Monday March

MONDAY MARCH I wake up just before 9.30. Though warm and comforted in my bed, hunger soon leads me to crawl out from beneath my duvet and make some porridge – served with cinnamon, banana and yogurt and a helping of Frasier. After a quick tidy up of the flat, I shower and decide to venture to the National Gallery of Modern Art – a half hour walk away past the imposing St Mary’s Cathedral. I started backwards – in “Modern Two” – set in beautiful grounds with a path that snakes up beside a hedge from the main road. A large light installation declaring “THERE WILL BE NO MIRACLES HERE” sits in front of the building. The Colourist exhibition had just finished and so there were only a few rooms to explore – some surprisingly nice paintings and an interesting recreation of an artist’s studio – a bunk bedded room laden with plaster casts, papers and boxes. A hop, skip and a pedestrian crossing away is Modern One – set behind a grassy hillock and angular pond and with its own message spelled out in light above the door – “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT”. I took comfort in the glowing blue letters. Inside and straight ahead, a disturbingly detailed model of a baby – made of silicon and about 20 times bigger than life size lies in the middle of the room. I move around its fleshy curves and strands of hair, making my way into the other rooms of the gallery. German bronzes, bizarre “relief paintings” and Barbara Hepworth sculptures fill them, each one leaving me more bewildered than the last as to their meaning and apparent artistic value. I leave the gallery through a group of Japanese tourists – they photographing everything in sight and me listless and hungry. I make my way back to the city centre along the top of the Dean Village – chatting briefly to a man about the area’s peacefulness after he stopped and turned around at the scuffle of my feet. I slinked up Lothian Road back to the flat, stopping to buy eggs and chocolate, and slumped on the couch with last night’s risotto re-heated. Feeling empty and inexcusably tired, I made a coffee and ate most of the bar of chocolate. I watched some TV and perused the Internet – neither offering entertainment or comic relief. I go to the kitchen with my laptop and write, just a little, and contemplate, yet again, what I’m doing with my life. Then I decide it’s dinner time and concentrate on whether the pesto in the fridge is still edible after being open for what must be several weeks. I take the chance and have it mixed with cream over spaghetti. Tastes just fine, I think. Everything is going to be alright.


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