Stiletto and wheels Stiletto title Sole to sole Stiletto

STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.

WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility. title
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ARTS - August 2011

Ever since I saw their floorboards, I’ve been meaning to get across to The Saatchi Gallery and, last weekend on a hot sunny afternoon in August, we finally made it for the first time.

I love London in August – everyone’s on holiday; the driving and parking are easy; restaurants, theatres, cinemas are all empty; and the weather’s usually OK. If you avoid the touristy bits, it’s just a real pleasure and The Saatchi Gallery, down the King’s Road is a bit off the main tourist drag and we expected a quiet afternoon trip there. But, no.

Thanks to the London Olympic Committee who had decided to run some simulated cycling events through West London to ‘see how it might be.’ Complete s**t for us, Londoners, would be my response to that. At 4pm, all the roads were still shut off, we got stuck in dire traffic and had to drive miles out of our way… & that’s on a typically deserted August afternoon. I don’t want to imagine it when the hordes descend in 2012. If this is ‘how it’s going to be’, we all need to get out of town!

Rant over. The Saatchi Gallery does have a couple of parking spaces for us, blue badge people, but you have to pre-book and we were – shock, horror – being spontaneous for once! We rang anyway and they were very nice but the parking area closes at 4pm (gallery shuts at 6pm Sunday) and, what with the traffic (again - !?) we missed this but empty London saved us and we got a metered space – usual odds for this off The King's Road are similar to winning the lottery - down the closest side road, parking is free on Sundays.

The exhibition was of New Modern Sculpture and very good it was. Both building and exhibition were totally accessible, from the front ramp outside, portable ramp in the door, level access and the lift thereafter. The floorboards were as good as I’d thought too – am definitely wanting these for our ground floor when we finally get around to executing the long-discussed re-vamp of our space.

We had a small coffee and a fizzy drink - £7! I’d be outraged but am outraged-out and we are talking Chelsea here - at the café outside in the sun afterwards, enjoying the people-watching and the weirdness of those who carry their blanket swaddled pug-like dogs in a baby buggy. Happy days.

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