An exquisite new exhibition provides household my prolonged obsession with Iran | Rachel Cooke

I know just when Iran initially took hold of me. In 1979, I was at school in Jaffa, Israel, my classmates mostly Arab youngsters and the offspring of assorted diplomats. Just one early morning, we arrived for our very first lesson to uncover some desks vacant the Iranian girls and boys, it appeared, had been all in other places (relations among Israel and Iran were then, bizarre as this seems now, absolutely functional). It was stated to us that there experienced been a revolution. My buddy Shirin, it appeared, had returned to Tehran with her household. Even as my teacher smilingly insisted that, yes, of system I would see her once again a single working day, I now recognized that I wouldn’t.

Thereafter, I by no means stopped wanting to know about Iran. What was it like? What peculiar powers did it keep? I browse books about it, I watched films about it and, ultimately, I managed to get inside of it. I visited Persepolis and the tomb of the poet Hafez in Shiraz. In Isfahan, a cleric whacked me on the back when my scarf slipped. In Yazd, house of Zoroastrianism, my guideline broke into an exuberant rendition of Queen’s I Want to Break Free of charge at the best of the city’s Tower of Silence (Freddie Mercury was a Zoroastrian by beginning the tower is one of the buildings on which Zoroastrians traditionally remaining their dead).

I like the way lifestyle will work in circles, taking you back again to in which you began. Last Tuesday, I was invited to the opening of the V&A’s exhibition, Epic Iran, an celebration so thrilling for me that not even the sight of Oliver Dowden could dent my temper (distracted by a renowned photograph of a female making a bubble with her gum, I managed not to accost the tradition secretary, eager while I am to know what he plans to do about the nation’s beleaguered musicians, who now will need visas to tour in Europe).

You will, potentially, have read about the V&A’s remarkable recreation of the domes of Isfahan, of the beautiful carpets, tiles and manuscripts. But on the night time my favourite item was a little, straightforward-to-miss out on painting of 1495. It depicts the construction of a palace. Scaffolding has been elevated, mortar is staying combined. What would make it so charming, and so fashionable, is that the guys doing the job on the internet site feel so exaggeratedly fast paced. A well-attained tea split – fetch the samovar! – is undoubtedly only times absent.

Also great to sit

Employing a chair at do the job is outdated hat. Photograph: Old Visuals/Alamy

Due to the fact I would like my back again to be less unpleasant, and my bum to be smaller, I have at last invested in a standing desk. It comprises 3 bits of beechwood: slotted alongside one another, you perch the result on your existing desk. It’s more challenging to focus standing up so much, I only use it when composing e-mails. But this zen lectern also, I believe, gives me the aura of a Japanese architect. I am quiet. I am omnipotent. I need to have some extravagant new minimalist clothing.

See Jane rebel

The Museum of the Home will reopen on 12 June.
The Museum of the House will reopen on 12 June. Photograph: Richard Gardner/Rex Functions

Future thirty day period, the Museum of the Dwelling (previously the Geffrye Museum) in east London reopens following an £18m refurbishment: very good timing, presented the enforced nesting of the last 12 months. Those people completely sick of cooking and cleansing will appreciate a new space focused to housework, starring mad-hunting ancient vacuum cleaners and posters by the See Pink Women’s Workshop, a 1970s printing collective. In one particular, a skit on the Ladybird books numerous of us bear in mind from childhood, docile Jane, Mummy’s little helper, is reworked into a mini-radical. “Stuff this,” she thinks, shoving apart her duster. “It’s about time I started supplying women an case in point of all the other items we can do.”

Rachel Cooke is an Observer columnist

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