My second frustrating expedition this week. We decided to give ourselves the morning off and see the Van Gogh Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Even on a weekday morning it was packed. Standing on tiptoe, we had managed to see about a dozen early sketches over the heads of the crowd when all the lights suddenly went out, except for safety lights above the doors. We all froze, glancing around nervously as though wondering whether art thieves were about to slice the paintings expertly from their frames under cloak of darkness.
Then we were told to leave via the fire doors and the fire escapes. It turned out that there was a serious power cut. We congregated in the courtyard (see photo) awaiting further news. Some people had left their coats and bags in the cloakroom, and were shivering in the cold. Eventually we were told that the building would remain closed for the foreseeable future. At this, the poor coatless and bagless fraternity started quivering with anger as well as cold. We’d kept our coats on, and so we were able to leave …. but without having seen the late Van Gogh paintings we were so looking forward to.