SUNDAY / 45

IMG_3957.JPGAnother SUNDAY come and gone. Two cups of tea in bed with my book, some old jeans with a white tee and some guilt about things I should do, before deciding that all I wanted to do was go to the gallery. So I did. I went  to the Art Gallery of NSW for exactly one hour - as much change as I had in my purse for the parking metre (I got a park right out front, which made it feel especially meant-to-be). The five minute drive there took a little longer because I stopped for a smoothie at About Life in Surry Hills, but otherwise, just the hour. I had thought I'd see the POP exhibition, but actually, mostly what I wanted was to see the Grace Cossington Smiths and the Margaret Prestons I love so much. They are part of my favourite collection, all 1920s Sydney coming alive with colour and female artists and the cusp of modernity. There was a beautiful new acquisition by Richard Wakelin called The Yellow House which I had a bit of a moment with too.

There was a Lucien Freud that got me thinking about men and the space they take up, but I was calmed by a Cezanne that I've always loved, and some beautiful Victorian-era sculptures by Bertram Mackennal that were curvy and new to me. And then the John Wolseley that took my breath away, so it was an hour well spent. I was sitting upstairs, looking at the Wolseley, and thinking about how in London, between the ages of 18 and 21, I spent most of my days off at one gallery or other, and it was what I missed this morning, what made me come. I used to wander between the National Portrait Gallery, the TATE Pimlico, the TATE Modern, the V&A, the British Museum, the Courtould Gallery, the National Gallery, and the eves of St Pauls. When you're working in restaurants and bars, selling homewares by day and waiting tables at night, your day off is rarely your friends' day off. So you get a lot of time to yourself, and thinking back, it was pretty wonderful. I learnt how to be by myself, and soaked up centuries of beautiful art as I went.

I still managed to find time for the supermarket and some washing, and a nourishing 4 PM yoga class with Persia, but didn't quite get to the sewing I had planned for the lovely vintage fabric my friend brought back from Indonesia (above). Or the other book I was going to start reading, but there's all summer for that (I was inspired by Ben Quilty's homage to Richard Flanagan when I saw him at Women of Letters last week, not to mention I've been wanting to read it for months).

LAST YEAR.