Yesterday, I went to London to renew my passport. All papers handed in, I had four hours to kill before I could collect it. The weather was good, so I embarked on a walk: from Victoria to Buckingham Palace through St James's Park to Trafalgar Square — all these super-touristy places which, surprisingly, turned out to be reasonably crowd-free. And then I surprised myself by entering The National Gallery.
Here I made a discovery. As it happens, these are the last days of the Peder Balke exhibition (until 12 April 2015). I never heard of him, although the name rang a bell. Oh right: Wikipedia says he is a great-great-grandfather of Norwegian jazzmen Jon Balke and Erik Balke. Not quite incidentally: I think some of Peder Balke paintings, such as Northern Lights shown below, wouldn’t be out of place as ECM cover art.
In 1832, Peder Balke travelled along the Norwegian coast as far as Nordkapp. Although it was his only journey there, the scenery of Nordkapp continued to inspire him till the end of his life.
I have to thank Her Majesty’s Passport Office for this pleasant discovery.