Friday, 22 January 2010

A vice

I have realised what my real vice is. Not anything particularly dark or sinister, but something so utterly unnecessary I feel really bad when I indulge in it. Something that is so enjoyable, packed with immediate and oh so intense enjoyment. Full of texture, flavour and naughtiness.

And it is crisps.

I believe I have always had a weakness for crisps, since I was a teenager. Partly stemming from my love of savoury food, especially cheese (which I think was the only thing I ate between the age of 1 and 13), they are so unequivocally bad for you and yet so addictively tasty.

Whether a tart, sharp Walkers Worcester Sauce French Fry, or a cheeky Prawn Cocktail Potato Crisp from a girly pink packet ... or a deeply cheesy Wotsit, covered with mystical flavour-rich orange gumption, they are all the same. And, as it was a Friday, rather than go to the pub to purchase my usual end of the week vice in liquid form, I bought a packet of Quavers to sneakily snack on on my Tube journey to the V&A.

Which was magnificent.

Strolling well out of the way of the rain down the tunnel that springs from South Kensington Underground Station, it is like a doorway to mystical worlds, like the bit in 'A Nightmare Before Christmas' where Jack is in the woods, and there are various themed doors that lead to the different holiday lands. Do you feel like Science, or Natural History? Maybe Decorative Arts? Well, in that case, turn off at the V&A.

And once you have picked up your obligatory map, and dutifully sought the recommended change in your purse to fulfill your civic duty and give the requested donation, you come out in a room full of statues. Naked ladies and gentlemen, all being sketched by silent art students with notebooks sitting quietly at the side of the room. From the Cast Courts to the Raphael Room, to even the dear but unique gift shop, the whole place reminds you that we live in a world of such creativity, that humankind has an innate drive to create beauty, or at least to try our darndest to reflect the beauty we see naturally displayed in the world.

Idealistic thoughts for a Friday evening, no better time to have them!

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