Let me count the ways.

A late night in the offing in SW19 tonight: Andy Murray slugging it out under the roof at Wimbledon as the rain falls elsewhere. It wasn’t like that last night as I strolled along the South Bank under a crimson sunset, glinting off the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster.

This quick list is little more than information masquerading as literature, for these are some of the things I did:

  • British Museum: when I was very young I once asked my mum why there was so little of Britain in the British Museum – little has changed in two and a half decades. This was my first visit in a while though and I’m a fan of the central courtyard, which is a very large space indeed. The temporary exhibition on Australian art was good and took me back to some of the galleries I visited in Australia – I like a Sydney Nolan from time to time. The Parthenon Sculptures are still there, despite my measured analysis as an undergrad that they should head back to Greece. The rest passed in a blur, the continents and the centuries passing in as many paces as I tripped through the civilisations.
  • Apple Store Covent Garden: the biggest such store in the world I believe, a temple to the brand and the products. And what do you know, it’s a very pleasant place to spend a little time and a lot of money.
  • National GalleryCardinal Richelieu‘s eminence… say no more.
  • Eli Pariser at The RSA: it’s only a few days since I wrote about Pariser’s work on the ‘filter bubble’, so quite a fluke that my day in London coincided with his talk at RSA House. The material had developed a little since his TED talk, but the basic premise remains and there seems to be greater appreciation of the consequences it heralds. A treat however: this lunchtime talk was hosted by Aleks Krotoski, who sat three seats along from me when she wasn’t grilling the speaker on stage.
  • Scotch Malt Whisky Society, London: when in London why not call in on a society you’re a member of? Lovely stuff.
  • E4 Udderbelly: …where I spent a very pleasant hour with my friend, the general manager. Just as I used to get mighty confused when visiting the Famous Spiegeltent in foreign cities so it is with the purple cow: current residing near the South Bank Centre. (And to think Sarah’s first festival job was selling tickets for Jo, Laura and I at the Bedlam Theatre in 1998.)

London remains a city that will strip your wallet as soon as welcome you to its institutions and winding streets. But it’s a fine place to be… right down to running for the last train.

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One thought on “Let me count the ways.

  1. Anonymous

    I like this stretch of the south bank it somehow seems more local than the other tourist parts of London, but then maybe I am just romanticising it. The Henry Moore exhibition at Tate Britain last year was excellent but like you my experiences and memories of the British Museum are the same. The Old Vic and the New Vic along this side of the river is always good for some challenging culture and entertainment along with Southwark market.

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