What with one thing and another, I’ve been remarkably inactive lately. I haven’t walked to work more than about once a month, and I haven’t done nearly enough photography. And since walking and taking pictures are things that:
- I generally like doing
- Can be done at the same time
I decided that I needed to persuade myself to get back into it. So today, after an only moderately late breakfast, I went out with my little Olympus E-P1. I fitted the 14-42mm zoom lens this time, as I haven’t really used it up till now. Initial impressions are that it’s quite a nice and generally useful lens. Not quite as tasty as the 17mm f/2.8 one, but the flexibility offered by its zoominess is nice to have. Here are some leaves:
Getting close with the E-P1 and the long end of the 14-42mm lens.
Anyway, apart from taking pictures, my plan for today was to visit some art galleries and possibly a museum. I started with my very local gallery – the Shipley. At present, most of the space is occupied by an exhibition about the Supremes, which was a little unusual. I wasn’t all that interested in the selection of dresses, but the displays on the historical background (civil rights, Martin Luther King, etc) was well worth seeing. From there, I walked past Gateshead Central Library, which is being refurbished and improved – after what must be 30 years or so, they’re moving the entrance from the not all that attractive modern extension to the original quite tasteful bit on the front, which has been blocked off for as long as I can remember. Nice.
I then visited the Baltic. This has a reasonably rapidly changing selection of displays, so you never know what you’re going to get. There’s a lot of contemporary art that means absolutely nothing to me, and there was one of those there today – Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy. Yeah, it’s a shop with a load of glass cases filled with assorted medicines. Still, at least it wasn’t half a shark….
On the other hand, there was an item I did like – Parrworld. Martin Parr is a well-known photographer, who also collects stuff. One one floor, there’s a really great selection from his collection – photographs, postcards, photo books, odd merchandise – lots to see and enjoy and not a metaphor for the human condition to be found. Lots of photographers work to enjoy there. On another floor is a selection of Parr’s recent work, which is also worth seeing.
After that, I crossed the river and popped in for an espresso and a toasted teacake at the ambitiously named newish cafe called Great Coffee. Well, the toasted teacake was very nice indeed, and the espresso was as good as I’ve had anywhere, and a good deal better than I’ve had in many places – decently hot, rich and strong. Definitely a good place to pop into if you’re on the Quayside.
I then had a general wander up into Newcastle, and went to the Laing Art Gallery – where quite apart from some excellent paintings in their Dance exhibit, I was happy to see a photographic exhibition, No Such Thing As Society, which I’d previously seen in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. Some of the pictures in that were also in Parrworld, oddly enough.
And finally, I got round to seeing the completed Newcastle City Library, which is quite stunning – lots of open space, lots of light, lots of places to sit and read, or use computers. Oh, and lots of books, too.
And at that point, I decided it was time to go home. Rather than risk my poor old legs giving out, I got the bus.
More of today’s pictures will appear as soon as I find a suitable tuit.
 Well, technically, I tend to stand still to actually take the pictures, but you know what I mean
 Scrambled eggs on toast, as it happens. Very tasty.
 Note: this may not be a proper word
 Which is not all that central, oddly enough
 Hint: if it needs a caption telling you what it’s meant to be about, it probably doesn’t interest me…
 Or whatever
 I’d give them a link, but they don’t seem to have their own site. They can be found on Facebook, though.