I’ve said it before, but there’s always something going on on the streets of London. My problem is that I don’t wear my glasses and so tend to miss the exciting things. But that doesn’t stop me noticing entirely. I walked the seven miles into work past Parliament, up Whitehall, through Trafalgar Square and then on to Gower Street and Euston through Bedford Square.
On my journey I failed to notice the first person on the fourth plinth as part of Anthony Gormley’s One and Other installation, despite people standing around trying to give me things to draw my attention to it. In London you stop for no one in case they want your money or your time and so I’ve become extremely anti-social for a northerner.
But as I turned the corner into Bedford Square I found a less publicised piece of street art – the Architectural Association’s Summer Pavilion. It’s a huge sculpture shaped like a piece of driftwood. It’s quite lovely to look at and has planes and curves you want to reach out and touch. You can walk under it, round it, in it, through it. It’s amazing to see how it roused people’s curiousity as they passed it. No one ignored it entirely.
So for a moment that morning, I had a brief sense of wonder at something abstract but beautiful, something that forced me to slow my pace right down, to gaze and to be distracted. Taken temporarily out of the immediacy of the day, and reminded that life is full of pleasant surprises, just waiting round corners to be discovered.