Went to see Americans in Paris at the National Gallery. Pretty good: a lot of fairly twee filler, but a few very interesting pictures. Centerpiece is Whistler's "Mother", apparently now restored after being erased by Mr Bean. Seems like another one of those paintings that looks totally different in real life than in reproductions. She always seemed rather stern and repressed in copies, but has a fragile, translucent complexion in person, which looks more frail and thoughtful. She looks like she's just having one of those distracted moments older people get, but then she'll get up and start handing round the cookies.
(Yes, I know I'm supposed to be admiring the pre-Mondrian composition, but meh.)
Gallery report. No queue for a ticket. Getting fairly crowded now: tourist season is coming upon us and this show's a tourist magnet. Low child count though: only two kids there and they were impeccably well-behaved. Lots of touro-clumping, but no-one standing six inches from the painting like the regulars. Temperature: Getting a bit warmer as well with the crowds: I wandered round comfortably in a T-shirt, would have been quite unpleasant in a coat.
Guardian article. Wasn't that impressed by Madame X though: looks like he wimped out and half-erased the cleavage.
Finally bought and fitted the power supply. Thanks to everyone who gave me advice. Managed it without any casualties except a slightly nicked finger. I even managed to identify the one motherboard-to-diskdrive cable that was bundled in with the power supply, and thus avoided ripping it out.
Got it from QuietPC in the end: cheaper than Dabs, delivered promptly and charged me the right amount. Was thinking of getting fans and possibly a processor cooler from them, but probably best not to push my luck.
On a whim, bought a cheapo all-in-the-headband MP3 player for my 5BX exercises: getting a bit bored with accidentally yanking out the earphones in the strenuous bits. Not sure if it'll work though: I suspect as always my freakishly small head will be my Achilles heel.
Whisky. Too slow again with the Mackmyra. The chap at Royal Mile Whiskies says they sold out of the first two batches almost immediately, and there won't be another delivery for two weeks. He said they won't reserve bottles, and advised me to get it on the Internet, which is pretty tough for a retailer to say. He says he can't remember anything selling so fast before, which would be more impressive if the London shop wasn't about three years old. About the same age as the whisky.
Got a bottle of the Tullibardine 1988, and the Caol Isla 18-year old. They're both priced in the mid-thirties, so not so bad. Having one sweet and one peaty should do me for a while anyway.
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