I went to a four hour meeting at the DfES on Thursday. It finished about 3pm and it was a lovely day so I walked back through the Park to Trafalgar Square and on an impulse went into the National Gallery. Isn't it astonishing that you can just walk off the busy street, and look at some of the most spectacular pieces of art ever produced, at your leisure. I now money isn't the true measure, but it's millions and millions of pounds worth of art in lavish abundance. It wasn't even busy. It was cool, spacious, bright. As clouds moved overhead the volume of light was ebbing and flowing through the rooms as if they were alive. Surely we are some of the most fortunate humans who have ever lived. I ended up sitting for some time looking at Baccus and Ariadne by Titian. That online image doesn't begin to do it justice: it's astonishing, I had tears in my eyes.
I know anyone living in England probably has been there; I've been before myself. I just think sometimes we forget how incredible it all is. If we didn't have this privilege, and suddenly we got it, what an impact it would have. Because I hadn't planned to go there, it hit me quite strongly.
For those who haven't been to the National some highlights here.