Monday, October 08, 2007

A Very Cool Saturday

Ian and I had a fun weekend. Julie spent Friday evening and all day Saturday at a women's retreat at our church, so Ian and I had some dude time. Friday evening we ordered Chinese food and ate it while we watched the second Harry Potter movie on DVD.

Saturday we watched some cartoons in the morning, then a show on Children's BBC on creating art at home. The painting there were using as an example was called "Surprise" by Henri Rousseau. Ian said that they had learned something about the artist in his class, and that it was his favorite painting. I looked it up online and it turned out to be here in London, so we decided to go see it (after eating the leftover Chinese food for breakfast).

One bus ride and we were at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. We went to the information table and I said "we're really here to see one painting," and that's when Ian chimed in with "it's by Rousseau." The man said, "you came to see 'Surprise' didn't you," and told us how to get there. We walked through rooms with paintings by Monet, Chagall, Van Gogh, Renoir and a bunch of other greats. When we came to the room with the painting we were after, Ian got this big smile on his face and we stood in front of it for a while. We looked at some other pieces and then left.

When we got outside there was a huge demonstration in the Square about the persecution in Burma (that's the picture at the top of the post). There were speakers and Buddhist chants, and we looked on for a few minutes. We walked up through Leicester Square and through Picadilly Circus to the Tube, then up to Homebase (a poor excuse for a home improvement center) to get some things for the house. After a bus ride home we relaxed and had lunch together.

I tell that story because I've shared so many of the things that have been hard about being here. On Saturday I was struck by how cool it is to be in a city where you can see a famous painting on a kids' show in the morning, and see it in person before lunch. Ian and I had a good time together. I've been working so much lately that it was good to go out and be father and son for the day. I loved every minute of it.

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