So I have had an interesting few days doing what I don’t normally do….simply relaxing and allowing myself to be looked after. Over the last few days I have chilled out and enjoyed reading non-course related stuff aswell as a bit of quality modern art.
The first book I consumed was Now More Than Ever by Kate Hudson. It’s a history of CND and the peace movement. Now it’s not the best written book I ever read and heavily biased in favour of the Labour Party. However, it is an interesting read which makes an interesting point about the role Christians play(ed) in CND. At one point she says it was estimated that 23% of CND’s members were Christians. Whilst Quakers are primarily praised in the book, with references to their various peace camps it is clear that many different denominational backgrounds were present and active within the peace movement.
The second and best book I devoured was Dorothy Day by Deborah Kent. It was a facinating biography of a woman I highly regard. For me Dorothy Day gives a model of how one can be a lone parent, with a passion for social justice serving God. I do not presume I will ever get close to her model of servanthood, but I can seek to learn about her to find out about her faith. It is a book which was written, I think, with young people in mind. This means it is an easy to read book, but it equally contains a good story of faith and service. The language is not academic but it is still a stimulating book and one I would recommend..
I have also started reading a Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus. I have been greatly suprised by how much I am enjoying it. If you want to escape into a time past when innocence was more than a smoothie I can’t encourage you to read this book enough. Also and best of all, Piglet is the right colour.
Besides all the reading we made a trip into Newcastle and discovered a delightful cafe called Canteen Cafe and Bar. The review linked to says it’s expensive, but we managed to get a nice ickle deal on two meals for £8.95 which were very filling. I had a full roast within this deal. Can’t recommend the place enough. Most enchanting was the fact the menus are placed within the shells of childrens books. Ours was in a Rupert annual.
Finally it was off to the Baltic. Have to say at the moment they have the best collection of exhibitions I’ve seen there. Whilst the Pharmacy installation by Damian Hirst is facinating, it is lacking in a vital ingredient which both TOH and I were searching for….proper Calpol. The 6+ is included, but there is no box of proper wonder-drug there. You can find a box for your second generation anti-depressent of choice though. This and the Malcolm McLaren exhibition Shallow make the visit worthwhile. Note to the Tate Modern people here…Shallow actually shows how porn can be taken, subverted and made proper art. This was in stark contrast to the exhibition at the Modern we saw a few weeks ago.
The best exhibition at the Baltic at the moment is Parrworld by Martin Parr. Through photography and general tat he makes a wonderful exhibition relating to social and political history which is amusing, challenging and provoking aswell as nostalgic. Well worth a visit.