What’s that I hear? It’s spring – and there’s a sound in the air. What is it? It’s the persistent whine of a reluctant husband. The lawn having put on a growth spurt and the weather being unfeasibly clement, it was time to put lawnmower to grass and cut it. Now I do not enjoy this job, partly because the lawn is a bit of a mess, and partly because the old mower has conked out and we now have an inferior version which is really hard work and whines a lot when it reaches a clump of grass. Which it frequently does. But this whine is nothing compared to the persistent whine of my spouse when asked to share in the mowing. His bleating knows no bounds. He doesn’t like having a lawn. Lawns are a monoculture. He doesn’t like having to cut the grass. It should be a habitat. There should be more biodiversity. Basically, everything should be different; if everything was different from how it is, then he would mow the lawn, but since everything is the way it is then he won’t.
To be honest I’d rather mow a hundred lawns than listen to another second of that whining. And so I got out the old mower and began to push the reluctant beast up and down the grass (the mower, that is, not the spouse). Previous to that, spouse and I had been into town to visit the New Walk Museum where Richard III’s Book of Hours is on display. This is a leather-bound volume in Latin in that old-fashioned script which I can never read even if it’s in English, and with some hand-written marginalia done by his clerk. Then we went to see the exhibition of German Expressionism which has expanded a lot recently and includes some very interesting work: there was one called Messiah which is very striking and features on the museum posters. For a Messiah he looks somewhat manic and a bit sneering.
Elsewhere there was an interesting video on chair-making and a small Arts and Crafts section.
Then we carried on to the Newarke Houses Museum to see the Open 26 exhibition where Steve has a painting, as does our friend Danielle Vaughan. After that we walked back up New Walk and encountered a young woman with a sign saying ‘Je Suis Dina. Want to chat?’ I tutted because at first I thought it said ‘Jesus – want to chat?’ but it turned out to be a student interviewing people about their reactions to the Charlie Hebdo massacre. We each wrote a sign with our name on and were photographed with the sign and our opinion underneath. There will be an exhibition in town at some point.
And that was our Bank Holiday.