Another lunchtime, another jaunt. I go down to the V&A to have a wander.
After 15 minutes of non-specific mooching around, I come across the contemporary sculpture room. It is very dark, and straight ahead of me is an installation. I'll try to describe it as best I can.
Imagine a very dark room with a huge, four-cornered pillar in the middle of it. Around the base of the pillar, on the floor, is a large oval area which has been painted black. It is ringed by a cable of thin yellow electric light.
A looped film is being projected on to the black space from above. It morphs/jump cuts/segues from one image into another, incorporating organic textures, film stills, manga cartoons, photos, what look like oil/liquid projections and so on. While this is happening, speakers around the room and on the pillars emit strange, undulating ambient music, interspersed with the odd burst of feedback. If this were 1973 and I was a rock critic, I'd probably describe the sounds as "shimmering shards of sepulchral majesty" (and I would be talking shite). As it is, it's all very interesting and soothing. Kind of what I hope happens after you die.
Anyway, i'm listening to the shimmering shards, taking in the pictures and generally phasing out, when a high-pitched, nasal and slightly officious voice flows into the mix.
"MISS Watkins, could you please report to the front desk, where your mum is waiting for you".
At first I think this is part of the installation. It's the sort of thing an artist with a sense of humour might drop in. But after three repetitions, it is clear that it is simply a security guard looking for Miss Watkins.
I try to get back to the "moment" but the spell has been broken. It also reminds me of being in sixth year at school and playing in the end of term concert with my embarrasingly naff band. I can't reveal the name, it's too embarrassing. Maybe another time.
We were in the middle of playing "Born to be Wild" and the kids were loving it. I was in mid-solo when Miss Gray came over the tannoy (so to speak) and announced that the year 4 pupils had to leave the concert hall NOW, and go to games. This was unfortunate as the entire fourth year was down the front, pretend-headbanging as I produced lick after glorious lick from my "axe" (thankfully not the electric pink monstrosity that my mum bought me).
Anyway, I keep trying to get back to the state of avant garde bliss, but it's no use. Then I look up and notice there is a wee old lady standing across the oval from me, mesmerised by the music and visuals.
She looks terrified. Like she thinks she's died, in fact. Then she looks at me, and starts laughing! Who needs avant-garde when you have that!