Change At The V&A

‘Change is Good’ is what we read,

Change is something we all need.

But I went to the V&A

And found they’d put my cups away!

.

It has now been many years

Since I found myself, in tears,

On a quiet corner bench,

Struggling with a private wrench.

.

Trying bravely to decide

To leave a job I couldn’t abide.

Very troubled and depressed,

Working out what would be best.

.

That lovely quiet, private space

Was in a very special place –

Right up on the highest floor,

Miles away from the main door.

.

The V&A is very grand,

The best collection in the land.

The Cast Rooms come as a surprise,

You really won’t believe your eyes.

.

It’s a museum without measure!

Every room is packed with treasure!

But though I do like all the rest

It was ‘Ceramics’ I liked best.

.

Endless rooms of glorious cases,

China from exotic places.

Plates and cups and bowls galore,

Turn a corner – there’s still more!

.

Such a massive, huge display

Of decorated pots of clay.

Nowhere would you ever see

More entertaining crockery.

.

And hence my personal tradition –

Perhaps akin to superstition –

Whenever I felt stress or woe

I knew exactly where I’d go.

.

The top floor of the V&A!

A quiet and escapist day,

Mull things over, think things through,

Put things in perspective too.

.

Centuries of art design,

All that work and all that time!

The creations of the human race

Put my troubles in their place.

.

But – those galleries that captivated

Are closed!  For years!  To be updated!

It really is a crying shame

That they will never be the same.

.

Things move on, so we are told,

You cannot go from new to old.

Change is good, is what they say…

But I can’t think like that today.

.

(At the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, January 2007)

(The new ceramics galleries are open now, but they’re not as nice! 2015)

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