Although it's only the beginning of February, I think I can safely say that I've just been to my favourite exhibition of 2013.
I don't know what other people want from art, but I'm happiest when it brushes away the cobwebs and briefly restores that elusive sense of childlike wonder. That's why I enjoyed the Hayward Gallery's Sound and Light exhibition, which is on until April 28th.
The first exhibit is Cyllinder II, by Leo Villareal, which flickers and dazzles with a continually changing pattern. It reminded me of one of those 1960s or 70s sci-fi series where the producers were clearly either pushed for time or had gone over budget: "I know, why don't we just say that the aliens are so advanced, they've evolved into non-corporeal beings? Then we'll only need a few flashing lights."
Equally spectacular was Chromosaturation, by Carlos Cruz-Diez which, in the artist's own words, is "an artificial environment composed of three colour chambers that immerse the visitor in a completeley monochrome situation (where) colour acts with all its force on the spectator's skin, objects and surrounding wall surfaces."
The result is very disorienting, particularly in the area where the three colours meet and create an effect that feels like a fog:
Mr Hipster seemed gently bemused by the artwork, but Mrs Hipster said she'd had enough:
I looked at my watch. I was due to go to a concert at the Purcell Room in half an hour and needed to get a move on. If only I hadn't wasted 20 minutes with Velma.
Luckily I had enough time to see a spectacular installation which consisted of a strobe light and miniature fountains of running water. The effect was breathtaking, creating unique, beautiful sculptures of water that only existed for a mere fragment of a second. Some looked like a row of diamonds, others had the appearance of glass. There was something poignant about the way these beautiful objects were gone before we could begin to savour them. A bit like being young.
I rushed through the remaining exhibits, reluctantly missing what looked like a very impressive piece by Iván Navarro, which did something clever with mirrors. I shall have to go back.
Outside it was nearly dark. London is not a beautiful city, but I almost like it at twilight:
I really enjoyed the concert. The music was well-chosen and the standard of singing was exceptional compared to the quivering, geriatric voices of most choral societies. I'd forgotten how beautiful the human voice was.
On the journey home I found an empty seat and got out my history of MI6 - I've become slightly obsessed with the SIS during the last couple of months, particularly its activities during the Cold War era. As I started reading the train halted and I absent-mindedly looked out of the window. Spookily, right in front of me was the SIS Building, with its satellite dishes pointing towards the four corners of the globe.
I had to change trains at Clapham Junction. I was hungry and looked for something to eat, but although there were plenty of outlets, they all seemed to sell the same food. If you don't like croissants with ham and cheese, cholesterol-raising pasties or diabetes-inducing pastries, you're buggered. I went without.
The train to Lewes was blissfully empty, but this didn't stop a young woman sitting next to me and getting out her knitting. I quickly discovered how hard it was to concentrate on reading with a knitting needle popping into your line of vision.
I will add knitting on trains to the very long list of things I intend to ban when I become Prime Minister in 2027.