Living on my tod, most things that happen in my life have been arranged be me. I buy and cook all the food and plan all the nights out. This can lead to a certain lack of surprise in life, which on the whole I view as a good thing. Nonetheless, it is good to allow a little spontaneity into one’s world from time to time.
I am a member of a number of organisations – nothing too subversive (though in the current political climate, perhaps I’m being more subversive than I realise) – which support nature, heritage and a range of the Arts. Membership has its privileges and in particular offers me free (or much reduced price) entry to a range of attractions (for want of a better word). This makes it quite tempting to just try things which otherwise, if I had to pay, I might not bother with – but thanks to the costs being safely sunk, I have a free option.
I put my options to good use whilst out West, visiting a wide range of National Trust properties. All of these had items of interest (and I’m not just talking about the cake, though that is, of course, always interesting) – and in some cases provided an opportunity to escape from torrential rain – and pleasingly none of the antiques on show were obviously from my own life time. I’d particularly recommend Cotehele and also Lydford Gorge, which made for a much more exciting walk than anticipated and which had benefitted from the aforementioned heavy rain.
Last week, I had a free hour in London before dinner and some comedy (a very boutique live edition of the Comedian’s Comedian podcast), and so I nipped over to the Royal Academy to see what they had on offer. The main galleries were closed while the Summer Exhibition is installed, but on the top floor there was an exhibition by an American chap by the name of George Bellows. I’d never heard of him (and I believe he also speaks quite highly of me) but the exhibition blew me away (mild pun fully intended). The paintings of Penn Station under construction and views of New York, particularly under snow, were incredible – as were some of his early pen-and-ink drawings of the less affluent areas of the city. I had good reason to be glad of my sunk cost, as without my membership I would never have gone and my life would have been the poorer.
I wonder if I should be sinking some more costs? This both supports areas considered less than vital in these rather mercenary times and helps to broaden my own horizons. Well, its either that or more to Lincolnshire or a bigger planet…