I really ought to write something here, it was a very busy day! Food, friends, freezing wind, three hours walking around the NGV. Exhausting!

Dutch Masters from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. an impressive collection of paintings, and a few miscellaneous pieces of silverware and pottery. One of the glasses had me thinking, the sign on it said it was one of under five left in the world… I could swear I’d seen another! Oh yeah, in the glass museum in ! A magnificent painting of a 17th century warship reminded me of what might happen today if the artist tried the same thing “I’m sorry sir, you can’t paint that ship — security — I’m afraid we’ll have to confiscate your studio…”

“No photography” and “Please turn off your mobile phones” the signs at the entrance announces. Bleep, bloop, ring-ring. The attitude of the public replies straight back — every couple of minutes a different ring tone blares out, then the over-loud voice; “Uh yeah, Hi! Um, I’m in the gallery…” Guess what stupid — we all know you’re in the gallery!

Interesting subjects, fascinating techniques. Some incredibly lifelike hair and cloth and lights playing on metallic jewelry. I hadn’t realised until now that Harlem in the US was named after Haarlem in Holland. One painting caught my eye because the subjects looked to be slightly squashed, something we see on TV often enough when normal 4x3 pictures are shown on wide-screen TV with the wrong picture setting — no TV then, so the artist must have intended it… was Adriaen van Ostade’s Peasants intended to be seen slightly from the side, as you were walking along a hallway towards it?

Marko had suggested that there would be time to visit the National Museum in Carlton after we’d finished with the paintings — not a chance, after three hours of Dutch masters we were exhausted and desperate for lunch! Big bowls of soup in Degraves street, perfect for the cold weather and the icy wind.