Nature, culture and sport
LONDON’S spring is almost over; the cherry blossom is everywhere, scattering to the ground, and the trees are nearly in full leaf. One of the stranger indications of approaching summer is the innumerable ants’ nests now coming to life in the pavements. The presence of these miniature cities is marked by telltale piles of sand along the joints between the paving stones.
This weekend, I led a family party to the new Charterhouse Museum, EC1. The children attended grudgingly and my explanation of the celebrated 15th-century waterwork plan of the monastery was crisply cut off by a mocking assurance that there were no plumbers in the family interested to hear it. Things turned really nasty, however, when I refused to buy a trinket from the shop. For a period, it seemed that the museum might have acquired on permanent loan an extremely angry child, revolted into self-imposed exile by a father’s cruelty.
To calm nerves on the way home, we stopped to watch the marathon. The passing runners looked notably professional, rather than being dressed up as telephone boxes, chickens or other exotica, so the children’s curiosity was satisfied in well under a minute. I felt inwardly reassured that they presently remain as indifferent to sport as to culture. JG