So after weeks of abstention, I dropped by Dark Sugars, a mighty fine chocolatier on Brick Lane. The genial man behind the counter made me a quick hot chocolate and topped it off with a palmful of slivers of dark and brown chocolate. While I stood there salivating, a woman walked in and said she wanted to get a selection of salty caramel chocs.
'Which box shall I put them in?' she said.
'Whichever you like, dear,' said the genial man.'You spend your life trying to convince men they needn't tell you what to do. So don't let me tell you what to do.'
Giggles all around.
I grabbed a salmon beigel and a salami beigel from the Beigel shop. £2.40 for a fine meal.
The reason I went to Brick Lane was not to go to Brick Lane - because, really, Brick Lane is a bit of a sham show, especially its southern end - but rather because I was at the Calvert 22, a gallery of Russian and Eastern European works. This is in Shoreditch, and on my way back to the office, I sauntered down Brick Lane. Calvert 22 were hosting an exhibition of photographs (titled Close and Far) by Prokudin-Gorsky along with works by a bunch of modern photographers. I took a cursory look at the modern works, but spent more time admiring Prokudin-Gorsky.
What a chap. He spent years on the Czar's commission, travelling back and forth and up and down the mighty empire, snapping away at people and buildings and landscapes. Many of these areas haven't been photographed since, and many of the monuments were destroyed in subsequent wars and Communist depredations. He used a colour methodology of his own making, and produced vibrant polychrome pictures that look like they might have been taken yesterday.
The exhibition ends today, August 17, so I dare say most of you will miss it.