Art appreciation…a national sport?

Even if you are blessed with lively little legs that accommodate your every demand with more besides the National Gallery shuttle helps you to pack in that little bit extra at no extra expense to yourself.

If you enjoy art like me, you will jump for joy at the thought of a bus laid on to not only deliver you to all Edinburgh’s national art galleries but to return you to town in time for tea to boot!

In theory, the brilliant little gallery bus service runs every 45 minutes. It is a godsend for people like myself who rely on knowing their limits and who carefully preserve as much energy as possible for the actual painting to painting plodding part of the art gallery experience.

They should make art gallery visiting an Olympic sport for all the exercise it provides. The amount of floorspace you actually cover amounts to miles…that’s a marathon! This explains how exhausted you feel after a couple of hours of seemingly effortless art appreciation at the National Gallery. People shouldn’t waste money on expensive gym memberships, they should visit an art gallery on a regular basis instead.

A long distance runner once explained to me her trick of how she was able to continue past the pain barrier and keep going even though every cell in her body cried out for her to stop. “You find a tree or the brow of a hill and you aim to reach that and only when you reach that spot do you find yourself the next target” was what she revealed to me. I gave this revelation some thought and apply this technique every time I spend an afternoon at a gallery and I have to say it does the trick.

I can now reveal to the world, when every muscle in my body screams at me to stop but I am only half way round the gallery, I aim to enjoy just one more painting; the next one along. When I have exhausted all my interest in that one I then (in true Olympiad fashion), visualise my next target, a plate of Millionaire’s Shortbread at the gallery cafe. With what little else I have left in my reserves, I stagger over to the till, beg the attendant to be gracious enough to serve me with a pot of tea and to take some money from me for the tray of glimmering feast. I then target a chair, collapse in it and aim to reach  the Shortbread.