Sunday, 15 January 2012

One day recently we had to go into Leeds and found ourselves with some time to kill. There was somewhere in the city that we'd never visited and now we had the time. We were not too keen, though friends and family had urged us to have a look. I tried to delay the horrors I felt might lie ahead by dragging Mr N into The Corn Exchange...

                                                 was years since I had been inside Cuthbert Brodrick's 1860's building, a wonderful rotunda which must once have buzzed and hummed like a huge beehive with farmers and merchants trading busily.

    The interior was less colourful and much smarter than I remembered from years ago and I wondered what Mr. Brodrick would have made of the shop unit names - "Body Lush" (bespoke ethical skincare), "Dirty Girl" (for men, of course), "Mad Elizabeth" (sounds darkly Victorian but actually she sells jazzy retro clothing).

We thought refreshments might help stiffen our resolve or, at least, delay the inevitable for a while, so we ventured into Primo's, home of the Gourmet Hot Dog, though we sampled the Gourmet Bagels,which were also on offer, instead - delicious!

   Then we ran through The Calls as fast as our lallies would carry us and over the River Aire towards the trendy Clarence Dock area with its old warehouses, now smart apartments, pausing, as usual, to admire the view.

   Then we saw it - time to bite the bullet and enter the Royal Armouries...

             exciting building, it would make a good film set but...

         ...some displays chilled us to the bone. I imagined that a good percentage of male visitors, given the right (wrong?) circumstances would be capable of cold blooded slaughter - killer apes every one. So we decided to study the earliest items on display, admiring the tiniest details, the beautiful materials, the craftsmanship. Here are works of art we can value for more than their killing-power.

We both liked this interesting armoured coat, made in early 19th century Rajasthan from pangolin scales decorated with gold leaf, more for magnificent display than protection. Scalemail?

  Yes, the Royal Armouries is well worth a visit, but we preferred to ignore the larger, bleaker picture.


1 comment:

  1. Such a paradox, those exquisite and beautiful instruments of death. Killer apes are so talented, and yet so destructive.