Leaving the Renaissance Faces, the sublimely, timelessly poignant and inscrutable, and having heard about some smart-arsed photo of a woman with a plastic bag on her head, it was tempting not to bother with the annual photographic portrait exhibition next door. But it was free, and raining outside. In fact, the photo in question is beautiful, the subject's pale, Flemish face as haunting as those of her ancestors, as translucent as... well, as the plastic bag.
SUNDAY 23 NOVEMBER
Eating pea soup for Sunday lunch, I remember something I never notice but suddenly noticed some months ago in a crowded silent retreat dining room. My manner of eating soup labels me - age: over fifty; social class of origin: lower aspiring (my grandmother had been in domestic service and raised her kids to ape their betters). Instinctively, infallibly, I spoon the soup away from me. Most people, these days, don't.