You may have heard of Dennis Severs’ House on Folgate Street in Spitalfields. It’s the small museum that makes a virtue of its crumbly interior, where rooms have been unrenovated and returned to their eighteenth century mood and your tour is provided by candlelight and the insidious smells of the past. It is a fascinating place. I took The Lipsticked One and Cutey Bum there and we all left with the one view that it had been very satisfying.
Then, round the corner, I remembered on one of the backstreets there was a fascinating house museum that had a synagogue in its back garden and, lo and behold, it was open. Proudly, we said to the museum advisor that we’d just been to Dennis Severs’ house.
‘It’s a bit Disneyland,’ he confided with disdain.
I said nothing but looked at my colleagues with pursed lips.
‘Our museum is in its original condition. It’s more real.’
We paid our money and went inside. Another advisor said, ‘We are the first museum in Europe to provide comment on the immigrant’s experience and conscience.’
Then, as we were about to leave, we were accosted by another advisor who told us in no uncertain terms that we hadn’t spent quite enough time in their museum.
You can probably guess that we were all peeved by the experience. I don’t need to be told how and why I should visit a museum and certainly we are all old enough to take what we need from an experience. And, anyway, just being in a Spitalfields’ street is enough for us. Perhaps we are undemanding creatures.
Now, onto the Shards. I will update in the more usual way this week but, in the meantime, here are two Autumn shards to keep your juices going.
And Day 32:
Proof that Autumn can be the most exquisite season.