I got back to London early on Monday the 26th, and it was potentially the worst weather I’ve been in in months. Pouring rain, windy, cold, dark, ugh.
After sleeping more, went to meet Nick downtown for some lunch, went to the very impressive British Museum, where ironically my favorite exhibits were the temporary one with American prints from 1900-1960s, and the Japanese ceramics. Ironic eh?
The rain was highly discouraging me – the wind was making umbrellas useless – so I headed back around 6pm.
Tuesday I met Paul at the London Eye for a fabulous day out. We went up the London Eye, a really magnificent piece of work, and the views were fantastic. We then caught the thames clipper down to Greenwich, where time started. The whole area of Greenwich was so different from Central London, with its parks and little streets with different shops and restaurants that as far as I could tell were mostly not chains. From there we caught the boat back up to the Tate Modern, and checked out the permanent collection which had about equal amounts of works I really enjoyed and works that made me question what art is, who defines it, and how come putting a block of bricks on the floor now allows you space in an exhibition. We then walked across the Millenium Bridge which isn’t wobbly anymore, to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Walking up Southbank from there up to Charing Cross/Enbankment was lovely, passing lots of museums and theatres and cafes, and just seeing life unfold. I really love how the river is a central point of life in London.
I met Anne that evening in Leicester Square for dinner and drinks and had a great time updating and chatting; she’s lovely.
Wednesday I met Nick for lunch in Aldgate, then experienced horrible tube delays which I had already seen, but didn’t realize they were such a norm…but I finally got to Putney to meet Sham. His parents are lovely, from Bangladesh, and his mother was typical in that she wanted to feed me everything, especially when she realized that I liked Bengali food. She was surprised and impressed every time I recognized a spice or flavor, it was really sweet.
Had a great afternoon with Sham, we rode bikes through Richmond Park, went to the driving range for golf, had lovely food, then to Kensington for a few drinks with his sister and Jules also showed up.
Thursday I did my last great spurt of sightseeing, with the Natural History Museum, Hyde Park (lovely rose garden!), Piccadilly Circus, then it was pouring down rain. We went to Camden Town for Brasilian food which was fantastic to have some picanha, but even more so the beans…mmm I love beans.
Friday went to Borough Market and spent some time in bookshops…and now I’m on the bus to Inverness, which left at 23.45 and I’ve still got a few hours to go to complete the more than 12 hour journey…