to gloss over concerns over how the original Misters Horniman, Grant and Wellcome came to amass such a wealth of it.
My favourite thing is the same as everyone else’s favourite thing: the massive walrus.
Please no one tell me how awful it would be to harpooned to death?
The Great Animal Orchestra was on, here is Sumatra at Dawn:
It was really relaxing to sit on the floor in the dark, watching and listening. I stayed for Costa Rica at Dawn too, which was much quieter than Sumatra.
If I’d shut my eyes, I think I would have fallen asleep, in a good way.
In the Balcony Gallery, there was a photography exhibition by Bryan Alexander, cheesily named Whisper of the Stars. It documented the traditional practices of people living in Arctic Siberia.
The photographs were beautiful, very striking in a xenophiliac kind of way.
There was a “nature walk” too, which was pretty devoid of nature and made me laugh.
I’m just being spoilt.
Obligatory view of the City!
I wouldn’t say I’m a prude exactly, but I never used to be one to casually wap it all out. Sure I’ve skinny dipped, but only at night when no one can see, and I put my pants back on from behind a towel after.
But when it comes to the nudie beach (hereby referred to as the NB), I’m a total convert - and not just because my bikini bottoms no longer fit me.
I don’t have to worry about what I look like in any swimsuits any more, because I’m not going to be wearing one. My arse might be too big for my 2012 bikini, but it sure as hell isn’t too big for the North Sea.
Take that, shame!
Truly, I think the NB is the place to get body posi with yourself. There’s so much less of the posturing that the regular beach has. Scars and stretch marks are welcome, cellulite is not a big deal. Go and chill out in the waves, pal, no one is looking. Any mild concerns of being perved on were put to bed early, because frankly, no one gave a damn - and that chillness is contagious.
I think the beach can become a battleground for women in particular, as they compare themselves to each other, coveting another’s figure and hating their own, but at the NB you can be like “this is it, here I am” in as quiet a way as you’d like, and no one is asking you to prove anything.
Without a bikini, there is no “bikini body” - the pressured ideal goes out the window along with the impossible proportions and hyper-sexualised strips of lycra.
The NB isn’t a sex thing for me, it’s just about not wearing any pants, which I don’t think has to be an inherently sexualised action. It’s not about getting my fanny out, it’s just not being bothered that it is.
There are absolutely times where nudity is not appropriate, but as with the women’s changing rooms at the swimming pool, everyone at the NB has made a tacit agreement not to stare, or judge. Nudity and being comfortable going hand in hand are entirely circumstantial, but appropriateness aside, I don’t think anyone’s body should be the source of shame, and having a nice time at the seaside is something everyone deserves, should they like sand and sea.
I take these sojourns in the secluded countryside, next to a nature reserve, and I swear it isn’t the least bit sleazy. I can run down the sand and into the sea, splash in the waves, and later, eat crisps and collect shells. I’ve heard a few rumours about what goes on behind the sand dunes, wink, nudge - but I haven’t ventured that far.
At the NB, there were no kids (I hate kids), no jocks (I hate jocks), and no one spoke to me (I hate speaking to people). Couples, groups of friends, and visitors en seul dotted the beach a respectful distance away from each other; it’s all so pleasant and low key, like a hippy utopia that I could leave whenever I wanted. Dream world!
Discussing at the pub one time, a friend was very concerned about getting sand ~*up there~~*. Just sit on a towel, it’s fine.
Sunburn too, but whatever; pass the factor 30. No tan lines either, winner. I’ve encountered jellyfish too, but swimsuits are hardly wetsuits, so squealing and freaking out would be par for the course whatever I was wearing.
I’m aware that my conversion for all things NB does make me sound like a damn hippy, but floating about in the bay wearing nought but my sunglasses was one of the most tranquil moments I think I’ve ever had, and squares be damned - it wouldn’t have been the same if I was clothed.
Dogs: A few in coats, all small. It was a wet morning.
Notes: It pissed it down from mile 2 until the end. Absolutely chucked it. Thunder and lightening, too. NATURE! I feel as though my love for the rain is well-documented; from stomping around the Quebec City walls in a storm, to jumping in puddles on the Parkland Walk, to sleeping with my windows open so I can hear the drizzle outside, and the smell afterward.
And running in it is no exception - it makes me feel alive, a part of my environment, getting sheet rain in my eyes and trying to spit my fringe out of my mouth, my t-shirt lacquered to my chest. Because once you’re wet through, you may as well enjoy it. Clissold Park was completely empty by time I’d got back up there so I jumped in all of the big puddles and it cheered me right up. It was the best run I’d had for weeks, certainly the most fun and one of the quietest - and I didn’t overheat either.
The marathon is just 10 weeks away, here’s my JustGiving page fundraising for Crisis.
Another lunch break, another micro-adventure. I went to the Photographer’s Gallery to look at the Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia exhibition.
It includes photographs from the 1860s to the 1970s, mostly cityscapes, pastroral scenes, and family portraits, as well as a few athletes and scenes of everyone’s favourite Russian seaside town: Yalta.
Here are a few of my favourites:
Rain, 1960s, by Dmitri Baltermounts
Moscow, 1910, by Pyotr Pavlov
Red Army Men, 1910, by Varvara Stepanova
As well as colour films and exposures, I also liked the black and white, and sepia photographs that had been coloured in afterward, with paint, or crayons, or my favourite, with fragments of pearl for a beautiful, almost ethereal iridescence.
The exhibition explored the changing use of photography, it’s journey from personal hobby to propaganda and the increasing pertinence of the colour red, to advertising tool.
All I know about Russia comes from books and the news - so it was really good to get some visual art in there as well, and now I want to visit even more.
There’s another Russian photography show on at Calvert 22 but it’s slightly too far away to make in a lunch break, boo hoo.
The exhibition is on until October 19.
My lolly fad continues with: cheesecake lollies!
Well, sort of. My oven is broken, this is as close as I can get!
I used 250g of cream cheese, 250ml of almond milk, 1tsp of vanilla, 1tblsp of sugar, and a handful of frozen berries, mixed - then topped with buttered oats because I don’t have any biscuits and it was too late/I was too lazy to go to the corner store. I should have done a thicker layer really, but I will know this for next time.
Next time, I’ll up the sugar and berries too, and try and use biscuits. Oats make me think of breakfast, I’m not sure that this would be a balanced option.
I’m pleased with how they came out, and am armed with amendments for next time. Success.
And on the third day, dad said to Frankie “do you want to learn how to shoot a rifle?” and Frankie said “yes please.”
So he took me to the shooting range he’s a member of, in Strathpeffer. It’s in an old sand quarry. I’ve shot an air rifle before, but not live bullets.
My dad filled up old milk cartons with water, stapled up some targets, and I had a go! His guns have got telescopic sights on, so it was just a case of keeping a steady hand.