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Blog: A Walk In The Park

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On Tuesday I went for my regular (almost) daily stroll in my local park. I don't like to go on about it, and in fact very rarely mention it, but my local park is THE OLYMPICAL PARK which is also where I live, which is totally brilliant and amazing but, as I say, I do not like to harp on excessively.

One of the many GRATE things about it is that it basically as a FREE COMIC SHOP in it, or at least it does for me. As a member of staff at University of the Arts London I have access to the various college libraries, including the one at London College of Fashion, which opened up in its new building in the Olympical Park last year. That means that I go past it every time I have a walk (and can indeed see the glowing "UAL" sign from our flat), and after a while I realised that meant I could ORDER books from the library system online from ANY college and then a day or so later pick them up on my stroll. It is frankly SUPER and has recently led to me getting a bunch of The Greatest Graphic Novels EVER (according to various lists) what I haven't read and having a look.

THUS I popped in to return UAL's copy of Blankets by Craig Thompson (REVIEW: Quite Good, goes on a bit) and found that all was in TUMULT and EXCITEMENT as things were being set up for the 2024 Postgraduate show. Hoardings were being erected, signs were being affixed, models were being directed to audition studies, and all was nerves and expectation.

As I wandered through all this I looked round a corner and saw three or four people standing in a doorway all wearing their outfits for the show. WALLOP. I was suddenly hit by one of them there PROUSTIAN RUSHES as I got a massive blast of remembering being at SCHOOL doing the dress rehearsals for various PLAYS and CONCERTS. I've not thought of it for decades, but all at once I was back there on that exciting afternoon when, if you were in THE PLAY, you didn't have to go to lessons and instead could lurk around the assembly hall getting costumes put on ready to try out in the final rehearsal. I could SMELL the DUST and CLEANING FLUID of the school hall, and my stomach went all a-flutter with the NERVES and SPECIALNESS of it all. I hope those KIDZ getting ready for the Postgraduate Show were getting to feel something similar, it was/is AMAZING.

After that I headed off towards the shops, and walked past one of those Boston Dynamics DOGS. One of THESE:

Goodness only knows what it was doing lurking around near the edge of Westfields - there were some blokes operating it and some schoolchildren gathering around to pat it, but that was about it - but there it was within 20 feet of a Pret A Manger. I've seen it loads of times on telly and have been vaguely spooked out by the Stop Motion way it walks around, but now here it was in real life looking... well, sort of normal really. I guess this is how SCIENCE FICTION blends into normal life - three or four years ago I was constantly AMAZED to find myself doing Teams call that felt like a SUPERVILLAIN CONFERENCE, but now they are just part of daily work. I guess ROBOT DOGS will soon go the same way but for now, with my shopping list in my pocket, it felt like something from THE FUTURE.

Nothing else happened on the rest of my walk. That was more than enough!

posted 14/2/2024 by MJ Hibbett

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