Sunday, 25 July 2010

Where the @&$# is this damn museum?


And a good Sunday morning to you from across the Pond after another GREAT Saturday in the Mother Country. Today Sammy is typing this blog entry with a big headache and a REALLY big hangover, but as the saying goes - "rough mornings usual follow good nights." In this case, it was a "good, good ni-i-ight..."
The afternoon, however, was almost a small scale disaster. So here's the deal - the Bank is currently sponsoring an exhibit at the Dulwich Picture Gallery (London's oldest public gallery, for the record). The exhibition, 3 Generations of the Wyeth Family, a) sounded interesting (Pooh - I was thinking about the Helga pictures when I decided to go to this - look at you inspiring my creativity) and b) was free to Bank associates. Consequently, whilst Muffin Puffin got ready, Sammy pulled up Google maps.
Here's the thing - the museum is down in Dulwich Village, which is just south of Brixton. Brixton, well, how shall I put it - it's kind of like the South Central of London. You won't get shot there because no one has fire arms in this country. But getting stabbed -'ve probably got a 1 in 3 shot of making it out alive after dark.
Consequently, I POURED over the map showing on Google, ensuring I had 2 different options to get us there. Walk time looked to be about 30 minutes, which would have put us at the museum about 3:30. And THERE, ladies and gentlemen, is where Sammy went off the track.

The road in question that we needed to find was "Railton." Honestly, I knew we were going the right direction (Uncle Robin would have been so proud), but we could NOT find this damn road. However, Jenny, who ALWAYS saves us in situations like this (and by "situations" I mean any time I try to do the navigating vs. my wife) did see a familiar road. Knowing that we could always cut down to the right when we got closer (and that it intersected Railton), I said let's take that path. In a word - Oops...

So we walk for about 20 minutes but NEVER see the road we need. More to the point, we hit a dead end and can't make a right to go through. So what do we have to do? Walk 10 minutes back the way we came through EVERY PROJECT IN BRIXTON because there's no place to turn. Only then do we realize the road we're on won't let you turn IN EITHER DIRECTION until you get ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE STATION. So what do we do? We walk BACK past all the projects and continue down the road, finally seeing another of the streets that we were supposed to intersect. Thinking that we're almost home, we take that right. In a word - Oops...

So the road in question, "Shakespeare," was a lovely road, filled with additional housing developments, a recycling plant, the BACK SIDE of the community center we'd JUST PASSED, a metal factory, and a rubbish dump. What, however, did it NOT have? A @#$@#$$ PLACE TO TURN LEFT!!!!! That's right, folks, we had to walk ALL THE WAY over to basically where we'd just been, just 1 street further south.
Granted, I was about to BLOW UP in frustration (I mean, WHY were there no signs for this place!) when suddenly my perfect pumpkin says, "Look - there's Railton." For a moment, tranquility returns. But then, when we have to walk another TWO MILES to get to the gallery, I am practically shaking with anger because a) I am the biggest donkey on earth for not being able to navigate my way out of a paper bag and b) this museum is practically in MADAGASCAR. All the same, 30 minutes later than expected, Team Taylor arrived at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
The exhibit actually was really neat, and I'm really glad that we saw it. It featured 3 generations of the Wyeth family, including several pictures by Andrew himself. I must say - that family has QUITE the talent for painting - some of their work looked like photographs!

On the way out, I asked one of the workers what the nearest train station was, and he said, "Oh, just make a left here, then a right at the traffic circle and you'll see West Dulwich. It's signposted the whole way." I could have punched him in the face...

Sure enough - the walk was about 10 minutes to the station, with signs for the "Dulwich Picture Gallery" ALL OVER THE PLACE. Maybe next time Sammy will remember this and CHECK THE ACTUAL WEB SITE FOR HOW TO GET TO THE BUILDING VS. GOING OUT ON HIS OWN CONVINCED HIS A MASTER OF NAVIGATION.

All the same, we got home, changed clothes, and then headed over to Andy and Jill Carter's for some wine (of which I had WAY too much) and GREAT Indian. Andy and Jill had TONS of news for us. For starters - THEY ARE MOVING TO HONG KONG!!! Secondly - THEY ARE EXPECTING AGAIN!!! Consequently we had PLENTY to talk about.

We ended up going through 5 bottles of wine across 3 folks, which would explain why my head felt like it had been dropped on an anvil and then crushed with a sledgehammer this morning. But THAT, my dear friends, is why God invented ibuprofen (don't worry, dad - I'm not addicted to Advil). We also had food from "Spices," the SECOND best curry house in London (after the Doot, of course!). JT went with Garlic lamb, and I had some Lamb Ceylon - SO GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD (peppy cheekies).

We got home about 1, but I had to wander the streets for another 30 minutes to ensure the world would stop spinning when my head hit the pillow. Dad - the foot on the floor technique is no longer working for me - I must be gettin' old...

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat later today!


Sam and Jenny

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