The cloud tripped over the mountain


If you were to score my weekend on the number of words written, it would do very badly indeed. However, if you scored it on reading and art enjoyed, wine and ice cream consumed, and general good times, then it would do infinitely better.

In a weekend stuffed with pleasures both big and small, here’s my highlight: While looking at the Turner watercolours at the National Gallery in Edinburgh, I was chatting to my seven-year-old son, trying to get him to engage with the pictures. I was reading bits of information from the cards and saying startlingly dull things like ‘look, a square in Venice on a stormy day’ and ‘gosh, look at those mountain peaks’. He bore my involvement with good grace and obliged me with comments like ‘smudgy but nice’ and ‘yes, it’s a boat’. Counting the visit as a complete success, I turned to round up my husband and daughter and, when I turned back, he was staring at a painting with a swirling wave of cloud tumbling down from the sky. He said: “It’s like the cloud tripped over the mountain.” And, you know what? It was.

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