These days, it seems mandatory that central London will be overtaken by charity arty objects: first it was cows, then elephants, then eggs. For six weeks or thereabouts one could join the Great Egg Hunt: I even did, texting four times for charity.
Sadly I got so cold and peevish after checking out Trafalgar Square and the South Bank that I formally called off the search for eggs when I found a greater treasure still. I stumbled into the Royal Festival Hall gift shop and found the Sherlock Holmes tea pot that I’d been coveting since January, when Benedict Cumberbatch poured a cup from this beauty. It is a good pourer and everything.
This article tells you the full story about the Sherlock Holmes tea pot of delight: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/jan/17/sherlock-teapot-sales-ali-miller
Now to be fair, it is less of a challenge to find 200 eggs when they’ve all been lined up for you in and around the piazza, but goodness they are an impressive thing to see together. Mainly, the eggs are huge, and littered with tourists and londoners alike snapping away at them with their cameras like piranhas at a plump big toe.
But the eggs are also just so damn clever. I marvelled at the skill and thought that had gone into creating these things. What kind of mind looks at the plump oval and sees the Gherkin, a postbox or the lyrics to ‘My Generation’?
Creatures broke out of their eggs, fur sprouted from eggs, hundreds of flowers burgeoned from eggs. There were eggs sculptural, eggs educational, eggs humorous.
And then there were eggs extraordinary.
Eggs whose lights switched on and off depending how close you stood to them. Eggs who used a lens to recreate the world on its inside, eggs which warmed up the more you touched them. Now the horrid truth is that I only know much of that because I looked up all 200 on the Great Egg Hunt online. I did this because I actually did fall a bit in love with some of the eggs. Even though I knew that any one of these ginormous beauties would look frankly ridiculous in my bijou home I still dared to dream. With three days to go until the auctions ended the absolute cheapest one was over £600. The ones I liked most were over £5000.
By anyone’s mathematics, even mine, that is more than £10. So I will just have to make do with my photos like everyone else (although I’m told that there are some mini-ones for sale at Selfridges which might be cheaper).
But no matter. If you can, get down to Covent Garden before 9 April, and revel in the sheer damn ingenuity of these glorious ovals, and admire the sheer verve of a city that is so willing to host something so strange for charity. Sometimes I am very proud of London town indeed, and this is one of those times.
Full details of the Big Egg Hunt, including the two charities being supported by the Hunt (Elephant Family and Action for Children), and where you can get your own mini-eggs from can all be reached from here: