Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Break

All is well here in Oxford, where I'm back for a couple of weeks over Christmas and New Year. I'm just taking a bit of a break from sitting in front of the computer all hours and leaving the blog to take whatever direction seems most natural after the New Year.

Anyway, being at home with family is enjoyable, but I find myself getting lazy (despite cooking many of the family meals, which brings me great pleasure), something which I find myself easily slipping into but a facet of my personality that I don't like at all. Hence I'm going to take off from here in a couple of days and spend some time in London, seeing friends, going to galleries and sitting in cafes reading some of my Christmas gifts. I've almost finished off Cry, The Beloved Country, a very powerful book about South Africa in the 1940s. After this I'll be diving into some Pinker (who without exception manages to change my view of the world in a few hundred pages), Kundera, Steinbeck and Susan Sontag's On Photography. There are another six or seven in the Christmas pile which I'll write about if I get the chance.

On art and museums, I did finally make it to see Guernica while I was in Madrid. My final afternoon in the city I dashed to the centre and made straight for the Reina Sofia. There is a lot of wonderful 20th century art on display, mostly Spanish, though the centrepiece is without doubt Guernica, a painting which I've read plenty about in a book devoted to this historical piece. It was every bit as powerful as I'd expected and the trip was well-worth it as I stood transfixed with no other museum-goers to disturb me.

Anyway, I hope that everyone else has had a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas! Enjoy the holidays if they're being celebrated in your neck of the woods.

No comments: